One of the most important issues in every believer’s life, one of the indicators that point to the final resting place of his soul, is the issue of what kind of music he listens to. Is he glorifying God or the devil by what he listens to? Rock music should not even be an option for any Christian because of the physically weakening and soul deadening effects it has on all of its listeners.
Rock music is a broad topic, and there are many types of rock music. But whether you listen to country, acid, punk, or heavy metal you are listening to music that is classified as rock.
Most, if not all, people who listen to rock music would say that you are crazy if you told them that rock had degrading effects on your actual physical body. However, there are some very serious effects that rock music has on the body that many people never consider. Some of these adverse effects on the body come from the noise of rock music. The limit for human ears is ninety decibels of sound, yet the average rock concert is 115 to 125 decibels (Elshout 268). You can imagine, that it has been reported that some people can not hear properly for three days after attending a rock concert. This loud noise at rock concerts is also known to cause hostility, fatigue, indigestion, high blood pressure, and hypertension (Elshout 267).
Another adverse effect of rock music on the body is caused by the bass tones and beat of the music. These bass tones and beat cause the adrenaline and the sex glands to over secrete. Consequently this is why people “head bang,” mosh, and destroy concert arenas, and feelings of lust and sensuality overcome them (Godwin 11).
Furthermore, the body has to re-balance the hormones that have been acted upon. The body draws blood sugar from the brain to re-balance everything, because of this, the brain cannot feed itself and you can lose your self control (Godwin 11).
Dr. John Diamond, a well known Australian physician, has shown another undesirable effect of rock music on its listener’s bodies. Using hundreds of people, he would have them extend their arms and then he would push it down, usually using 40 to 45 pounds of pressure to push the arm down. He would then either tap out the basic rock beat or have the person listen to rock music, when they were listening to the music or beat only 10 to 15 pounds of pressure would be needed to push the arm down. When the music or beat stopped 40 to 45 pounds of pressure would again be needed to push the arm down. More than 90% of people that he tested showed these results (Elshout 267, 268 Godwin 12).
Yet another physical effect of rock music is that of violence. Many of the heavy metal rock groups shout out messages of violence in the lyrics of their songs and perform gruesome acts of violence on stage. Many rock videos are rated extremely violent, and in a study by the American Academy of Pediatrics it was found that 56% of all music videos contained violence (Holmberg 28).
One example of violence in a video being acted out in real life is that of one video produced by a rock group Twisted Sister. In their video, a boy rebels against his father and throws him out the window. A young man in New Mexico murdered his father in a similar way, the murder being reported to have been inspired by Twisted Sister (Bender 124).
Another example of listeners following their star’s examples is when a teenager committed suicide while listening to Ozzy Osbourn’s song, “Suicide Solution” (Lawhead 17).
Accordingly, Dr. David Guttman, a professor of Psychiatry at Northwestern University says, “Rock has so often been involved in these things (violence, teen suicides) many of us in Psychiatry have had to take it more seriously” (Bender 124).
Another obvious and harmful effect of rock music on the body is drugs. It is obvious to see that drugs are an important part in rock music and its followers’ lives by all the songs that are written about drugs and by looking at how many rock stars and their fans are hooked on drugs.
Cris Willman of Entertainment Weekly reports that there has been a steady rise in drug related deaths and near deaths occurring in the rock world (6). When Steven Tyler of Aerosmith was asked if drugs were still a part of the music scene he replied that yes, there were, and eight out of ten rock musicians were using drugs and that “it goes with the territory” (Holmberg 32).
Just a short list of popular musicians recently dying from drug related deaths is: Kurt Cobain (Nirvana), Kristen Pfoff (Hole), Jerry Garcia (Greatful Dead), Shannon Hoon (Blind Mellon), Brad Nowell (Sublime) (William 7).
On another level, rock music also definitely influences the mind. Music has been called the language of man’s emotion: Plato saw this as he stated in three points that 1) Music could strengthen a person, 2) Cause him to lose his mental balance, 3) Cause him to lose his normal will power so that he cannot control his acts. Whether a person is affected positively or negatively depends on what types of music the person listens to (Elshout 266).
Kerry Livgen, a rock performer, admits that people do take what he and other musicians write seriously; many people worship rock bands and the music is the standards by how they live. He also admits that after a while not even the band can control their fans anymore (Bender 124).
One of the rotting effects of rock music on the mind is the lust that all rock music promotes. The way that many rock stars and their fans dress promotes sexual desires, there are also many acts performed on stage by rock musicians that resemble sexual activities. Messages of no remorse or guilt of sex before marriage and free sexual activities are brought forth in the lyrics of many rock songs (Holmberg Video).
Some examples and feelings of rock stars who wish to show sexual messages and feelings in their music are Tina Turner, whose image is that of heavy breathing and sexual lusts, and Madonna whose whole lifestyle is a gross violation of all sexual activities (Godwin 88, 99).
Another sinful effect of rock music on the mind is rebellion. Rebellion is the core of rock music, all the “great” rockers from Elvis to today’s popular rock bands have been a symbol of rebellion (Godwin 24-25).
The lyrics in almost all rock music is to tell listeners to rebel against authority. The spirit of these songs is to defy everyone else and listen and obey yourself alone (Holmberg Video).
Dr. Paul King, professor at University of Tennessee comments on this point. He says that the message of heavy metal music is that there is a higher power in control of this world, and that power is Satan (Holmberg 2930). This message is clear rebellion against God and his power over all.
Tying all of these things together, there is one thing in particular that we should be aware of, that is the effect of this music on children. Dr. L. D. Tashjan says that seven to eight-year-olds who listen to the lyrics of rock music condoning sex, bestiality, and bondage at their impressionable age can seriously warp their minds (Holmberg 28). Following this idea, Dr. Joseph Novella, psychiatrist and director of a drug treatment center in Washington D. C. reports that youngsters who are inclined to drug abuse mainly listen to heavy metal and Satanic music (Bender 124).
There is a whole different type of effect that rock music can have on people, and this is far more important and deadly. It is the spiritual effects of rock music. It is evident that music can have effects on your spiritual life. In the time of Jeremiah the prophet, the Jewish race offered their children alive to their gods while pounding on drums and playing wildly on all kinds of musical instruments (Godwin 9).
It is also clear that rock musicians want to have a spiritual effect on their listeners. In the words of Jimi Hendrix, “We’re making our music into electric church— a new kind of Bible…a Bible you carry in your hearts, one that will give you a physical feeling…. We want them to realize that our music is just as spiritual as going to church” (Godwin 17).
This is obviously not a good kind of spiritual music that Hendrix is talking about, and all through Christians can see that Satan is working in his heart.
This Satan and his religion, Satanism, is at the root of rock ‘n roll in two ways: 1) Rebellion against God and worship of Satan himself. 2) Mock Jesus and the cross and desecrate all things that stand for Christianity (Holmberg video). I have shown before the rebellious spirit of rock ‘n roll and how it evidences itself in the lyrics and lifestyles of its fans. The heavy metal bands come out clearly in their utter hate for all Christianity, especially the cross. Thousands of CD covers, posters and lyrics for songs show the hatred of the cross as they turn it upside down, burn it, break it and mock it. (Holmberg Video).
They show their dedication to Satan and hatred to God in their songs, their performances, and their lifestyles, many things so bad that I don’t dare write them down. One Slayer fan stated, “I hate your God, Jesus Christ; Satan is my Lord. I sacrifice animals to him. My God is Slayer, It’s the words of their music I believe in” (Holmberg video). That in itself is evidence of Satanism in rock music. More proof is a popular musician, Ozzy Osbourn. Some of his songs are titled, “Satan is Lord” and “I love you Devil” (Bender 124). Ozzy says that these titles are just a marketing plan, but who could write songs like that without Satan in his heart?
Heavy metal bands are not the only one to show signs of Satanism in their music. For example Jane’s Addiction has the cover of an album mocking the Trinity with a one man two women group sex situation. One of their songs tells of Jesus lying with his Marys (Holmberg 18).
Also in the realm of spirituality, the music itself comes from evil spiritual activities. The rhythms of rock do the same thing to you as the drumming of Sateria and voodoo, says David Byrne of Rolling Stones (Holmberg 43). We see this to be true in one stunning example. An American missionary took his family to Africa. While they were there his teenage kids played some of their rock music on the radio. Natives came running over to the missionary when they heard this and asked him why he allowed his kids to play voodoo music to call up demons during rituals (Godwin 17).
There is also a Greek god named Pan who has the horns, legs, and ears of a goat and the body of a human. An occultist describes Pan as a principality of Satan appearing at witch coven meetings (Godwin 2-3). Many bands—not always hard rock bands—have Pan as a main theme in their music showing the relationship between rock and the occult. One of the founding members of the Rolling Stones, Brian Jones, went to Morocco, Africa to attend an occult festival dedicated to Pan. Drugs and music were used to summon up demons being worshipped. When Jones came back he had the festival recorded and released on an album called “Brian Jones Presents the Pipes of Pan” (Godwin 3).
Looking at all the evil effects of rock music and the seriousness of the sins against God in rock music you would think that God would have something to say to us about it in His Word. There are many passages in the scripture that warn us about the evils of rock music. We should look at the passages and take heed to them.
Matthew 15: 18 – 19 warns us that all that comes out of our mouths (Talking or singing) is what is really in our hearts as we read, “But these things which precede out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. For out of the heart proceeds evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witnesses, blasphemies.” This passage states all the basic parts that make up rock ‘n roll and tells us that they are evil.
I Timothy 2:16 follows this by warning us to “Shun profane and vain babbling: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.”
Furthermore we are also warned in the Bible about lust, which rock music so openly promotes. Proverbs 6:32 warns, “But whoso committeth adultery with a women lacketh understanding; he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.” In the New Testament Jesus tells us that whoever looketh on a woman to lust after her committeth adultery, so you can be assured that the Devil is using rock music to get us to lust and therefore to destroy our own souls.
The Bible also warns us about the rebellious attitude in rock music. Isaiah tells us that Satan was thrown out of Heaven for rebellion against God (14:12-20), and now he is using rock music to get us to rebel. Accordingly, the Bible warns us against rebellion as Jeremiah tells that those who rebel against the Lord will be cast off the face of the earth (28:16).
The word of God also gives a reason why many rock groups mock Christianity and the cross. I Corinthians 1:18 says, “For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness.” This explains why they mock the cross—to the reprobate who will perish, the cross is foolish.
Finally I Timothy 4:1 says, “Sons shall depart from the faith giving heed to doctrines of the devils.” This warns us that if we continue to listen to the doctrines of the devils in rock music without repenting we will depart from the faith and perish.
Now knowing that there is a great danger in listening to rock music, we should make sure that we and our children and young people especially, don’t listen to it. The first thing that we have to do is look at ourselves. We have to make sure that we are not listening to any type of rock music ourselves. After we do that then we can look at others.
The next thing that we should do (as parents) is to find out if there is a problem of the children listening to rock music. We have to check the stations that their radios are on, look at their CD’s and tapes. We can’t just assume that they are good kids who would never be drawn to rock music. Ephesians 6:4 give the parents the right to look through their kids belongings. It says there that the parents have to nurture children in the admonition of the Lord.
We also have to pray for guidance not to listen to rock music. Prayer is the key in the battle against rock music. Both Ephesians 6:12 and II Corinthians 10:3-6 tell us that all the battles that we fight are spiritual, and we cannot battle in the flesh but we have to battle through prayer.
Another step that we should take in prevention of rock music is to have a heart to heart talk with children about rock music. We can also do this in Sunday School or in Young People’s meetings. We should educate our young people about the evils of rock music and the consequences of it.
Finally, if our children do not listen to our warnings, we have to set punishments for them. We have to make sure that they know that it is a serious offense against God to listen to rock music, and that it has soul damming effects.
Looking at all this, we see all the serious and dangerous effects that rock music has on people physically and spiritually. I pray that all Christians take this to heart and seriously reconsider what they are doing if they have fallen into the sin of listening to rock music. Matthew 3 says that every tree that does not bring forth good fruit is thrown into the fire, let us not bring forth evil fruit and be thrown into everlasting fire by listening to rock music.
Bender, David and Leone. The Mass Media Opposing Viewpoints. Greenhaven Press, St. Paul MN, 1988.
Elshout, B. “Rock Music: Innocent Entertainment of Deadly Poison?” The Banner of Sovereign Grace Truth December 1995: 266-268.
Godwin, Jeff. Dancing with Demons 1988.
Holmberg, Eric. Hells Bells Reel to Real Ministries.
Holmberg, Eric. (Video) Hells Bells Reel to Real Ministries.
Lawhead, Steve. Rock of This Age. InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, IL, 1987
Willman, Cris. “Rock Jund Bond.” Entertainment Weekly 14 June 1996: 6-7.