Are You Really A Christian? (Todd Freil Explains)

        Are You Really A Christian? (Todd Freil Explains)

        It is my belief that the majority of the evangelical Christian church in the world, and mainly in the United States are living with a false conversion that in no way has saved them from their sins. This false conversion has left such church goers on a one way road to Hell. This is a serious issue, as many of these self-proclaiming “christians” have no understanding of the true gospel. This is a terrible thing. If you want to truly know if you are a Christian, Todd Freil the radio host of Wretched Radio has some points to go over. Take a listen and check it out for yourself to evaluate your own faith! Don’t wait around, you never know when your life will be taken away.

Click below for the link to a special sermon in mp3 format:

Or you can just go to and click on the link on the lower right corner for the same sermon.

        Start the New Year off right and evaluate your faith and make the choice to follow God and dwell on Eternity and live strictly for Jesus Christ! Have a greatly fun, and safe New Year’s Eve!

        ****I listen to Wretched Radio almost every day! Check it out on Serius 161 or XM radio (channel I do not know). Or you can simply go to the website above and listen on the internet every day! The show starts at 12:00pm pacific time. You will learn a lot about the state of Christianity, theology, and evangelism tactics. Todd Freil is highly entertaining as well!****

Christian Bookstore Faith

       Christian Bookstore Faith

        Ever notice today how many people in churches are basing their theology not really on what the Bible says, but rather mostly on what the books in Christian bookstores say? This is the case today as the trends of bookstore faith promote all kinds of authors who mostly teach false doctrines, or things certain biblical passages never intended to teach. Exegesis of the Scriptures is no longer necessary when you can base your faith on your feelings such as the emotional goosbumps that many “christian” authors promote today. Christianity has become a series of self-help books based on psychology and philosophy and not hard doctrines of true Christian theology that comes from the Bible. The emergent church understands the influence of books and media and has made quite a lot of money and gained an extreme influence on practically all evangelical churches today. They are responsible for influencing the youth of many churches which in turn split churches, or completely change them. A Southern Bookstore by Eexlebots.

        A church can have correct doctrines and promote true biblical faith, but once the youth, or young adults, gets a hold of a trendy author’s book that has a really “hip” book title with equally “hip” cover art they go crazy. The youth pastor jumps on the trend and starts promoting things such as spiritual disciplines that are not found in the bible, contemplative prayer, listening prayer, speaking in unintelligble tongues, and more nonsense. The charismatic movement has made huge inroads into cessationist churches with reformed theology to create the “reformed charismatic.” Theology is in chaos as virtually no one questions anyone. Most people are afraid because of the ridicule or disdain people will have for them if they stand up for the true faith. One problem is that people are not reading their Bibles very often on their own, but are reading books from Christian bookstores instead. People want gratification and fulfillment right now, not later. Feel good stories and ideas give people happy feelings. But these feelings are short lived until the next ultra-hipster book is written and published. No one is content with just the Bible anymore with a little extra study and research on the biblical contexts. Beware that even YOUR church can become corrupted with deceptive and destructive heresies. They seep in like unnoticable mold in the cracks of the church walls breaking them down over time unkept. These wolves in sheeps clothing virtually go unnoticed for long lengths of time as they build upon false doctrines mixed with sprinkles of truth to hide their true intention. They bring up nice ideas and arguments that sound more ethical than traditional church doctrine when in reality they are not.  Such fancy looking “christian” books that are written every other month are replacing regular bible studies with book discussions. It is time to stand up and always contend for the faith as the Apostles proclaimed throughout the New Testament. These false gospels are no gospel at all.

Christian Fiction by blmurch.        American churches are the highlight of new trends. Even fiction stories written by self-proclaimed “christian” authors have influenced church theologies. This can currently be seen in the popularity of the extremely heretical book “The Shack” written by William P. Young. Every church trend that happens in the United States is spread throughout the world through the internet, Amercian missionaries trained in terrible theology, and nationals visiting our country who go back to their native land and teach such terrible theology. God is definately going to judge the United States for its failure to obey God and His Word. Our nation is responsible for most of the heresy today. And yes other countries are helping as well like in Europe and in Asia (most notably Korean churches).         

        Sadly, society has influenced the church, rather than the church influencing society. This is the state of Christian culture and we need to stand our ground and individually fight hard battles against heresy, and be willing to make personal sacrifices and suffer rejection and loneliness. The Old Testament prophets for the most part lived in such circumstances. Jeremiah had no friends, but Baruch his scribe and a Cushite who helped him out of a well the Jews threw him in. The rest of society hated him and wanted to kill him. Even his own family disowned him! This is the sacrifice Christians must be willing to take to stand for the true God! Christians should not be cowards.

        God is our reward and this life is temporary. We should live it to serve Him and battle spiritually against the dark forces of this world that have so easily infiltrated our churches. Christianity was never meant to be its own subculture based on bookstore-corperate megachurch faith. We are simply Christians, and as different our cultures and personalities, we still hold to one true biblically centered faith. Stop buying into the latest trends and get back to the Bible!


Visiting Wat Thai Buddhist Temple in North Hollywood in 2006

All information in this article is from Thai American informants as well as some extra research I did. More information about Wat Thai of Los Angeles can be found at this link: All photos are by me.  

Visiting Wat Thai Buddhist Temple in North Hollywood in 2006

        Back in the summer of 2006 I was dating a Thai American girl and she invited me to her church, Grace Community Fellowship in Santa Clarita. Her church is next to North Hollywood and just down the road is Wat Thai of Los Angeles, a Buddhist temple of the Theravada sect of Buddhism. After the worship service at Grace Community Church that Sunday we decided to go check out the Thai temple. It looked interesting and the girl I was dating wanted to teach me about her culture and show me the religion that many people in her ancestor’s country follow. We could also eat lunch there as they sell food.  

        When we showed up the Buddhist scriptures were being read out loud in the soft, musical and tonal, Thai language. It sounded very interesting and calming. All of the local Thais present were sitting on their knees, with their feet out to one side. In Thai culture it is considered an insult to let the sole of one’s foot point towards any person. So they always make sure they take their shoes off when entering spiritual or “holy” ground as the shoes carry the dirt of the earth and can cause defilement. When Thais sit they make sure their feet are not pointing at another person. When I went inside I took off my shoes and sat on my knees with my feet pointing away from people as best as I could and listened. The people were praying and bowing to the Buddhist teachers to receive blessings and focus on the words from the Buddhist scriptures. The Monks wore bright orange flowing robes and had shaved heads. They sat cross legged on small pedestals or a stage as they folded their hands in prayer. The microphone was given to the monks who were reading out loud.

Monks walking to prayer

        When I walked into the worship room for the temple there were many idols of Buddhas. One was a large gold colored statue. I am not sure if it was literally made out of gold, but it is possible. There were smaller Buddhas as well made out of different things like jade and shiny metals. Some of the statues were gold forms of the human teachers that run the temple. So some Buddhist teachers who gain high levels in their spirituality are worshipped and have idols created for themselves in their likeness. There are also many different forms of Buddha statues outside as well one can walk up to and pray to. Each statue is at a different station decorated with beautiful stones, jewels, gold/silver/and other precious metals, and jade.        

Inside Wat Thai Buddhist Temple

        Wat Temple has a small, but decent market outside with food stalls every Sunday. They sell all kinds of fruits and delicious Thai food. It is all very cheap and it’s fun to try all of the different kinds of food present. To buy food we had to convert our money into temple money, which were small tokens used to buy everything there. I think Wat Temple is a great place to hang out and have some delicious Thai snacks at a really cheap price. It is also great to experience another people’s culture. The temple is a cultural center for Thai Americans as even Thai dance lessons, language and other cultural things are taught there.  After our temple visit inside, we had a nice time of fellowship outside as my grilfriend’s mother and her friend told me about Thailand, the culture and other interesting things. All of the Thais eating around us were speaking in the musical, soft language of Thai. The only other white people around me were the 2 other guys with their wives. Interesting. This experience gave me a deeper knowledge of Buddhism and Thai culture.

        Buddhists, like Hindus, believe in the cycle of reincarnation. They believe that there is an endless cycle of rebirth in all creatures, and that the universe creates and recreates itself millions of times every fraction of a second. In fact, each Buddha is considered a reincarnated form of the original Buddha who was a human teacher. Jesus Christ is even considered just another form of the incarnation of Buddha in history. Therevada (Thai Buddhism) does not believe in a creator or a supreme God. Instead, everything is eternally existing in the cycle of rebirth. Some Therevada Buddhists believe it to be irrelevent wether or not there is a Creator being and it is futile to focus on sucha being. It is not something they think about. Instead, it is about human enlightenment and focus on the self. Other beliefs about the universe in Buddhism are that “Phenomena exist ‘objectively,’ but there are worlds and beings beyond the normal experience” (The Encyclopedia of World Faiths, 1989, p. 228). The ideas of spirits, ghosts, and deities exist. “In Buddhism there are five states of existences, the good states of deity and humanity and the evil states of animal, hungry ghost (Preta), and denizen of hell” (The Perennial Dictionary of World Religions, 1981, p. 126).

Monks walking between the giant guardians of the temple

        When viewing this as a Christian it is easy to see the forms of idolatry: idol worship and the worship of a false idea of God or non-gods who are enlightened humans; and works based salvation. There is no emphasis on absolute truth, as anything can be true for oneself. Buddhism is a very personal belief system for the individual to decide. Even so, it is all about work and discipline from the self that will earn points or karma that helps a person become enlightened which will let them escape reincarnation. Karma is a word that means “deed” or “action” and positive results are dispensed out when one practices good karma. Other sects of Buddhism believe that the supreme god gives out, or other lesser gods working together with an enlightened teacher dispenses out the fruits of karma. Good results when a person earns it by their own actions. These fruits that result from good karma are not freely given. On the other hand, the Thai Buddhists in the Therevada sect believe that the natural laws of cause and effect are what results in good or bad karma. Nonetheless, there is no help from God to make the first move in order to bring someone into salvation to draw the person to Himself. It is by a person’s own merit the brings it. Buddhism is a  religion of the self where inner focus is the sole purpose of one’s life so that they can bring themselves into salvation from the cycle of reincarnation. This is actually a selfish concept in reality.

        Buddha, who’s name was Siddhārtha Gautama and was a Hindu noble, was born in Nepal and he traveled to India where he originated his idea of Buddhism. The word Buddha is a title for a person that means “awakened one” or “enlightened one.” So Gautama was the 29th enlightened person who escaped reincarnation. There were 28 Buddhas before him according to Therevada beliefs. From there the religion spread out in one form or another all throughout Asia. Buddhists of South Asia, especially Thailand, tend to follow the Theravada sect which is the world’s oldest sect of Buddhism. The Columbia Encyclopedia describes Buddhist doctrine as the following:

“The basic doctrines of early Buddhism, which remain common to all Buddhism, include the “four noble truths” : existence is suffering (dukhka); suffering has a cause, namely craving and attachment (trishna); there is a cessation of suffering, which is nirvana; and there is a path to the cessation of suffering, the “eightfold path” of right views, right resolve, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, and right concentration. Buddhism characteristically describes reality in terms of process and relation rather than entity or substance” (

So it can be understood that the goal of Buddhism is to change how one relates to the world. Sire (1997) states, “Buddhism shares many of the features of Hinduism but differs with it at a key point—the nature of ultimate reality” (p. 121). According to Buddhism we are all one and everything is united together to form one ultimate reality; which can be considered god. Realizing this is done by giving up desire and meditating for long hours to reach the next levels of Buddhism. Depriving oneself of all forms of desire and pelasure is the goal. This causes suffering, but then the suffering ceases that brings one into the right mindset. Chants are done as well from Buddhist scriptures and other sayings from the past teachers. Eventually the Buddhist will reach their idea of god, which is nirvana, the state of unity with the oneness of energy. God to them is in everything so this is a pantheistic, monistic, form of religion. Even so, some Buddhists in the Mahayana sect worship the Buddha as god and call him lord. The Perennial Dictionary of World Religions states,

“In Mahayana Buddhism [there is the idea] of an eternal Buddha who embodies the absolute truth…the Lotus Sutra teaches that Buddha has lived since the beginningless time and will live for countless ages in the future…[he] manifests himself from time to time as an earthly Buddha to live and work among men” (p. 129).

Guatama never commanded in writng for himself to be worshiped as most Buddhist sympathizers will point out, but it does not mean that he rejected it, or that he did not desire people to worship him. Since all is one and one is all part of the ultimate reality it means that everyone is god and it is okay to worship them. Some teachers are literally worshipped today as well as can be seen by the idols of teachers in the Wat Thai Buddhist Temple in North Hollywood. To become spiritually powerful one has to follow all of the hard disciplines of Buddhism.

        Escaping reincanration is not an easy task as it can take many lifetimes to master. If a person is bad in this life he will be reborn later as a lower form of entity such as an animal. Over time through intense religious discipline a soul can reach nirvana and escape reincarnation. Some can become Buddhas themselves. Buddhism is a hard religion to understand as there is no focus on absolute truth, so knowing the rules exactly is difficult. Buddhism claims to not be a judgmental religion, but in reality it creates peitistic religious practitioners called monks who live a monastic and “holy” life through their own work to reach ultimate reality. In this way judgmental attitudes of self-righteousness are born. If one does not do such regorous discipline —following all the rules, completing all the rituals and acting in all the correctly moral ways—they are not considered as holy and lack the karma points to get them to the next level.

        It is my opinion that Thai people and Thai Buddhists themselves are very kind, and loving people. They are full of respect, and courtesy. The Buddhists were hospitable and allowed me as a foreigner to enjoy their temple grounds. My Christian, Thai, American girlfriend at the time, and her Christian mother and her friend were wonderful people who helped me learn about Thai culture as well. Even so, Thai Buddhists, or any unbelieving Thai is in need of God’s salvation. No man can gain his own righteousness as all men have sinned (Romans 3:23).

Standing outside the Temple with my ex

        In reality, Buddhists are not worshiping the true God, but instead have created their own personal idea of what God is. There is no true salvation through self-discipline acquired by the self. Only God gives people the conviction of truth that saves them through His grace. There is no God, but the Lord which is found through the Christian Bible. The truth is that no one seeks after God as it says in Romans 3:10-11, “There is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, there is no one who seeks God.” There is no possible way a man is saved without the forgiveness of sins through Jesus Christ. God loves sinners first and brings them into conviction by the Holy Spirit. Focusing on the inner-self is futile as man’s heart is exceedingly wicked (Jeremiah 17:9). Only God gives a human the power of self-discipline to avoid sin and seek a holy life. The result of salvation pushes a human to have a Holy Spirit acquired desire to live righteousnly and pelase God. Man on His own cannot possibly please God or earn points to escape the flesh, such as what is taught about karma.

        Many Buddhists have no concern with converting anyone to their religion, and many are cultural Buddhists whom are Buddhists in name only, and not by religious practice. The way to evangelize any Buddhist is to get them to see their own human depravity. The only faith that promises salvation through God alone and forgiveness of sins is Christianity. Christianity is not only a gospel of grace, but is a gospel of justice. Christianity punishes evil; that is why Christ died for our sins, to punish the evil we committed and it will be destroyed. God punishes sin and will judge all men after death. There is no such thing as reincarnation as it says in Hebrews 9:27 that “it is appointed for people to die once—and after this, judgment.” With Buddhism there is no end to the cycle of sin and corruption, it is simply just reborn into an animal form where one has to earn good points to get back up the level to human and thus, eventually to Buddha status if even possible. Also, the universe is recreated by itself all the time and the cycle of reincarnation with the sins in the world are just reborn. With Jesus Christ, we have freedom and purity with salvation! Buddhists will only come to salvation by focusing on the true God, not the self. This can only happen if they understand the nature of the self, that it is depraved and there is no way out. Only through the forgiveness of sins by the true God; our savior Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13) can humans be enlightened and escape the cycle of sin we live in. 


        (1989). The Encyclopedia of World Faiths. Facts on File: New York, NY.

        (1981). The Perennial Dictionary of World Religions. Harper Collins: New
                              York, NY.

        Yahoo Columbia Encyclopedia. (2006). Retrieved November, 17,     
                    2009 from

        Sire, J. (1997). The Universe Next Door. Downers Grove, IL: 
                     InterVarsity Press.

The State of Christianity is Dying

       The State of Christianity is Dying

        If any discerning believer takes a look at the Church today they can see the many problems that have developed over the ages that have been causing the downfall of the Christian church. Faith is becomming less and less. We are living in dangerous times and I feel sooner than later the Antichrist will appear. There have been many “antichrists” already of course as it says in 1 John, and there are still some today. Most noteable are the “really cool, hip pastors with really neet stories and jokes who wear cool glasses and jeans and reek of postmodernism.” Beware my fellow Christians of who is in your church! Even youth pastor’s have been known to set individual churches against itself through the power of youth in numbers.

        John MacArthur says it best in a sermon of his about this very issue:

“It seems to me that if any one problem outstrips all of the others in the church today, it is the utter lack of spiritual discernment (which is the ability to discern truth from error regarding God and the things of God.) The church today has boudles credulity (..they’ll believer virtually anything). And the result is, the modern Christian church is filled with bad decisions, faulty reasoning, superficial understanding, shallow knowledge and widespread ignorance. Collectively, those things have added more anguish to the church throughout her history, than all of the persecutions combined. Jesus said that wolves would come in sheep’s clothing.” The Apostle Paul said “grievous wolves will enter in, not sparing the flock.” Paul wrote to Timothy and said as time goes on “evil men will get worse and worse, and deceptions will increase.” Paul again said, “There will be doctrines of demons that will lead people astray.” To put it mildly, there is a world of chaos and confusion in the church today. We cannot, therefore, believe for a moment that everyone who claims to be “in Christ” and claims to “speak on behalf of Christ” is speaking the truth. Distinguishing between truth and error has become vital to the 21st century Christian. Yet, despite that, there is a greater than ever lack of discernment in the church today. And it is showing up in all kinds of different ways. The undiscerning contemporary church, for example, has often rejected Darwin and Huxley and accepted Freud. It has often rejected doctrine and favored the embraced so-called “unity in our relationships” …as if that were the priority. It has become fascinated with entertainment and bored with exposition. It has been enamored with feelings, and undervalued clear thinking. As a result, evangelical Christianity …and listen to this… is fighting for its very life. I’ll say it again. As a result, evangelical Christianity is fighting for its very life. And our time cries out for people with discernment… with the ability to tell the false from the true.”
He goes on to say further,

“Anything other than the truth…Any ideology, any philosophy, any theory, any viewpoint, any religion…other than the truth is DEMONIC.”

I could not have said it better. Hold to the Bible for all of your beliefs and be wary! Search the Scriptures daily! Be willing to stand up and fight against heresy in your own church. If something does not sound right, it probably isn’t. So bring it up. Protect the faith and your fellow church bretheren.

We Are Christians!

        We Are Christians!

        As one looks around on facebook, and other social networking sites, they can see what religion people call themselves. It seems like all the Christian college kids, and many of the so called “evangelicals” today think it’s really witty and smart to use terms such as “Jesus follower”, “Christ follower”, “Child of God,” “Daddy’s Girl” and other nonsense. Why are people so ashamed to just say “CHRISTIAN”? Acts 11:26 says that we “were first called Christians at Antioch” when Paul and the rest of the Apostles were preaching everywhere. This is who we are!

        Is it somehow cooler to say Jesus Follower instead? It seems pretty pretentious. Are we so postmodern now and enlightened that we “follow the WAY of Jesus” now instead of the Bible? This tactic of using other terms for the body of Christ are none other than a way to mash up doctrine, theology, and mix other false religions into one. This is the way the postmodern church is heading in order to create a false unity that does not include biblical Christianity. People would rather contextualize their idea of the Bible to fit a culture, or false religion so they can feel satisfied that people are now saved. In reality, a culture and a false religion should be contextualized to fit Scripture!

        Another term these types use are about the lost. The terms “the unchurched,” or “seekers” are used to describe people dead in their sins. Postmodern church people think it’s not politically correct to say sinner or lost soul anymore. This is because it might hurt someone’s feelings. Well, the truth hurts doesn’t it? Taking away such Biblical terms like “sinner” and “Christian” are just ways to avoid real truth and produces false evangelism.

        These politically correct, “non-judgmental” terms are just going to create more delusional people who don’t realize that they need to repent of their sins and get saved. It seems like Rick Warren and his “market” driven shopping mall Christianity has taken over.

        Christians, get real and be BIBLICAL CHRISTIANS. Evangelize SINNERS who have LOST SOULS who are headed to Hell! Don’t leave them in their sins as a means to not hurt someone’s feelngs! Be honest like Jesus was when He said that God is “the One to fear: Fear Him who has authority to throw people into hell after death. Yes, I say to you, this is the One to fear!” Luke 12:5.

        Remember the evil you once were a part of and the pit of despair God pulled you out of in His love! You had to “repent and believe” as John the Baptist yelled out in the wilderness! Do not give people false security, and a false conversion. Do not be ashamed to speak the gospel!

Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes.”

Hardcore Culture: Punk Rock Life, Heavy Metal Way, Hardcore!

Hardcore Culture: Punk Rock Life, Heavy Metal Way, Hardcore!

Me screaming in Ninja Death Clan (Eugene, Oregon 2000)

        During my life I have had all kinds of experiences and many of them painful. I was angry and full of rage and hate towards life and society and the world. Part of it was justified, but it became something terrible inside of me. I found hardcore music and learned coping strategies. The early part of my life as a late teenager was spent playing in a grindcore band called Ninja Death Clan, and going to shows of all kinds of heavy music. I was a thrasher, a punk, a hardcore kid, a metal head, and the like. I was also a skateboarder. The music pointed me to a way of life that gave me meaning. Despite some of the negative aspects, it helped me find myself and has influenced my character and who I am today. I still consider myself Hardcore to this day. A few people can relate to such a thing; more so are the people who claim they can relate but really were never a part.

        The history of music that is heavy, fast, and loud can be seen as developing in the year 1977 when punk rock was born. Bands like The Sex Pistols, Crass, and The Ramones led the start of the way up to the various genres of punk we now call:

hardcore punk, grindcore, crust, thrash, and the big influence of heavy metal bands: death metal, black metal, grind metal, to noise bands and powerviolence, doom and dirge music. These have all morphed together the many genres and hybrid genres of hard music.

Through this music subculture has come many different styles and beliefs. They all point to a similar way of life in each individual: We will not back down, we will not give up, we do not care, this is who we are, we hate society because society hates us. There are a veriety of life styles and beliefs in the punk and metal scenes but each has a similar attitude of anger, non-conformity, and perseverance. I was a very angery person and this music spoke to me.  

Seventh Star at Facedown Fest '07

    In the beginning of the heavy and fast music scenes were the anti-social attitudes of the early punks. It was steeped in nihilism with no hope or care about existence. Drugs were prevelant (in many cases they still are), and all kinds of free sexual behavior came about. The ironic thing is the punk movement was a violent reaction to the hypocrisy and failing of parents from the free-love hippy drug subcultures of the 1960’s-70’s. It was a necessary next step to be real and progress from the downfalls that era brought yet has regressed back into the same attitudes; just with anger sprinkled on top. With darwinian concepts taught in schools and the rejection of religion, youth culture became a godless bunch of wild kids who did as they pleased.

        As a child I grew up in the 80’s. I would see many punks downtown in Eugene, Oregon walking around with their huge mohawks and spiked clothes with patches, chains, and leather. I was very impressed and wanted to be like them because I thought that punk rockers were the epitome of toughness. Skinheads were also on the rise as the big trend of skinhead oi music traveled to the United States from the United Kingdom. Unfortunately the neo-nazi movement adopted this culture and look and spread their racial hatred across the country. Currently this has virtually died out and has become a very low population of White Power skinheads (all though many people want to believe it is bigger than it really is in order to find reasons to beat other people up.) The racism that was so popular was the next logical step due to nihilistic and darwinian beliefs of natural selection. “We all developed from monkeys and life has no meaning.” The early punk movement was predominantly white, and punks did not care about other people. Punks also enjoyed intimidating people and even wore swastikas to scare people. This originally had no racial implications, but was just to instil confusion and fear. It was not exactly a racist statement, but the Nationalist Socialists took advantage of this. Even so punk was mainly indifference to others with an extreme disdain for political correctness. They were just a bunch of angry white kids. It was anti-social and extreme with blunt behavior. Eventually other racial groups got involved such as hispanics such as the thrash punk band Suicidal Tendencies. There was also a  thriving Japanese hardcore punk scene.  Hardcore has gone world-wide as even third world counties have punks and metalheads. Every ethnicity has punk rockers today. When the hardcore movement eventually spread all over the world it ironically took a step back and re-adopted the hippy/pc politics and beliefs of their parents. The postmodern power of the age has now made the hardcore punk scene full of far-left liberals who hate religion (especially Christianity) and the United States. Anarchy is screamed through the PA systems on dirty old microphones inside small basements, houses, and concert venues. Anarchy in the early years of punk was total chaos and anti-society. Now anarchy has become its own political idea with order and rules, and the influence of veganism and animal liberation with no concern for aborted babies is prevelent. An interesting aspect of punk and heavy metal is the fact it was in-your-face and full of shock value. I would know as my band Ninja Death Clan created a lot of shock as I would purposefully puke on stage during our song “Pain Induced Vomit.” What a fun time! Death metal lyrics always had dealt with murder, rape, torture, cannibalism, and Satanism; yet death metal influenced punk rock and somehow became politically “informed” with a care for nature, trees, and fuzzy animals in the music form of political grindcore. In the punk scene this double standard in lyrical content still exists, yet the taboo subjects to talk about are pro-religion (mainly Christianity) and American patriotism. So at shows bands will play who have lyrics about pornography and killing, yet another band will talk about how terrible George W. Bush was because they claim he caused the death of millions of people in Iraq. Atheism is loved and Christianity is hated.

My friends band Denote The Apex from Eugene, Oregon (Friday the 13th show, 2000)

        The truth is that many of the kids involved in the scene today don’t even understand reality and have become, themselves, conformists who hypocritically identify with a larger trend that they seek to please in order to be liked. Hardcore shows (which used to be for the “not normal people”) have now become the norm for many high school students, and even the jock football players. The lives of such individuals rediculously revolve around concert venue dramas that identically reflect the nonsense teen dramas that happen in high schools: “Who is having sex with who? Who got drunk last night? I am angry because my girlfriend cheated on me”…etc. The things held important to so many youth today are trivial and unimportant yet to them it is life. It is a very sad existence that has trapped many young people inside a small crowded room with 4 walls about a few square feet at best. Life is about the weekend and going to the next show. Yet during such behavior bands scream about social politics and hatred towards the things they deem wrong with this world. Many of the youth involved do not go out to stop or change anything they claim they are against; and are completely unaffected by third-world poverty and foreign fascist regimes. The doom punk band World Against World, which was a late 90’s Christian band says it best in their song “Scared Silent” which is about rejecting pointless activism and standing up against such beliefs, and spreading the Word of Christ,

“Kids they scream. Bands they play, but what does it amount? Mindless tongues, we’re following a follower…I choose not to protest in vain. Surrounded by hopelessness I am not ashamed.”

        Many kids spend their punk rock life doing drugs and engaging in promiscuous sex acts which lead to a terrible life style in their later years as the bodily abuse of chemicals and STD’s take their toll. If not, the absolute shame of sexual sin and guilt that lingers from past sins destroys their inner soul.

        But wait! A movement was born to combat such negative behavior called Straight Edge. Along with a long line of posicore (positive hardcore, aka PHC) bands. These posi bands emphasized youthfulness and continuing to live young and positive (they were also called youth crew bands), while abstaining from drugs, alcohal, and promiscuous sex. The leading band of this movement who coined the term Straight Edge was named Minor Threat. Their song of the very name of the movement is the basic tenets of Straight Edge (aka. sXe). Straight Edgers identified themselves at shows with X’s written on their hands with black markers. The X came from shows played at bars where underage concert goers were given a black X on their hand in order to seperate them from the people who were 21 and over so they would not mistakenly sell alcohal to a minor. So, Straight Edge hardcore kids embraced the X and even bands put the name of their band between the X’s, such as XsidetrackedX, where the X’s are pronounced along with the band name (ex-sidetracked-ex). Extreme identification for Straight Edge kids are three X’s on logos, patches, and tatoos. The XXX stands for the three tenets of Straight Edge: Don’t drink, don’t smoke, and don’t f*** [have sex].” This may sound like a positive movement that even Christians can relate to, but a Christian should look into the details of who started the movement. Antichristian people started Straight Edge and used it as a way to abstain from immoral behavior relying solely on the self. They can take credit and boast for their clean living while looking down on others who do drugs and have sex. Doing anything moral without God is pointless as no one is perfect. Straight Edge became an elitist movement and even started small terrorist/gang groups (called Straight Edge Crews) who got national media attention in the late 90’s. The band Minor Threat of course was not interested in violence or promoting arrogance, but one has to understand their extreme hatered for the Bible and religion which is seen in their lyrics. A Christian does not need to jump on a secular band wagon to promote morals and God. During my time in the Oregon scene I noticed the large trend of Christians identifying with Straight Edge as the Christian bands wrote X’s on everything and on their hands. No longer were bands singing about Christ or evangelizing, instead they were promoting Straight Edge and anti-drug behavior. No longer did these “christians” identify with the Cross, instead they identified with the X. Straight Edge does not and can never save anyone’s soul. These youth group kids completely lacked understanding of the Gospel. Many Christian punk/hardcore kids ended up denying their faith in Christ as they somehow obtained a bitterness towards the faith. It is no wonder why such bittnerness and disdain occured in these “christian” kids, since the entire scene they so desperately wanted to be a part of rejected their God. The sprouts popped up in shallow ground in such individuals and their roots were shallow and died quickly. The influence of the secularism in the scene overtook them.

        Another interesting progression of Straight Edge was how they looked at the sex issue. There are three X’s, but it seemed as if the third X, which stood for no promiscuous sex, was up to interpretation. It came to be said that sex is only okay in the bounds of a committed relationship. Promiscuous sex was seen as having random sex encounters with no meaning. The philosophy or moral relativism was strong in the scene and truth was not up front. So the individual got to decide what promiscuous sex meant. Promiscuous sex meant something different to each person. Postmodern language understanding claimed that a committed relationship is also different to each person. In reality a commitment is an agreement to something. People were having sex with their girlfriends/boyfriends because that was a commitment. But so many of these young teenagers had no mature understanding of love or commitment. A relationship could last anywhere from years to months, to even weeks! Then right away the people would get a new boyfriend or girlfriend. So people could have a lot of sex with different people as long as they claimed it was in a commitment. The only different from such behavior and promiscuous sex was the title given: relationship. A person can commit to a one night stand with another person, that is still a commitment. It was hypocritical and still is today. If moral purity is important to Straight Edge followers then the sex issue has got to be re-analyzed. So many broken hearts result from sexual misconduct even inside “committed relationships.” Sex is something that most humans cannot give up. Sure, drugs are easy to say no to and it’s easy to pass up alcohal, but sex is always the problem with adolescents who just went through puberty. As a result many people even used postmodern language understanding to define what sex was. Some people would claim heavy make out sessions, and oral sex are okay because they are not actual sex. This is more hypocrisy. Sexual activity contains anything from sexual intercourse to mere kissing. It is all for the purpose of sexual pleasure. That is why it is called forplay! So many Straight Edge kids broke their X’s when they committed sex outside of relationships as well because sexual activity turns on a switch that is hard to shut off and hormones rage and become just like a drug. Pornography was also acceptable to the Oregon Straight Edge followers who were not Christians. They said “porn is not having sex,” but yet in reality supporting pornography is supporting other people doing the very sexually immoral acts you think are wrong. Porn stars are not in a committed relationship with each other and have sex on film; and these types of Straight Edgers watch it. So many Straight Edge tough guy hardcore bands all over the country who got popular within their scenes became like local rock stars. Many of them would have sex with all kinds of girls and try to hide it, or use the loose interpretation of the word “commitment.” Many of them would allow girls to give them oral sex and other such things. The California, Christian, Straight Edge band Hit The Deck speaks about this issue in their song titled “XXSex.” It features the satyrical lyrics, “Sex is okay if you’re in a band, as long as an X is still on your hand…when the tour vans a rockin’ we’re commin’ knockin. Bring back the third X!”

        The hardcore scene has also become a sexual playground for angry early 20-somethings who are male; as well as a lot of  angry, young, impressionable females. Many of the females are underage and these hardcore “men” seduce such young women; which is illegal. Underage sex is common, but in reality it is pedophelia according to the law. It is very sad and so many young girls have been damaged emotionally and spiritually because of such abuse. These types of hardcore scenesters are pathetic. And most Straight Edger’s have broken their X’s when they turned 21 and alcohal was more accessible. Straight Edgers hardly keep their edge for their entire lives. They become what they so violently criticized and hated during their youth.  

        Most of my friends from that era in my life have completely left Christianity and have become Atheists and New Agers. Many were caught up in sexual immorality as well. I started to quit going to as many shows around the year 2004 when I moved to Louisville, Kentucky. The local’s were not very open to new people, and hated Christians (yet they would go see Christian bands if they toured through the area). It was the same in the Southern California scene during college as well as the Birmingham, Alabama scene where I have lived. I am glad God took me away from my old friends and also a large amount of opportunities to see bands play in order to preserve me and keep me in Him. I still will go to shows and have an interest in this music, but my faith in Christ completely overtakes any affinity I have towards hardcore punk and metal music.

Holloween show in California (XdeathstarX, Impending Doom, '08)

        There is some justified anger towards the Church as many kids in the scene used to go to church. Most true followers of hardcore and punk have seen a lot of hypocrisy in the world and experienced many hurtful things. Many people stabbed them in the back and betrayed them. I have experienced numerous amounts of this. Evil men use religion to control and manipulate people. Even Christian churches reject all kinds of people they see as “different” and only cater to the yuppy crowds. This is seen in the large amount of corperate style mega-churches planted across the nation. These kids are outcasts so many latch onto the hardcore scene for community. Churches have failed many of these youth, including me (yet I did not give up on God). Many of these kids live a street style life, some of them homeless and many are not. But all of them still roam the streets of downtown art districts with records shops, coffee houses, and music venues. Some have terrible parents and suffer abuse, but the current trend of the hardcore scene has become full of rich spoiled brats with a lot of money and the new bands that come around are made of such people. With the commercialization of heavy music, thanks to MTV2’s Headbanger’s Ball, and stores like Hot Topic and Spencer’s Gifts, fortunes have been made selling clothing, music, and all kinds of paraphernilia. It has completely missed the point of the entire purpose for such music and the scene. Now days there are “scene kings and queens” who have the money to buy every new hardcore album that comes out and somehow memorize their lyrics before each band plays a show in their city so they can look “passionate” and yell along with the bands. They wear all of the t-shirts of every band and new trendy hardcore sayings as well. They also can fork over 100’s of dollar for tatoo work at high end ink shops. Most of these kids live in rich quiet suburban areas with giant houses; the typical “deserted” subdivisions where no one ever goes outside. Hypocrisy reeks through such people as the claim of fighting for social causes in no way reflects how they live their lives in lavishness through their parents money. What used to be for the “angry, young, and poor punks” is now for the “angry, spoiled, and rich kids” with yuppy parents who dye their shaggy hair black and wear black eye liner in a hilarious attempt of “defiance” towards authority. It is not a sin in the hardcore scene to be rich, as there can be well off punk kids, and many bands were fortunate to be able to make a living off of making music they love (which is a great accomplishment). But it is how you live your lifestyle and the claims you make that make a person true. Hardcore is all about being true to yourself, and true to your friends. It is about finding loyalty in your group and honoring your friends becuase the world is so hostile; and they are outcasts. They and their friends are against the world. The hard cry for unity can be heard screamed in crowds at shows (called “gang shouts”) during breakdowns in songs. Such cries for unity are chanted over and over through the music. Yet it has all become fake and unrealistic. After the music dies down the individuals who grabbed the mic in the group and screamed unity go back and continue to stab each other in the back. Hardcore has become exactly what it was against and has done a complete 180. It has become a second High School for immature youth who enjoy blaming others and fighting. In fact violence occures all the time at shows over alcohal infused jealous boyfriend/girlfriend arguments and tough guy ramblings.

        Only the future can tell us where punk, hardcore, and heavy metal will be. The future does not look bright. Such sinful and godlessness only leaves people in more despair as life goes on. It is obvious why the hardcore punk scene has lost all of its values. It makes absolutely no sense anymore. To the few who truly understand the music, we will never forget what it meant to us and what it still means to us today. As a Christian I will never forget how God has delivered me and understands me and has changed me through my life experiences. I will be Hardcore for Christ with no backing down and no selling out. Too many “christian” bands have sold out and totally reject evangelizing. I am sick of this. I have heard too many stories of broken hearts, betrayals, spiritual depravity and moral filth. Too many people are living in quiet guilt that is kept to themselves because they cannot trust anyone to tell. Their shame is so deep that they cannot speak out about their sins and they continue to live a slow death through deep depression which results from horrible regret. They continue to seek out new sinful activities to replace the void that the past sinful activities created. Sex for more sex, drugs for more drugs, violence for more violence. They nonsensically try to fill a void created by one sin with that exact same sin! “I thought getting high would be better than it was now I feel ashamed, but maybe if I snort another line it will be cooler.” “Sex didn’t feel very good and now I feel like I gave away my self-worth and dignity to someone who didn’t respect me. Maybe if I try it again another time it will make me feel better and maybe loved.” A person can never go back in time to change their past, but they can always progress to the future. It is time more Christians who remember their past, and what Christ did for them, to stand up and fight for the cause of Christ and evangelize the punks, the skinheads, the hardcore kids, the metal heads, and everyone else involved in this angry music subculture. The style of music itself is not sinful, but the attitudes of many people in the subculture are what is sinful. Hardcore punk music culture is not limited to such a terrible lifestyle; as any music subcultures or club cultures have the same problems. Life inside a small crowded room, music fests, record store shopping, and hanging out at Hot Topic can only refrain from becoming vain for so long. Then it becomes futile and pointless scene drama that has no importance, yet it is really-really important to the people involved in such trite; it controls their life. There is no more meaning left in much of hardcore today. Commercialization has created the emo (emotional) scene that has pretty much taken over many music subcultures. The self-pitty of so many vain youth flock to such weak and timid narcissistic behavior. The hardcore scene reeks of pretentiousness as many of the youth have completely left hardcore for indie rock and other forms of indipendent art in order for them to be above the rest because they “understand high art.” So many of these scene kids spend all of their time in their rich comfortable suburban house on the internet posting on message boards and starting arguments. Their parents pay for their internet connection. They become internet tough guys and tough girls. The scene drama is brought home as posts on music message boards, and new photos on myspace profiles for the sole purpose of self seeking attention, circulates jelousy, covetousness, and lusts which explode into fights through the internet which are then brought to the shows at venues the youth attend. There is no end to the cycle of bittnerness and hate towards each other and infighting. It is a sick existence. Emotional abuse wears the kids out.  

Me and a punk acquaintance and homeless dog (Eugene, Oregon. '01)

        As Jesus said to “Seek first the Kingdom of God” and then many great things He has will be added unto us, we as Christians need to focus on eternity. It is time to get back the faith you once had when you were young, and to give that faith to the lost in your scene. If you are a Christian act like it! Just because you are a punk or hardcore kid does not mean you can ignore the commandments of God. Life is hard and we know it, but scene popularity is worth nothing and lacks fulfillment. Romans 8:18 says,

“For I consider that the present sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.”     

We suffer now, but it cannot be compared with what God has for those who love Him. Pleasing man is not going to benefit a Christian, only pleasing God matters. Live for eternity and die for Jesus.

        One time at a show at Chain Reaction, a popular concert venue in Anaheim, California, the band No Innocent Victim played. They were a top Christian hardcore band that paved the way for many other Christian bands. The singer of that band at the show sternly said that Christians are not loving each other and are full of hypocrisy in so many words. They were living in sexual immorality, and profaning the name of Christ and causing many other people to stumble and fall into deep sins and indifference to God. The singer sternly said into the mic, “You need to obey!….obey! It is about obeying [Christ].” I will never forget it and that is how I want to live. I would gladly give up hardcore for Jesus Christ any day. I never hold to strong importance, a scene that never accepted me fully and rejected my God. But I will hold to importance the Godly character God developed through me in much of the attitudes I gained from hardcore: Staying true and perseverence! But this time completely for God!