When Popular Music Becomes Obscene & Immoral
Chapters 17 and 18
"Music is a lot like alcohol and drugs. It can be very deceiving and destructive when misused. It can distort one's emotions, reasoning, judgment, perspective and behavior. Peer pressure only makes it worse." Paul Proctor (former country musician)
Ancient Forms of New Age Music
Man's attempts to transcend the boundaries of the physical world through music are intricately interwoven with the history of mankind. While God encouraged His people to enter His presence through genuine worship and songs of praise, Satan offered seductive counterfeits. Thus, pagan societies used music as a conduit to help them connect directly with the occult spirit realm. Neville Drury, who promotes New Age meditation and visualization in his book, Music for Inner Space, points to ancient cultures as models for today:2
"In societies where magic and myth define and influence everyday existence man aspires to be like the gods and to imitate them.... [Magical] incantations and songs are a source of Power."
In primitive Africa and South America, witch doctors function as mediators between the tribe and demonic spirits. The sacred drum (credited with magical powers) together with hallucinatory drugs (sorcery) induces trances, which transports him into the spirit world where he receives occult guidance and power.
Nanci des Gerlaise, author of Muddy Waters, is the daughter and granddaughter of Cree medicine men. Now, as a believer in Christ, Nanci warns others about the occult music in Native Spirituality:
"Now when I hear powwow music, my spirit recoils, and I know that it is because there are spiritual forces of darkness at work. Some people, even some Christians, believe there are two different kinds of powwows -- one used only for entertaining tourists and the other for traditional competitions. Frankly, it makes no difference to the spirit world which version is used as long as there are drums and chanting."
The Intoxicating Message of Heavy Metal Rock
Heavy metal soared to stardom in the late 1960s and early 1970s, even among children. It "differed from other forms of rock by its bombastic chords, screaming lead guitars, throat-wrenching vocals and a demolition derby approach to drumming."11
Such "music" promotes violence, death, illicit sex, and even rape and Satanism. Many of the songs are sacrilegious and mock both God and morality. Album covers often display grotesque pictures smattered with skulls, chains, blood, demons, goat heads in pentagrams, and a mockery of crosses.
Whether the musicians personally practice Satanism or merely promote it for its shock value matters little to the children who absorb the messages. The image of a vampire-like Ozzy Osbourne drooling blood and singing about an "X-rated demon that lives in my head" has inspired occult fascination in the hearts of young worshipers around the world.
California pastor Joe Schimmel, producer of the documentary The Submerging Church, has done extensive research on rock music and was at one time involved with rock music himself prior to becoming a Christian. He reveals Osbourne's significant influence:
"Ozzy was the front man of Black Sabbath who pioneered Heavy Metal in the late '60s and throughout the 1970s. ... Satan has received a lot of mileage out of Ozzy Osbourne."
There is even a genre of heavy metal called Christian metal or White Metal. Popular groups such as "The Devil Wears Prada", "August Burns Red", "Under-Oath" and "As I Lay Dying" scream into their microphones in deep grotesque-sounding voices while playing heavy metal music...
When Evil Looks Good
While it's easy to spot corruption in groups such as Metallica, Ozzy Osbourne and Anthrax, Satan knows how to masquerade himself as an "angel of light." Young teens and pre-teens flock to concerts to hear bands their parents believe are moral and good, especially when compared to someone like Marilyn Manson.
One group that tends to slip under the parental radar is the Backstreet Boys, who "emerged as one of the hottest groups of the 21st century." Author Joe Schimmel explains:
"Many parents exhale with a sigh of relief when they hear that there are alternatives to the popular and overtly satanic bands on the music scene. ... One mother was reported to express great joy that there are groups like the Backstreet Boys which she can allow her daughter to listen to."
But can the Backstreet Boys be trusted? Listen to some of their lyrics, and remember that the average listeners are twelve-years-old girls, and the singers are 24-plus-year-old men! The following lyrics are from "lf You Want it to Be Good (Get Yourself a Bad Boy)":
"lf you want to be a good girl, get yourself a bad boy.... lf you really like it hot, Get somebody who hits the spot.... AND MAMA SHOULDN'T KNOW...."
When Darkness Rules
Many popular singers have acknowledged their ties to a supernatural source of inspiration other than God. For example, Joni Mitchell admitted being ruled by "a male muse named Art."21
Angus Young of AC/DC confessed, "Someone else is steering me. I'm just along for the ride. I become possessed when I'm on stage."22
Most rock singers look to themselves, drugs, or alcohol for inspiration -- not consciously to Satan. But that fits the deceiver's plan perfectly. He is a master at twisting untamed desires for his purposes. It's time for Christian parents to do everything we can to protect our children from the evil that surrounds them in today's increasingly corrupt world.
According to a 2010 study, children between the ages of eight and eighteen spend an average of nearly two and a half hours a day listening to music or some form of audio.25 That's over 10,000 hours of music during their pre-teen and teen years. And with the rapid growth of computer technology, where one can listen to music on iPods, iPads, laptops, touch phones, and cell phones, that number is sure to grow.
Music isn't getting any nicer either. Dr. Joseph Stuessy, author of Rock and Roll: its History and Stylistic Development... contends: "There is a new element in the music, a meanness of spirit --outright hatred -- that was not present in the early days of rock."
When you add the fact that repetition internalizes the message, the sum spells DANGER. Most hard rock and heavy metal bands -- whether listened to through YouTube, iPods, CDs, radio, MTV, or concerts -- drum the following anti-Christian messages into children's minds:
Spurn Jesus Christ.
Fuel the imagination with promiscuity, perversion, and violence.
Indulge in drug and alcohol abuse.
Experience the thrills of the dark occult.
Envision a one-world government.
Bono, A "Role-Model" For Our Youth?
Few entertainers have more effectively confused young minds and corrupted the Gospel than Bono, the ultra-famous star of the Irish rock band, U2. Playing the devil, twisting God's Word, and mocking genuine Christianity, Bono has lured countless Christians into his dark and deceptive world.
Bono's great leap forward came in the early nineties, when he claimed the persona of MacPhisto: "the devil."27 With his red horns, whitened face, bright red lipstick, black hair, and golden suit, his message grew more outrageous.
But the celebration of evil -- joined to an enticing illusion of "good"-- enlarged the crowds and helped popularize the emerging, unrestrained "Christianity" that has now become a norm. Back in 1989, Bono was asked in a Mother Jones interview, "Do you still believe that Jesus is the way? Doesn't that biblical injunction deny that followers of other religions can enter paradise?"
Bono answered: "l don't accept that. I don't accept that fundamentalist concept. I believe, what is it? 'The way is as narrow as the eye of the needle,' and all that... (laughs) I never really accepted the whole 'born again' tag."28
Chapter 18: What Can Parents Do about Seductive Mind-Changing Music?
Step One: Listen to God, Not the World
1. Renew your mind with God's truth(Romans 12:2). Continue daily Bible study. Pray for guidance through His Word, wisdom to discern His good will, and strength to follow His Way. (John 10:3-5; '14:21-27). Read the following Scriptures, looking for God's messages. Discuss His guidelines, for they apply to music as well as other influences.
What is God's attitude toward evil?
What are the consequences of dabbling with evil?
How does God want us to respond to evil?
How does He want us to live each day?
2. Avoid compromising suggestions. God says, "Flee also youthful lusts"(2 Timothy 2:22).This is not easy when an entire society, culture, or nation delights in immorality and violence....
Step Two: Help your Child Choose Enriching Music
1. Ask God to lead you to His choices for your family.
2. Listen to the music your child likes. Develop an atmosphere of love, mutual respect, and acceptance. Be open, understanding and supportive.
3. Discuss the message of the lyrics. Ask questions such as: Do you agree with those lyrics? Do your friends? What happens in your mind when you keep hearing the same message over and over?
4. Include your child in choosing music for your home. Tell why you like certain kinds of music; share the benefits your receive. Explain that Biblical truth set to music delights God and builds faith and spiritual strength in us. Ask yourselves these questions:
Does it honor or dishonor God?
Does it encourage me to trust and follow Him?
Does it communicate the power of God, of man, or of Satan?
Does it focus my mind on the glory of God or the rebellious forces of Satan?
Does it produce a craving for a form of music rather than for God?
5. Guard against trying to please your children by providing "Christianized" versions of pagan delights.
6. Set limits. While you cannot monitor what your child hears and sees at a friend's house, you can say no to certain kinds of music in your home. Explain your concerns. Many children welcome parental boundaries as their excuse to say no to peers.
In Old Testament days - just as in America today - the masses turned away from God and did"whatsoever [seemed] right in their own eyes." When they yielded to the surrounding corruption, God allowed droughts, plagues and enemies to destroy their land.
May God enable us to train our children and grandchildren to take a stand and reject the world's corruptions and follow His way!
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace.
In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer,
I have overcome the world.” John 16:33