I remember watching a poorly made video called, They Sold Their Souls for Rock and Roll with promotion by Kirk Cameron and Ray Comfort no less, which decried the evils of rock music. I remember feeling pretty manipulated by the video that seemed to take quotes out of context and twist the intention of some of the artists comments. What reminded me is a post over at challies.com that mentions another video about the ‘evils of rock n’ roll called Hells Bells.
Hells Bells Description:
After opening with an engaging apologetic on the power of music and the nature of man, Hell’s Bells examines the ideas of key satanists and occultists and looks for their parallels within the world of secular rock music. (Surprise, they’re virtually everywhere!) It then contrasts these “vain and evil imaginings” with the teachings of Jesus. By the end of this absolutely captivating video (multitudes of lost people have watched it out of interest, curiosity, even a desire to rip it apart!), the viewer has seen and heard the gospel forwards and backwards and knows that ultimately there are only two types of people (the lost and the redeemed) and two paths to go on (the path of self (satanism) or the way of the cross). Tens of thousands have been saved through this video! Produced in 1989; 185 minutes; VHS (NTSC); English
And here are some comments from Challies:
We learn that the heart of rock-n-roll is rebellion, the sin that is at the heart of every sin, for Satan sinned by rebelling against God and the led humans in the same rebellion. When we sin against God, we make idols of ourselves, displaying the “me-ism” that is at the heart of rebellion. In one particularly noteworthy moment, the host asks many different teens to name three songs that promote sexual purity before marriage. Soon he was asking them for two, and then for one. No one could name a single song. While this is interesting, what is even more important is to ask ourselves why this question seems so absurd. It is absurd to ask about a rock song promoting purity or love for parents because such sentiments are antithetical to the very heart of rock music.
Another interesting observation was that the people at the heart of the music seem to understand what rock music is all about far more clearly than the kids who merely drink it all in. I am reminded of the latest series of American Idol where Gene Simmons (of KISS fame) was a guest judge. When confronted with a talented contestant who was a youth pastor, Simmons said to him, “I think you’re a country artist, and IÄôll tell you why. If you sing pop lyrics, youÄôre going to have a problem with your ministry. Because rock and roll by definition — and popular music — is about sexuality. The rules are different for country. You can sing Christian oriented lyrics and be acceptable, and you can sell millions of records.” Time and again we see that the people who make and produce this music understand that it is, at heart, Satanic and in direct opposition to God. I was left wondering why it is that others cannot see this. And I came to realize that we cannot examine rock music without beginning with the foundation of the rebellion that is at its core.
One of the sections I found most shocking and convicting was the one dealing with the blasphemy that takes place when artists act out their rebellion and hatred towards God, and then thank him for their success or wear a cross around their neck. The video shows a montage of artists thanking God for their success (Backstreet Boys, N*Sync, Destiny’s Child (who were dressed in very-nearly nothing), Sisqo (who subsequently thanked a thong for its part in his success)) and praying before their shows (Limp Bizkit, Christina Aguilera (immediately before performing the song “Dirty” which is true to its name)). I was forced to wrestle with the anger that must burn in God as he looks at these people acting out their hatred towards Him, and then ascribing this “success” to Him – to a God who is infinitely holy and infinitely pure, incapable of committing or condoning sin.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on all this…is rock and roll an evil (burn our cd’s) or how should we as Christians listen/participate in these things?