DC Talk

The other side says My response

Like the group dc Talk... Ecclesiastes 1:9 says, " . . .there is NO NEW THING under the sun." But that was before dc Talk came along, as they sing, "God is doin' a NU THANG through our music" (they can't spell either!).

Lets stop right here and think a moment. God is not doing "new things"? Why then, do churches have REVIVALS? Aren't these supposed to be new moves of God within a church that has grown stagnant? Of course, many of these so-called revivals are scheduled by churches well in advance, so they can line up guest speakers. The underlying purpose is to generate more offerings, and although some people get saved, the move of God is seldom there. Contrast this to the Brownsville Assembly of God in Pensacola, Florida, where a genuine revival is underway, with 100,000 people saved, and over 2 million visitors from all over the world in an 18 month period - with no end in sight! Genuine revival is occurring all over the world, particularly in areas like China where the church is still under persecution. So - why don't you tell GOD he shouldn't do "new things" - and leave DC Talk alone. God most certain CAN do a "new thing" through music if He ordains it!

"Nu Thang" is not a mis-spelling! I have discussed racial bias elsewhere in my essays - are you demonstrating racism against black people by making fun of their pronunciation? One of the members of DC Talk is black for those who do not know.

And where did DC Talk get together? At Jerry Falwell's Liberty University! And what does Brother Falwell think of his "rapping-rockers"? In Calendar magazine, (Spr/Sum, 1991, p.8) Falwell says, "During Toby, Michael, and Kevin's tenure at Liberty University, it was obvious to me that God had great plans for these three young men and their powerful program . . ." That's quite a statement by Brother Falwell, considering that Kevin was kicked out of Liberty for a "drinking" problem!

  • As far as I know, Jerry Falwell has never publically retracted his statement about the members of DC Talk. That is because it was prophetically true - God really does have great plans for these young men and their powerful program! I find it very open-minded of Jerry Falwell not to denounce them publically, considering that he is a critic of Christian rock.
  • One of the other Christian rock apologetics writers has researched the question of Kevin's drinking problem, and found not a shred of evidence for this accusation! Assuming that it is true, what about repentance and restoration? What difference does it make - Kevin has obviously overcome the sin, and God's hand of blessing appears to be on him and his ministry through DC Talk. Are you questioning God's restoration power?
  • Another thought on the drinking issue - Liberty University is a very conservative institution. I suspect that merely being caught with a beer would be enough to get somebody expelled, particularly if they are under legal drinking age. That would not make Kevin an alcoholic, as the statement above implies. How many of you Christian rock critics drink a beer now and then - during football season? Out hunting with the 'good ole' boys' in the chruch? A little wine on New Years Eve?! There is nothing wrong with any of that, Paul told Timothy to drink a little wine to settle his stomach. Incidentally - the old "non-alcoholic wine" argument doesn't hold up to scrutiny - as unbroken emphoras from Roman shipwrecks have been found and analyzed extensively. Wine of that era most certainly WAS alcoholic!

Toby Mckeehan says, "Music is our tool. Our MESSAGE is CHRIST." (The Birmingham News, Aug. 9, 1996 p.2H) Remember that last statement "Our message is CHRIST".

On their album "Free At Last", they do a cover of the Doobie Brother's song (in case you don't know a "doobie" is a marijuana joint) "Jesus is Just Alright".(to DC Talk Jesus is "still alright") Webster defines "all right" as 1) well enough 2) satisfactory (Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, 1977 p. 31)

Let's get something straight dc Talk! Jesus Christ is not "alright"! Jesus Christ is NOT 1) well enough 2) and satisfactory! Jesus Christ is the Lord of Lords and the King of Kings!

OK, some points here. First of all, I have many times stated that the origin of a song does not bother me - see my Christian Hymn test. I do not recommend the Doobie Brothers version of the song for the very reason that the group does not have a lifestyle worthy of imitation by Christian young people. If DC Talk records the song, then it has been done by a group that openly professes Christ and is presently walking with Him.

Another point - here they go with the secular sources again. In this particular case, so will I! Are the critics so far removed from youth culture that they don't realize that "All RIGHT" is not an expression of mediocrity - it is a superlative to young people. In this context - Jesus really is "all RIGHT" with me as well!

DC Talk's newest release is called "Jesus Freak". In Music News, April, 1996, Toby McKeehan, says:

"'Jesus Freak' is obviously a throw back phrase. It was a negative phrase back in the late sixties, and early seventies. If you were a 'Jesus Freak', that was people talking down to you. We've chosen to take the OPPOSITE approach and say that, that's something to be happy about. The word freak, I actually looked it up in the dictionary as I was writing the song. The third definition in the copy of Webster's I have says the word freak is a noun, an ardent enthusiast. It simply says you're a sports freak, it just means you love sports, your an ardent enthusiast. You can label us Jesus freaks."

"Freak" has always been and will always be a NEGATIVE word! I also looked it up in Webster's dictionary and here's what it also reads: "a person or animal with a physical oddity who appears in a circus sideshow", or "a sexual deviate", or "a person who uses an illicit drug".(Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, 1977, p.457) To even remotely "connect" the wonderful Lord Jesus Christ to a word with the possible meaning of a word such as "FREAK" is sacrilege, at best! I was a "freak" before I met Jesus Christ, but Halleluah when I received the Lord Jesus Christ as my Saviour, He gave me "power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (2 Tim 1:7) Mark Chapter 5 tells of a "freak": 5:1 And they came over unto the other side of the sea, into the country of the Gadarenes. 2 And when he was come out of the ship, immediately there met him out of the tombs a man with an unclean spirit, 3 Who had his dwelling among the tombs; and no man could bind him, no, not with chains: 4 Because that he had been often bound with fetters and chains, and the chains had been plucked asunder by him, and the fetters broken in pieces: neither could any man tame him. 5 And always, night and day, he was in the mountains, and in the tombs, crying, and cutting himself with stones.

But in verse 15 AFTER he met the Lord Jesus he was no longer a FREAK!

15 And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid.

Sounds like DC Talk needs to meet the Jesus Christ the "maniac of Gaderia" met!

Why is it when these so-called CHRISTian groups do mention the name of Jesus it's in a degrading and mocking manner! Trying to degrade the wonderful name of the Lord Jesus Christ into a "freak". The Jesus DC Talk "raps" is a hip-hopping, rapping, groovy, "just alright" FREAK!


The Jesus Christ of the Bible is NOT a hip-hopping, groovy, "just alright" FREAK!

Toby McKeehan actually opens some concerts off by screaming, "WELCOME TO THE FREAK SHOW!" (Flint Michigan Journal, March 15, 1996, P.B19)

OK, OK, we get your point. But you have missed the mark again - you even quoted Toby about the phrase - HELLO! Is there a brain in there or WHAT?! The term "Jesus Freak" applies to the BELIEVER, not the LORD JESUS CHRIST!!!! I absolutely agree with you - if ANYBODY ever calls my LORD and SAVIOR a FREAK I would be upset. But DC Talk is called THEMSELVES and young Christian believers "Jesus Freaks". No other interpretation is even possible. I can't believe you would put your name on such an obvious blunder in logic!

Here's how Dallas Morning News, (April 27, 1996) describes a DC Talk "Freak Show" concert: "As teenagers' shrieks filled the Dallas Convention Center moments before dc Talk took the stage Friday night, one of the relatively few grown-ups in the sold-out crowd observed, 'This is just like the BEATLES.' "Just like the Beatles" what a comparison! The Beatles were some of the most blatant, ANTI-CHRIST performers the world ever heard! The press officer for the Beatles, Derek Taylor, said, "They're COMPLETELY ANTI-CHRIST. I mean, I am anti-Christ as well, but they're so anti-Christ they shock me which isn't an easy thing." (Saturday Evening Post, Aug. 8, 1964). Paul McCartney said, "We probably seem to be anti-religious. . . none of us believes in God." (Hit Parader, Jan 1970, p.15) John Lennon, in his book, A Spaniard in the Works, portrays Jesus Christ as, "Jesus El Pifico, a garlic-eating, stinking little yellow, greasy fascist bastard catholic spaniard." (A Spaniard in the Works, p.14). Lennon also made that infamous statement, "Christianity will go, it will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue about that. I'm right and will be proved right. . . .We're more popular than Jesus now." (San Francisco Chronicle, April 13, 1966, p.26) Ray Coleman quotes John Lennon as saying, "I've sold my soul to the DEVIL." (Coleman, Ray, Lennon p.256)

And dc Talk is "JUST LIKE the Beatles"! Don't laugh . . . Guess which song dc Talk has opened up their "Jesus Freak" concerts? Believe it or not the song "HELP" by the anti-Christ BEATLES!

Let's stop right here and examine the "Help" controversy. First of all, I refer the reader to my Christian Hymn Test, it directly addresses the use of secular songs for Christian music. It also addresses the issue of non-Christians writing Christian songs. When you have read it, come back here! Also - once again, you are making statements about the Beatles and they are irrelevant to any discussion of DC Talk. By putting them in here, you are being misleading. A really careless leader would associate your comments with DC Talk, not the Beatles.

OK, now that we have the issue of secular vs. sacred cleared up in your mind (hopefully), lets look at the lyrics to "Help". Was it intended to be a Christian song? NO! Was it written by Christians? NO! But --- although a blind man with a cane will stumble in holes the vast majority of the time, sometimes, by "chance" they might find the right way. Sung by Christians, to Christians, this song can have a very powerful message! It can sound like a prayer for salvation! Here are the complete lyrics:

Help! (Lennon/McCartney)

Help, I need somebody,
Help, not just anybody,
Help, you know I need someone, help.

When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody's help in any way.
But now these days are gone, I'm not so self assured,
Now I find I've changed my mind and opened up the doors.

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round.
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,
Won't you please, please help me.

And now my life has changed in oh so many ways,
My independence seems to vanish in the haze.
But every now and then I feel so insecure,
I know that I just need you like I've never done before.

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round.
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,
Won't you please, please help me.

When I was younger, so much younger than today,
I never needed anybody's help in any way.
But now these days are gone, I'm not so self assured,
Now I find I've changed my mind and opened up the doors.

Help me if you can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate you being round.
Help me, get my feet back on the ground,
Won't you please, please help me, help me, help me, oh.

I am sure that Lennon and McCartney never intended this to be a prayer for salvation, but that is exactly what it sounds like - in the context of Christianity. It is complete with references to scripture (accidental, but definitely there):

Congratulations are in order, not flames, to DC Talk for recognizing this gem of a message (though originally unintended) and redeeming into Christianity!

The other side says My response

You'll never guess the song dc Talk uses toward the close of their "Jesus Freak" concert? Amazing Grace? Blessed Assurance? OH NO! They do a cover of Kurt Cobain and Nirvana's "All Apologies"!

Kurt Cobain is one of the worst ANTI-CHRIST, blasphemers since John Lennon. Kurt Cobain decorated his home with blood-splattered baby dolls hanging by their necks! Cobain ran around his neighborhood spray-painting, "ABORT CHRIST" and "GOD IS GAY". Cobain's first band was called "Fecal Matter". (Des Barres, Pamela, Rock Bottom, pp.54-55)

Not willing to be satisified with JUST singing Cobain's "All Apologies" DC Talk drags the wonderful and holy Lord Jesus Christ into their "rock 'n' roll" "FREAK AND FILTH" show! One part of the song says "Everyone is gay" so dc Talk changes it to "Jesus is the way"!

My comments are below:

Here are the lyrics to "All Apologies":

All Apologies

What else should I be
All apologies
What else should I say
Everyone is gay Jesus is the Way
What else could I write
I don't have the right
What else should I be
All apologies

In the sun
In the sun
I feed as one
In the sun
In the sun
I'm married buried

I wish I was like you
Easily amused
Find my nest of salt
Everything is my fault
I'll take all the blame
Aqua seafoam shame
Sunburn with freezeburn
Choking on the ashes of her enemy
All in all is we all are

I have conducted a study of Kurt Cobain in an effort to understand what exactly motivated him. If you look at my study, you will learn several things. First of all, he is NOT a Christian, and never accepted Christ. But what is not generally understood, even by his fans, is that he was OBSESSED with the topic of God and Jesus - many of his songs were a dialog between himself and God or Jesus. My study only includes overt examples, over half of his other songs were talking to a "He" or "Him" who is obviously God or Jesus. You can go to Sara's Nirvana lyrics page yourself if you do not believe me! This man was under much conviction from the Lord and fought against his own conversion. He was desperately afraid of conventionality. A fascinating study of an EVANGELISTIC OPPORTUNITY LOST! Just about any competant Christian witness could have turned him around, he was SO CLOSE! The fact that nobody ever shared the gospel with him is tragic.

"All Apologies" has to be evaluated in the light of this. You can see it is written from the perspective of a lost person, attempting to justify their life (first stanza). Kurt thought that everybody was uncool, or stupid, hence the "everyone is gay" line (see below). His sentiment here is not not unlike Jeremiah. The second stanza continues the theme of the futility of life. The third stanza is typical of Kurt Cobain - he knew full well that he was a sinner in need of a savior: "everything is my fault, I'll take all the blame". I won't even pretend to interpret the last 4 lines, if it is one thing I have learned about Kurt Cobain it is that he is DEEP.

I have to admit that I am a bit uncomfortable with DC Talk performing this particular song. I do not know if they changed any other lyrics, because I have not had a chance to attend the "Freak Show" tour. I have no doubt, though, that their interpretation of what Kurt Cobain meant in the last stanza is positive - and that they feel it is appropriate to sing.

The other side says My response

NO CHRISTIAN, following the Lord Jesus Christ would be "listening" to Nirvana! On their song "Stay Away" they sing "God is gay"! dc Talk not only "listens" to but ACTUALLY sings a song by a group that say's "God is a homosexual!" I got news for dc Talk "God is NOT gay!".

DC Talk replaces the words "God is gay" with "Jesus is the Way"! Quit mis-representing the facts! This is the second time I have caught you in this type of mistake. You did the same thing to Audio Adrenaline in their version of "Free Ride". Either you are grossly ignorant of your material, or you are LYING to the body of Christ. Jesus does not need liars or ignorant people in His ministry.

I comment again that musicians almost have to listen to other musicians to write their own material. Whatever you may think of Kurt Cobain's message, he was a musical genious.

DC Talk has the audacity to claim, "Qur message is Christ"!

What about the following quotes:

"Smith, who listens MOSTLY to SECULAR MUSIC, would like to see DC Talk expand its vocabulary. 'not EVERYTHING has to be about GOD.' he says."(Flint Michigan Journal, March 15, 1996, P.B19)

NO, but it can be about scriptural issues or Godly family values, remember my Christian Hymn Test! As for listening to secular music, he is a MUSICIAN - he needs to know what musical styles are current, and gets stylistic ideas from other musicians.

Not surprizingly, Toby McKeehan, blatantly says in USA Today, "Sometimes, being labeled a Christian band, we consider that a NEGATIVE."

Of course, most Christian stations refuse to play Christian rock, so it is negative if you want to be heard (or pay the bills)

Toby McKeehan told Billboard magazine, "Our goal has ALWAYS BEEN to be out there on a mainstream level,. . ." (Billboard, Nov. 11, 1995)

Remember the great commission? I would, too - to get maximum exposure to non-Christians. Most record stores will not carry but a token amount of Christian music, and young people don't go to that section. Check out a local music store if you dare. If not, trust me! But if you are on a mainstream label your Christian music will be placed where non-Christians are much more likely to buy it.

But wait. . . it get's worse!

DC Talk's video "Jesus Freak" is one of the most popular Christian video's ever recorded.

But, how "Christian" is it?

"Jesus Freak" was directed by an Englishman named Simon Maxwell. And who is Simon Maxwell? Simon Maxwell is video director for the satanic and blasphemous Nine Inch Nails! DC Talk openly admits to watching one of Nine Inch Nails videos, and liked Maxwell's style. "We had seen some of Simon's work with Nine Inch Nails", says DC Talk vocalist Toby McKeehan. "HIS STYLE APPEALED TO US." (Billboard, November 11, 1995)

Have you seen the "ultra-blasphemous" video "Closer" by Nine Inch Nails? It shows a monkey crucified on a cross!

Here's a clip from Nine Inch Nails video "Closer"! dc Talk openly admits to watching this kind of blasphemy!

"If you think I WORSHIP SATAN because of something you see in the 'Closer' video [with its images of a crucified monkey]- great!" (Trent Reznor, People, Feb. 6, 1995)

You talk about wicked satanic, blasphemy! And DC Talk proudly admits to watching Nine Inch Nails videos and liked them so much they hired Simon Maxwell to direct and produce their "Jesus Freak" video!

OK, I have to admit that I am uncomfortable with DC Talk using Simon Maxwell as a producer. I can think of a couple of reasons why they might have, however:

  1. They may have considered this an evangelistic opportunity, by working with him they may have been trying to show him the Christian perspective.
  2. Have you seen the poor creativity of most Christian production? We have two of those Christian TV stations here. The technical quality is good, they never make mistakes on the air. But the creativity is TERRIBLE! Talking heads - and carefully groomed choirs shot from 3 or 4 camera angles. BOR-RING! MONOTONOUS! I am so sick of choirs all dressed the same, women's hair sprayed to the max - men all looking like smiling clones --- Perhaps DC Talk could not find a Christian rock video producer who had the creativity and professional standing of Simon Maxwell.

I am a bit upset at your implication that DC Talk chose Simon Maxwell because they "like crucified monkeys on a cross". You didn't say it directly, but you have a way of distorting quotes and associating ideas that implies it. There is NO WAY that any Christian believer, even a nominal one, would enjoy seeing that image! And you cannot say that the members of DC Talk are not Christians, because of Mark 3:23-26. Why would Satan allow his servants to sing so many songs that are strongly evangelistic? He would be defeating himself, because the Word of God never returns void!

And believe me there's NOTHING CHRISTIAN about the video!

Even Billboard magazine says of the video, "The clip's slick style and in-your-face imagery could easily fit between cutting edge video's from the likes of Nirvana to Nine Inch Nails. . ." (Billboard, Nov 11, 1995)

Simon Maxwell says the process of creating the DC Talk clip wasn't MUCH DIFFERENT from what he did on the Nine Inch Nails video. (Billboard, Nov 11, 1995)

These statements are about CREATIVITY - not spiritual content!

Nine Inch Nails, lead by Trent Reznor, who even Spin magazine calls the "Evil One" (Spin, April 1997). Trent Reznor is personally responsible for the "huge-mainstream" success of the "pervereted-blasphemous-satanist" Marilyn Manson. Manson, a member of the Church of Satan, says in Spin, Aug. 96 (p.34), "Hopefully, I'll be remembered as the who brought an end to Christianity". Manson's latest album is "AntiChrist Superstar".

Here you go with the de-bunked "guilt by association" argument again! You are talking about Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson here, NOT DC TALK! I agree with you - those performers are bad - but discussion of them is totally irrelevant to discussion of DC Talk. By placing this discussion in close proximity to discussion of DC Talk, you are attempting to confuse casual readers into thinking DC Talk is doing things they are not. Deception like this, my friend, is a tool of the DEVIL - the father of deceptions and lies!

In the understatment of the year, Toby McKeehan told Billboard magazine, ". . . the intention of the clip was to "push the envelope" of the Christian music community. . . they expect some of the more CONSERVATIVE members of the Christian community to FROWN on the adventurous clip." (Billboard, Nov 11, 1995)

This is definitely a statement of fact - as your comments prove. It does NOT say that they did it solely to offend conservatives. If that was their motivation, then it would be wrong. But they didn't say that - their motivation was to minister to young people, and they merely expect that some older, more conservative people will be offended.

God help us! God help us, that we as Christians let groups like dc Talk hide behind a "Christian" label and "pervert" our Christian young people!

Settle down! Now! In the name of Jesus! Who are you to judge the salvation of these performers?! They are self proclaimed Christians, go and read Mark 3:23-26 before you say different.

A reporter for the San Diego North Country Reader, (February 29, 1996) covering a dc Talk "Freak Show" concert made these not-suprizingly, but sad words of testimony from some young people, ". . . we both laughed during the buildup for the encore of "Purple Haze/Jesus Freak" as several young booty shakers cried, almost in unison, 'These guys are the s*@!, man.'"

There is a CLEAR "testimony" of the "fruit" of dc Talk! Young people listening to them and spewing PROFANITY!

DC Talk does not "spew profanity". Only a person attending the concert who may or may not have been a Christian at the time they made this statement. If they are not a Christian (which I suspect) - then they are in the exact place the Lord wants them - being MINISTERED to in a way they can understand. I pray a counselor of some sort found and witnessed to that young person!

Christian parents, youth ministers sending their children and youth to a DC Talk concert thinking they're providing a "Christian" alternative and dc Talk (and other C-Rock stars) is "spiritually" feeding their young people with some of the same satanic poison!

You have failed to provide a single example of satanic lyrics in DC Talk songs. Go back and research your subject some more! DC Talk promotes Christianity and Christian values in the vast majority of their music. A central theme of their "Free at Last" CD was sexual purity. I had young teenage girls singing those lyrics in my car coming home from their concert instead of "Baby Got Back" by Sir Mix-A-Lot, which they sang on the way to the concert. Another theme of the "Free at Last" CD was the impending return of Jesus Christ and the urgency of the great commission.

There is another DC Talk essay floating around that contains essentially the "Jesus Freak" portion of their other essay. All of its main points are answered here.

At the time I wrote this, DC Talk had not produced their latest song, which is PRAISE AND WORSHIP in style!!! It seems that God truly is working mightily and using these young men for His kingdom in many diverse styles.

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