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Is Christian Rock Music Godly?

Updated on July 17, 2013

Loving God or Loving the World?

When someone listens to rock bands that claim to be Christian, are they expressing their love for God, or loving the world instead? Does the heavy beat and loud vocals of rock and metal music make them truly feel close to God? Or does it make them feel like are "being" Christian, while still keeping up with their non-Christian friends who listen to similar-sounding secular music? Sitting on the fence, so-to-speak.

There is a lot of controversy regarding whether Christian Rock is appropriate for believers to listen to, such as: Is it Godly and does it serve a purpose? Are the artists truly born-again Christians or are they fake? Does it truly give praise to God or is it one of Satan's deceptions? Is it biblical?

The question of whether or not Christian Rock is Godly or worldly (secular) is not easy to answer. My personal opinion is that there are many good Christian bands and artists out there that do indeed give praise and honor to God; both through their songs and personal lifestyles. However, I also believe that there are bands who call themselves "Christian", but by all appearances they have no place in this music genre; for there is nothing separating them from secular music. I'm sure that many youth pastors might disagree with me, as some Christians think it's okay to use any means to draw unbelievers to God. I disagree with this attitude, and will do my best to explain why Christian Rock is more worldly than it is Godly.

Photo Credit

(not) Conforming to the World

Courtesy of Christ Art
Courtesy of Christ Art

"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."

(Romans 12:2)

"They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world."

(John 17:16 - Jesus praying for His disciples)

This is one of the main points of the matter; the defining difference between truly worshiping God through music, or trying to draw people to God (or self) by dressing, acting, and performing just like the rest of the (secular) world. As seen in the bible quotes above, and in other places in the Bible too, God makes it clear that Christians are not to conform to the world. We are in the world, but not of the world. This is because a true born-again believer has been transformed into a 'new' person...a spiritual person that has the Holy Spirit dwelling within them. Followers of Jesus Christ no longer have the desire to sin, or to be like everyone else. The believer's worldview changes; focusing on obeying God, rather than obeying and imitating society's rules and lifestyles. A Christian is called to be different, and most of us suffer a lot of criticism and persecution from family, friends, and society at large for this choice.

As far as music is concerned, if a rock band identifies itself as being "Christian", then it should reflect the characteristics mentioned above. It's members should at least attempt to obey God's instructions by not conforming to the secular world. Unfortunately, I don't see this happening with the majority of contemporary Christian rock artists today. Some bands, particularly those who play heavy metal music, look and perform no differently from their secular counterparts. Long hair, body piercings, tattoos, ragged clothing, screaming out lyrics, jumping around on stage, and electrifying lighting and special effects are often the norm. So I'm wondering, how does performing in this way separate them from the rest of the world? Instead, aren't they "conforming to the world" in direct disobedience to the Bible?

Photo Credit: Christ Art

Let's Compare Christian Videos

This first video is an example of what I consider to be an appropriate Christian praise & worship song. The band is called Third Day. Not all of their songs are this mellow, as they do claim to be a Christian rock band; however, I find that this band's lyrics, statements of their beliefs, and lifestyles do honor God.

This is my example of a "worldly" Christian rock band. I don't see anything in this video that would separate them from a secular rock band. Maybe it's my old age, but I can't even understand what the singer is saying when he's using that growling, gravely voice. How can one be praising God with music that sounds like it's straight from hell and lyrics that are undecipherable? The images used are dark and depressing too. This band's name is Demon Hunter.

Quite a difference between Christian rock bands, isn't there?

"When a man is getting better he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When a man is getting worse he understands his own badness less and less."

(quote by C.S. Lewis)

An Anonymous Viewpoint

"If I were searching for a place to fellowship with other followers of Christ, to hear the Word of God being preached, I would in no way want to be "entertained" in that way regardless of how it might seem to "identify" with my life. It tends to come off looking and sounding no different than what the world does--we just change the words to make it sound right for the Christian believer.

God's Word is a "light unto our path", they are the Words of Life that will "make us free", bringing change in our lives.

Nothing else can compare to God's Words of Life.

There are those who think that these "other ways" are the way to reach people, Christians and the unsaved, yet Jesus did not minister in that manner. He became a living demonstration of the Gospel, ("the Word became flesh") by living, being and preaching the Truth, healing those who were sick, a willingness to serve, humbling Himself, etc. People were drawn to Him by what they saw Him do, His "Works", and the "Words of Truth" spoken into their lives. It was by the Power of the Holy Spirit that brought about change. No one can revive a "dying man" by the words of any other, but God's. Our own "human endeavors" in these ways will not save souls or reveal Truth into lives--it is by the Word of God, and the Power of the Holy Spirit which will open their eyes to see the truth."

(Rom 10:17 So then, faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.)


NOTE: The above was contained within the body of an email sent to me by a good friend today -- April 20, weeks after this lens was published. The person is speaking of a musical group in a church, totally unrelated to the topic of this lens; yet at the same time, it fits into it beautifully. I immediately felt an inner nudging to copy and use my friend's words on this lens. Coincidence? Perhaps. But I think it's more likely that this came from God, through my friend, and was meant to be added to this lens.

Is Christian Rock Evil?

Is Christian rock music godly? My answer would have to be a firm "no". As far as I can see, there are no redeeming qualities to this form of music, and nothing that even remotely reminds a person of God's goodness and His great love for us. I mean, look at some of the album covers of bands that call themselves "Christian" above. It makes me think of Satan, not God! Blood, skulls, skeletons, and ravens...these represent death and evil to me.

"Abstain from all appearance of evil."

This is what the Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5:22. Apparently, many Christian rock artists are choosing to ignore this scripture verse entirely. And in doing so, whether they are aware of it or not, they are inviting Satan and his demons into their musical careers--influencing their lyrics, the way they dress, and the art they portray themselves with. They are also leaving the door wide open for him to enter into their concerts and personal lives as well. All the devil needs is a tiny foothold of sinfulness for him to enter into one's life and wreak havoc. This is true for both believers and non-believers alike.

"Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour."

(1 Peter 5:8)

Understand that I'm not judging the individual band members' beliefs. They may very well be Christians, and this just happens to be the type of music that they enjoy playing. Their intentions may be completely honorable, in that they are attempting to reach out to today's teens and young adults with the type of music that they like listening to. The problem is that the majority of rock music, especially heavy metal and thrash, appeals to the flesh...that is, our sinful nature.

The human heart is evil by nature--it is only by accepting Jesus' free gift of forgiveness and salvation, that we are pulled from darkness into the light of God's love. Any Christian can testify to the black and sinful nature of their heart before finding God. After all, sinning and doing whatever we feel like is fun...restraining ourselves is not easy. Rock and heavy metal music are not conducive to restraining ourselves from acting upon our base desires. Even at a so-called Christian rock concert, you can find the audience participating in mosh pits (where people dance around bashing into each other, sometimes hard enough to knock each down), lots of dark clothing, depressing visuals on stage, and sometimes satanic symbols. Rarely, if ever, have I seen a participant on bended knee praying--which is what true praise usually involves.

Instead, I believe the ruler of this world, Satan, is likely to be present, along with his demons. After all, there must be a sumptuous feast of teen angst, fear, and anger there, along with uncontrolled emotions and actions. So many openings for him and his minions to seek, kill, and destroy souls! But the behavior displayed at these concerts are not all Satan's doing; human beings do have free will, and most people will do what they want to do, without regard to the consequences.

"Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting." (Galatians 6:7-8)

Photo Credits: Wikipedia and Angelic Warlord

Photo Gallery Code: NuMil3Design (Squidoo Lens)

What Do You Think?

Please make sure your opinions have a point to them and keep your language clean. No personal attacks on others if they voice a differing opinion. Thanks!

Do You Think Christian Rock/Metal Bands Are Godly?

Since doing the research for this lens, especially in referring to the Bible, it's my opinion that Christian Rock music DOES NOT praise God in a way that I think He would approve of.

Although there are many musicians in the Christian music genre that I do enjoy listening to, rock and heavy metal are not one of them. I know that the Lord has blessed many people with a beautiful singing voice, and if they use that talent to praise God appropriately, then I'm all for it. But the mindless screaming and negative images of so-called "Christian" rock are too similar to their secular counterparts for my comfort level.

In the Bible, most praise and worship was accomplished by people singing without instruments. Particularly in the New Testament. There is only one occasion recorded in the NT of women singing with hand-held instruments. However, in the Old Testament portion of the Bible, many of God's people used instruments in praising Him; the most popular instruments being the flute, lyre, tambourine, and cymbals.

To see some great examples of worship music, I invite you to read the Book of Psalms in the Old Testament. Many Christians find much comfort from this particular book because it relates to all kinds of situations that we may encounter in life.

Image Credit

ALL of the Squids in the Squidoo sea! Your comments and likes are what makes writing a lens worthwhile. No one is forced into reading any lens, and there are so many great pages to choose from. So I really appreciate all the visitors and lensmasters who have chosen to visit this lens.

Lastly, but certainly not least, I wish to acknowledge all of the wonderful SquidAngels who've blessed this lens, as well as the GiantSquids who have "liked" it. It's a humbling, yet happy experience to know that my writing warrants such honors.

To debate this len's topic, please use the module above titled, What Do You Think? This section is for general comments only. Thanks :-)

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    • Oneshotvariety LM profile image

      Oneshotvariety LM 5 years ago

      This is an interesting lens. Bookmarked!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @AnnMarie7: But that is just it, the music you like is still following in the footseps of the world. Humans made it. You will criticize someone with different hair and different clothes, but are completley fine with christians conforming to the suite and tie of the business world, a sign of materialism and worship of money. Who then is more worldly. I don't believe wearing suite makes you worldly, just the weakness of the argument being made, simply because it is not your own personal preference.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I still don't get the argument it is very hypocritical to me. you praise an obviously apostate band and condemn one trying to strengthien christians in their walk with god solely on their appearance and the fact that it is a different style of music. Again I can say you are of the world, you wear an outfit that fits your profession, cut your hair like your peers expect you too. Talk how you are expected to. You allow a collective group whose influence is love of money and material success influence the way you talk, look, act and dress. And condemn someone who grew up with different preferences, which have nothing to do with the quality of their love for Christ.

      But if that is your conviction,

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      all i have to say is, Music is the mirror of our soul. All of our feeling and thoughts come out. if they are not intended to God or trying to reach out to other to see God. It's a waste.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @AnnMarie7: The bible does mention abstaining from all appearance of evil. The bible mentions that Lucifer (Now Satan) had instruments, which would make him a wicked musician and a strong negative influence. The bible speaks against long hair on men, and against tattoos, all paganistic things. Jesus doesn't want us to be imitators, he wants us to be innovators. Is so called "Christian Rock" satanic? Yes. So is "Christian Rap" and any other music that mimics that of the world. Some argue that God uses that music to reach young people. I say baloney, God's word is what saves us. Faith comes by hearing the word of God, not some sickos banging on drums and screaming guitars. The bible says that things are supposed to be done decently and in order. We are to be examples and leaders, not followers. If only those who advocate "Christian Rock, Christian Rap, etc." really cared what God thinks they would read the bible and get acquainted with God and His plan for our lives. Little children, keep yourselves from idols. 1 John 5:21

    • AnnMarie7 profile image

      AnnMarie7 5 years ago

      @anonymous: I think Casting Crowns and Hillsong do...their lyrics are plain to understand and they clearly praise God with their music. Their live shows are like most, as far as lighting and techno display go, but they do pray during their concerts, and are tamer than most rock bands. As for Planetshakers, I have never heard of them, so I can't give an opinion.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      how would you classify casting crowns, hillsong, and planetshakers? do they have the anointing with the songs they sing?

    • profile image

      myamya 5 years ago

      Very interesting lens, great job!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 6 years ago from United States

      This is an interesting conversation. I have had it with many, many people before. As a Christian musician and soloist I recognize there are very differing tastes in music. I serve a risen savior. If anyone else claims that, I do not question it. Btw, I do praise God with the more traditional music, but I appreciate the artists (usually young) who reach out to a different taste or style to touch their hearts and souls for God. I want to see them all in Heaven one day.

    • AnnMarie7 profile image

      AnnMarie7 6 years ago

      @Sylvestermouse: I do too, Sylvestermouse. This lens has been really hard on me because fellow believers (like yourself) have made some very good points. Of course I want for people to be saved, but I guess I wonder why do we have to follow in the footsteps of the secular world in order to do that? I read your comment in the debate too. You are correct when you stated that only God knows the hearts of men. And I'm not questioning the hearts of the musicians who play Christian rock or heavy metal. But I am questioning the style of music that they play. I just have a very hard time believing that God thinks it's all okay. I mean, He is a Holy God and I just can't reconcile myself to rock/heavy metal being or sounding holy. I just don't see it as praising God. But I appreciate your comments...thank you!

    • AnnMarie7 profile image

      AnnMarie7 6 years ago

      @BarbRad: Barb...I've seen videos of what you're describing with the drums. I think it's very bad indeed. The people at these services also act like they're under some kind of spell, dancing around in a tribal manner. All I can say is, "Lord, help us!"

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 6 years ago from Templeton, CA

      @jseven lm: jseven, I remember being invited to a charismatic service once held in the church that used to be the home church of one of my dear friends. His father had been its pastor. Neither had been there in years by the time another friend invited me to attend this service to hear a woman evangelist whose name I don't remember. i have been to a lot of charismatic services and used to attend a prayer meeting at one pretty regularly, so I expected this service to be similar.

      The service, which was an evening worship service, started pretty normally. then they brought out the evangelist. She spoke, and called people up for healing, and people were "slain in the spirit" and then the drums started beating in a way I'd never heard in any church before. I used to play around with the occult before I knew better, and I've had to learn to judge the spirits. When those drums started to reach a crescendo, all I wanted to do was get out of there. It wasn't their volume, but their beat. I felt suddenly as though I was in the jungle during some sort of papan tribal worship. The drums were not those used in Christian rock bands -- and they were played with hands. It's the beat itself that seemed scary to me. Just because something is in a church doesn't automatically make it Christian.

    • BarbRad profile image

      Barbara Radisavljevic 6 years ago from Templeton, CA

      You are very brave to tackle this one. I for one am sorry and consider it a great loss to our young people to have so little exposure these days to the great hymns that reflect and help us remember the character of God and what he has done and lead us into a deeper relationship with him. It isn't just rock. Many of the contemporary Christian songs used in worship today have a sort of non-melodic quality -- almost a whine to them-- that seem the opposite of strong affirmation. We are instructed to sing and make MELODY to the Lord. A strong melody is often lacking in today's Christian music.

    • AnnMarie7 profile image

      AnnMarie7 6 years ago

      @anonymous: Hello J-Ellen...thanks for the comment. I agree with you...nowadays I prefer to listen to piano compositions with no vocals at all. It's very calming.

    • AnnMarie7 profile image

      AnnMarie7 6 years ago

      @jseven lm: Thank you!

    • AnnMarie7 profile image

      AnnMarie7 6 years ago

      @jseven lm: Hi jseven...I agree with you. In fact, a friend was just telling me the other day, that musicians in churches should wait upon the Holy Spirit before deciding on what music to play--for only the Spirit knows in what way God's people should be ministered to that day. He knows their needs, and can therefore guide the singers, choir, band, and pastor on what spiritual issue needs to be addressed. Thanks so much for commenting!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Nice job of presenting a tough topic. I personally have never cared for rock, and do believe it has a sort of pulsating power that I personally want to resist.

    • profile image

      jseven lm 6 years ago


    • profile image

      jseven lm 6 years ago

      I like the opinions and thoughts you presented in this article. I have been a Christian for 40 years and am a minstrel who has sung with many praise teams and I truly believe that satan has slipped in the back door as an angel of light with man so called Christian Rock bands. I listen and wait for the anointing and the Holy Spirit bears witness with mine as the word says or we discern another Jesus as Paul warned of?

    • AnnMarie7 profile image

      AnnMarie7 6 years ago

      @Squidoo-Freak: Hi Squidoo-Freak...I'm not sure how to debate this with you, so I will say thanks for commenting and leave it at that. I do see some of your points, though not all.

    • AnnMarie7 profile image

      AnnMarie7 6 years ago

      @bbires: Hi bbires...thanks for commenting. I must say that I can't argue with your reasoning. It is sound and biblical. I'm just getting really concerned regarding some of the comments I've read so far, that believers are worrying too much about how today's youth won't be able to receive traditional bible teaching. Why not, I wonder? They are old enough to be held accountable, and I don't see why other Christians have to cater to them by speaking "their" language or making music that appeals only to them.

    • AnnMarie7 profile image

      AnnMarie7 6 years ago

      @youthministry: Hi there...thanks for sharing your opinion. I had to laugh and agree with you when you said: but I know for fact that the first question Jesus is not going to ask me when I die is, "Before I let you in, what's on you iPod?"

    • AnnMarie7 profile image

      AnnMarie7 6 years ago

      @LittleLindaPinda: Thanks Linda. I haven't listened to much Country music that's Christian, but sometimes secular country music songs will mention God and prayer a lot. I being raised in that southern "bible belt" area influences a lot of country musicians.

    • profile image

      Squidoo-Freak 6 years ago

      It's funny how some years ago I would have stood by your side and argue anyone into the ground who said rock music couldn't be Christian. I'm happy to say that my point of view has changed!

      The issue of heavy rock always comes out of the bag, because so many secular rock bands are evidently evil, and most Christians don't like heavy rock.

      Whether something is Christian or not is not down to my personal preferences. The Bible clearly states that we shall know things by the fruit they produce, and these Christian rock band are indeed sowing good seeds in a predominantly weedy field. I have as much of a problem with that as I have a problem with missionaries going into anti-christian countries.

      You could turn round and say that chocolate cake is ungodly - even if a Christian bakes it - because it makes people fat, and since your body is a temple for God, you need to make sure you keep it in good shape. Funnily enough I've never heard anyone make that argument :o)

      All I know is that my feet are on the rock - and my name is in the roll! If Satan is in the drums (like I've heard people say) - that to me is a good reason for giving them a good old hammering!

    • bbires profile image

      bbires 6 years ago

      Hi, I preferred the first video. I do not care for "Hard Christian Rock" as I do not care for Rock Music in general. I enjoyed your comments on this topic; were thought provoking. I care to remain non-judgemental on this topic because I strongly believe God knows who belongs to Him. Jesus was accused of having a devil and hanging out with the very worst of sinners. Jesus stated that the Holy Spirit had been blasphemed. I do not know exactly what Jesus would think of "Hard Christan Rock" music; but He is well able to deal with it in whatever way He sees fit. There are many "Contemporary Christian Musicians" (Soft Rock) and they love and serve God. Some Artist I can think of include Crystal Lewis, Micah Stampley, Keith Green. Young people deeply entrenched in the world understand a certain language and can not hear a more traditional language. Jesus died for their sins also, and He wants them saved. I would gladly step aside if my more conservative taste would not be received. You did a good job on the lens and was brave to take a stand.

    • youthministry profile image

      Paul Turner 6 years ago from Birmingham, Al.

      Great discussion. I say Absolutely. I have been a Youth Pastor for over 20 years and I have seen the fads come and go. I have seen the war played out between secular and Christian and there are no winner, just hurt feelings and kids disillusioned with our out of touch churches. Let's me honest, I know plenty of worship pastors and artists who are ego centric and dress questionably. Does this discount the message of the music? There are plenty of worship songs that are so candy sweet (and really about us, not God) my teeth rot out as I sing them. I own many of the bands you have included here as worldly. I listen to them occasionally, but I keep them around in case a kids comes into our ministry who likes that style. If it were not for bands like these in the 80's who knows what I'd be listening to or how I might be living. The debate continues, but I know for fact that the first question Jesus is not going to ask me when I die is, "Before I let you in, what's on you iPod?" Thanks for sharing your point of view.

    • LittleLindaPinda profile image

      Little Linda Pinda 6 years ago from Florida

      I hosted a pretty wild Christian Rock band at my house years ago. They were too much for me but it was fun hosting them. I enjoy a lot a different Christian music, especially Country and Old Fashioned Gospel. Nice lens.

    • AnnMarie7 profile image

      AnnMarie7 6 years ago

      @ercramer36: Hi, thanks for commenting, ercramer36! I've never heard a Petra song, but I've heard of them. I think they started out long before many of these newer groups did. I disagree a little bit on how Christians should dress. I know that God doesn't judge us on this, but when we are out in public, purposely displaying ourselves as Jesus' followers, then I feel it is appropriate to dress in a more modest manner. Simply to give honor and glory to God if nothing else. And I don't mean in our "church best" clothing, just nice, clean clothing that doesn't show any skin. However, I do agree that our actions might speak louder than words, and our behavior is indeed important. Yes, each band and group is different, but the sort of bands I'm speaking of are deplorable in my opinion, and I can't in good conscience back down from my stance. But I appreciate your comment very much! :-)

    • profile image

      ercramer36 6 years ago

      I think it can be depending on the artist, but that can be said for gospel or praise and worship songs. Petra is a great example of a Christian rock band that did honor God. All of their songs came right from scripture. How they dress is irrelevant. If a business man wears a suit going to work in a secular office is no different than how rockers dress. Scripture calls us to be different but that is based on our actions not on how we dress. The quality of the lyrics and the individuals singing them are what matters. Petra songs lyrically are better than many praise and worship songs.

    • AnnMarie7 profile image

      AnnMarie7 6 years ago

      @jolou: Thank you Joanne :)

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 6 years ago

      I agree with you. When the Christian rock bands sound no different than secular ones, and you can't even understand what they are saying, it's not the type of worship music I want to listen to.

    • AnnMarie7 profile image

      AnnMarie7 6 years ago

      @Wayne Rasku: I appreciate your comment, thewayeyeseeit. Although I would have to disagree about Christian rock being Godly for the reasons stated in the lens. I try to be as mindful as possible about wrongly labeling anything or anyone, but in this case I believe I'm in the own opinion, of course. I'm judging these bands' music on the way they present themselves, which would be their "fruit". Decidedly evil and depressing-looking. I would not want my teenager to view these videos if I were trying to raise them in a Christian environment.

      You are totally correct about Jesus though. Indeed, He associated with folks that were considered the dregs of society at that time. Because that's where He was most needed.

      What would Jesus have thought of Christian rock? I don't think He would like it, although I do think He would walk right into a concert and start healing, delivering, teaching, and saving people. I also think He would make any/all demons present flee in His Name. I believe He would hate the sin, but love the sinners.

      I am not judging the band member's beliefs individually at all. But the way they are choosing to express that belief just doesn't sit well with me.

    • Wayne Rasku profile image

      Wayne Rasku 6 years ago

      I appreciate your opinions. I am not a fan of Christian Rock, but that does not mean it is not Godly. We have to be careful how we label anything. After all, Jesus was never where the religious folks expected Him to be. What would He have thought of Christian Rock???


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