Welcome to Metal-Cross. There is a long running battle within the church. And it is hindering the church’s ability to reach people for Christ. In fact, it’s actually dividing the church on many different levels. The battle is over whether Christian Heavy Metal music should be allowed, or is even effective as a tool for church ministry. Heavy Metal music is a style or genre of music. with multiple sub-genres, including; Speed Metal, Symphonic Metal, Thrash Metal, Death Metal, Black Metal and Doom Metal. Including additional styles like Metalcore and Deathcore. There’s more, but I won’t go into them all here. Each style has its own unique sound. But all have one thing in common. They are all largely rejected by the mainstream Christian community. Especially in the Death Metal and Black Metal styles. Now, for those that are not familiar with the term Death Metal, Death Metal doesn’t glorify death. It is a style of music…a sound. Just like Rap Music isn’t about wrapping Christmas presents. They are styles of music. Regardless of the lyrics, although largely Christ-centered and positive in nature, Christian Metal is being rejected by churches and Christians for nothing more than how it sounds. The extreme volume, the guttural and growling vocals, the screaming and the imagery of skulls, graves, crosses and blood on T-shirts and album covers. I mean, CD covers. I’m dating myself here. This opposed to Christian Metal say; You can’t growl like a demon and minister for Christ. The music is flat-out EVIL. You can tell just by listening to it, it’s Satan’s music. How can you minister when you can’t understand the lyrics? The music only encourages violent behavior like moshing at concerts. Christian Metal is really the same as secular metal. So it can’t really be…Christian. And there are many bible verses in scripture to back that up. John chapter 17 verse 16; Jesus says, “they (meaning Christians) are not of the world even as I am not of it.” Part of Romans chapter 12 verse 2 reads; “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Now, those who support Christian Metal say; The music ministers to those in the Metal scene, who may never set foot in a church. This is the only ministry they may ever hear! The church can’t relate to Metal-heads, but we can. And Christian Metal can. Music is neutral. It is neither good or bad. But how you use it. The lyrics are positive and Christ-centered. The band members are Christian, indwelled with the Holy Spirit. There music IS of God. And there are many bible verses to support this view. Psalm chapter 98 verse 4; “Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all the earth; make a LOUD NOISE, and rejoice, and sing praise.” And many people would think, Heavy Metal is…noise. Psalm 150 verse 5; Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals.” Regardless of your view, I think both groups have the same goal. To win others for Christ. So that they too may receive the free gift of salvation. Titus chapter 2 verse 11 reads; “For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.” So how do we reconcile this separation within the church? How do we come together on this? We need to stop being selfish. That’s right. Each group pulls out bible verses to support “their” view. And back-and-forth we go, arguing each point. This divides the body of Christ. But no one is asking how God views Christian Metal. And isn’t that what matters anyway? Scripture tells us that God reads our heart. Acts chapter 1 verse 24a; “Lord, you know everyone’s heart.” Romans 10:10a; “For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified,” And 1 Samuel 16 verse 7b; “The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” If God looks at the heart, then shouldn’t we? But how can we know what’s in the heart of a Christian Metal artist? We test their spirit. There is a spirit behind all music. That spirit flows from the heart of the artist into their lyrics, through their music and to the listener. 1 John chapter 4 verses 1 though 3 reads; “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. “This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.” “Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God.” Period! There’s our answer. “Staying in the Word, constantly. “The bible’s not about me. The bible’s not about any of us, um… And that’s something we really try to keep each other accountable to and… not in the sense its like, “Hey did you read your bible today?” You know, its more or less just like leading by example ‘cuz there’s mornings where like…Ya know, Dylan will get up and he reads…he reads the Word. That’s like one of the first things he does. And its a good reminder for anybody else or for me or Nick or Ben or whoever’s doing that kind of stuff. Um, just staying in the Word because again, like the bible’s not about us, its about, its about God. And if there’s anybody who can make clear, uh, to us that life is not about us, its about Him, its our creator. Um. and he does that in His Word. Uh, to show us that everythings all about glorifying the Son. If you hear a Christian Metal band singing about the glory of Jesus Christ Granted, you may have to read the lyrics. You have just identified their heart. And the spirit in which their music is based. A Spirit of God It doesn’t matter what the music sounds like. Matthew chapter 15 verse 18a; “But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart,” And Luke chapter 6 verse 45b; “For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” Read the lyrics. If we can determine what’s in the heart by testing the spirit and listening to what comes out of the mouth of the artists And scripture tells us its from God Aren’t we disobeying God by trying to stop it? 1 Thessalonians chapter 5 verse 19 reads; “Do not quench the Spirit.” Meaning the Holy Spirit. As the Expanded Vine’s Expository Dictionary defines this verse, “Quenching the Holy Spirit by hindering His operations in oral testimony in the church gatherings of believers.” Don’t quench the Spirit. This verse is talking about how arguing amongst ourselves is hindering the work of the Holy Spirit. But the growling! The images! The long hair and the tattoos… Don’t matter. “Being real with God. So many people, and let’s see, uh so many people, so many Christians, so many young Christians, so many people like our age, Um feel like they have to put on some sort of front Feel like they have to, like, be a certain type of person And change, like… Stop! That’s so just… elementary That’s not what God, God, God’s not looking at that shirt. You know, He’s not looking, He’s looking at your heart He’s looking at how you treat others, how you’re loving others How, uh, how you’re giving Him glory and not yourself. You know. And it, it’s just like when we kind of go back to the fundamentals and stuff and just break off that… that whole “religious” sort of attitude of just… you got to follow the ten steps. You got to follow those, this program and then you can go to heaven, and then you can teach people about Jesus. It’s just like, no man! Like… What I want to do is just, I want to break those chains off…that’s Satan. Those, those are lies. And I just want to tell kids, its just like, come to Jesus The rest will just come. And, uh, there’s 9 fruits of the Spirit and so each point is a fruit of the Spirit As Christians we have to consider, that if we think all Heavy Metal is Satan’s music Aren’t we limiting God? Is God so weak that He can’t use Metal for His purposes? And if Metal is from Satan do you really think that Satan would allow glorifying Jesus Christ in the lyrics? Absolutely not. And please realize Christian rockers are part of the body of Christ. But how can a true Christian possibly be involved in such a thing as Heavy Metal? Paul the apostle said it best. 1 Corinthians chapter 9 verses 19 through 23; “Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” You know, this reminds me of the Pharisees of Jesus day. Who wore all the right clothes. Who, said all the right words. Who engaged in all the “right” music. And they disgusted our Lord Jesus Christ. Something to think about. This is Chris with Metal-Cross Thank you for watching.