Strange Confessions: Destroying My Music

Strange Confessions: I’ve sold or destroyed my Iron Maiden collection several times over the years since I’ve been a Christian because I believed it was an evil influence for me.

Since then I always argue for them, that they are the most misunderstood band ever. I mean take a look at these album covers:

I mean, how did I get away with having this stuff in our house when I was younger? I don’t think my Mom or Dad came in my room while I was listening to my music, to check things out, to see if everything was okay. I, as a parent now, would never not know what my child was listening to.  The things I disapprove my children listening to is Mark Schultz. So why do I argue for Iron Maiden? Because many things I became interested in, in history, mythology, literature, science fiction and British pop-culture, came directly from their songs. They even played songs directly from the Bible. And the songs that did have a bad message or theme, which were few, I didn’t like anyway. I was in High School during the high popularity of the worst themed music ever: Glam Rock. Now take this next album cover for instance:

My older brother owned this piece of garbage.

If I had a son and he was bringing this into the house, then I’d be worried. These Glam Rockers and their ilk, sang about partying, women and their own stupid music. I stayed away from that stuff. Sure there were a couple that made it to my fave list then, some early RATT, a bit of Great White, a sprinkling of Autograph. But, most of it just made me sick. Give me Ritchie Blackmore’s Rainbow, or Judas Priest, or Anthrax, or Grim Reaper, or early Metallica, or my favorite, and still is, Iron Maiden. So why did I sell or destroy my collections? I suppose I fell into some early legalism. I looked at the covers and thought that it wasn’t the kind of stuff a Christian should own. So I sold all my albums or gave them away. Years later, after my wife and I had kids, we joined the Columbia House Club thing, and I got all the Iron Maiden I loved back then, and then some. I still remember sitting at work, looking at the album covers once again, and thinking I don’t want my kids to be swayed by this stuff, or to think that it is okay for a Christian father to own this. I took the CDs in my hand and smashed them on the corner of my desk, breaking them all to pieces, so that I wouldn’t have any reason to keep the cases around. I still regret doing that.

Did you know that one of the members of Iron Maiden is a true Christian? Yep, Nicko McBrain, the self confessed ugly one of the group is a Christian. That’s all right isn’t it? To still like a secular heavy metal band because their drummer is a walking, talking Christian.

You know, it makes me laugh when I hear people say something like, “Did you know [famous person] is a Christian?” and with awe, the answer comes through all breathy, “Really? How wonderful.” And then they are lauded in the Christian community as someone to be upheld, someone to look to.

Yes, that is great and all, but we look up to them almost in an Idolic way. (Is that even a word, “Idolic”). Then they fall from their lofty perch and we say that of course they were never a Christian in the first place. How could that happen to them? If they really were a Christian. I do look up to Nicko though, and even more now that I’ve gotten rid of a lot of the residual legalism that I have been clinging to. But not as an Idol, not as someone to emulate. That role, that right is held solely by my savior Jesus Christ. Now if people are following Him, I will want to follow their example, but it is still Christ who I am upholding, right?

I’ve told my Satanist friend that it is easy to be a Satanist, it’s all about you. When you’re a Christian it’s all about Christ, and it is one of the hardest things to do in this world: to deny your self. These men and women who are in the spotlight are held to such high standards, especially when they claim some form of Christianity or other, they are bound to fail.

I see all these people I idolized when I was younger, now trying to live a life they are still trying to understand, because of all they have been through, but go forward, toward Christ, and I am amazed that they are still going. I admire them for their ability to still make great music and not necessarily have to be a or in a “Christian” band.

I was at the used bookstore the other day and saw this book. It looked very interesting and I almost bought it. I thought, what should I care about what these people believe, when I need to be focusing on what I believe and my relationship with Him. But does our understanding grow when we know the thoughts from those who believe and don’t believe? Why should we care? Are we going to say, guess what so-and-so said about God? Are we? I might. In fact I have. But, why?

I’ll leave you with a band that had one of the worst reputations from that era, my era, who now claims to be Christian. He won’t sing what was his most popular song back then, because of its horrid theme. But, I sure do love this song, and it’s biblical! Who cares? I do…


Should I Stay or Should I Go? A Christian in a Heavy Metal band? (long article).

Posted on October 23, 2013, in Strange Confessions and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. OK there are Christian heavy metal bands, I will pass along a few for your enjoyment. Check out the tunes from Red, and Demon Hunter for starters.

  2. Cool, thanks for visiting my blog. I’ve heard of Demon Hunter but not Red. I think that type of music for me now is just a bit of nostalgia. So, newer heavy metal is harder for me to get into. My tastes are very ecclectic. A lot of the new stuff I like leans toward the techno or alt or steam punk. There will always be a place in my heart for the music that brought me through my high school years though.

  3. If you look into where they get their ideas from,then I will say keep listening to Iron Maiden. I actually explain why I find no problem liking Iron Maiden and being a Christian in the pages of Confessional. When you look into where they get it from, you could actually build a library of books on their inspiration.

    • I do keep listening to Iron Maiden. This was years ago, and I probably was fairly legalistic back then. And, I totally agree with your final statement. In fact there are libraries of books that their lyrics are based on. Thanks for visiting.

      • Hey man — thank you for replying. I disprove the legalistic types because of heavy metal music, I have a career as an author and publisher. I recommend a book for you, my memoir. I actually challenge white haired zealots or people in our generation acting like them to sit down and read Poe, Lovecraft, Matheson, and Cormier. Richard Matheson has a unique perspective on Generation X.

  1. Pingback: The Ice Bucket Challenge and the Cynic | Stranger in Rebellion

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