When we were in ACS, it was mandatory for the Christian Education worker to show us videos about various satanic influences in secular life.
Most interesting was this video on rock music. It explored themes like backmasking, use of satanic imagery (Judas Priest, Ozzy, Black Sabbath) and evil, antichrist lyrics.
(Of course, horn-wearing Mick Fleetwood (left) was cited as an example – he can look like a devil even without stage makeup)
It didn’t help that the ’70s saw the rise of drug-fueled music, and an abandonment of religious fundamentals. XTC’s Dear God is still one of the most memorable songs against the Christian front, grieving at humankind’s self-created hypocrisy.
Sorry to disturb you,
But I feel that I should be heard loud and clear.
We all need a big reduction in amount of tears,
And all the people that you made in your image,
See them fighting in the street,
cause they can’t make opinions meet,
I can’t believe in you.
– Dear God, XTC
What was amusing to our young minds was how even Whitney Houston was roped in. After all, her songs were mostly about “Saving All My Love For You” and how good her inner self was (I found the greatest love of all, Inside of me, The greatest love of all, Is easy to achieve, Learning to love yourself, It is the greatest love of all).
Then there was also the exposition on how heavy drum beats simulate the voodoo trances and pagan influences of yore. This is one of the major reasons why traditional churches allow guitars but not drum sets.
Now that I’m older and more exposed, that educational video seems to have lost much of its resonance. Not because I don’t agree with it (c’mon, all pop music is self-glorifying and antichrist to an extent), but it misses the forest for the trees.
The rock music establishment has been making fun of Christians as long as young people have been around. The more the Ned Flanders of the world go wide-eyed at their antics, the more these rockers will slap on the rouge and stick out their forked tongues. The satire was amplified in Tenacious D’s Pick Of Destiny where it jokingly affirms – “Yes, Beezelebub is really behind the amazing skills of Eddie Van Halen!”. Getting Meat Loaf to act as the priestly father of young Jack Black was the best inside joke of the year.
These days, my concern is really more the subtle influences out there that pervert people’s minds. I have no doubt that if you were to listen to XTC the whole day long, you would turn against Christ one day.
But of greater impact is society’s demand for self-indulgence and the pursuit of money. Work is a utilitarian function – you work to pay the bills, that’s it. You should earn more as a reward for your quality and quantity of work.
However, the trouble comes when work becomes twisted for self-glorification and a channel for other sins. I feel uneasy about writing this, for as a journalist, the byline is what keeps many of us going. In itself, the byline represents the size of the ego, and ego conflicts against the notion of giving up oneself for Christ.
Back to the point, people are in danger more from the little nitty-gritties of their daily lives than mere rock music. The Christian today, more than ever, is in danger of falling into cracks that he cannot see. Yet the establishment continues to rail against the obvious things – Catholicism (for the Protestants that is), gambling, New Age concepts, and videogaming so on.
It’s easy to preach against the obvious, because the argument is pretty clear for most to see.
It’s not so easy to tell the Christian why work must be rationalised, why it’s not right to play office politics, why it is not okay to be pitting one colleague against another for your own personal gain. How about the need to work long hours to pay the bills vs. spending quality time with the family? How much money should one give to society vs the church? Is it wrong to seek more gains for your money? Is it sinful to store up so much treasure in bank accounts, and not do outreach/social work in Godless places?
My reading is that the average Christian today is utterly confused (I’m no better okay, I just do the observations here).
We seek God’s Will, but 95% of our waking time is spent following our own will. Some believe that knowing Christ better through church activities will strengthen one’s faith, but what if it takes them away from more pressing matters that require not mere faith, but reasonable common sense to resolve?
I’m not advocating rock music, but if the Christian cannot discern between the lines in secular products, perhaps he should not listen to anything at all. One thing’s for sure, better not listen to any dance music from a Ah Lian-looking female pastor – that cannot possibly be godly in any way. All the rock music in the world pales against that.
God help us all!