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Gospel According to Punk Rock

Punk rock has been an anthem for me since the late 80s and early 90s. I know it seems like a massive paradox how a youth minister in a rather conservative evangelical church could glean from the in-your-face anti-establishment genre like punk rock. For me it started because the choruses of using the middle finger to authority rang true for the season of life I was in at the time. Rebellion was a way of life for me because I did not trust people over me. They were out to get me and try to make me conform to ways of thinking I was not willing nor ready to accept. So armed with a skateboard in one hand and a boom box in the other I shredded the streets to overtures of fast-paced music with likes of Pennywise, NOFX, Green Day, Face to Face and my personal favorite Bad Religion. Sure I liked the grunge scene of Alice in Chains, Nirvana and Soundgarden but what churned my heart the most were songs by guys who just did not give a flip about much of anything save good music. So while you had some people hugging each other to the likes of Oasis and Gin Blossom (no disrespect as I like those bands too!) this season of life for me needed a little more than an acoustic guitar.

This brings me to the nature of my series “Punk Rock Gospel” because I think many songs speak good news even if they are not “Christian music.” Of course, I am not one to split hairs on the sacred and secular for I see God in Metallica as much as I do MercyMe. Yet that is a blog in and off itself. So for the next few blogs posts I want to share some punk rock songs and share how they speak to us from a voice that is stripped of niceness. Some of these posts will inevitably offend some who cannot wrap their minds around a genre that seems so anti-Christian (whatever that means). I will remind readers of this blog to look at groups like MXPX and Relient K who are classified as Christian Punk Rockers. In the blogs to come I hope to choose some formative songs for me and share how they are good news to you and I. Here is a sampling of some of the songs I will survey:

  • NOFX – Linoleum
  • Bad Religion – Sorrow
  • Bad Religion – No Control
  • Pennywise – Bro Hymn
  • Green Day – She
  • Face to Face – I Won’t Lie Down
  • Yellowcard – Believe
  • The Offspring – Self-Esteem
  • Millencolin – Sense & Sensibility

Hopefully this will help some folks like me who like good punk rock and love Jesus.