(Clearly this is a picture of the awful impact rock music can have on someone’s life… ACTUALLY no, it’s a picture of my friend and I being far too into Black Veil Brides and loving it and not caring because we felt awesome.)
So, a little background before I get into this topic. Like I mentioned in my first blog, I am a Christian. What I didn’t mention is that my dad is a minister (pastor, reverend, whatever you want to call it) and I’ve been obviously brought up in a Christian household my entire life, even though my dad hasn’t been a minister my entire life. So I’ve been around a lot of people and opinions and that’s probably why I’m as highly opinionated as I am.
Let’s also take the term “rock music” to cover the genres of rock, metal, punk, alternative, nu-metal and any other sub-genre you’d like to add to that list.
So I’ve been around for a little under two decades. Pretty normal kid, thought the band Steps were literally the best thing ever in the world. I didn’t get into the kind of “alternative” scene until I was maybe about 14 or 15. Also something that I didn’t mention is that I am a depression sufferer, but it has been on and off since I was around 12. Whether or not that influenced my music choices, who knows.
But the first band I really got into was Metallica, and I’m still very much a huge fan just now. I got excited with the music and I just enjoyed it. My music is probably more punk-influenced now, as with my fashion when I can be bothered, however Metallica were just, I thought they were brilliant at 14. It prompted countless comments of “You’re just like your Uncle Graham” from my mother, however I don’t think that to be a bad thing at all.
When I was 15 I dyed my hair black (it was supposed to be purple but kids make mistakes) and whilst this would get a lot of attention in general, I got a lot more attention than I ever intended. My favourite comment was from a member of my dad’s church at the time shaking their head and saying “I suppose God still loves you.” before walking off. So I was really kind of put out and that’s when I started to question the divide between who I was and who the church thought I should be.
Rock music for some reason within the church (not everyone thinks this, I feel like I should cover my bases and say I’m in no way talking about my experience NOW) is seen to be almost ‘satanic’ and basically just wrong and rots kids brains and somehow infects them and makes them bad people. I’ve known some Christians to even completely despise Christian rocks bands because that kind of thing isn’t ‘right’.
However, in talking about my experience now, I did wear a Metallica shirt to Fireworks Night at the church I’m currently at and the comment was made to my mum that “oh, maybe we’ll fix her once she’s been here a while.” which just irks me no end. I’m an anomaly , I’m always the first one to say that. Doesn’t mean I need ‘fixed’ though. I feel like I’m here to cause a bit of controversy and if I can make people change their opinions on things to be more accepting and open minded and – wait for it guys – more loving then I’m doing okay.
Music to me is a bit of a lifeline. I joke that some people should think themselves lucky that I’ve got my ipod to plug into or they’d not have such a nice pleasant person to deal with. And whether that be christian music, secular music whatever. I just like music. And I like most music. When I’m really mad, the only thing that helps bring me down from being hulk-like is Verdi’s Dies Irae Requiem. Which quite fittingly translates to “Day of Wrath”.
Even people my age within the Christian community have an issue with me liking the music that I do, and that doesn’t make any sense to me. I am constantly getting the response of “You should read your Bible and pray, not listen to Black Veil Brides.” Like, how are the two even, what? I lose all ability to be coherent at times like those.
The other argument put towards me is that how could I possibly enjoy something created by a group of atheists? Which again, is another stupid argument. Sorry to be so blunt, but it is. Popular to contrary belief, I am capable of independent thought and whilst they might not believe in a Higher Authority, that doesn’t change the fact that I do. It’s like suggesting you can’t enjoy ‘Treasure Island’ because Robert Louis Stevenson was an atheist. Also, it’s a rather ignorant position to hold if you’re suggesting every single artist in the rock scene is an atheist.
Also maybe it’s time we listened to these guys (and girls) who are very vocal about their issues with the church through their music, because that’s how we come across to people sometimes. That means we’re not doing our job right.
Maybe I’m overthinking this, as it’s a very, very common occurrence with me, but I can’t help but wonder if those who are questioning me on this or just the topic in general are as secure in their faith as I am in mine. It does come across as “How can you be so sure in your faith if you’re doing things so differently to me?” And my answer to that would be that Jesus Christ lives in me and is my first port of call when it comes to anything. Is he yours?
And just to finish, (I started a sentence with ‘and’, there’s a reason I got a C in higher English) here are possibly my favourite lyrics by a non-Christian band:
“We hide from the mirrors, they might show our scars. Then there is the person we want to be and the people we are. So confront your reflection. Smash what you see and let’s restart because mirrors can’t see our hearts.”
“Broken Mirrors” – Rise Against