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should Christians (Buddhists, etc.) ignore the lyrics if the music is good?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Matthew T., Jan 28, 2003.

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  1. Matthew T.

    Matthew T.

    Feb 17, 2002
    Springdale, AR
    This topic came up in my thread about the possible co-existence of good singers and good bassists in metal bands. You will probably need to start looking around page three of that thread to get the start of this. If somebody with more internet expertise than I could post carl-anton's question on page four of that thread, I would really appreciate it. I will also completely understand if the moderators nip this thread in the bud.

    The gist of the deal is this: to what extent should a Christian (or a devout follower of any religion) listen to or support bands which espouse and promote anti-Christian beliefs? A prime example is Tool. I feel like they are at the forefront of creative metal/hard/heavy bands and are helping move the music forward. Danny Carey is one of the most talented rock drummers around (IMHO) and the band is tight. Maynard, however, has sang lyrics like "F . . . your God, your Lord, your Christ." I'm a Christian. Should I be offended?

    In my view, yes, I should. I believe Christ died to save people from Hell by being publicly humiliated and dying a painful, shameful death. I have a relationship with him today because of His sacrifice. Frankly, it pisses me off when Maynard slags the One who went through the pain of flogging and crucifixion to save my butt from Hell. I feel the same about Cradle of Filth's t-shirts of several years back which read "Christ is a c . . ." (I only read about them in a magazine, correct me if they didn't really exist.)

    I know I sound like a Puritan so far, but I own a disc by AC/DC, and a White Zombie tape (I don't take Rob Zombie's cartoon Satanism seriously) and I don't feel badly about having them. Am I a little put off by "Highway to Hell?" Yeah, but the lyrics don't personally attack my God or my religion.

    Am I suggesting everyone should do feel the same way I do? No. That's up to you. It really sucks when great bands espouse and promote beliefs which directly slam your own belief system. Which side of you wins, the part that loves the music and respects the talent, or the part that's deeply offended and turned off by the words?
  2. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    You're going to get a hundred different answers and even more arguments. This is SO a personal preference and it'll probably be locked eventually due to flamewars and people saying "My opinion on this is gospel." (and we both know there's only one gospel. :) oops...did I say that out loud. :rolleyes: )

    brad cook
  3. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Great thread.

    Lets keep this on the up and up guys....

    I think it depends on the person. if it offends you, then i don't think you should listen to it. the way i view it, it's someone saying THEIR belief, or THEIR view, not my own. I'm the kind of person that would not let the singers view or opinion tarnish the good music. If it's good, i'll listen to it.
  4. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    If the lyrics attack your god or your belief systems, they will offend you. If they offend you, you shouldn't buy them.

    I like some of Tool and NIN's material, but because of the lyrical content of some of the material, I do not buy any of it.

  5. Well yes, Maynard does say that in an A Perfect Circle song (not Tool), but if it makes you feel any better, I am pretty sure the lead guitarist wrote all the lyrics for that band and Maynard just sang. The only Tool song I can think of with anything anti-any religion is Opiate (one of my favorite Tool songs), but I think thats more of a "people who push their beliefs on you suck," than "those peoples beliefs suck". Anyways, i dont think you should feel bad about listening to a band with lyrics that you dont agree with. Theres nire to the band (especially a band like Tool) than the lyrics.
  6. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    Me too.

    brad cook
  7. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    My point of view is this: If you're really secure in what you believe in, lyrics like this might irritate you, but not offend you.

    If they offend you, you're already doubtful or insecure about your own belief(s) anyway.
  8. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    I don't necessarily think that jsut because something offends you your insecure. Just because your offended by something, doesn't mean that your doubting yourself, it just means that you find the (insert thing here) insulting, anoying, or shocking. I suppose you could say those type of lyrics offend me, but i can gaurantee you its not because I am not sure what i beleive. Mu biggest motivation for not supporting musicians who's lyrics are extremely contrary to my thoguhts, ideals, whatever, is that I cannot justify paying money to support something that i personally don't want propagated. Its not quite the same thing, but if you were a muslim would you buy stuff from a LDS bake sale? probably not.
  9. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    What an ignorant, judgemental statement.

    I'm not offended though. ;)

    brad cook
  10. LoJoe


    Sep 5, 2002
    Concord, NC USA.
    I think there will be as many opinions as there will be responses. My opinion is that it boils down to what allows you to feel right with God, Allah, Budda or even Elvis for that matter, whoever it is you believe is in charge. In my case, as a Christian, it's always a delicate balance. I grew up on hard core rock. The raunchier the better and the more I liked it. Did I just lose the affection for that pounding beat and suggestive lyrics when I became a Christian? Well yes and no. There is a side of me that now knows that music that degrades a certain race or sex, or that glorifies drugs or violence is wrong, but there is another part of me that can't help getting into it if the beat is there and the music behind the vocals is really jammin stuff. A lot of people like to tout the expression "What would Jesus do (WWJD)?". They seem to forget though that Jesus spent a lot of his time hanging out with prostitutes, winos and other "disgusting" types. God does not want us to simply hang around eating fried chicken at church socials. He wants us to connect to those that don't know about him and spread the news. To do this, you have to expose yourself to their world, be in their world, become a part of their world, while yet maintaining your own values and beliefs in spite of it. I am an active member in my church and I play bass in the praise band. On the other hand I am also in a rock band. We do such "vile" stuff as Cocaine, Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap, Honky Tonk Woman, and even the aforementioned Highway to Hell. Know what? I can't hold still for some of them. I am all over the bass and all over the place jammin down sometimes. I was born a rocker, I am a rocker, I always will be a rocker. It's in my blood. There are some in my church that will ask "How can you associate with those people? They smoke, they drink, they cuss, they play that awful music. It's the music of Satan!!!" And that's when I spring it...What would Jesus do? He'd be there with them, hanging out, setting an example for them, telling them about his love for them and the forgiveness and grace of The Father if all they'd do was believe and accept him. This is what I do with my rock band friends. I jam with them, I hang out with them, heck I sometimes have a beer with them. :eek: They smoke and cuss and drink and sing songs about coke and one night stands...but a week ago one of them asked me about my God. I never push it but if asked, I'll tell them. He wants to learn more now. What a shame if he had missed this opportunity to hear because I was offended by the music he plays, that I play with him, and I hadn't been there to answer his questions. So...to sum up this dissertation, do what feels right to you. Pray about it if you feel the need. If you don't feel right with God about it, then don't do it. If you think God can use you by exposing you to it and more importantly the people around it...go for it. Rock on Bro.

    Off soapbox.. Hopefully no one will take offense to my views. They are not neccessarily the views of the management!
  11. that's hard to say. i mean, i wouldn't listen to an anti-semitic hardcore band. then again, they all suck so i wouldn't be listening to them anyway.
  12. LiquidMidnight


    Dec 25, 2000
    Well put, LoJoe.

    With me, it really doesn't bother me if I listen to a band that doesn't support Christianity. People are entitled to their own opinons. I do refuse to listen to bands such as Deicide and a lot of Black Metal groups that slam my beliefs.

    Oh well, does anyone take that idiot Glenn Benton serious, anyways? :oops:
  13. SuperDuck


    Sep 26, 2000
    What you listen to is up to you. Does what you listen to make you stumble in your faith?

    What you perform is different. YOU know that you are playing something without a firm belief in the morals a song may express. Does your audience know that?
  14. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Um,,, OH MY GOD. that post, regardless of content, just killed all other posts, by sher weight. it crushed them like so many people under godzilla's foot.;)
  15. Matthew T.

    Matthew T.

    Feb 17, 2002
    Springdale, AR
    Rock on, LoJoe! (All puns intended.) It's good to let folks know that Christians are everyday types, not standing around passing judgement with their noses in the air. We like good music and good beer (well, some of us). St. Pauli Girl and Rolling Rock are a couple of my faves.
  16. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    This has no relevence on the subject on hand, but I just noticed you sig Matthew, and that is stinking hilarious!:D
  17. Turock

    Turock Supporting Member

    Apr 30, 2000
    I wouldn't buy any of it either. I'm not even going to listen to it.
  18. Listening to or reading something should not entail mindless endorsment of the principles of whoever created the artifact in question.

    In other words, you can enjoy Tool without agreeing with Tool, unless you have some horrible brain defect and simply uncritically believe whatever it is that you see or hear. Whether you want to do that or not is up to you. You may want to use a modern textual response and actively read against the lyrics, or choose to interpret them in a different light. Again, it's up to you. It's your head.

    If you have a problem with acknowledging the worthwhile qualities of a peice of artistry that you take issue with, or simply don't feel comfortable exposing yourself to content you take issue with, then you can always simply not listen. That's fine. But that's different from saying you should never listen.

    If anybody tells you that just because you choose to privately experience a particular text whether it be song, film or prose, that you actively agree with the content of that text and are incapable of enjoying it uncritically, you can reliably inform them that they are a moron.
  19. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I don't think there's a should or should-not about it. I don't think anyone 'should' be offended at all, by anything. But it's their choice. Personally, I'm not offended by any religious, anti-religious, satanist, etc. etc. lyrics. However, I'm not a religious man.
  20. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    There isn't a 'yes / no' answer for this type of question. My perspective, which I would identify as Christian, is that:

    - I have the strength to stand firm (Eph 6:10ff) in the face of worldly influences (overtly anti-christian lyrics and also those that promote values such as promiscuity and abnegation of personal responsibility)
    - That strength is not licence to indulge in whatever I want; it flows from an ongoing relationship with God, walking in fellowship with the Holy Spirit
    - As well as my liberty, I also have a responsibility to not trample bretheren who may have weaker consciences in regard to music
    - There is also a responsibility to be a balance against those who consider themselves 'strong in the faith' and who make the dictates of their conscience becoming shackles for others (eg. if someone insists that 'rock music is of the devil' I am free to ask them why and also to question whether they carry this diligence into all areas of their life)

    It's not about simplistic lists of what is right and wrong, but taking a mature and responsible approach as I seek to 'walk humbly with my God' (Mic 6:8).


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