Dear Mr. Jerry Solomon,
I stumbled across your page when I was looking for a song on the internet, I thought what you noted was extremely biased and unjust. From what I picked up from your page you obviously have a concern for rock music, maybe this email is completely out of no where but I think you are being slightly over the top. I love rock music and I am a Christian, I go to church twice a week every week and my friends at my church love rock too.
Music is just a way of feeling less stressed for me and rock is just a way of getting everything out of my system when I am at home. I think that you should let your daughter decide what music she likes and no offence but I think that what religion she chooses should be up to her. Also many rock bands are Christian based and maybe you should have done a bit more research on “rock music” before you wrote your page for the whole world to see.
Please don’t get me wrong I really don’t want to appear rude I just felt quite offended by what you said about the music I enjoy. Thank you very much for your time and would be interested to hear from you.
Jerry Solomon went home to be with His Lord several years ago so I will answer your questions.
On the one hand I don’t think you read Jerry’s article very carefully. Jerry’s only real problem with rock music was with the frequent anti-biblical message contained in some lyrics. As the quote below makes clear, he emphatically said that there is nothing “evil” in the music itself.
So rock music basically consists of certain instruments– such as guitars, keyboards, and percussion–a particular rhythm, and the human voice. And none of these is evil. People can be evil, and people abuse rock music, just as they abuse all parts of life. Our sin nature is actively involved in desecrating everything.
This desecration can best be seen in the lyrical content of the songs. We have come a long way from the inane “do-wa-diddies” of early rock history. It is at this point that those in the Christian community are challenged the most. The music alone may be of quality, but the message may be totally in opposition to a Christian worldview. A decision is required. Do I continue to listen, even though the message is awful? Or do I decide to reject it because of the message, even though I like the music?
Unfortunately, the well-worn statement, “I only listen to the beat!” is simply not true. If they are honest, most people who have heard a rock song several times can sing the lyrics upon request. When you consider the fact that most popular songs are heard dozens, if not hundreds, of times, it is not difficult to understand how the messages are embedded. The lyrics come through; we can’t escape that. This does not necessarily mean we always listen and think to the point of really considering what the messages have to say, and that is exactly part of the problem. The lyrics can be subtly incorporated into our thoughts simply because we haven’t stopped long enough to sort them out.
Jerry was simply concerned about young people’s willingness to listen without discerning the message they were pumping into their brain. I am 51 and still listen to some rock music from the 60s and 70s. But I listen selectively and know what the biblical messages are and what is clearly antithetical to what I believe. Jerry was simply appealing to others to do likewise.
I’m sorry you were offended but I simply think you misread Jerry’s intent.
On one further note I would respectfully disagree with your statement that children should be free to choose their own religion. On the one hand, of course, children should choose for themselves, but that doesn’t mean, on the other hand, that I leave them completely to their own search for meaning and truth. If I have found the Truth, why wouldn’t I work to persuade them of that same Truth by taking them to church, providing a copy of the Scriptures for them to read, teaching them from the Scriptures at home, and living a holy life before them to deliberately try to influence them? Anything less is unloving and irresponsible.
Ray Bohlin, Ph.D.
© 2005 Probe Ministries