Ryan Kirby’s New Devotional

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day 17

Foolish Dogma

“Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.”
—Psalm 95:1


“My parents won’t support me because they said metal is devil music.”

I’ve heard this statement uttered by fans more times than I care to count. Oddly, it outnumbers the stories fans tell me of tragedy or mental illness by a good margin. This alone has been difficult to comprehend. Why are hordes of young adults crushed by their parents’ views on a style of music they want to pursue? I believe there’s something important parents forget, especially in how their children’s view of faith is often shaped by their influence. If you’ll remember from earlier devotions, our view of God and personal biases can affect our interpretation of scripture and land us in the realm of foolish dogma as opposed to biblical truth.

Many fans I meet are hungry to play metal music, but their Christian parents remain unsupportive. While their kids see it as an outlet to praise God through their passion, the parents can only hear the screaming or associate the style with the “demonic.” Because their parents remained unmoved, the issues caused in their children can last a lifetime. I’ve seen a lot of depression and mental health issues in fans ranging from teens to older adults because their parents struck down their God-given passions. On one hand, it’s easy to understand a parent not wanting their 15-year-old son to write lyrics with curse words in the middle of a heavy breakdown. But on the other, if they want to write music in a certain style, why would we assume one style is more pleasing to God than another? Isn’t God the author of music and creativity?

Even the organization I’m writing this devotional for—HeartSupport—has caught flack for being Christians and supporting metal music. What they remind people is that there’s no difference between the sacred and secular. Because God created all things, music—by its very nature—is holy. So if God created the universe, then he would have had to create music, right? Thus, what people do with music is up to them. What people do with food is also their decision. They can use it for good, or it can be detrimental. People can use a style of music to build people up, or to tear them down. So when parents believe their children can’t make a joyful noise and shout to God using metal music like the Psalmist proclaims, they’ve wandered into myth. Besides, there’s no such thing as “Christian” music, anyway. Music doesn’t have a soul, so cannot be saved. Only people can. Christian is just a label the same way metal is.

We must also remember God puts desires, gifts, and talents in our hearts. When I was a teenager, I wrote songs I didn’t want to write because I thought the songs I wanted to write would anger my parents. So who was I actually trying to please? God? Or my parents? When the Psalmist says to shout before the Lord and sing, he doesn’t say “but you can only sing hymns.” Nor does he say only rap, pop, or jazz is allowed. He just says to sing and make it joyful before the Lord.

So the next time you hear someone using Jesus as a means to label his creation evil, remind them he created the entire Earth and music. And just maybe he’s using his creation to save people in the metal scene.

Daily reflection

  • Has anyone ever told you something that God would say is good, is actually bad? Examples include sex, food, music, etc. How would God view his creation and how should you—in turn—think about his creation and use it to glorify him?
  • What passions has God laid in your heart? Have you been discouraged to follow them? If so, why and how can you correct that?

[  The Embrace releases November 18th on Amazon  ]