Saturday, April 28, 2012

Me and the Music

My brother Jim and I got into some Christian hard-core/screamo bands (such as August Burns Red) because of our friend Timmy a year or so ago. I'm not exactly sure why we liked it. I think for me, since I love music, but not allot of music really strikes me as amazing, I admired the screamo stuff since it was different and I consider it to be an art. When I listened to it, it felt like it was expressing what was inside me.  I was kind of an angry 12 year old though, and the angry music probably didn't help much, but I'm thankful now that, being a Christian band, it at least had good lyrics and thought provoking questions that I, as a Christian, would ask my self, and could apply to my life later on.

Ever since I was 12 I've liked sort of deep, dark things. - To an extent. - Make it seem evil and I'm ditching it. Maybe it is just because of my human nature and sin that I like such things, but I can't really get away from what I like. I feel like it's just the way God made me. I think allot about things, and I often look at even simple things on a more long term, spiritual level. I love poetry and it's deeper meanings and imagery and metaphors. I love art work for the same reason, and for other unrelated reasons too, but It's because of the dark kind of reality in music like August Burns Red that I like it.  It often has such hope in it though too, and passion and heart and energy. If it's all just depressing than I can't stand it, but with the hope and the strength in it, it is perfect.
My Favorite ABR Album

What some people classify as "emo music" I enjoy because it energises me. It's like, regardless of the lyrics, the sound always says, "We are all small and weak in this dark world, but we are strong in our own way, and with Christ, and we can be who we are. We don't have to be like the popular stuff. We can be what we want to be, because beneath our black cloths we are full of life and potential." That is just what I hear. There is no doubt that some people hear "I'm rotten. I should die" but I don't get that message from it at all.  It reminds me of how crap I am without God, and it humbles me, and gives me new strength in Christ.

 I get a similar feeling and energy from reading my Bible and spending time with God, so I almost put the two hand in hand some times in my mind. It doesn't seem like it can be that way though, since the "emo music" seems very worldly and evil sometimes. It depends on what music, and what I am choosing to take from the music, of course, but I think I've decided that I can have both Christianity and the "emo" stuff that I like.

 There are only certain parts that I can take from the worldly things I like, as I'm sure is how it goes with anything, not just dark, emo stuff, otherwise it contradicts the Bible and what I believe, but as long as I am willing to ditch all of it, if it were to come to that, in order to still follow Jesus, then it is OK. I have to analyze myself with everything I do, not just with this stuff, but with everything, and figure out what my motives are, because I want to stay in tune with my spiritual walk. I've struggled with this allot before - wondering if I am sinning by liking the things I like, or worrying about having to give it all up and only like hymns and Sunday school books - but lately, as I've been into music again and thinking about it allot, I've been praying that if it is sin that I would have the strength to give it up, or on the flip side, that I'd be able to like what I like but do it in Christ. When I was 12 I didn't care, I was just rebelling, but at 14 it has been a huge concern.

In previous years I've been trying to find out who I am, what makes me me. I was going about it the wrong way though. For a while, when my walk with God wasn't real strong I just broke off and rebelled against really nothing. I just wanted to be a punk. That didn't work out. I got too sad and lost because I wasn't giving any of my time to God. It actually really makes me laugh!  I can just see myself as such a sheep like they always describe in bible class and Sunday school.  Other times I tyred giving up everything that I was actually interested in except for God, but that turned me into an annoyance to everyone else because I was always saying things like "Don't gossip. It's a sin."  That also didn't allow me to grow as a human in my talents and interests.

For a couple years I think it has been back and forth, tug of war between what my flesh likes and what my soul likes.  Since January I think I've been more neutral on what my flesh likes, and that has allowed me to strengthen my walk with God and grow allot as a Christian, but all of a sudden in the time of about five days, I felt like I was being thrust back in time to when I was 12 - liking all the "emo" stuff again.  I hated how easily part of me fell into the temptations that God allowed Satan to put in my head, but I stood pretty strong. My faith and perseverance have gotten better since I was 12, and so has my self esteem. All of a sudden I saw what evil could do in other's lives, and I got a taste of what it might look like to not have Christ.  It scared me!  I was flipping out for like three days!  I thought it was the worst experience my mind would ever go through.

I found myself, not in a tug of war that was slow and moved from flesh back over to spirit in a smooth motion, but a war right before my eyes all at once, truth clashing with lies. I freaked out for a while, talked it out and wrote down my thoughts and prayed, and then I realized that it was no big deal. God is on my side and it's all good. God did, however, use it to show to me what I had been living ignorantly to all my life: that evil is powerful. Thankfully God is even more powerful.

After I passed that, yet another faith test in my life, I still found myself liking the "bad stuff," mainly being a non Christian band called My Chemical Romance. I had fallen in love with it, which is always huge for me, because it's not very often that I find music that I love. I didn't want to give it up. Actually I was very lost on weather I even should or not. The only times I had liked things like it before were times when I had been rebelling against God, so it didn't seem right. I prayed allot about it though, and God helped me to realize that it's not necessarily the music or the style that is bad, it's the reasoning behind it. If I listen to music and try to take away a good message from it, and in doing so I am not running from God, then by all means I can go for it.  That is really what I've been learning the past couple weeks. I have found who I am. I am a Christian, I like the "emo" stuff, and in it all I am an artist! haha!  (I've been thinking about that allot too.)
My Favorite MCR Album
I have been inspired this week too! James,( as in the book of James in the Bible), inspires me, God inspires me, and Gerard Way, the singer for My Chemical Romance, inspires me.  (perhaps I will write about him later.)

I feel really good right now.
Rock on fellow Christians and awesome people!

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