I’ve always been a bit of a rebel. As a teenager, I was one of only two people—the other being my best friend, Tommy Jones—in our entire church who listened to Christian rock music. I recall one Wednesday night when the Pastor started raggin’ on this genre, and somehow, slowly, the entire congregation turned on us. The service was suddenly “Us versus Them,” with Tommy and me defending Christian rock, and literally everyone else railing against its evils.
But heavy metal has always been my primary musical love. This music, it seems, was born for rebels. Nearly all my friends and family grew out of their love for metal as they got older, but not me. It was never an image thing, trying to fit a certain mold, or even being rebellious; it was just ME being ME. I am proud to say my son is in a Christian extreme metal band, and I have friends in other bands as well. Crazy thing is, as hardcore as their music is, their attitudes are the polar opposite.
They’re some of the nicest, most giving people you’d ever wanna meet. Just a bunch of amazing rebels, spreading the Gospel of Christ with screaming guitars and vocals.
A rebel with a cause, as my friend Rob Lowe (no, not THAT Rob Lowe) states.
Jesus loves rebels, and Christian heavy metal bands and fans are most definitely that. Oh, most of us don’t rebel against parents or society anymore; it’s mainly against the darkness, Hell and the Devil. We loathe how Satan is destroying lives, families and souls, and have determined to rebel against the gloom of this age with every fiber of our being.
In the Name of Christ, we’ll fight, scratch, claw and rage against Hell until our Lord calls us home. It’s just how we were made, and THAT’S why the Lord chose us to do so. He knew we’d never quit defying Lucifer, the fallen one, enemy of the soul of humanity.
God chose us because He knew we’d die on the battlefield, a bloody sword in our hand.
But Jesus was a bit of a rebel Himself.
“I will give Him the honors of a victorious soldier, because He exposed Himself to death. He was counted among the rebels. He bore the sins of many and interceded for rebels.” (Isaiah 53:12, emphasis mine)
Jesus hung out with sinners so much that the religious leaders of the time, the Pharisees, thought He was one of them (Luke 5:30). Now, he didn’t waste away all His days like this, sitting around having supper with so-called reprobates and degenerates. Jesus taught in the Temple regularly (Luke 4:16), and in Luke 22:39 we read that Jesus and His disciples went to the Mount of Olives to pray, “as usual.”
But when Jesus wasn’t praying, meditating, fasting or preaching, He was either hangin’ out with His “non-churchy” friends or putting the proverbial fist to the philosophy of the Pharisees. Do a Google search for “names Jesus called the Pharisees” and you’ll see He referred to them as blinded fools, serpents, vipers and hypocrites, among other things. Jesus railed against them so much, in fact, that the Pharisees eventually killed Him for it.
The Apostle Peter was also a rebel, although Jesus spoke of him when He said, “Upon this rock I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18). He had a bit of a bad attitude, which is always something to which I could relate.
A friend of mine once asked on Facebook: “Which of the disciples can you relate to the most?” The majority of us were metal-heads, and most of us answered, “Peter.” He was the one who swore to follow Jesus to prison and even into death, but in Luke 22:34, Jesus replied, “Peter, let me tell you something. Before the rooster crows tomorrow morning, you will deny three times that you even know me.”
And that’s exactly what Peter did, even cursing in anger at one who thought they recognized him as one of Jesus’ disciples. I understand it; he had just witnessed his Master being arrested, and was afraid he was next.
Of course, Peter was also the man who grabbed a sword and cut a soldier’s ear off when they seized Jesus in the first place (John 18:10). Instead of tranquilly letting events play out as they will, he grabbed a blade and decided it was time to go to war. Jesus admonished him, however, uttering the now-famous phrase, “All who live by the sword shall die by the sword” (Matthew 26:52).
Oddly enough, it was this rebel—this impulsive, angry man—who stood at the forefront of Christianity. Peter was one of the foundational elements of a religion which today has a following of nearly 2 ½ billion people.
As another example of a first century rebel, look at the Apostle Paul. He rebelled hard against Jesus before being blinded on the road to Damascus, and then converted. Saul, as he was referred to at that time, made it his mission to arrest, torture and murder followers of “the Way.” After he was saved, though, God changed Saul’s name to “Paul,” and he continued to rebel, in love, except this time against the devil, sin and darkness.
The picture below is, from left to right, me, my son Trey, and a man named Mikey. This was taken at Trey’s first concert, where we ran into Mikey, who asked us to pray for him. Most would see the face tattoos and judge him immediately (which is normal, to be honest), but this “scary lookin’ dude” is a new Christian, and asked Trey and me to pray that he would learn how to be a good daddy to his little girl. Is that what you’d expect from a man who looks like this? Probably not. To be honest, it took me aback, and we were nearly moved to tears as Trey, his entire band and I gathered around Mikey to pray for him.
The Lord took Mikey’s spirit of rebellion and used it for His own glory, and now Mikey rebels against his old nature, and the devil who nearly destroyed him.
The Lord is calling out to angry, defiant people. Ya see, rebels already house the spirit of a lion; God just has to redirect their passion.
Yeah, Jesus loves rebels, and thank GOD for that (literally).