The "madlib syndrome"

Instead of directly quoting the critics here, I decided to cover a myriad of their assertions here. The "madlib syndrome" is an attack directed at the PERSON performing the music, rather than the music itself. I call it the "madlib syndrome" because it can take an almost unlimited number of forms, and I present it here as a "fill in the blanks" argument (classical madlib form):

Here is an example of how Christian artists that perform Christian rock

  1. have fallen away from the faith
  2. violated scripture
  3. compromised with the world

Did you know that

(Insert any artist or group here)

  1. have a satanic symbol on their album cover
  2. sung a song that does not mention Jesus or God
  3. have performed a secular song
  4. worn spandex
  5. danced on stage
  6. appeared on MTV
  7. appeared on a secular talk show and didn't mention Jesus
  8. wears long hair (male)
  9. wears make-up (male)
  10. dresses freaky
  11. has been heard using profanity
  12. commited adultery
  13. left Christian music for a time to record another style
  14. smokes
  15. used to do drugs
  16. is endorsed by secular fans
  17. is played by secular stations

Obviously, then,

  1. this whole person's ministry is invalid
  2. there is no way their music can be used by the Lord
  3. it means the whole musical style is wrong
  4. their work ought to be burned
  5. their fans ought to be purged from the church
  6. their name should be erased from the Lamb's Book of Life 'cause we SAID SO!
  7. their fans names should be erased from the Lamb's Book of Life 'cause we SAID SO!
  8. it is a communist conspiracy anyway
  9. they ought to be shot
  10. let's do a bodily function on them

praise the Lord we did His work - again, by saving the church of almighty tradition from new ideas!


I present the following comments to this ludicrous line of reasoning, but --- be sure and read the section on accountability after this section and in the integrity essay.

  1. I acknowlege the fact that there may be an artist, or a group of artists, who are hypocrites - in it for the money, talking talk and not walking the walk. However, a specific artist or even a group of artists doesn't sink the whole style of music! For every artist you name, I can name one who really is sincere in their faith and their walk. I am not going to do it, but I imagine I could find many examples among "accepted" artists of sin.
  2. While I am on the subject of sin - remember Jesus and the woman caught in adultery: "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone". How would you like for your secret sins to be exposed before the whole world?
  3. And while we are on the subject of exposing things before the whole world - remember the chain of command. Have you gone personally to this artist and confronted them with their sin? Have you gone with one or two witnesses? Have you held them accountable in front of their home church? If not, you better be silent, because the sin of gossip is the same as the sin of witchcraft.
  4. While we are on the subject of accountability, are you as willing to be involved in restoring this brother / sister to the faith as you are to judge them? If not, you are not fit to pronounce judgement.
  5. Too bad this is not a formal debate, because personal attacks automatically lose debates according ot classical debate style.
  6. About songs that do not mention Jesus or God - where do those words appear in "Amazing Grace"? Christian songs directed at young people can address contemporary themes that cannot be addressed in hymns from the last century. Many scriptural principles or Godly attitudes or themes can be expressed without specific mention of God or Jesus. It is also a ticket to airplay on mainstream stations - how many people who heard "Between You and Me" on mainstream stations, and bought the "Jesus Freak" CD as a result? Biblical truth and other songs on the same CD that definitely do mention Jesus - in all those homes!


There is no excuse for flagrant, repetitive, unrepentant SIN on the part of anybody in the ministry, and that includes the music industry and Christian rock musicians in particular! A lot of the items on my list above are grey areas, a lot are NOT - they are items that are SIN and need to be dealt with. Certainly by the artist, but also their church! Although occasional, unintentional sin does not disqualify you from ministry, repetitive, visible sin very quickly does! God has high standards of conduct for those in ministry, as spelled out in the Bible. At the very least, you are setting examples, and little sins that you don't have a handle on are stumbling blocks to your fans that look up to you. Don't give our critics some very valid ammunition against you!

  1. The use of Satanic symbols or imagery cannot be condoned. An example - if that has happened unitentionally - somebody at the record company designed your CD jacket and you had not idea it was there - that is one thing. You have not sinned - but you are responsible for expressing your extreme dissatisfaction with the record company, and the artist who designed your cover. You should demand a recall and replacement with a new design - ASAP!!!! At the very least, the next pressing should be done with a new design. If your record company refuses to comply, you need another record company. In the name of Jesus - break your contract, no matter what the cost!
  2. There are scriptural guidelines for how you should dress. Follow them! PERIOD! You are to minister Christ, not show off your body! That doesn't mean you can't have a personal style or taste, but if your appearance is causing more than a few "kooks" in your audience to lust, then it is WRONG! Form fitting, see through, cleavage revealing, thin non-supportive, allowing details of private parts to be revealed are not appropriate. They only serve to advance the cause of lust, not the Lord. Are you a tramp, a slut, or a drug user? Don't dress like one!
  3. Profanity, smoking, and other grey areas are not acceptable in public, keep them well under wraps until God can do a cleansing work on you. Pray daily that God will do that cleansing!
  4. Advances to under age fans are not acceptable under any circumstances!!! If you are un-married, and are attracted to a girl who is of the proper age, that is one thing. There is a Godly way to introduce yourself and establish a relationship based on God's standards. I know of a tender, romantic relationship that developed into a Godly marriage between a Christian rock artist and a fan. A new group was formed out of the union - that also ministers to young people. But advances to under-aged girls for the purpose of one-night stands is not honoring to God - you are a sexual predator that needs to be dealt with by God and the legal system! They are vulnerable and impressionable: live up to your responsiblity to them, their parents, and God - by leaving them alone!
  5. Adultery is a serious matter - and if you are involved with it - stop! Repent! Tell the third party good-bye FOREVER and stand by the decision! Get out of the ministry for a time of reconciliation with your spouse. That is your only ministry until the task is complete. If the differences simply can't be resolved - God hates divorce, but it is better to divorce than to live in SIN! If you confess your sin, the Lord and MOST people in the church (those that DO NOT know better than God at least) will forgive you and accept you back.
  6. When making public appearances, unless you are specifically prohibited (which happens) - proclaim the name of the one who gave you your talent!

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