Just one look at the cover of Metallica’s album Kill’em All should be enough for any reasonable person to know a true Christian wouldn’t listen to their music. I’m a former fan who no longer listens to their music for moral reasons. Many others quit listening to Metallica when they released their album Load, because it didn’t live up to their expectations. They said the band had “sold out,” meaning that after Metallica became popular, they knew they could produce lousy music and still sell it. (I didn’t like Load either, but I can’t claim to know Metallica’s motive for their change in style.) Like many say money is more important to Metallica than music, I say music is more important to Metallica’s “Christian” fans than God. They’ve sold out in that they’re selling their souls in exchange for ungodly music, and probably other things, too. A true Christian will choose God over music that defies what He stands for.

I have nothing personal against people who listen to ungodly music, whether it’s Metallica or something much worse. That’s the “hate the sin, love the sinner” mentality Christians should have. I have no problem defending “headbangers” and “freaks” who are falsely accused, especially since I can relate to them. I’m a much different person today than I was in high school, where I was unfairly targeted for the way I dressed (black clothes bearing pictures of skulls, the names of heavy metal bands, and the like). It didn’t help matters that I was in high school at the time of the school shooting in Littleton, Colorado, which occurred 20 years ago today. There were a lot of rumors after that, one of them being that something bad was going to happen on a certain day. No one seemed to know if it would be a bombing, a shooting, or what. The school’s staff took it seriously and started searching backpacks the day before as students came in. Precautions like that are justified, but I certainly didn’t appreciate the staff assuming I was involved in whatever was allegedly going to happen. I knew nothing about the rumor before getting questioned about it in the school’s office.

There should always be an investigation of warning signs and tips about any plan to harm people, but suspicion shouldn’t linger after the investigation clears the person(s) in question. I feel I was targeted more out of hatred than fear, and true Christians don’t do that. I happened to work with some Christians who knew I was very opposed to Christianity and listened to satanic music, yet they treated me with respect, as they did another employee who was similar to me and attended the same school. He had a couple brothers who dressed much the same as me, but his appearance was so out of the ordinary he was the talk of the school when he arrived as a new student. What really made him stand out was he wore a dog collar with spikes on it and what resembled panty hose on his forearms. I hadn’t talked to him before he got a job where I worked, and it was there that I learned he was a really nice person. Still, he needed God in his life (as did I). Christians can and should oppose ungodliness without resenting ungodly people.

I was in prison with a man who claimed to be a Christian and told me he had a problem with another inmate for having “Lucifer” tattooed on his chest (the problem appeared to be resentment). While I didn’t know this guy with the tattoo very well, I talked to him on occasion and had nothing personal against him, despite his tattoo I didn’t like. What I thought strange was the “Christian” who resented him one day had his cassette player’s headphones on and was singing along to AC/DC’s “Highway to Hell.” You can’t be a Christian and listen to music like that. Some people say it’s okay because the band members aren’t really satanic. They’re as lost as the so-called Christians who listen to death metal because the band members don’t really do the things their songs are about. “Highway to Hell” glamorizes a place for the wicked, despite the claim that it’s a song about the band spending four years on the road without a break. Band member Angus Young said, “When you’re sleeping with the singer’s sock two inches from your nose, believe me, that’s pretty close to Hell.” That would be more believable if the song was called “Hell’s Highway” or “Highway of Hell,” but it’s called “Highway to Hell.” Whatever Hell the song alludes to is a destination the band is traveling to, not the highway taking them there. Now to make my point that the Hell mentioned in their song is speaking of a something good, not bad. The song’s lyrics call it the “promised land.” Enough said.

AC/DC’s music is trash. Even so, there’s no excuse for slandering the band. They received some unfair criticism in the 1980s after the media reported a hat bearing the band’s name was found at the scene of a crime committed by the satanic serial killer nicknamed the Night Stalker. Rumors were spread that their band’s name stood for things like “Anitchrist Demon Child” and that their song “Night Prowler” was about murder (that may actually be true). AC/DC stands for alternating current/direct current, and according to the band, “Night Prowler” is a song about a boy sneaking into his girlfriend’s bedroom to fool around without the parents knowing. I can’t defend AC/DC on that point because one line in the lyrics says, “You don’t feel the steel ‘til it’s hanging out your back.” (Of course, that doesn’t make them responsible for someone else committing murder.) But assuming the song really is about fornication rather than murder, it’s still not something a Christian should listen to.

Whether it’s rock, rap, country or whatever, most of today’s music is ungodly. I was surprised when finding out some “Christians” I thought I knew listened to a rapper who has songs about killing people and beating up women. And that they watched raunchy music videos made by scantily-clad performers. Then, I was downright stunned when learning at least one of them listened to a satanic heavy metal band. (With a straight face he’d say he was a Christian.) When I asked him if he thought God would approve of that music, he shrugged and said, “I don’t let music influence me.” That excuse won’t work on Judgment Day. Regarding that day, Jesus said, “Not every one that saith unto Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of My Father which is in Heaven.” (Matt. 7:21) If this doesn’t apply to people who listen to satanic music while claiming their Christians, who does it apply to? They will mention the Christian works they’ve done (Matt. 7:22), and then Jesus will respond, “I never knew you: depart from Me, ye that work iniquity.” (Matt. 7:23)

It doesn’t make me feel like I’m better than others when pointing out flaws in people. In fact, it reminds me of how vile I used to be when bringing it up. But it’s something I must do to be an effective witness. I’ve prayed that these false Christians will one day truly change because I care about them. The one who listened to the satanic band was someone I had known about a decade before learning just how far from God he was. I’d like to see him in Heaven one day, but it won’t happen if he keeps listening to a band with lyrics that blaspheme God, or any of the other garbage he listened to. Music is almost as bad as television when it comes to its destructive influence on the world. It wasn’t so for most of the world’s history. Famous musicians sold sheet music up until the late 1800s when it could be recorded. Now they’re adding wicked lyrics to their music that can be heard in homes all over the world. God help us.

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