Monday, September 7, 2015

Whitewashed Tombs

There are people who may criticize some of the music I like to listen to. Being a Christian, some people may expect me to listen to the music you see on store shelves; an artist wearing a nice suit or dress on the album cover, smiling; the music consisting of a very soft, relaxed style or a "powerful", but restrained, emotional style. Some people, as it were, may criticize my choice to listen to Christian music like this:

But how bad, really, is this music?

Back in the day, I probably would have avoided music like this because it was too noisy for my tastes. Back then, I listened to some music with satanic lyrics, but I justified it by seeking out music that was performed by talented people. The music had an inner wickedness to it, but it sounded cool, so I, mistakenly, wasn't very concerned.

But what was probably even worse was a lot of the music I liked that didn't have satanic lyrics. I liked to listen to a lot of atmospheric black metal. Even today, I can appreciate music with atmosphere... I can even appreciate the same style of music when made for the right reasons, but the issue wasn't the style that was being played. The issue was the inner darkness to it. It wasn't obvious at all, at the time. A lot of the music I'm talking about had nature samples, or nice-sounding pianos and relaxing keyboards. Songs often had extended periods of relaxing ambiance, or reverberated guitar riffs that painted large nature scenes. The lyrics largely spoke of the grandeur of nature, or of space, or whatever. For a good portion of the time, no questionable symbols were to be found; no satanism in the lyrics; everything seemed fine. But it still had an inner darkness to it that I didn't recognize until much later on.

My suspicions were verified when I began to realize just how many of these projects, sounding beautiful at first glance, having nice space or forest photos for album art, and talking about innocent nature subjects, consisted of people who wore pentagrams, or also played in very dark satanic projects. Or at the very least, also played in projects that just seemed very, very questionable somehow.

The idea of the "whitewashed tombs" came to mind a few months ago.

That phrase typically refers to people who appear nice or righteous on the outside, but are very dark and wicked in their hearts. For instance, those televangelists who talk about "sowing faith seeds" by giving money to them. An action which, may I add, is EXPRESSLY FORBIDDEN IN SCRIPTURE. But at the same time, it definitely applies to the kind of music I used to like.

The music I used to like sounded nice with the artistic keyboards, and looked nice with the beautiful photography, and seemed different from the typical "satanic" music in the scene, but was still satanic at heart. I wonder how many are deceived by things like that.

I pray that they see this post and take it to heart. That idea is why I'm writing this post.

But on a side-note, I often think of unblack metal as the exact opposite. The song I linked at the beginning of this post sounds extremely dark. It looks extremely dark. But it isn't dark. Music like that is powerful to me, it has the same impact on me as traditional hymns have for others. It's made for God, and the noise and ear-piercing shrieking serves as a reminder to me of God's strength and the good He's done for me. I personally chalk this up to Romans 14; some of you may feel that such music is still wrong to listen to, even if it's made with the intent of praising God. I do not want to convince you otherwise, if God is truly telling you to believe that.

But no matter how you feel about Christian black metal, just be aware that in the rest of society, not all "dark" or "evil" things take on a dark/ugly appearance, and not all are marked with pentagrams.

May God bless and guide you all according to His perfect will. In Jesus' name. Amen.

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