I grew up in the church and I went to a Christian school until I was in the 9th grade. Several times throughout my youth and childhood I was urged to watch videos about how evil Rock and Roll is. I guess this was to make sure that I turned out OK. Some youth groups would even have parties where kids would come and smash their evil CDs. Some of the videos would focus mainly on “secular” music and some would even include “Christian” music claiming that the lyrics didn’t really matter but that the drum beats will magically conjure up demons.
If you ever made a video about the danger of Rock and Roll and left out the band KISS you would be totally incompetent as a Rock-debunker. After all KISS stands for “Knights in Satan’s Service!” Gene Simmons has said that isn’t what the name stands for, but he is probably just lying.
… misinformation about the band began to spread in the southern Bible Belt states, including a rumor that the name KISS stood for Knights in Satan’s Service, and that the four of us were devil worshipers. Ironically, this rumor started as a result of an interview I gave in Circus magazine after our first album; in response to a question, I said that I sometimes wondered what human flesh tastes like. I never wanted to really find out, but I was curious intellectually. Later on, this comment seemed to ignite the idea that in some way KISS was aligned with devil worship. When I was asked whether I worshipped the devil, I simply refused to answer for a number of reasons: the first reason, of course, was that it was good press. Let people wonder. The other reason was my complete disregard for the people who were asking. Through the years, whenever religious fanatics accosted me, especially in the southern states, and quoted the Old Testament at me, I would quote them back chapter and verse. They didn’t know that I had been a theology major in school. An idiot is an idiot . . . whether he quotes the Bible or not.
Gene Simmons has certainly earned a bad reputation, especially with the Christians. I certainly don’t think that he has been a good example in a lot of things. Come to think of it, I haven’t been a good example of a lot of things either. KISS has been bashed by so many people claiming to follow Jesus that it would be understandable if he thought all Christians were all a boatload of complete bigots. Listen to what he just said about Tim Tebow’s faith in God.
So, here is a guy that has been bashed and demonized by the “christian community” and instead of lashing back out he is actually defending those beliefs. How is it that this rock star can show grace in a way that none of those “rock-music-bashers” ever could? I find it disturbing that Jesus rarely spoke out against sinners who were far from God, instead he spoke out against those that were supposedly close to God. If Jesus were here today would he be speaking out against the rock bands of the world and the latest Miley Cyrus gyrations, or would he be speaking out against me?
I’m certainly not saying that we should just go and listen to any music that comes on the radio, we need to exercise discernment. But I think we should check our motivations before we start slinging stones around.