Tuesday, December 5, 2017
Can Rock Music Really be Adapted for Christ?
A Nazi swastika is not an inherently evil symbol. Apart from its association with Hitler’s oppressive totalitarian regime, it could serve as a sign for a variety of wholesome and decent enterprises, for example a logo for an insurance company, a daycare center, or a bakery. Nevertheless, due to its immediate association with Nazi Germany and white supremacy, it would be foolhardy to attempt to rehabilitate the insignia to take on new positive meanings, even if the purpose was to use the symbol to attract modern Nazis in order to eventually convert them to non-Nazis. Such attempts would lead to countless misunderstandings, alienation, and reprisals until the meaning of the swastika, if possible, could be reversed. I say, “if possible,” because the swastika is not simply a forgotten artifact of history, but an ever-present reminder of the senseless carnage of the Holocaust. Further, if it was used to attract Neo-Nazis, skinheads, or white supremacists, it could not do so without misleading them (at least initially) since the external referents that these groups would connect with the swastika would be the opposite of those intended by its new promoters.
CCM faces many of the same obstacles in its attempt to contest and reverse predominately negative associations between the sounds of rock music and their counter-Christian referents. This is because rock music is an omnipresent entertainment medium that dominates western culture (even eastern culture) and continues to thrive, develop, and reinforce its codes with far more volume and intensity than its stepchild CCM can ever hope to do.