Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Deep Depths of Relevancy

I thought I had reached the point where there wasn’t much done in the name of Christianity that would shock me. America has taken just about every worldly device imaginable and tried to Christianize it. Yet there seem to be some last holdouts that are really just too bad to try to pass off as Christian. Or so I thought. It may sound very crude, and I don’t say this for the shock factor, but could you imagine someone trying to pass off pornography as Christian? After what we discovered this week, it doesn’t seem so far off.

The Cornerstone Music & Arts festival is an annual, four-day event held on a 500-acre plot in central Illinois. The main attraction is the music. Multiple stages showcase many different artists and bands who are supposedly Christian. You will probably recognize some of the bigger names: Toby Mac, Skillet, The David Crowder Band, Switchfoot, and the like. While these in and of themselves may present their own problems that would require another blog entry, the Cornerstone Festival has shown itself to have an evil underbelly that is not just a masked attack upon Truth but is bold and blatantly demonic.

The Apprising Ministries blog recently posted an article written by an attendee of the festival who experienced and saw things that are not only shocking but being passed off as Christian. Typifying the worst of the musical acts was a band called Grave Robber whose influences include bands and singers such as Alice Cooper, Type O Negative, GWAR, and Black Sabbath, just to name a few. If you aren’t familiar with these ‘artists’, consider yourself blessed. They are among some of the most evil and, yes, even bloody and gory acts that have been popular in the past 30 years. Grave Robber, decked out in masks and costumes that make them appear like, well, they were just dug up yesterday, even sometimes share the stage with members of the aforementioned bands. They refer to Jesus as the re-animator, and themselves as zombie slaves.

The audience really gets into their performances, too. Comprised of mostly teen-agers and young adults, they are often painted like zombies with make-up blood splatters on their clothes and dripping down their faces. And speaking of zombies, the increasingly popular zombie culture has now been adopted by “christians.” Cornerstone offered a zombie walk that was attended by more than 300 participants who dressed like the living dead. The march ended in a dance that would be considered in the secular world a rave.

Cornerstone also held a movie night that was billed as “not kid friendly,” even though people were encouraged to attend the festival with their entire families. The movies included The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The House of the Devil. First of all, if it is not good for the kids, then why is it good for the adults? Secondly, these movies are a celebration of some of the sickest and most reviled acts of sin imaginable. How is it even remotely possible that these things are edifying to a Christian?

So, you may say, why even point these things out? They are obviously a very extreme segment of a false Christian culture. Yet this is not the case. This is a major event attended by thousands of people that has been held for the past 27 years. There are many who are drawn by mainstream bands such as David Crowder, who, if they are not regenerated, will see their favorite Christian ‘stars’ associated with some of the most degrading and vilest forms of entertainment and fully accept them because that is what their flesh desires. And here, the organizers of Cornerstone, have given thousands of people a blank check for their consciences to pursue the lusts of the flesh because they label these things as Christian.

The organizers of the Cornerstone Festival are wrong with a capital W. They are purveyors of filth. If one cannot see this is wrong and know that the light of Christianity cannot mix with the darkness of Satan, they are in spiritual bondage beyond anything that we have ever seen before. This is the ultimate end of relevance. The overarching thought that one has to be like the culture and in the culture and part of the culture in order to reach the world is the root of this problem. And here we see it reach its logical conclusion. All this does is allow filthy, stinking, sinful people to follow the lust of the flesh and soothe their God-given consciences because they smack the label of Christian on it.

What this has done for us is give us a renewed soberness in the fight to which we are called. It also allows us to praise our Father for the fact that He has rescued us from these things. We are no better than the people who put on this festival. But God has dealt graciously with us to show us light that they have yet to see. If it were not for the grace of God, we would be doing such things, perhaps even worse things.

Continue to remain vigilant with us. Put on the full armor of God, girding your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance . . .

Stand with us and fight the good fight!

Ephesians 5:8-14 For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says:

“ Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.”


  1. all I can say is "Wow"

  2. They are not demonic. They're a good christian band trying to reach people in the horror punk subculture.

  3. if you knew who they were personally and read up on them and not focus on the masks, then you would know they have a creative edge in spreading the gospel.

  4. Have you met Graverobber? Do you know them? Have you tried to speak with them and try to hear where they are coming from? Maybe you can ask them what kind of fruit they have seen. I know them and they are among some of the best people that I know. They love God and they radically serve Him. I have seen them minister, I have seen kids get convicted and repent of their sins and give their lives to Christ as direct result of this ministry. I have seen them out of costume lead amazing worship. What was it exactly that you dont like about them? The music? The costumes? The method? God is using this band to effectively reach people groups that ,for the most part, want nothing to do with God or the church. Christ is being glorified, Christ crucified is being preached and God haters are being coverted. You should them an email.

  5. typical "Christian" BS. Bet they never even spoke with anyone from Grave Robber to find out about them. Another case of not following commandment #9.

  6. Worldly does not mean dressed in a mask. Worldly means associated with the sins and pleasures of this world. Just cause someone puts on a mask does not make them worldly. It also does not make them anymore of a sinner than the guy in khakis and a button up shirt at church on sunday morning. Just cause they are dressed in a costume does not change the heart of the person within. Zomebies are just mythical creatures. Would this blog have been posted if they were dressed as unicorns or leprachauns? So why do people associate zombies with sin so much? Is it cause they are associated with death? Cause everything dies. So why don't we associate everything related to death with sin? So coffins, urns, and preacher doing a eulogy are all sin too.

    Unlike most bands in what is called christian music today Grave Robber preaches a true gospel. I very rarely see "christian" bands preaching the gospel whether it be in rock styles of music or contemporary. And most of the time it is a watered down gospel if you can even call it that. But everytime I have seen Grave Robber play they preach the truth. They talk about how everyone will die and face judgement, which leads them to talking about repentance of sin. Then then talk about grace and what God did for them. On top of that everytime I have seen them they encourage the people there to go evangelize. I applaude them for doing this when so few bands are.

    Also there are some people who have took notice of the true sinfulness going on whithin Cornerstone festival and the lack of biblical preaching there and are going into there to preach solid doctrine and biblical theology. People that preach alot closer to what you do than you would think. People who read Spurgeon and preach from a reformed stand point.

  7. Were you planning to actually address Grave Robber or show some scripture as to specifically why what they do is evil? Or were you just going to judge the book by the cover? You've addressed Grave Robber as the poster child of what is evil in Christian subculture, but you've only mentioned their appearance. You've not dealt with lyrics or anything substantive; you've simply said "they look like demons." Well, what if someone "looks like a witch"? Do you recommend that we burn such a person? Did Jesus say, "Judge things by their appearance"? If you can't practice Matthew 18 or Romans 14, at the very least you could show some journalistic integrity.

  8. Seriously? Since when is dressing up in a costume a sin? And how can you say that enjoying horror movies is a bad thing? Because there's blood in them? There's just as much if not more blood in the Bible than in those movies. Some notable protagonists in the Bible smashed in several people's heads, stabbed a man to death through his stomach, massacred entire cities including the woman and children before offering them as a sacrifice to our God. And that's just a sample.

  9. Man, do some homework on a band before you bash them. I'm the singer for Grave Robber. Would you like to talk? Y'know, like The Bible says in Mathew 18?

  10. Indeed, all I can say is "wow" as well!

    I mean, I know the members of Grave Robber personally. I've played shows with them, and hung out with them outside of those shows.

    To see them accused of being "evil," or leading people astray just reminds me of the good old days, when Christians accused Dungeons and Dragons of being the same as black witchcraft, (despite having not actually researched the matter at all.)

    So again I say, "wow!" Hat's off to your blog for your ill-informed witch hunt! Never mind the sincere prayer and dedication that the band members put into their personal lives. Never mind the scriptural, (and effective,) message that they preach from the stage at every show.

    No no, they're COSTUMES make them evil. After all, when Paul said he tries to be all things, to all people, so he could reach some, he obviously wasn't talking about ZOMBIE fans!

    Apparently, taking the theology that we are dead in Christ, but risen to His glory and making an entertaining zombie/reanimator gimmick out of it turns a band from "sincere Christians" to "one of the most evil bands" out there.

    (Or perhaps the writer of this blog just doesn't like spooky-looking things, and couldn't be troubled to contact the band, their fans, or any of the people who may actually be able to answer some real questions.)

    Once again, this article proves that sometimes good intentions can be the most destructive force in Christianity.

  11. Hey guys. This is the author the blog post. There are a bunch of comments here, and my response is longer than I want to put in this thread. See my comment on the new blog post:
    New Post on the Deep Depths of Relevancy

  12. I founded and performed in a well known, signed Christian heavy metal band. Our concerts were picketed by Christians for our long hair, loud guitars and screaming vocals. Consider this: throughout the 2000-year history of Christianity, the most vile and disgusting things have been done in the name of Jesus (Crusades, Inquisition, genocide, human sacrifice, rape, just to name a few). Other believers almost immediately object and say, “those demonic imposters have ‘high jacked’ Christianity for their evil agendas.” Really? Almost every human act has been performed in the name of Jesus and there will always be someone standing there to agree or disagree with it. This is primarily due to mixed and contradictive messages in the Bible. Is incest a family value? It is obviously not. But that’s not what the Bible says:

    Lot and his two daughters left Zoar and settled in the mountains, for he was afraid to stay in Zoar. He and his two daughters lived in a cave. One day the older daughter said to the younger, "Our father is old, and there is no man around here to lie with us, as is the custom all over the earth. Let's get our father to drink wine and then lie with him and preserve our family line through our father." That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and lay with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up. The next day the older daughter said to the younger, “Last night I lay with my father. Let's get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and lie with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went and lay with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up. So both of Lot's daughters became pregnant by their father. (Gen 19:30-36)

    Surely the New Testament writers would condemn Lot’s actions with his daughters. No way. Jesus and the other teachers in the New Testament refer to Lot as the obedient guy who escaped from Sodom and Gomorrah. The Apostle Peter calls him righteous! If you don’t believe it, I listed it here:

    …and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the filthy lives of lawless men (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard) (2Pe 2:7-8)

    Does Jesus teach peace in the family and in the world? Consider the words of Jesus:

    “Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three.” (Luke 12:51-52) “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matt 10:34)

    Evangelicals today are forced to ignore the verses such as the ones I listed above and choose more socially acceptable passages from the Bible. Those are the few cherry-picked verses that have stood the test of moral time. The farther we get away from the often immoral teachings of the Bible the better we treat each other. Disagree with me? OK, then go out and enforce every law and moral code listed in the Bible. If you do it they will lock you up for murder, rape, genocide and many more crimes.

  13. 1st SAMUEL 16:7...,N'uff Said!!! ~WORD~ ;-)

  14. Thanks, anonymous. I suppose I cannot make judgments on what is evil based on your twisting of that scripture.