Heavy Metal and the Image of God

Crimson Moonlight concert

A little while ago, I was watching “Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey” on VH1. There’s this guy named Sam Dunn who did a documentary in 2005 on the evolution of heavy metal, based on his research and interviews from artists around the world. I’d already seen it, but it was still interesting the second time around.

Anyway, there was this part where Dunn flew to Norway to talk with some Norwegian Black metal bands. Now, Norwegian Black Metal bands have the reputation of being just plain evil. I know, bands here have been doing that for decades, but these guys are really trying hard, some even to the point of burning down churches and committing murder.  One of the interviews was with this guy (I forgot his name) from Gorgoroth. Sitting at a bar and leaning on his stool with a big glass of wine, he was asked about what inspires him and the band to write and play what they do. Thinking a minute, he grabs his glass, and just before putting it to his lips, calmly says, “Satan”. Now, I’ve seen people who worshiped Satan, and looked into the eyes of the evil…he didn’t resemble any of them. His eyes didn’t show signs of evil, just emptiness, and maybe a bit of held back anger, but nothing violent or psychotic. And when asked, ‘why Satan’, he quietly answered, “Freedom.” Freedom from slavery is their goal.

Now, as Christians, we know that real freedom is only in Christ. But their experience of slavery has been from within the Church, for Catholicism has been forced upon them since childhood. Therefore, since they only know the Church as slavery, it’s no wonder that they see Satan, the opposite of God in their eyes, as freedom.

So look at this…as I’m understanding this (from the documentary), it looks to me like they’re not actually saying so much that they hate God (the real God), but that they hate this God who they’ve learned about, who enslaves them and forced them to worship him…in other words, they’re fighting the system.  But since “the system” there is called “Christianity”, they claim their fight against God, or Christianity. And so if God is the enemy, then how better to fight against Him than to join forces with His enemy (Satan)?

This is simply ingenious on Satan’s part, I’ve got to say. I mean, he’s distorted the image of God and made himself to look like the good guy. We know that God freed us from slavery out of love, but Satan has traded places with God in their eyes, making it look like it was God who impounded them out of pride, and Satan who’s freed them. So now they’re just lashing out against he whom they believe impounded them.

I find this interesting because, even here in America, regular ordinary people have taken on a similar view of God, due to their misunderstandings about Him. Why do you suppose so many atheists are so committed to disprove God’s existence? For if it was just that they didn’t believe, then they would remain quiet. But instead, they feel the need to try to “save” people from our message. I often find a similarity to that of the Norwegian Black metal bands…somewhere they’ve taken up the wrong idea about who God is, the Church, Jesus, and/or Christians (maybe they were mistreated, outcasts, misunderstood, never found Jesus in it, experienced tragedy…), and it’s never been corrected…they’ve never actually met the One and Only True God.

1) So what do you think?  How can Christians help such people see the Truth about who Jesus really is?
2) What are some ways that we as Christians have dropped the ball in this department?
3) How can we as Christians help to correct this?

1 Comment

  1. To answer your questions–pray for the lost (Acts 26:18–“to open their eyes so they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that by faith in Me they may receive forgiveness of sins and a share among those who are sanctified”), because one needs The Holy Spirit to understand spiritual things. Also, some Christians get distracted by political or temporal lifestyle issues while neglecting the urgency and seriousness of letting people know about God’s eternal kingdom, coming soon (John 5:24–“I ASSURE you: ANYONE who hears My word and believes Him who sent Me has eternal life and will not come under judgment but has passed from death to life”).

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