The first popular Christian musician who used the “F” word was Bono from U2 with his statement on national TV that the stage at the Golden Globe Awards was “f---ing brilliant.” His statement raised a firestorm of controversy. Because his statement was on live American TV, the FCC was involved and ruled that Bono did not violate FCC standards. They concluded that the wording “f---ing” was used as an adjective not a verb, making it in the same classification as “bloody” which is commonly used on British TV.
Next, there is Brian “Head” Welch who recently left Korn and started his own band because of his conversion to Christianity. His song, Flush, has a very controversial video attached to it. The video has lesbian behavior, scantily clad women and drug use in it. The song makes no mention of Christ, just a dark, nihilistic portrayal of a sinful lifestyle. The last line, “come on, get up, let’s change” is a reference to the life changing behavior that can occur when one opens his/her life up to the saving power of Christ.
I read Head’s autobiography and am impressed with his undying allegiance to our Savior and his commitment to reach an audience that would not normally listen to Christian music. He’s dying to bring his Korn fans to Christ.
Arguably, that’s where P.O.D. is coming from on this new album, Murdered Love. P.O.D. has a large Christian fan base but has always had a wider appeal to the secular world since the albums Southtown and Satellite. There have been rumors that P.O.D. has given up their Christian beliefs. Many believe that P.O.D. will alienate their Christian audience. There have been statements that a Christian should never use the “F” word. The Christian world, from my observation, has not been terribly charitable to P.O.D.
Nevertheless, P.O.D. keeps cranking out terrific music. This new album, Murdered Love, is no exception. The title track, of Jesus’ crucifixion, is an absolute masterpiece and representative of P.O.D.’s finest. However, my favorite track, “I Am” is just mind-blowing. This is the song that has gotten P.O.D. into some hot water. This is the track that uses the “F” word. My heart breaks when I hear this song and it has nothing to do with the fact that P.O.D. uses the “F” word. This song is meaningful to me because it is clear that P.O.D. understands the hurting sinfulness of our world.
Some people are saying that P.O.D. is just trying to reach a wider audience. However, I believe that he is trying to shock his Christian audience out of their white, sanitized Christian bubble. This song is written from the perspective of a person who has been horribly used, abused, and beaten down. Here is a lyrical sample:
I am the murderer, the pervert, sick to the core,
I am the unclean dope fiend, I am the whore
I am the forgotten child, ravaged and raped and sex trafficked
Since I'm a little strange Daddy called me a faggot
Are you the One that's come to set me free?
Cuz if you knew who I am would You really want to die for me?
They say you are the cursed man, the One who hangs from this tree
But I know if this is the One and Only Son of God, so tell me who the F--- is He?
Don’t let the “F” word distract you. This is the way that the used and abused of the world feel. “I’m not worthy of anybody loving. Plus, I live in hell and this God that you talk about doesn’t help me. So, F--- this God!”
Their anger is unmistakable.
These are the people that we see every day, but walking around in our little Christian bubbles we refuse to interact with them. They are the broken, dejected, dirty, the dregs of society. They are the drunken, drugged, prostituted, sexually confused, homeless people that we tend to avoid. How dare I get my hands dirty by interacting with them?!
Our sanitized, white, perfect Christian world needs to be awakened. The world is going to hell around us. They are mad at the way we ignore them and they blame God because of our insensitivity and our hangups on the "proper" way that Christians are to talk and act.
With the song "I Am", I believe that P.O.D. is saying that God will hold us responsible for how we portray His impeccable character to a hurting world.
I am so glad for bands like P.O.D. who rock our world (in more ways than one) and help us to see that there is a dying world out there and we need to be making a difference. People need to see that God cares, God loves and they are worthy of someone dying to save them.
Jesus died to save the world.
Are you dying to share Jesus with this dying world?
Tomorrow, you will see another perspective on swearing from my friend, The Seeking Disciple.
BE A MAN.