Rock Music Moves Me

I miss rock music. It really doesn’t exist much anymore. I guess if I am being honest I really miss alternative grunge rock music. Well, that and southern rock and if I am really honest some hair metal stuff too, well that and some punk and even some of that not very good shorts wearing punk of Smashmouth and the like.

Of course I didn’t really listen to much mainstream stuff. When I got to college my local Christian store had a great music section that included Die Happy, One Bad Pig, Dig Hesus (sp?), Whiteheart, Plankeye, the Grey Dot release of Third Day and many others. This was the soundtrack of my college years.

These songs moved me, they were a big part of my spiritual awakening, they are tied to memories of serving and worshiping and learning about God. They are the sounds that pulled me through hard times and connected me with my friends.

And now, there is nothing in Christian music that sounds like that.

The modern worship movement is amazing…if you like U2 and the Passion City sound. They have great lyrics and songs that aren’t boring, but they still aren’t rock and roll. They still don’t speak to me on that deep, “I remember when” level.

I was thinking about this the other day and a few things hit me 1) I am an old man and 2) When people are arguing about worship styles in church many of them are really arguing for music that moves them. They may couch it in language of inappropriate or too loud or “of the devil” but at its heart their argument is probably a deep desire for music that moves them.

So next time you are frustrated with someone who wants a different worship style think of me and remember you will be the old person one day dreaming of worship music that sounds like Passion City.

One thought on “Rock Music Moves Me

  • December 30, 2015 at 3:31 AM

    Wow — stumbled upon this and have no thought of an argument or even a long discussion. Just, wow. I am a bit of a curmudgeon, raised in country church with old hymnals, a piano and some string instruments. As I eventually repented (much to repent of!) and surrendered to the Lord I became aware that much of the pop music I had heard in the 70’s and early 80’s was very consciously ‘devilish’ or dark — certainly something I could not imbibe. Just thinking about it now at 50 causes a visceral reaction.

    I know there is subjectivity here and I truly am only musing. I have done more than my share of arguing about these things and have (almost) no stomach for it anymore. I can (almost) (:)) receive your stance on rock music as tenable, even acceptable. I will trust that you will not disdain my deeply-entrenched animus to a musical style. Yes, the pop music to which I refer was what we call secular, with the typical lauding of immorality that intrinsically assaults the good.

    But I now find some help in the idea that some music cannot “bear the weight of glory” as a Methodist minister friend, Philosophy Ph.D., and to-this-day lover of rock music once said. And, of course, the old counter-intuitive saw about the Wesley hymns being written to bar tunes is counter-intuitive because it is simply false, based on a misunderstanding of the very term “bar tunes.” Not worth mentioning except it is a fascinating example of how an idea, regardless of its veracity, can give rise and substantiation to all kinds of notions.

    And, though, as my good, godly jazz-loving friend rightly said about Allen Bloom’s broad-side essay on Music in “Closing of the American Mind” — “It is too harsh!” — I found Bloom at least offering the notion that music is innately good for some things and not good for others. That Plato meant something when he said he could alter a culture by altering its music.

    These and other ideas, no doubt far too subjective, leave me still convinced that rock music, as a genre, has not been good for our culture. and then I meet folks like you in print or in life that are doing God’s work and love rock music. :)

    Can the curmudgeon lay aside the animus? Yes, I have teenage sons, and no, they do not follow my musical tastes. enough said.

    I trust it appears evident that I am not arguing — just thinking out loud on something I’ve not written about for a great while. I used to teach an intro philosophy class and would have a debate on the statement: “Rock music is good for the culture” or something similar. Fascinating and hard for this old guy.

    Blessings. Pray for me. Big smile as I write. Love the subject. Love Jesus more.A


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