Screaming Praise: The Passionate Heart of Christian Hardcore

   
Jake Luhrs of August Burns Red

Jake Luhrs of August Burns Red

Whenever people ask me what kind of music I like, I always give the same answer, “I like all kinds of music. It just depends on the band.” From Beethoven to MursGregorian chant to Josh Garrels, and everything in between. But two genres really seem to take prominence on my iPod: Classical music and Hardcore music. I realize that those are polar opposites, but that really isn’t the point I’m trying to make. For now I would like to focus on the latter genre of Hardcore.

I’ve been listening to this stuff since I was in high school and it seems to have tightened its grasp on me more and more through the years. What’s even more interesting to me though is the stuff that has been coming out of the Christian Hardcore genre more recently. If you are unfamiliar with bands such as For Today and Sleeping Giant, then you may just look onto this music as just a bunch of chaos, or maybe even “devil’s music.” If you take a closer look though, you will see something much more intriguing.

These bands, as well as a great number of those in the Christian Hardcore subculture are incredibly passionate about Jesus. The lead singer of Sleeping Giant pastors his own church. The lead singer of For Today is not a stranger to the pulpit either and has released two spoken word albums that overflow with the gospel. And these bands are forming a generation of christians who want nothing less than to change the world and bring the kingdom of God to this world now. One of the greatest outcomes of this movement is that the men are strong and carry themselves with godly character, childlike faith, and unyielding courage.

In a nation where the men seem to be slipping away from the Church, and churches that too often seem to be emasculating those who remain, this is the kind of movement that we need. We need strong men of God to carry the Church into the next generation.

One band I would like to highlight specifically is August Burns Red and their new album, Leveler which just released June 17th. These guys bring hardcore metal to a whole new level. If you are looking for high caliber hardcore music, Leveler does not disappoint. The album overflows with commentary on modern day Christianity and quite literally screams praise to God.

Leveler starts off with the song, “Empire,” which perfectly represents this movement, as they shift their gaze from humanity to the divine. This is what the Christian Hardcore scene is all about:

We are justice fighters with faces of fire

Many walk away, but we stand firm

We are justice fighters with faces of fire

Our decisions affect our descendants

We are justice fighters with faces of fire


Another great song in this album is “Salt & Light.” If you really want to know what I mean when I say that this album screams praise to God, then this song is a good representation. Read through the lyrics below and see the passionate hearts that are being developed through this music. Then, listen to the song to hear the passion behind these words of praise.

 

Show our eyes true color. We want to hear the trumpet roar…

We want to hear the trumpet roar… with words that trample the pagan’s cavalry.

Pummel the darkness with the light.

Hand in hand, side by side, we will march with full force.

With your words from our throats we will march with full force.

Words that will shake the earth and boil the seas,

trample the bones of the living dead as they roam the streets alone.

We go marching on. Let the trumpets roar. (Go…)

I’m the harbinger, not the author of these timeless words.

Led by the Comforter I sing to you.

And if my throat were to be cut from ear to ear, I hope that these words

would carry on in these songs that I pray you sing one day.

We sing for you. We sing for you. We sing for you. We sing for you.

We sing for you. We sing for you. We sing for you. We sing for you.

THEOLOGY21 is a co-op of authors dedicated to renovating theology for a new generation, taking the ancient truths of scripture and theology and speaking to the post-Christian culture of the 21st century. To keep up-to-date on all things THEOLOGY21, Give our Facebook page a “like”, follow our twitter page, add yourself to our email list, or subscribe to our feed!
 
__________________________________________________

  • Anonymous

    Great article. Although I am by no means a fan of this music (as it tends to give me a headache, along with making me irritable and stressed) this highlights why it shouldn’t be ruled out. We need Godly MEN! We need men who are strong, courageous spiritual leaders. We need men who are willing to sacrifice for God. We need men who can handle the burdens this world places upon them in order that they can come out of it all bringing glory to God. We need men who are willing to get their hands dirty for the kingdom of God. We need more men who strive to be like Jesus. We need these men. And we need more of these men which is why it’s so important to have music like this that will inspire and ignite young generations to follow in Christ’s footsteps. Whichever genre of music helps you burn brighter for Christ then please ignite that flame! And may Christ’s passion shine within us all!

  • xcotterjdx

    great article, showed very well that hardcore can worship Jesus, and fils people with such a passion for Him!

  • I have branched out a lot into different kinds of music genres, but I used to be more into hardcore than I am now. My favorite band still to this day is Life in Your Way! They are coming out with a new album and I can not wait! Here is a creative video they made for their new album coming out http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZgT09VIqW-U , you can see the Holy Spirit working through these awesome godly guys! Also you can not beat the passion of hardcore music, for example screaming at the top of you lungs to God “YOUR LOVE IS THE GREATEST THING” here are some lyrics and the link to their song “Threads of Sincerity” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wtj1DE6-UOI

    Anywhere I go

    Anywhere my feet take me

    Your compassion never fails me

    I’ve gotten so far away

    Alone and close to giving up

    Can I lay down these way not in vain?

    Your love is the greatest thing

    I will look ahead to see the truth in this

    To see the truth in me

    Closer, closer to you

    I need it to last more than a moment, these times with you

    The rhythm skips a beat, and I hold the weight of the world

    To the touch I ache

    To the look I seem to be a mistake

    These mistakes I’ve made hold me back

    From the days I should spend with you

    To be long term and long lasting

    To overcome the lines and rules

    There are days where I’m right where I’m supposed to be

    But mostly I am far away

    I’m learning to live the way I should

    I’m learning to love the way you would

    And today it’s been made clear that I’ve walked so far alone

    It’s easy to want something more

    I will dive…closer to you…

    (notice at the end the melody of the transition? Its actually the tune of the hymn “Be Thou My Vision” lol

  • Garabay

    why do you think they’re drawn to this style of music for their message? I’d like to hear your thoughts on why you think the package of Hardcore is important or why these Christian men are drawn to both listening and performing this music?

  • Great thoughts. So many are so quick to dismiss something they cannot personally relate to. I love hardcore. ABR is one of my favorite bands. One of my favorite bands to freak people out is Becoming The Archetype. They are freaking HEA-VY. But if you look at the lyrics, they are proclaiming (shouting/screaming) truth.

    It’s not for everyone, but just because it isn’t doesn’t mean it’s wrong either.

  • To be honest, the medium provides a perfect vehicle for the passion and call so many young Christians feel in this generation. The power of the screaming mirrors the power of the spirit welling up within them to be a people of action rather than just of words. They feel the urge to call people into action through rage at the sin and destruction of this world propelled by the Devil. 

  • AMEN! Check this powerful video out on just this lack of biblical manhood! http://youtu.be/XnN2PrIQijw

  • Anonymous

    I agree Jon! Hardcore music is such a different way to release pent up feelings of passion and at times longing for our Savior. While some find enough release in a instrumental song, others find it in hardcore dancing/screaming. I think, a lot of the love for this style of music often comes from going to shows and finally having a reason to yell and scream. haha. 
    Frightening at first to a newbie, but powerful and moving when everyone around you has their hands raised, as they belt out the words of a favorite lyric. Hardcore music is so vital to the youth of our generation, especially to those who won’t listen to any other genre. While it may be hard to understand the lyrics and hard to understand why they must yell it, it may be easier to understand if you look at it from the perspective of powerful authorities or people. Yelling can evoke fear but it can,also, be a catalyst to evoking strength and at times passion among men and women. And quite frankly, I feel that if the church were to completely let go for once in worship, they would end up screaming the worship songs at the top of their voices, with hands raised, and some dancing.For those who are quiet, such as myself, listening to this music is a way for me to be “loud” and passionate about our God (even if the band has not been branded as “Christian”) When one yells, it is hard to deny the feeling of relief from the release of those feelings. There is, sometimes, nothing better then to stand alongside your friends and strangers to belt out the lyrics “Oh, praise Him” while sweating in 100 degree weather.  It is powerful, and both men and, might I add, women are drawn to listening to this music.http://youtu.be/N_q4xQjo5ww

  • although im not a huge fan of ABR just for the fact of its mainstream underoath feel. Christians in a band is not as passionate to me as ACTUAL Christians in a band singing nothing but praises. Underoath is where i started along with norma jean and silverstein. I still listen to silverstien in when im feeling all reminiscent of my youth. As i started looking more into deeper meaning of Spirit Filled Hardcore i found Sleeping giant and For today to be my “WHAT THE CRAP THIS IS AMAZING” type feeling. In fact i bought For todays second album entitled “portraits” and the very first lyrics after a extremely brutal intro were “REPENT OR PERISH” the following days i got it tattood on my back! Those words hit me hard! IT felt a bit radical but is not true? This is what Christian Hardcore did for me. It convicted me and built me up. When i first saw Sleeping Giant live I couldnt believe the emotion i felt. The worship that i always wanted to do. The worship that would be frowned upon in most churches. Jumping like crazy swinging arms and legs and two steppin to the beat of amazingness. The people who sit back and just watch are missing out. There is something so amazing and spiritual about letting go and just worshiping God in a no holds barred arena! Even just being on the railing right in front of these Jesus loving doods and screaming at the top of your lungs and sweating everywhere is awesome! Im getting all excited right now…. sorry. July 28th is scream the prayer in the Inland Empire if any one is interested its amazing

    http://www.facebook.com/ScreamThePrayer

    I know for a fact the Holy Spirit is in these places! It’s a crazy feeling. time to mosh in my room. later peeps aha.

  • You have a whole entire underground scene of youth and young adults yearning to be apart of something. To be in a family, to be accepted. Then you have these Bands that come in and sound a lot like the bands they and i listened to. But they come in with something with more meaning and feeling. You hear it and in between songs they will preach it and you feel almost like God is calling you right then and there. That these youths see this and feel an overwhelming Love that just comes from no where. All that aggression and pent up hate towards society and whatever else is around them is all let out on the floor. Its so intense to have the bands chanting “oh praise him” over and over and watching all these kids who would never ever ever lift there hands in a church just feel the room with lifted arms and tears of joy streaming down there faces, that for once they have felt a different feeling from the music that they are used to. THEN your just hooked. You cant get enough. Its almost the same way that an uncool old guy were to walk up to a rebellious teen and say “hey little fella Jesus loves you and you should repent” the teen will in most cases (i did) brush the old dude off as a some crazy Jesus freak. But now you throw some hardcore into the picture and hardcore in-particular is what this youth likes and they tell that kid “hey man Gods real and he loves you so much and has a plan for you” that kid is going to look up to these people and see Jesus in them because He can relate to that youth. 

  • AHAHAHAH SENDA!!!! we both wrote the same thing kinda ahahah! thats to funny!!! i was gunna put a video up to but got a little lazy ahah

  • I do like Becoming the Archetype a lot. I think their first album was the best. Everything since then has not quite lived up to the original.

  • Haha. I so wish I could go. I’m sure I’ll be working though.

  • I’m really looking forward to this new album as well. I love listening to these guys. “Salty Grave” is still one of my favorite songs. I listen to it every once in a while and everytime they break into “Let it be a sweet, sweet sound…” it gives me chills.

  • Mmargarit

    Nothing new under the Son. Every generation thinks that they have the corner market on the “new” fad, music, dress…, Nothing could be further from the truth. I for one, not a fan of screaming to the top of your lungs, incoherent lyrics and out of control in worshiping God. No need whatsoever. No difference between the out of control charismatic movement rolling in the isles or speaking in tongues and unbelievers calling them mad, crazies… It’s just another way in mimicking the world in trying to become “relevant” in these times. Everything that comes down in the entertainment industry is all repackaged as the old stuff from the past. We are always trying to look for something new in order for us to be entertained. Even in worshiping God. We as humans get board very easily, whether is music, dress or even God, and are always searching for the new fad to come along, to give us that chill that we long for. And all this, as if God needs new methodology  in order for Him to communicate or bless His creation.

    I have been connected one way or another to the music industry for the last 40+ years and wish I had a dime for every person that has said they love Jesus and they where born again. Or because they have heard some lyric in referencing God, Jesus… that they must be “true believers”. People coming out of bands and proclaiming faith in Christ, in order to resurrect their career with Christian labels, Word, Sparrow Records, Maranatha Music, 7Spin… I have for most of my life have been around secular and Christian artist from John Lennon – Grateful Dead to Amy Grant, Phil Keaggy, Darrell Mansfield, and I can honestly say, that they’re very few “artist” in between, that are truly honest and do not want to take any of the spotlight or glory from God as the main focus on any stage. The music industry is just like the world we live in. Just because you scream at the top of your lungs that you love Jesus and are front and center for the world to see, does not make it so. 

  • Mmargarit

    Are you so sure that it is the Holy Spirit? Hmm

  • Jonathan Olivares

    Love it!

  • Mmargarit

    I totally agree that we need real men of God. But let us not confuse them with imitations and counterfeits that only comes from the enemy. We all talk about whatever reflects God, must be of Him. But no one ever talks about the dangers of the “spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places” that we live in as to dismiss them as if they don’t exist. We don’t wrestle against flesh and blood” How are we to recognize and expose them if we can’t tell the difference between the world and the Kingdom of God. We are so naive to think that if it references God, it must be from Him. “The demons believe and tremble” If an angel of light preach to you another Gospel”… “And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” 2 Cor. 11:14.  How, do we differentiate between both worlds?

  • Mmargarit

    It is unfair to pick a church and use it in a promotional video as to the church’s downfall. Just as Darrin Patrick said, “we don’t know the reason as to why this particular church close it’s doors.” Just as we don’t know why thousands do it weekly across the world. One thing we do know for sure as to the closings of churches across the land is, the power of the Holy Spirit has departed and shut it’s doors behind Him. Wether we are lacking the ministry of the youth or the old. Once real truth has been silenced or compromised, the power for anything else ceases to function. 

    Darrin Patrick is a church planter and believes in “individualism.” His entire book (Church Planter: The Man, The Message, The Mission) treats church planting as an entrepreneurial business. Too common among today’s young leaders and pastors. Pastors are to be shepherds not tycoons. People are sheep not consumers. We are not customers of something that’s being sold at your local church down the road. We are sheep in need of guidance and the how to apply and share the good news as sojourners marching forth to our Father’s Kingdom. No gimmicks or worldly facades made by man are required or necessary. 

  • I feel like you don’t have a clue as to what i’m saying. you are basing this opinion off of music that sounds NOTHING like what i’m talking about. These bands are completely sold out for Jesus. Nothing wrong with being relevant. Wasnt Jesus hanging out with worldly people? The bible doesnt say “hey dont you dare give me all your heart when you worship” actually the bible says:

    psalms 9
    1 I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart;    I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. 

    Isaiah 44:23Sing for joy, O heavens, for the LORD has done this; SHOUT ALOUD, O earth beneath. 

    (my personal favorite)Deuteronomy 6:5
    Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.

    Just because these type of people do not worship the way you do doesn’t mean that you go the upper hand. Worship is worship. I’m not saying that they run around screaming in tounges and shacking on the ground ahah. It’s just a form of worship for the people who enjoy it and the ones that wouldnt step foot into a church otherwise. Its a first step for most of them and it usually walks them into the light.

  • I’ve been a Christian for quite a while now and yes. yes im sure.

  • Mmargarit

    No, Jesus was not hanging out with worldly people. Hw hung out with the twelve and when the opportunity opened up to minister to people that’s what he did. Unless the scriptures are wrong regarding having fellowship with unbelievers. Which He never did.

    What does any of these scriptures that you quoted have anything to do with screaming in the top of your lungs, incoherent lyrics and out of control in worshiping God. A couple of attributes and fruits of the Holy Spirit is Gentleness and self control. Where do you see any of these in any of these venues. The Holy Spirit is not self seeking, or brings attention to Himself. Are these people self seeking in bringing attention to themselves, by acting totally out of control? Does the Holy Spirit needs help of others, so some can come to the light. I believe you have the work of the Holy Spirit confused as to who He is and His work within the body of Christ.

    I don’t have the upper hand on anything or trying to compete as to how to worship God. Worship is not just worship. We shouldn’t have a cavalier attitude in worshipping our creator as if He doesn’t care how we worship Him or worship Him anyway we see fit. Things of the magnitude of worship are extremely important and we shouldn’t be naive as to those things. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts,neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. You thought I was altogether like you” God doesn’t need us, we need Him. Those who wouldn’t step into a church because of their misconception or dislikes and all of a sudden they would change their minds because of a venue or artist, are the ones that God is not looking for or should I say have not chosen. 

    “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.” John 4:23

  • You seem to know it all and ill let you go. But i know that i dont dance for the how. I dance because i enjoy it and I at least feel closer to God. The same way as church on sunday. But i suppose you have it all figured out… 

  • Mmargarit

    Sorry you feel that way. As an older believer and walking with Him for over 30 years, I suppose that I would be labeled as a “know it all.” That is the price that we pay for knowing Him intimately “so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” Eph. 4:14. God bless!

  • I’m not sure if you are trying to be condescending, but that is certainly the way that you are coming off. I understand that you have experience with the music industry, but your experiences with John Lennon, Grateful Dead, Amy Grant, etc. do not give sufficient reason to assume you know the motives of all musical artists. That is what we call a logical fallacy. I have seen these men preach the gospel and I have seen people respond to that message. It is clear that these men have a heart for God and it is clear that God is working through their ministry.

    If God can speak through the mouth of a donkey, surely he can speak through the mouths and hearts of those who devote their lives to Him and praise Him through this music. You are an experienced christian, but I think it would be wise to remember that God will work through those He choses. The assumptions in your comments have no biblical basis. I believe that you are speaking for yourself in this matter, rather than speaking for God.

  • I have read a lot of your comments Mike, and this is the one I chose to write on.  I want to challenge some of the ways you are wording things and looking at the Scriptures.  

    Jesus did hang out with worldly people.  These people went from persons of peace, (sinners), to disciples.  Not all of them became disciples, but a lot of them did.  He specifically discipled 12… as apostles. Those 12 were constantly corrected for not understanding who He was.  Not to mention that Judas, one of the 12 who did fellowship with Jesus, betrayed Him.  How do you explain that, especially considering we know that Jesus knew Judas would betray Him, yet he still lived life with Judas?

     Remember, even Joseph of Arimathea was a secret disciple of Christ, and people of his religious stature were usually rebuked by Jesus for being so religious.  Furthermore we can see in the Scriptures, Christ sent out 70 (or 72 depending on the translation).  They were appointed, and sent, which means they had an established relationship with Christ.  Should we assume that they were all normal people that were not of the world before Christ stepped in and they believed?

    Historically in the Jewish culture if you broke bread with someone and reclined at a table, it was a sign of fellowship.  That is why the Pharisees were so shocked that He would fellowship with those that were not “healthy” in their eyes.  (Check out Mark 2:15-17).  How then would you define fellowship differently?

    Jesus said it best, “” It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick ; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”  

    Not only did He minister when the opportunity arose, he did also fellowship.  I am actually very surprised that you took that stance because I don’t know of any Scriptural evidence to support what you are suggesting to be fact.

    Also you are suggesting that these people “worshipping” may not actually be representing the Holy Spirit, as though you have a fool proof way to test the spirits.

    What I have gathered from you is that part of that test is if they are self-seeking.  What is your test for that?  Because they are screaming?  Just because something is not culturally relevant to you, does not mean it is self-seeking.  The young people in that audience would not look at the singer as self-seeking any more than you would look at the “special music” singer on Sunday as self-seeking.  Or the worship leader.

    Our job is not to judge the heart of man, that is God’s job. 

    One other thought:  “Those who wouldn’t step into a church because of their misconception or dislikes and all of a sudden they would change their minds because of a venue or artist, are the ones that God is not looking for or should I say have not chosen. ”

    The Scriptures are relevant always, but the way that Churches choose to explain the Bible, which is thousands of years old, may not always be understandable.  I did not understand that until God placed me in a culture different from my own.  Americans are a very privileged people group with great teachers and resources.  However, things change very quickly when you are in shanty towns and people have a difficult time reading, and don’t even know what a Jew is; yet they understand Jesus.  Should I “do church” like we do in America?

    I have to be honest, your comment turns my stomach.  How do you have the authority to proclaim who God wants or does not want?  You do not write the names of people into the Book of Life.  This is so appalling to me because you know that Mike.  We may have differing opinions, but this goes above and beyond that.

    You are walking a very fine line of judging a person’s walk with Christ, which is founded in grace.  Yet you are displaying very little of it.  Read that how you will, but it is written in love as one piece of iron to another piece of iron.  I hope this will sharpen the both of us.  

  • You should so be on TBN.

  • Mmargarit

    Sheun,you must know there is a difference between fellow-shipping with someone and ministering to him or her. The Bible is very clear about fellow-shipping with the ungodly, (no matter if they are family or friends.) 2 Corinthians 6:14-7:1;  Now would Christ go against the Scriptures and “fellowship” with unbelievers? He did certain things throughout His ministry to show and make a point to the religious leaders of His time, as to how far away they were from God. But He never made it a habitual thing in fellow-shipping with unbelievers. As a matter of fact they some of them (unbelievers), could not even be in His presence, because of His holiness and their sinful nature. Just as God cannot be in the presence of evil. Suggested reading: “The Life and Times of Jesus The Messiah” by Alfred Edersheim. The book gives us a full portraiture of Jewish life, society and an illustration of the Gospel-narratives. Not a weekend type of a book since it is 800 pages. But an excellent comprehensive view on Jesus’ life and ministry during His time, through the eyes of a Jewish scholar.

    Shaun, if you read my post, you would see that my main point was that, WE, are not the ones who decides as to God’s worship. The Holy Spirit is. He is the one that leads individuals as He points them to Christ. As the Holy Spirit is not self seeking and never, ever brings attention to Himself but unto Christ. If you think that, we as believers should not have any sort of discernment and take all of the worshiping out there for granted, just because is in the name of Jesus, then you’re not being honest with yourself and are not being sensitive to the work of the Holy Spirit. Worship is a very serious matter. Yes God does care, how you worship Him. It would be an well extended post for me to quote all the insurmountable amount of scriptures that shows us how God wants to be worshiped.

    We need to listen to the call of Scripture to promote holy worship and flee idolatry. But the worship of false gods is not the only kind of idolatry condemned in the Bible. The second commandment teaches us that idolatry is not only a matter of worshiping false gods, which is prohibited in the first commandment. It is also a matter of worshiping the true God falsely. The second commandment says, You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sins of the fathers to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments (Exod. 20:4-6).

    This commandment clearly forbids the use of images of God in worship, but it also implicitly forbids all human invention in worship. The prohibition against images means that we must worship the true God only in ways that please him. The people of Israel claimed they were worshiping the Lord as the true God when they fashioned the golden calf. They regarded the image as Jehovah (Exod. 32:5-6). But such false worship offended God and brought judgment on the people.

    The story of the golden calf reminds us that God’s own people can fall into idolatry in their worship of him. We may want to be creative and inventive in worship, but that creativity can lead to idolatry. Repeatedly in the Old Testament God judged his people for false worship. Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu were struck dead for offering unauthorized fire before the LORD, contrary to his command (Lev. 10:1). Jeroboam, the first king of the northern kingdom of Israel, and his heirs were consistently criticized as idolaters because of images and false temples and services dedicated to the Lord. The people of God were rebuked in these instances not for worshiping false gods, but for worshiping the true God falsely.

    The New Testament also warns against pleasing ourselves with false worship. Paul wrote to the Colossians condemning their novelties and experiments with self-imposed worship (Col. 2:23). Jesus warned against allowing traditions to dominate and subvert the Word of God: Thus you nullify the word of God for the sake of your tradition (Matt. 15:6). Jesus was not speaking about worship when he made that statement, but then he used Isaiah 29:13, which is about worship, to support his words:

    • These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.

    They worship me in vain;

    their teachings are but rules

    taught by men. (vv. 8-9)

    The call for entertainment in worship in our time is often cast in a particularly seductive form. Entertainment is often sold in the name of evangelism. We are told that we must make worship interesting and exciting for the unconverted so that they will come to church and be converted. At first glance that argument is very appealing. We all want to see many brought to faith in Christ. Who wants to be against evangelism? But we must remember: entertainment is not evangelism, and evangelism is not worship. People are evangelized, not by a juggler, but by the presentation of the Gospel. And while evangelism may occur in worship as the Gospel is faithfully proclaimed, the purpose and focus of worship is that those who believe in Christ should gather and  meet with God.
    I have to continue on the next post, for lack of space. 😉

  • Mmargarit

    “Also you are suggesting that these people ‘worshipping” may not actually be representing the Holy Spirit,” I’m not suggesting, I’m absolutely sure and certain, that AT TIMES, the Holy Spirit is not being represented and is not directing these “mere men” in these venues. If you think that they ALL do, then I don’t know what else to tell you. I’m not saying that they are not men after God’s heart, and have pure motives in the entertainment business. I’m saying that they are many who are there for the mere self-seeking gratification and are not from God. And we surely need to distinguish who they are. They are not all from God. But there is a fool proof, as to a way to test the spirits. “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1

    “The spiritual person judges all things, but is himself to be judged by no one. “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Cor. 2:15,16. You are absolutely correct in saying that we are not to judge man’s heart as to their salvation, but we are instructed to judge motives and matters of the body of christ, to see if these (spirits) are from God. Again Paul tells us; “Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world is to be judged by you, are you incompetent to try trivial cases? Do you not know that we are to judge angels? How much more, then, matters pertaining to this life!”

    “How do you have the authority to proclaim who God wants or does not want”? The same authority that God has giving us all, His Word. Where His revelation of Himself is plainly seen and understood. There is no ambiguity in the Scriptures as to who God is and what He demands of us.I for one love to be entertained. I wasn’t a recording engineer for nothing. Like I said before. I have Been involved in the industry for years. Love the old and new rock bands. Love music period! But I learned early on, that my worship to God is extremely special and I would not give Him my second best. He deserves the very best in worship. And I will separate my worship to Him from my entertainment.

    Not trying to be condescending at all, on my next set of questions; Step completely outside of the venue next time you are in one of these events and pray to the Lord that you may look at it through His eyes. As people throw themselves into the mosh pit, and the spotlight is on the stage, ask yourself these questions; Am I in the presence of the God of the universe? Is this pleasing to Him? Where is the gentleness and the self control of the Holy Spirit (attributes)? Is God the main focus of everything that’s around  me.  If it’s entertainment,  great! More power to you, enjoy! But if it’s a way for the Holy Spirit to direct people to Christ, why is it that my eyes are not truly fixed on him, but only on the crowd and the spotlight on the stage. We must differentiate between Entertainment and the worship of an almighty God. This are extremely important questions that we need to ask ourselves, because in reality it is an extremely  important subject in the worshiping of an all consuming God.I hope and pray that I don’t give you another upset stomach or make you disgusted in  in anyway. Oh, and by the way. Regarding that Book of Life. I could never put anyone’s name in there. It has already been filled with all the names that belong there. It is finished! No add-ons or subtractions. 😉 God Bless Brother!

  • Mmargarit

    Eric, I don’t mean to be rude or be dismissing regarding your post, but just read my response to Shaun Wissmman. 

  • Mmargarit

    Oh, okay. One problem Joey. I don’t like TBN or anything that comes out of there. Talk about entertainment at is worse. 

  • Honestly, Mike, to write back an entire response would take too long.  I think you make some great points… 
    I find that my response would just be semantics, and we would continue to agree to disagree.  Specifically for me about the fellowship.  There is a process of fellowship that starts in ministry, so Christ was not contradicting, He was teaching.  

    I think what it comes down to at times is this: I notice that you give the extreme “big picture” without acknowledging the details.  I am generalizing here, but I see that as the case in several of your posts.  Here with the fellowship your original stance was that Christ didn’t do that at all,  then you said that He would not contradict Scripture, then you say “But He never made it a habitual thing in fellow-shipping with unbelievers.”  (Do you see why it could be difficult to respond to your comments?)

    Because I showed you Scriptures that show in the Jewish context that he did fellowship with non-believers, as a teaching tool to His disciples… and he also took it from ministry to fellowship.  Non-believers, to followers, to disciples.

    I was trying to point that out to you… that is why I started my comment by saying it is important that you re-word some stuff.  

  • I think you make a wonderful point about the difference between worship and entertainment.  Really wonderful point.

    It is actually for this reason I tend to not go to Christian concerts, unless my heart is a heart of worship.  Even if the artist calls people into worship, if the person’s heart is not right, they need to evaluate themselves… like you said.I am also glad that you can recognize that these men can in fact be Spirit led.  It just seemed like before you were throwing out the baby with the bath water.  Hence my point about judging a man’s heart, which in your original comment… you were doing.Just because you have been doing something for that long, (which I respect), does not mean that you know their hearts, and that is what I am trying to get at.  If David’s heart was a heart of worship, but people made idols of David… that is not David’s fault.  Israel was condemned because they willingly chose and wanted a golden calf to represent God instead of letting God be God.  The key here is the choice for worship, and if you are making it an idol.  But the same can be true in Church; not just in the concert… when people are called into worship.I am not at all condoning the idol worship, and I do believe that the artist needs to reflect Christ and see what causes people to stumble; however, I can not judge a man’s heart by what others do in response.

    I was really bothered by the comment you made to Joey when you said: “Those who wouldn’t step into a church because of their misconception or dislikes and all of a sudden they would change their minds because of a venue or artist, are the ones that God is not looking for or should I say have not chosen. ”

    That is what turned my stomach and made me challenge you concerning judging a man’s salvation.   As you know, we are saved by grace.  And the expression of that grace, corporately, can turn people off… just as you have pointed out on facebook with various Pastor’s.  Because a person dislikes a style, does not change the grace and love that God gives to us.  Remember, Christ called Mary by her name, and it was in that moment that she saw Christ.  He is very intimate, and calls us by names in different ways that speak directly to us.  That is what I hope you took away from my challenge.

    We are all stumbling through this path, trying to make sense of a God that is bigger than we could ever imagine.  So thanks for your comments, and point of view.  It would be a shame for some people to discredit your words, because of your “to the point” style of writing.  God Bless you too.

  • “I’m absolutely sure and certain, that AT TIMES, the Holy Spirit is not being represented and is not directing these “mere men” in these venues.”

    @90573a40114dc97a343feeb264986225:disqus , if you had put something like this into your first comment, then I think it would have come off quite differently. I don’t believe that ALL christian hardcore artists have a true heart of worship and that isn’t really what my article is about either. What I am really bringing forward is my experience with a small group of christian hardcore artists who are completely sold out for Christ, preach the gospel, and have raised up a solid group of devoted christians as a result of the music that they make.

    I understand that this isn’t the kind of music that the mainstream church would consider to be worshipful, but I think we should be cautious with the boundaries that we set on what specific genres or styles of music are good enough to lift up praise to God. After all, it wasn’t that long ago that Christians were protesting the addition of the piano into worship because they saw that as unfit for worship as well.

  • Guest

    hardcore is about being passionate about whats REAL, not imaginary sky daddies and the assorted fairy tales associated with them.

    hardcore laughs at these losers appropriating a style to push a message that is the antithesis of the scene. 

  • @abb249055208c7af4d35568e422dfd63:disqus – Lyrical content is not restricted by musical genre. And in my experience, there are very few bands that can live up to the quality of what is coming out of the Christian Hardcore scene lately.

  • Danno

    Everyone is pushing some sort of message.  Straight Edge, Hate-core, Posi-core, Beat down, Christian…it doesn’t matter.  If someone is passionate about something, they should be promoting what they believe in.  If they aren’t, then they truly don’t believe.  Just because you don’t believe in what they believe does not give anyone the right to laugh at another.  You have your beliefs and I have mine.  I don’t laugh at my straight edge friends for being straight edge and they don’t laugh at me.

  • Danno

    I know this was posted a little while ago, but it’s refreshing to see people like yourself who are impacted by Christian hardcore.  I currently play in a Christian melodic-hardcore band and I can attest to the amount of change the Holy Spirit can do through the music.  I understand not everyone likes hardcore.  I know it makes some people anxious and frustrated, but there are others who love it.  And besides, everyone needs the Lord.  You cannot expect to go up to a hardcore kid, invite him to church, and then condemn him when he doesn’t come (Though I’m not saying God cannot change a man’s heart to do so).  That is why there is hardcore Christian music.  To make connections and relationships with the lost so as to lead them towards Saving Grace.

    Christ, as well as the disciples, did not sit around and wait for unbelievers to come to them.  They went out into the world to make more disciples.  Jesus commanded them, and us, do to so (Mark 16:15)!  Everyone is lost.  Everyone needs salvation through Jesus’ blood.  I feel like God has given me a mission to spread His love and His Word to the people in the hardcore scene.  So, me and my band mates do this to the best we can.  We encourage people to talk with us.  We have Bibles for free and we invite people to our local chapter of “Hope For the Rejected”, a bible study for the underground music scene.  The most important, we base our lyrical content on spiritual things.  One of our songs strictly gives praise to God for being so awesome. 

    Either way, it is encouraging to ME to have other bands like ABR, FT, and LIYW who are doing their best to spread the love of God through their lyrics.  I cannot say the same for others.

    Side note…just because someone sees hardcore as “out of control” and “incoherent”, doesn’t make it so.  I don’t listen to rap, so when it comes on, I tend to not be able to understand the lyrics sometimes.  In church, when we sing hymns, I don’t always join along because I don’t understand some of the old English that was used.  Does that make it not of God because I don’t understand it?  Not in the slightest.  And as far as “out of control”…David danced before the Lord with “all his might” as it says in 2nd Samuel 6:14.  Sometimes when I’m praising God in church, I get random urges to hardcore dance.  I don’t because it would make people in my church uncomfortable, but there would be nothing wrong with it as long as my heart was in the right place.

    Any ways…who am I to place boundaries on God?  I am no one.  He works when and where He wants to.  If God does not use a musical genre to speak to you, that’s fine.  He can do it another way.  Don’t put God in a box.  But, as for me…music, specifically hardcore, speaks to me.  And therefore, this sinner is doing the best he can to follow the Bible by spreading the Word through a musical style that speaks to him.

  • Steven

    for the ones that are asking if it is really the Lord moving at these concerts watch this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kngjT9gY70Q this is proof that the Lord lives through this bands music. I get chills and can feel Gods presence each time I listen to them. its not a heavy song, but its the same message.

  • Chad

    Just laying it out there…hardcore is a very different brewed of music. The music brig described here is metal. It may have minor hardcore influences, but it s metal. Hardcore is a completely different vain of music and the difference should be made clear. It’s not apples and oranges. If Christians are trying to penetrate the world’s subcultures it should try and understand subtleties as well.

    Carry on, terror, madball, the crucified – hardcore
    ABR, for today, sleeping giant – metal/metal-core.

Close
Please support the site
By clicking any of these buttons you help our site to get better
Social PopUP by SumoMe