Is God the Future of Rock Music?

Is God the future of rock music? Billy Corgan thinks so.

Corgan was the frontman for the popular 90’s rock band, Smashing Pumpkins. I actually remember the first time I heard the band was on the way to youth camp. No, the youth pastor wasn’t playing it. It was a few of the older kids letting me listen to their Walkmans. Remember those days?

Billy Corgan and his band were popular in an era when rock music was largely about expressing inner suffering, indifference to the suffering of others, all while raging against the machine. It was the decade of grunge.

Young “Christian” rock tried to offer an alternative to the hopelessness celebrated in the culture. I remember as a teenager that Christian alternative bands never did quite penetrate my soul like the emotional explosion of bands like Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and Stone Temple Pilots.

I can’t say much about rock music in the last decade. On the whole it’s just not that good, and it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. And that’s one reason why Corgan believes rock music must now explore God.

In the following video, Corgan talks about the need to explore God in rock music, and how Jesus wants better “Christian” bands.

What do you think about the evolution of rock music? Where do you see rock going? Do you agree with Corgan? Is God the future of rock music? 

D.D. Flowers, 2013.


About David D. Flowers

David received a B.A. in Religion from East Texas Baptist University and a M.T.S. in Biblical Studies from Houston Graduate School of Theology. David has over 20 years experience as a pastor and teacher in and outside the church. He currently pastors an Anabaptist congregation in Pennsylvania. View all posts by David D. Flowers

4 responses to “Is God the Future of Rock Music?

  • Rob Grayson

    He makes some interesting comments (and, by the way, seems like a really nice guy). I have no idea whether he’s right that God is the unexplored final frontier for rock music, but I think he’s certainly right when he says that “Christian music” tends to occupy a space that is very close to U2’s sound and needs to broaden its creative scope. (The reason it hasn’t/doesn’t is because this template sells well – at least, it has up to now.)

    I put “Christian music” in quotes because it’s a term I’m less and less comfortable with. A song can’t be Christian. It can be written and/or sung by a Christian, but even then, it may or may not embody and promote kingdom values.

    The music I find myself increasingly drawn to is music that glorifies God by honestly exploring the whole palette of human experience and emotion. Some of this is by Christian bands, and some isn’t.

    Thanks for the post. Food for thought!

  • davidwpierce2001

    It sounds highly philosophical. My input is probably a little more practical and perhaps cynical. Rock music has always been a youthful expression of whatever the culture is enamored with at the moment. There have always been some constant themes of love, lost love, and misbehavior. However, in the past bands would hang around for a decade maybe and explore those themes. You now have quite a few 50,60, and 70 year old front men trying to figure out what to do to remain relevant and believable. With age and the reality of mortality, sure they are going to be thinking about God. I just hope they break with the anti-authoritarian mold that is part of the craft.

  • Barry

    Being a bit old fashioned, I love old hymns. They tell a story. They reflect the heart of the gospel and Christianity. They have multiple stanzas that are each different from the other and have pit of the gut meaning. The 7-11 Christian music drives me nuts (the same 11 words 7 times).

    Christian rock music??? Being an old fashioned kind of guy that came of age in the 70’s and being smack in the middle of all the crazy rock n roll music from then and the life style that went with it, plus being a drummer that spent half a life time playing to Rush while wearing my head phones; I’ve always feared “Christian rock”. I thought Christians ought to separate themselves from the things the world originates.

    In the end – I think whatever doesn’t defile, and whatever REALLY DOES cause the believer to REALLY worship is good to God in His eyes. A sweet aroma to His nostrils – or a beautiful sound to His ears. We may be surprised that God is tapping His foot to rock and wearing ear plugs at the same time. We will have many opinions. To each his own as long as it edifies and lifts up Jesus.

    Blessings to all, Barry

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