September 5, 2014
The new documentary Holy Ghost partly profiles the faith journeys of Brian “Head” Welch and Reginald “Fieldy” Arvizu of Korn.
I remember when I first got saved and decided that all of the negative music I pumped in my ears had to go. Pantera, NIN, Ministry, Rage Against The Machine, those were pretty easy to give up. But Korn? Korn was MY band. Korn saw me through some rough times. The music allowed me to express frustration, anger, unresolved conflicts within my heart, mind, and soul...almost every emotion. Almost. Blind, Ball Tongue, Got The Life, Freak On A Leash, all of these songs spoke of pain and anger, they resonated inside of me as I looked into my past and present. However, they did nothing to show me hope or love. They didn't bring me peace and plans for my hopes for the future or help figuring out how to heal from the poison that the music (to its credit) DID draw out. Instead of it festering inside of me, the black, sticky, dirty gunk of life was now outside my soul, burning and staining my hands, and I had no idea what to do with it.
That place is my issue with the "Christianity within Korn." How is Christ being spread deeper, farther, and being shouted louder than the lyrics from their song "Good God" which is the fourth track on their "Life Is Peachy" album? How are the songs and the faith working in harmony to bring about building better lives, new disciples, and happier families? This isn't the classic witnessing in a bar among drunks approach...this is smashing up the place with pool sticks, destroying chairs, doing shots off the waitresses stomach and then trying to pray with people after (or before as was stated above) the show type "evangelism." I loved Head's solo albums and thought he had a powerful testimony, but what are his current actions screaming? I am not judging by any means. I am merely very, very puzzled, confused and trying so hard to understand the method in what I perceive to be madness.
In response to the above comment. I to understand the confusion to the obvious regarding Korn and the like. Todd Bentley for another. Totally crazy to me too. But, the conclusion I've come up with is this.. Sin is sin period and we all do plenty of that just living in the flesh, even the most devout christian. (our righteousness are as filthy rags) His blood has done the work, we believers are now covered which means Korn and the like. The life style of this culture of music indeed is contrary to the ways and desires of our holy God. But to me the conversion of these 'kind' of men screams even louder how very merciful and 'tolerant' our God truly is.. I've seen Todd Bentley in person and while his presence screamed rebellion, (tattoos everywhere, nose rings etc.) Holy Spirit moved mightily in that service. (i have come to know His sweet presence 30 yrs later) That being said, I believe the Lord has assigned these men to represent God's love for the lost right where they are! They will listen and take in what 'they' say because they are one of them.. How else can some learn and understand God's love and mercy toward ALL mankind... especially the lost and rebellious? He can work through a donkey why not the 'seemingly' rebellious.. The Lord God will convict these 'young' christians in HIS time.. Until then Holy Spirit is free to move 'through' them. It also reveals to me the battle that's going on behind the scenes in the spirit world. One that is for each one of us.. God uses Satan as a pawn. (a scripture somewhere in Psalms I believe) While Satan thinks he's succeeding, (for a smart being he's really blinded by his desperate mind set to destroy us).. God will turn it all around for His glory in the end. I choose to stay in prayer for these men as they are on the front line in Satan's world. God has taken himself out of this box we've all put Him in over the years and breaking the bonds of religion. Evangelism has definitely taken on a whole new face.. We live in ever more sinister times then in the past. Time is short and God needs ALL kinds of his kids to do His work.. HE will do the convicting and it will come.
Thanks for sharing about your dilemma, Larry. That Korn was YOUR band, resonates with me. I went through a similar experience when I recommitted my life to Christ after many years in a far off country. I'd been a metal fan for years, listening to Def Leppard, Iron Maiden, Dream Theater, Metallica, and Ozzy Osbourne. While all of that stirred something within me, like you, none of it spoke to me of love or hope. So, being in love with Jesus again, I quite suddenly found that most of that music didn't resonate with me anymore. Not that I didn't like the heavy sound; rather it was the ethos of the songs in general. My heart just wasn't into it any more.
Putting this article together, after watching Holy Ghost, I found we generally react with some incredulity when a celebrity comes to Christ. There are several examples from the metal world in addition to Head and Fieldy from Korn: Alice Cooper, Nicko McBrain from Iron Maiden, and Dave Mustaine of Megadeth. None of these "quit the band", so to speak. In Korn, we are confronted with two Christian men determined to bear witness to God's Kingdom among their "people". They are both very plainly the real deal when it comes to their commitment to Jesus and to sharing His love with those they love. Yet, I'm challenged to just trust God that He knows what He's doing with these guys.
Seeming rebelliousness? Sporting the fashion style of an often rebellious type of people is not the same as being rebellious. Tattoos and piercings are not prohibited for Christians or those outside the Jewish law. Of course maintaining gender boundaries is important, and we shouldn't maintain a physical appearance that would harm our ability to serve God and testify (for instance growing my fingernails out 6 inches and not showering), but these guys and their physical styles are actually useful for reaching the people of their environment. Just because they physically resemble some sinful people, they themselves are sinning? Nonsense. Also to claim that they are being worldly by looking like they do or playing heavy music is ridiculous. Being worldly is prioritizing your temporal life and ambitions over your eternal life and ambitions. These men are only being worldly if they are serving themselves in all of this or genuinely breaking God's law in their behavior.
What should concern us is A.) are they genuine in their beliefs and walk with Christ?, B.) are they reaching others for Christ?, and C.) is playing/listening to great music with ungodly content wrong even if you aren't contributing or enjoying any of the ungodly content itself?
Keep in mind they're just playing the instruments, JD is the one who's using all that naughty language. Some concerns could arise because of the fact that maybe they shouldn't be helping the band thrive if that means exposing fans to sinful lyrics, but it honestly looks like their membership in korn is doing more good than harm (assuming it can even be called harm).
Jesus spent time ministering to the women at the well. She'd been through multiple marriages and yet He loved her and offered her living water! He also spent time with Zacheaus amongst countless others. He was indeed a friend of sinners!
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