Listen without prejudice: Rock music can have a positive message


Posted: Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I listen to rock music because it enpowers me. Out of all the music I’ve listened to, rock is the one that makes me want to get up and dance like I don’t care what people think, and sing along even though my voice isn’t the best.

Many different people have many different perceptions of which music is right or wrong to listen to. Some believe that certain music is completley outrageous, while others believe it’s harmless. Some people believe that rock music is strictly of the devil and wrong.

One of these people is Jeff Godwin. He’s written five books on the subject, in which he outlines many artists on why he thinks they are responsible for putting rock music into young people’s minds. In his book, “Dancing with Demons: The Music’s Real Master”, he says, “... Rock & Roll is really one of the most enslaving, destructive, and deceptive Devil-tools of all time.”

I think he’s made it quite clear what he thinks of this music. He also cites an experiment done more than a decade ago performed by Dorothy Retallack in which she exposed bean sprouts to rock music and gospel music. The plants that were exposed to the gospel music grew and flourished, and the plants that were exposed to the rock music didn’t end up so well.

Many of these articles talk about how some rock music talks about things Christians, or anyone else for that matter, should be thinking about. They overlook some of the Christian rock lyrics which they earlier accused of being no better than heavy metal or rap.

Switchfoot, a well-known Christian rock group, has a song called “Life and Love and Why” the last verse of this song says, “Could it be true, can life be new, could it be all that I am, Is in You.”

Clearly this is talking about God, just by the capitalization, that should be obvious, but for those who would still deny this, Switchfoot has another song called “The New Way to be Human” in which one of the verses says, “Where divinity blends, with a new way to be human.”

By definition given by the World Book Dictionary divinity is, “the study of God, religion and divine things.”

Some think that rock is wrong, because of the pictures it paints in our minds. The point that Christians are to be different in this world, so the music they listen to should also be different, has also been brought up numerous times.

I see their point, but still maintain that not all bands paint bad pictures in our minds. People who believe all rock is wrong overlook some of the Christian rock groups out there, in my opinion they should be well researched on the topic before they go making statements like that. They don’t really give Christian rock bands the opportunity to prove them wrong. Some of their songs really have true meaning, and many people have been saved from hearing them.

So what’s the issue here? If something is working as a tool for the Gospel then why rule it out before even listening to it?

In my opinion, before you go as far as to write a book on the subject, you should at least take a look at all of what you’re talking about.

Syncopation, according to the Wikipedia Encyclopedia, is “the stressing of a normally unstressed beat in a bar or the failure to sound a tone or accented beat.”

Syncopation has been believed as just being part of rock music for a long time, but it has also been found in Beethoven and Bach. It has been believed that listening to music with a syncopated beat can be hazardous to your health, although, to my knowledge, this hasn’t been proved.

In knowing all this, I still listen to rock music, because until there is proof that I am putting myself in danger by listening to rock music, I see no problem with doing it.

This column is the opinion of Melissa Newton, a sophomore at Wings Christian Academy.

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