GUEST ARTICLETestimonies of Young People and Christian Rock
“By their fruits ye shall know them…”
I was following the Lord wholeheartedly until we switched churches and I was invited to the new youth group. I had a conviction against rock music, but as I was surrounded by it, my beliefs were corrupted. This music eventually led to rebellion and moral failures. The Lord has gained victory in my life now, but the music still brings on rebellion if I listen to it. Please get rid of this music and play melodious, harmonious music!”
A Fifteen-Year-Old Student From Pennsylvania
“‘Christian rock’ had made me a shallow, rebellious young Christian. It made it easy for me to get into regular rock music. When I finally submitted to God and got the rock music out of my life, I was able to see the double standard that is lived out by ‘Christian rock’ musicians.
” ‘Christian rock’ does not praise God and it is worse than regular rock because I think it is hypocritical. Rock is wrong and addictive and has contributed to my moral failure. I praise God for His help in releasing me from it.”
An Eighteen-Year-Old Student From Indiana
“About four years ago, a local Christian radio station began broadcasting ‘rock’ of the ‘Christian variety.’ At first, I accepted only the light stuff. Within months, I found myself listening to heavier and heavier stuff. I thank God that my parents and I came to an agreement on the music I will listen to. I can see how it has affected the lives of some who at one time were my closest friends. I still enjoy easy classical music, but they are into heavy worldly rock and the lifestyle that goes with it. Just a few weeks ago, God convicted me of what I once considered super-soft, contemporary music. I threw the tape away and thank God for the conviction that brought me to do it.”
A Twenty-Year-Old Student From Kansas
“I began to listen to ‘Christian rock’ without the blessing of my father. He told me that if I listened to ‘Christian rock’ it would open the door for Satan. I just laughed, and listened anyway. It totally deadened my Christian growth and led to terrible immorality, rebellion, and rejection of God. It then developed into secular, hard rock. Now all I can do is go back and pick up the pieces. But I still have a scar in my life that will never be removed.”
A Sixteen-Year-Old Student From Oklahoma
When I got into ‘Christian’ and secular rock, I went out from under my father’s protection. I lost sleep, was rebellious, had a rotten attitude, and made life miserable for my parents. I also had major impure thoughts. I no longer listen to that music, and life is so much more enjoyable and I have much more spiritual victory. Whenever I hear this music, I get uptight and am tempted to get back into it.
Thank God I am not in it anymore.”
A Seventeen-Year-Old Student From Texas
“‘Christian rock’ has hindered my life because the only difference between ‘Christian rock’ and secular rock is the words. The beat, rhythm, and the melody are not different; they are the same.
“It does not matter whether I listen to secular or ‘Christian rock,’ when the songs are over, I feel the same. I feel an emptiness in my soul, a heavy burden. Even ‘Christian rock’ sometimes makes me feel like going out and getting rowdy or even hurting someone else if they provoke me, and that is against all of God’s teachings, and everything God stands for. So get rid of all rock!!!”
A Twenty-One-Year-Old Student From Michigan
“When I was twelve or thirteen years old, I was given some ‘Christian rock’ tapes by my parents to listen to because they thought I was getting into secular music. The truth is, I was getting into some bad music. The ‘Christian rock’ dominated my life for over a year until I could not get the same satisfaction I received the first time I heard it. I went to secular rock music and kept this desire and sin from my parents. I started out on soft music and grew to pop/rock-type music.
“It was not long until my desire grew to ‘hard rock’ and ‘progressive’ stuff. I started getting into drinking and going to dance clubs. Minor recreational drugs came in and soon my life was going down the drain.
“One night while drinking, I fell into immorality and my life was devastated. God used this tragedy to turn me around and bring me back to Him. I feel very deeply that if I had not started out in ‘Christian rock’ I would have been convicted about the bad music I got into. Maybe I would not have messed my life up so much.”
An Eighteen-Year-Old Student From Oklahoma
“‘Christian rock’ was brought into my life earlier than my peers because of a weakness in my forefathers. I continually desired music that had a strong and fast beat. The music I started with was soft, slow, and contemporary, and it took over my life and I became dependent upon it rather than upon God. I did not realize it, but I was a lukewarm Christian, no matter how many times I sought God at the altar. Eventually, my parents saw the folly of Christian contemporary music and took it out of our home. After it was gone, the music took less precedence in my life, and God gave me the conviction to not listen to evil Christian contemporary music. He made me free in my soul!”
A Sixteen-Year-Old Student From Illinois
“When I was twelve I began listening to ‘Christian rock.’ My friends listened to it and I felt pressured to listen to it, too. I became addicted to the beat and slowly progressed until I was into ‘heavy metal Christian.’ I was talking to a boy in our church about rock music. He told me I listened to the same thing in ‘Christian rock.’ I decided to listen and find out for myself. The beat was exactly the same, and I quickly was addicted to rock. I have been working on conquering this, but when I hear any ‘Christian rock’ I immediately feel guilty and stay away from my parents.”
A Fifteen-Year-Old Student From Florida
“‘Christian rock’ at one time really messed up my view of Christianity. I would listen to it and think, ‘Look how Christianity is trying to blend in with the world.’ . . . I have totally avoided this music and have considered it ungodly and unscriptural!”
A Nineteen-Year-Old Student From Ohio
“When I was thirteen, I had a friend who was in his twenties. He began helping my father, who was in charge of our youth group. The music he listened to was wrong, and as I became closer to this guy, I began to listen to his music and began to get deeper into it. Finally, it was to the point that it no longer satisfied the flesh and I wanted more. So I then started to listen to regular, secular rock music, and it caused moral failure in my life.
“I would warn anyone who would experiment with ‘Christian rock’ not to do so, or it is likely that the same result would happen to them. Thank you!”
A Sixteen-Year-Old Student From Michigan
“‘Christian rock’ was a big part of my life about six months ago. It totally consumed me. I lived in the bondage of this music and the bondage of the music of my friends’ preference, which was not very good either, to say the least. I realized that this ungodly music did not glorify God and never will.
“The main things I learned this week are that we as Christians do not take drugs to witness to drug users, and we do not convert to worldly habits to identify with the world. So I saw no reason to use worldly music with Christian words so that I could minister to the world!”
A Seventeen-Year-Old Student From California
When I used to listen to rock music it hindered my spirit and caused a rebellious attitude. I can tell you that when I hear ‘Christian rock’ music, it makes no difference what the lyrics are. It is the music that causes the poor spirit and rebellious attitude.
A Twenty-Year-Old Student From Oklahoma
“I never listened to the so-called ‘Christian rock,’ but I did listen to Christian contemporary music. I realized that all day long, when I was dressing or getting ready for bed, the songs were in my head. The backbeat and the music that was full of soft, then real loud notes made my whole body move faster. When all this was going on, I could never concentrate on studies, much less the Bible. It was distracting, and I also realized that when I would go into a store that had rock playing, I liked it, and it was a lot like the tapes I had been listening to.”
An Eighteen-Year-Old Student From Florida
“For many years I listened to ‘Christian rock’ and excused it because I was not listening to secular rock. I loved going to concerts and enjoying myself. Then I went to one ‘Christian rock’ concert, and one of the lead singers was dressed in a tank top and tight jeans. I was not sure what to do. I knew it was wrong, but I stayed anyway. When I got home my mom saw one of the pamphlets. She was shocked and said, “No more ‘Christian rock’!” I was forced to obey, but later chose to obey, seeing how wrong the music was.”
A Fifteen-Year-Old Student From Texas
“I became influenced in ‘Christian rock’ from some bad friends I had made. Every free minute I had was spent listening to this music. I felt really proud that everybody else was listening to regular rock and I was listening also, but mine had Christian lyrics. One day as I was listening to this music I switched the station to FM and I was shocked to hear the same song on a secular station! I have done some searching in my life and realized that this music was controlling my thoughts, and that because of it, I could not conquer the giant of lust. This week I realized that I would have to give up ‘contemporary-Christian music’ if I was going to have victory over the giant of lust!”
A Fifteen-Year-Old Student From Missouri
“When I got started listening to contemporary Christian music, I started out on ‘mild’ music, but it grew to harder music. It grew to the point where the music took the place of Bible reading. . . .it was addictive, and I held some back. Later, it was brought to my attention that when you cannot get rid of something in your life that keeps you from God, it is an idol. This music, which is supposed to promote Christianity, caused me to violate God’s commandments about idolatry.
A Seventeen-Year-Old Student From Missouri
“I grew up in a good Christian home where my father was a pastor. I have a fourteen-year-old sister, and when she was in the third or fourth grade I remember her listening to the radio when my parents were away at the church. As I grew older I was constantly being convicted about my habits but could not get victory over them.
“As I grew older, I slowly grew from one type of music to another and finally to ‘progressive’ and ‘new wave.’ I despised myself secretly because of my music, but I took it out on my fellow Christians who listened to ‘Christian rock,’ because I could still get a ‘high’ from their music and it was supposed to be ‘Christian.’ Even now as I am finished with this unglorious music, I still have trouble with it when I hear it anywhere.”
An Eighteen-Year-Old Student From Florida
“When I began listening to ‘Christian rock’ my personal devotions were almost nonexistent. ‘Christian rock’ deafened my Christian ‘immune system’ (conscience) to rock music. When I listened to this music, I would fall away from and rebel against my parents.
“‘Christian rock,’ in my opinion, distorts hymns. I can remember a ‘Christian rock’ beat to most of the hymns I have sung. I strongly encourage not getting into this music.“
A Seventeen-Year-Old Student From Missouri
“‘Christian rock’ and Christian contemporary music have, in my life, been stepping stones. Not stepping stones going up but down. Just a few months of listening to ‘Christian rock’ and contemporary music led to a life of being controlled by acid rock. This quickly led to and encouraged rebellion, greed, moral impurity, and trying to protect my rights and hide from my parents.
“Now, however, I have become accountable to my father in this, and I am experiencing glorious victory over this satanic music. As I quit, however, I was tempted to get back into ‘Christian rock,’ because, after all, ‘Christian rock’ is better than heavy metal, I thought. The Lord in His grace, though, reminded me of the effects this music had on my life before, and I was able to overcome it. I thank God that He is leading me to victory.”
A Seventeen-Year-Old Student From Pennsylvania
“When I started listening to ‘Christian rock’ I slowly started to listen to just regular worldly rock (soft rock). Then I was listening to something harder and harder. It not only led me into worldly rock, but I was getting rebellious toward my parents, and I was having sensual and lustful thoughts. I also could not memorize or read God’s Word and understand it or retain it.
A Fifteen-Year-Old Student From Nebraska
“‘Christian rock’ has damaged my life in two ways. First, it ruined my Christian witness. The addictive beat and tempo were very hard for me to conquer. When I went to a friend’s house, instead of being two friends together talking we would sit in his room and do nothing except allow the music to flow through us. Second, the beat and words are still a part of my life. Many times as I was listening to ‘Christian rock,’ my mind would go to the words of secular rock. Even now, after destroying all this wrong music and committing myself to God’s music, I still have a rebellious attitude well up inside me. This will be a very hard habit to break.”
A Sixteen-Year-Old Student From Michigan
“When I started listening to music I listened to ‘Christian rock.’ What got me into this was my friend who accidentally left a tape behind. I picked it up and listened to it. I was immediately hooked and listened to it constantly. About two weeks later I started listening to ‘rock and roll.’ I knew I shouldn’t have listened, but I was hooked. I became rebellious toward authority and stole a Walkman” from my dad. I then became a stumbling block to other Christians and made them fall into the same sin. I knew I had to give up this music, so I purposed to. I told my dad and asked him to hold me accountable. Since that time I have been freed from this wicked sin and I feel great now.”
A Seventeen-Year-Old Student From Florida
“I listened to rock music for about four years and it was not ‘Christian rock’ because I always thought it was so hypocritical to listen to Christian rock. At least I was honest about it and I did not pretend to be somebody I wasn’t.
“So, after the first couple of times I was already addicted to it. The reason I started is because everybody always thought I was, ‘goody-goody.’ They would say, ‘Hey, did you hear that song?’ or ‘Have you ever heard this group?’ I would say, ‘No, I don’t listen to rock.’ “I began by listening to ‘soft rock’ and progressed to heavy metal. It really had a strong effect on my life. Now my church plays ‘Christian rock’ and I see it ruining many kids in our youth group. It is so sad. It has ruined kids that were so sweet.”
A Sixteen-Year-Old Student From Texas
“I am very intimate with music. I was brought up in a strict Christian home, but I rebelled and moved away from home. While in the world I got ,into dance and choreography. All was very sensuous!
“The music we used was rock music, of course! After a while my body was so in tune with the music that it controlled me. After I gave my life back to God I was discouraged one particular day, so I turned on the local Christian radio station for some encouraging music. “Well, I don’t remember one word except ,exalt.’ All I know is that my sensuous feelings all came back with the beat and the spirit of the music. I can now say there is no such thing as ‘Christian rock,’ and this type of music should not be in one’s house, much less in God’s holy house of worship!”
A Nineteen-Year-Old Student From Texas
“I can honestly say that secular music does have a negative aspect to it. I had never really listened to or heard a pop rock song until I was about fourteen years of age. I was going through a really hard time in my life. We were moving again, on top of everything else.
“So I gave in and started listening to it every once in awhile. Immediately I noticed a change in my spiritual life. The music stunted my spiritual growth and my heart was becoming hardened. I realized that I must get away from it.”
“As soon as that music leaves, you can feel an immediate change in attitudes and actions. You see, I believe God designed the world to conform to Christianity, not Christianity to the world. Please, please, don’t pollute your minds or your spiritual life with this awful music. The same applies to ‘Christian rock’ music.
An Eighteen-Year-Old Student From Indiana
“I began with a high standard of music in my life. Through my youth group, that became watered down. I gradually began to build a collection of contemporary artists who professed to be Christians. As I collected more tapes and the music’s beat became stronger, I became more rebellious. I believe that the so-called ‘Christian music’ led me into rebellion. During the Seminar, I was convicted of having wrong music influence my life. When I got home, I threw away all of my bad music tapes, which made up virtually my whole collection. I am relearning now how to have only Godly music in my home and not compromise in that area any longer.”
A Nineteen-Year-Old Student From Texas
‘Christian rock’ music has divided my youth group. It has kept me in bondage spiritually, and my relationship with my sister has been deeply hurt. I see the rebellion in both of us after we are exposed to rock. Whenever I walk into my youth group, rock is being played. I feel Satan’s control start to tighten. One of my closest friends has remarked about the difference in my countenance after I have listened to this music. I find it almost impossible to have beneficial, reverent quiet times when the sensual beat pops into my mind.”
A Seventeen-Year-Old Student From Georgia
“I have been struggling with a moral failure. After a time of defeat, I noticed that these devastating failures were coming after or during listening to ‘soft rock’ or ‘Christian rock’ music.
I now realize that I had seared my conscience in the area of music. The destructive rhythms bring a sensual awakening inside of me and this leads to alessening of inhibitions. Since asking for God’s forgiveness and healing, becoming accountable to my parents, and removing these evil influences, I have experienced amazing victory and freedom!
“However, I still feel the danger in ‘Christian rock’ and its pull on my spirit. I wish every person would take this matter seriously because so much damage has been done to me. Consequences and scars remain that would have never happened if only I had been more alert to the dangers.”
A Twenty-Year-Old Student From Texas
“I personally don’t like ‘Christian rock,’ but at the cafe where I work as a waitress, they have been playing it. Since I have been working there I have had no desire to pray or read the Bible or to even get to know the Lord. I believe that since I have been listening to ‘Christian rock’ it has subconsciously affected my spiritual growth.
“I have been on vacation for a week now and I have found that I desire to read my Bible and to pray since I have been away from ‘Christian rock. ‘ “
A Twenty-Three-Year-Old Student From Wisconsin
“I have listened to rock music since I was a baby. It has had a definite bad impression on me. It makes me feel rebellious and I just have weird feelings when I play it. To me, ‘Christian rock’ is no different than regular rock. It still gives me those wrong feelings.
“I have gone to rock seminars and they say that rock is wrong but ‘Christian rock’ is OK. Well, I was sick of the way my life was going so I gave it all up and now I have such freedom!! I am so glad to be free!
“I would encourage anyone to purpose in their heart not to listen to it. Listen only to things that edify.”
A Twenty-One-Year-Old Student From Washington
“A couple of years ago while I was listening to rock music behind my parents’ backs I became very suicidal. I could not figure out why, but I really reacted to the idea that my music might have something to do with it. It was only after confessing what I was doing to God and to my parents and thencutting off all rock music that I lost the desire to kill myself.
“God was very gracious to me and He saved me from that awful destructive music. I thank Him daily for that deliverance.”
A Sixteen-Year-Old Student From Kansas
“I would like to share a little testimony concerning my experience with ‘Christian rock’ music. I had listened to this music with my friends and at church social functions for several years before I got my own tape, recorded by a famous artist.
“Buying that tape was the biggest mistake of my life. Under its influence, my moral convictions began to dissolve and I allowed myself to become involved in a relationship with a boy from my church, against my parents’ wishes.
“When we were together we listened to ‘Christian’ and ‘soft rock’ music. It was all sensuous and destroyed my inhibitions. I am so ashamed of what happened.
“The music made me rebellious and pulled me away from my family. I thank God that I can say today that I have not listened to this harmful music for several months now and I feel a freedom I had not experienced before.”
A Seventeen-Year-Old Student from Texas
“In the past, rock ‘n roll music has been so detrimental to my spiritual growth that I feel privileged to share this, especially if it could keep others from being subjected to this type of music. This includes ‘contemporary Christian music.’ Most people do not realize what a hold this music can have on you until you try to take it out of your life.
“When I got into secular rock music I was bombarded by many sensual thoughts. Those that think that ‘Christian rock’ is OK because of the words are wrong. When I listen to that type of ‘Christian’ music, I have the same reaction. I cannot listen to any type of this music because when I do, I can no longer worship God or grow in Him.”
A Fifteen-Year-Old Student From Ohio
“I need to give you my testimony on ‘Christian rock’ music. I am in a church where ‘Christian rock’ has come to be accepted and where we now have dances for the Senior High Youth Group.
“At first, my listening was reluctant and I didn’t like the metallic, hard sound, but I grew numb to it the more I listened. Even one of my friends told me it wouldn’t sound so bad after I listened to it enough! That is blunt for you!
“My dad REALLY didn’t like this music and even told me that I needed to get rid of it. This was very hard. You know, this contemporary music is addictive. Many people can witness to this. Try taking rock away from one who’s used to it and they go through withdrawal! I certainly did!
“But when I purposed to remain under my father’s authority, I threw the tapes away and you wouldn’t believe the freedom I felt! It was like a heavy burden was lifted off my shoulders! I’m telling you, I never even knew I was in bondage!
“I prayed that God would resensitize my spirit to discern the spirit of music. It did take a while but I’m a witness now of how rock music desensitizes a spirit. I’m free now, PRAISE THE LORD!!”
A Seventeen-Year-Old Student From Ohio
“‘Christian rock’ music has probably been the biggest hindrance to my spiritual growth. When I first heard this kind of music, it really bothered my spirit. But then this music was brought into my church. The more I heard it, the less it bothered me. The less it bothered me, the more I listened to it.
“It wasn’t long before I was involved in secular rock music because I didn’t see any difference. This music caused me to resist the Lord and hold parts of my life back from Him. I was not able to have a freedom to truly serve Him and be totally dedicated to Him until I was willing to give up this music.”
A Sixteen-Year-Old Student From Florida
“On September 2, 1989, I went to a ‘Christian rock’ concert. While I was there, I danced, screamed, and sang in ways that were displeasing to God. I have many contemporary Christian music tapes, and I find when I listen to them that I get a rebellilous spirit.
“I am so ashamed of the things that I did while under the influence of this music. I PLEAD with you to rid yourself of this bad influence.”
A Sixteen-Year-Old Student From Missouri
“When I was not following the Lord I was angry because of the compromise Christians were making in the matter of ‘Christian rock’ music.
“Personally, I cannot tell the difference between ‘rock’ and ‘Christian rock.’ Since I rededicated my life to the Lord and quit listening to both types of music, I have had a wonderful freedom in my thought life.”
A Fifteen-Year-Old Student From Oklahoma
“‘Christian rock’ has always been a source of battle within me. I could never go anywhere without rock music haunting me. I could not be comfortable anywhere. The music brought so much tension and lack of inner peace that I ended up in total depression, which was completely removed by taking rock and contemporary music out of my life.”
A Fifteen-Year-Old Student From California
“I began listening to rock music on the bus to public school. I went to Christian friends’ homes, and they would have their rock tapes and radios on constantly. I began to grow numb to the sound and the words and became comfortable listening to it.
“Finally I became interested in hearing what the singers were really saying. I was going through a really depressing and rebellious time by now, so I would fill my boredom and emotional times by secretly listening to ‘rock.’ I mean, everyone else did.
“My parents even gave me a dual cassette stereo system for memorizing Matthew 5-7. However, many of the tapes I ignorantly played caused sensual problems for me.
“A couple of months later when I got my life in tune with the Lord, I was convicted about my music. So one night I came home from church and took out the tapes I was recording off the radio and strung them out all over my bedroom floor and then took them out to the trash and pitched them. I was so released, I broke down and cried. Praise the Lord.”
A Sixteen-Year-Old Student From Indiana
“I began listening to ‘Christian rock,’ and shortly thereafter I began a fast, steady pace downhill. This eventually led me into a totally backslidden state.
“I know that my own rebellion was the cause Of my fall. However, ‘Christian rock’ entered into my life at a very crucial point and added fuel to the fire. I remember the specific day and the song I listened to first. I remember feeling rebellious like I was going against what is considered acceptable by the standards of Godly people.
“Within weeks, maybe months, a very apparent breakdown of my conscience, morality, and appearance was evident. As I stated before, within two years I had completely fallen away from the Lord.
“Today I am serving the Lord, yet I still have a tremendously difficult time resisting the temptation of listening to the music of my past-Christian or secular. When I hear this music it causes me to reminisce fondly of my past, and I completely forget the darkness I was delivered from. This dismisses the love, forgiveness, and power of my Lord in my life.
“I appeal to Church leaders today…. I plead with you to purge your churches, youth groups, and homes of rock and roll. Without going into further detail of my own life, it is my hope that the sins of my past can be used as a testimony for the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ.
“I pray that the devastating results of rock music will be realized in the Church before it steals anymore of the souls of our youth.”
A Nineteen-Year-Old Student From California
“Our youth group has had a problem of not growing spiritually for a long time now. This problem did not come from outward influences, but inward moral decay. A big factor in this was the rock music the kids were listening to outside of the church.
“Unfortunately, I was one of those kids. I can personally testify that rock music is not what it seems to be. Once you start listening to it, you accept it, not only the music itself, but also the words. You become numb to worse and worse lyrics. and you can’t break out of the addiction.
“Pretty soon, I was accepting totally opposite lyrics to what I was supposed to be standing for. I didn’t realize that a big problem in my spiritual life came from my addiction to rock music. It was as if I had a big wall between me and God, and it was because I was living a hypocritical life. I was accepting the awful standards that rock music presented, but I was telling everybody else I was a Christian.
“I was lying through my teeth. The only way I can say this now is that through the grace of God, I was able to see what was happening. I have now given this area of my life to God and now I feel a freedom I never had before. God is so good!”
A Sixteen-Year-Old Student From Missouri