from modesto, california, now in knoxville, tennessee
Just a thought, but do you think God minds it if we were to sing about brutal stuff? Like horror movie stuff and just plain scary things like The Black Dahlia Murder and Whitechapel sing about? I mean Whitechapel's first album was written from the point of Jack The Ripper's point of view and the 2nd was from a fallen angel's point of view of the end of the world. The Black Dahlia Murder sing about scary things such as Myths, Serial Killers, Man made monsters, and other stuff some dealing with the occult. I want to start a death metal band myself but I'm not so sure what I want to sing about. I feel like if I don't sing about God and such then he will be disappointed in me for not spreading the word of his works but I really want to sing about scary junk. I mean it's kind of obvious that I enjoy horror. lol! I'm a horror fanatic. but just an opinion would be nice is all. Thanks all!
When questions like this appear, Dave, I'm reminded of a line from Romans (Paul's letter to them)...blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. Which comes from the 14th chapter...but I don't have a Bible open in front of me, so double-check. Too, the many ways that line is worded in the various translations is an eye-opener. I know I searched the phrase on-line not too long ago, as the line is one I return to again and again. The context of the line had to do w/things happening in the 1st Century...what, I don't believe matters as much as how the matter was addressed. I've heard various commentary on the matter, the bottom-line defined as speak where the Bible speaks, be silent where the Bible is silent.
There exists an honor roll of things that have separated people and you are likely familiar w/most of them...instrumental music in Church, or not...women speaking before the congregation, or not...and too, there's minor things...like dancing, or not...women cutting their hair, or not...dating among Church members only, or not...attending R-rated movies, or not... The list is not limited and the importance of things on the list seems related to opposition against one thing or another. And arguments for one or another are also unlimited, it seems.
I'd picked up a copy of Being There...story from Kosinski...and someone had excised 4-5 pages from the story...a scene sexual in nature and I can only assume one that offended some reader. There are scenes in the Bible of a like-nature, so the obvious question is, did the reader of Being There excise their Bible...assuming they have one, assuming they read it? There's brutal stuff in the Bible, horrific things, there's a man nailed to a cross...how much more brutal can things get than that?
What does your conscience tell you you can do? Years ago, the poets could not sing about certain items. If they wanted to make a certain point, they had to arrive at that destination in an oblique manner. Who is your audience? Do you think the life of Jesus would be the same if the brutality of the cross was not told?
When writing songs, write the songs that mean something to you. If you want or need to write a song about God, that's what you write, if you want to write a song about Night of The Living Dead, write that. I've done my share of both. Sharing the gospel doesn't mean beating people in the head with the same words they've heard over and over, without anything to show for it. I've heard so many people sing about joy and abundant life in the church, only to suffer from severe depression at home. Music needs to be honest, so if you write about God, you should be saying something you really feel.
It seems like you think of God as having a lot of rules and anger, it seems from the stuff you've posted that you're afraid of him, not "fearing" him. That there's one small step you could take to break his dealings with you. That maybe he's one offense away from forgetting you. That's not God. This is a God who "does not stay anger forever, but delights in forgiveness." Who forgets every trace of all sins if you only ask. Who provided the gospel of grace, so that anyone who still follows him that falls into sin is forgiven. You can't appease God, you can't force him to like you more than he already does, because he already knows you. Nothing will change there, except you. We're not righteous, no one is, not by anything we do. It's God that decides who is righteous, it is his grace. The more you let God work on you, the less interested in the wrong thing you become. It's no longer a written law to follow, it's based on what God expects from you. It may take a lifetime to understand that, to get where he wants you, and he's very patient. In the mean time, you have a life to live, and live it without fear. If that means you get to sing in a death metal band, then sing in a death metal band. If that band is wrong for you, if it's hurting you, give it up.
St. Francis said "Preach the gospel and if necessary, use words." Repeating the same phrases and language to people is not really great evangelism. People have heard the gospel, but not understood it. When you demonstrate what faith in God does by doing the right thing, that is evangelism beyond words. When your songs are about Christianity, and sold in a a Christian market, your audience is a Christian one. You are preaching to the choir. This is that whole "light under a bushel" thing. You can write songs about God, but don't mistake that for shining a light. If you preach in music, but don't live out what you sing, your words mean nothing. Music should be honest, and evangelism must be honest.
Personally, I find dark music to be very honest about things people want to brush aside. It lets you confront parts of yourself you don't want to surface. I don't know how it is for you, though...
from modesto, california, now in knoxville, tennessee
I get what you guys mean. I just didn't want God to be angry at me for singing about brutal and scary stuff. Like the supernatural and stuff like that. Not necessarily occult based things just stuff like H.P. Lovecraft has written before. You know? Fictional monsters and characters. If you want a good example look up Everything went black by The Black Dahlia Murder. That's the kind of subjects I wanna cover. And I know that there are going to be people that are gonna call me a hypocrite for singing about such things, and saying I'm a fake because I sing about "Supernatural beings" but it's all for fun. It's not a cult based religion or anything. It's just for kicks and expressing some negative emotion that I myself have built up for some people.
dave - dave - dave (shakes head sadly)...c'mon, man (pleading look)
do you think god does not know exactly what is in your heart..???
and isn't that what matters.??
mayhap...are there some outside voices who are trying to convince you of something...are there some around you who would 'judge' what it is you are doing/saying/writing/reading/singing
remember, young jedi...as early as the '50's/ '60's there were people who tried to tell kids that just listening to rock & roll would send the to aych-E-doubletoothpicks....elvis would send 'em down...the beatles...the stones (well... maybe them)...
decades earlier...some folks were told by other folks that listening to that devil music...jazz...would do the same thing !!
here's a hint, dave: god is not that small...not that petty
besides, if this sort of thinking were at all true...whether it is a song...or a book by stephen king...your soul would already be doomed: do you think god differentiates between levels of evildom just because you might ?
evil is evil , dave...
now...if all these songs and all these books gave you the knowledge that skinning animals alive...or sawing your neighbors in half...or blowing up buildings with people in them...whether they be in OKC or NYC..were okiedokie
well...then...you might be on to something...
if seeing 'friday the 13th part 82' makes you want to carve up teenage girls with large bosoms, well, then...i'd be worried...
but if you are secure and your soul is good...then it is just entertainment
...and if there are some who are attempting to persuade you of certain things...look them straight in the eye and say : judge not lest ye be judged