By Joe Florance:
Idle hands are of the Devil, people. They are.
Why do I say this? I'll tell you why. . . .
Due to all the time on my hands, I've hit up YouTube more than normal. Not proud of it. Not ashamed of it. It just is. Typing in "80s Rock" took me down a rabbit hole of memories and discoveries. Big deal, right?
"Don't go digging up the past" was said by someone in something, and that someone was right! If you start digging, then the house of cards that is your life will fall, okay—it will fall!
I grew up, like all of us, with the understanding that there is truth. Sure, we all disagree on some "truths" because they are not truly truths but opinions, right? But what if there is a truth that transcends opinion? It would have to be an actual truth, right? Like true truth, something true even if the whole world says it's not true truth. Truly, this is the truth I have held on to and now—lo now—because of my idleness, I am questioning the very truly true truth that holds together the entire universe.
That truth: ALL CHRISTIAN ROCK SUCKS.
This was the blanket that kept out our fears at night—and still did up to recently—but now, because of idleness, YouTube, and clearly the devil, I'm questioning this universal maxim.
Before diving in, I paused for a moment. I considered deleting this and never speaking of it again. Why pile on and destroy everyone's faith? Why even put the hint of doubt in anyone's head? A selfless, non-narcissist would go through this alone.
That said, my YouTube search brought me to the doorstep of the band STRYPER.
Orange County's own!!!
My wife lived in their neighborhood (no joke)!
She won't stop telling me (and forced me to add this)!
Back to the band . . .
Big hair, falsetto voice, weird, possibly misspelled band name, all of it!
And STRIPES!!!!! Or is it STRYPES??
The Yellow and Black Attack!!!!!!
Check out these killer outfits!!!
Just looking at Stryper next to similar bands in this genre-—Twisted Sister, Ratt, Poison, Motley Crüe, KISS—they fit in. The "Look" box is checked!
Are they Christian? Well, they threw Bibles into the crowd during concerts! Hurling Bibles into the crowd . . . that's got to hurt, right? Even a paperback! C'mon, Stryper!
They also had an anti-666 logo and derived their band name from a Bible verse.
The "Christian" box is checked!
What about the "Not Sucking" box?
NO! They have to suck! Remember: ALL CHRISTIAN ROCK SUCKS.
I was tempted beyond what I could bear, so I clicked on the video for the Stryper song "Calling on You," the third song off the multi-platinum album To Hell with the Devil. Give it a listen, if you dare.
I did, and after a few seconds I knew I was changed forever. That's all it took. My ears heard the truth, and I cannot live this lie any more. My conversion is complete.
NOT ALL CHRISTIAN ROCK SUCKS.
I can't totally explain it. I wouldn't say there was a feeling, but I felt something, ya feel me? I'm just different now.
Oh, but don't worry, PLENTY OF CHRISTIAN ROCK STILL SUCKS.
But now that my ears had opened, I thought maybe I should give other groups a listen. Wouldn't that be the right thing to do?
Remember these bands???
King's X (from the early 90's)—their song "Black Flag" is awesome!
P.O.D. f(rom 2001)—their song "Alive" is killer! What about "Boom"? Another great song!
Growing up, I never listened to the well-known Christian rock band Petra, but after giving them a thorough listen, I reached a conclusion: they are clearly great musicians with great rock hits in this genre!
Now if you leave the rock genre, there are a number of legit Christian bands, such as:
Switchfoot—listen to "Meant to Live" and "Dare You to Move."
Jars of Clay—listen to "Love Song for a Savior"—I know the title may be too "Christiany" for some, but don't let that stop you. It's about the music, and your ears will recognize that it is good and pleasing.
And there are tons of Christians who are very talented musicians and whose bands may not be called "Christian" per se. I surprised myself by very quickly finding Christian rock and music that I liked. Reverse is not a bad direction. The truth in this arena is very subjective, and we don't have to all agree on something for it to be truly, true truth, right?
I was holding on to something from the past to feel safe in the present. No more, baby!
I un-learned something today and will continue to knock over my house of cards!
The new best truth for today: NOT ALL CHRISTIAN ROCK SUCKS.
Joe Florance owns and operates Circle of 10 Talent.
He encourages people to pursue their dreams, and helping them do that fulfills his own.