rebelling against low expectations

Jiffy N’ Lou: Installment #106

J

In response to a concern voiced by one of our readers (which can be followed in the comment section), and after prayerful consideration + discussion with family and friends, we have decided that the Jiffy N’ Lou comic we just posted was particularly ineffective in communicating a positive message and have therefore removed it. However, we also recognize that there is a simple difference of opinion between our readers. There are many who have been helped and encouraged by Jiffy N’ Lou, and there are a few who have been offended and feel Jiffy N’ Lou has had a negative influence. We feel very badly for the offense but we don’t see evidence of the negative affects.

To promote understanding I would like to share the explanation I posted in response to one of our reader’s concerns:

Dear Marcia,

Thank you for your feedback. We are always in need constructive criticism, especially from those who are older and wiser than we are. Allow me to respectfully explain the theme and/or message of the comic strip and why we are hosting it on our blog.

Jiffy and his friend Lou are misguided, but they are clearly misguided. Their justifications for listening to the music you refer to, as witnessed in Installment #100, and their attempts at conscience appeasement, as witnessed in installments #102 and #104, are portrayed as immature, foolish, and sometimes even downright ludicrous. Their actions are not presented as appealing or admirable.

On the other hand, their immaturity sometimes reminds us of ourselves. And I have found that the best way to discover that my face is dirty is to look into a mirror. That is one of the reasons we include these comic strips.

Furthermore, you must realize that this comic strip’s intended audience is young people who are just being introduced to ideas such as courtship vs. dating, homeschooling, godly standards for movie-watching and music-listening, etc. The comic strip is designed to help those young people laugh at what their going through rather than sulking and/or rebelling.

Finally, I hope that the existence of this comic strip will not subtract from the other resources we have provided that speak very highly of teenage responsibility, respect of parents and authorities, and love for God, family, and country. For the reasons stated above, we do not view Jiffy N’ Lou as a contradiction to those messages.

Thank you again for your feedback. Please keep us in your prayers as we try to please the Lord and serve the brethren.

Please note how the following Jiffy N’ Lou strip exemplifies the qualities I outline above: we do not admire them, but we learn from them. We can laugh at our silliness. We can be entertained and taught.

[Note: In Firefox the image may be enlarged a second time by clicking on it again, once it is in its own window.]

This comic makes me uncomfortable. Not because it encourages rebellion in me or glorifies superficiality (it does the opposite!), but rather because it demonstrates so clearly one of the primary problems with the “Christian” music industry. It also convicts me regarding my own “comformity” to the world. I do not wish to trigger a debate on “rock music” (so everyone, please attempt to remain as general, rather than specific, as possible) but I would ask our readers to consider, and attempt to answer, the following questions:

1.) What is the correct response to Lou’s mother’s questions: How can anyone know if a band is Christian? (Hint: Matthew 7:16)

2.) What, in your opinion, would this (see above) look like? Can you provide any real-life examples?

3.) To what extent, if at all, is it appropriate to “emulate” non-Christian artists, whether in music, or any other form of art?

4.) What is your response to Larry Norman’s question: “Why should the devil have all the good music?”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

About the author

Alex and Brett Harris

are the co-founders of TheRebelution.com and co-authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here. They have a passion for God and for their generation. Their personal interests include politics, filmmaking, music, and basketball. They are both graduates of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.

39 comments

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  • What’s the main theme of this cartoon in particular? And what is the theme of the cartoon in general? What I get from it is a smart aleck, rebellious kid who makes light of spiritual things. I see a nominal Christian teen who puts his love of heathen, hellish music above loving others who aren’t as “enlightened” (en-darkened?) as he is. This saddens my heart and offends me personally.

    I heard something on our local rock station while searching through the channels on our car radio that sums up what I believe the main theme of this particular cartoon is. The announcer said, “We may not respect authority, but we respect the music.” This attitude has no place in the Kingdom.

    Pro 4:13-15 Take fast hold of instruction; let her not go: keep her; for she is thy life. Enter not into the path of the wicked, and go not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away.

  • Dear Marcia,

    Thank you for your feedback. We are always in need constructive criticism, especially from those who are older and wiser than we are. Allow me to respectfully explain the theme and/or message of the comic strip and why we are hosting it on our blog.

    Jiffy and his friend Lou are misguided, but they are clearly misguided. Their justifications for listening to the music you refer to, as witnessed in Installment #100, and their attempts at conscience appeasement, as witnessed in installments #102 and #104, are portrayed as immature, foolish, and sometimes even downright ludicrous. Their actions are not presented as appealing or admirable.

    On the other hand, their immaturity sometimes reminds us of ourselves. And I have found that the best way to discover that my face is dirty is to look into a mirror. That is one of the reasons we include these comic strips.

    Furthermore, you must realize that this comic strip’s intended audience is young people who are just being introduced to ideas such as courtship vs. dating, homeschooling, godly standards for movie-watching and music-listening, etc. The comic strip is designed to help those young people laugh at what their going through rather than sulking and/or rebelling.

    Finally, I hope that the existence of this comic strip will not subtract from the other resources we have provided that speak very highly of teenage responsibility, respect of parents and authorities, and love for God, family, and country. For the reasons stated above, we do not view Jiffy N’ Lou as a contradiction to those messages.

    Thank you again for your feedback. Please keep us in your prayers as we try to please the Lord and serve the brethren.

  • Yeah, I’ve been catching the message from Jiffy ‘n Lou pretty clearly, and I’ve used it as an illustrational point when talking with a few ‘christian’ friends online. It helps them see past their false views of themselves.

    The mirror comment was a beautiful illustration, I must say.

    I wanted to ask you, by the way, if there was a news article on here a while ago.

    Because I came here earlier, and Jiffy’n Lou was the second post on the page, after a very long news article. I went and looked at Jiffy ‘n Lou first, then refreshed the page, but the news article was gone.

    Please let me know if I’m insane or not.

    😉

    God Bless!

    In Christ, John.

  • John: You’re not insane. There was a news article, but it was removed because we decided to rework the post to be more commentary and less article.

  • Excuse me, but I believe that the most appropriate and beneficial mirror one needs to be looking into is the Word of God (James 1:22-25).

    My friends, can you honestly say that this cartoon is a tool in witnessing? I am almost sure that no one is looking at this cartoon and laughing at themselves. In fact, I would have to say that they are, in fact, encouraged to continue in their rebellion against God and His ordained authorities.

    Pride, rebellion, and back-talking parents in a sarcastic manner are not a laughing matter. There are actually readers of your blog who will read and enjoy this cartoon, relate to the main character in all his debauchery, and will become more fully entrenched in their rebellion. Unfortunately, I have known teens personally with the attitude of this character, and their lives have only developed into one tragedy after another. Do you want to be guilty of that?

    Do you understand the essence of the word ‘profanity?’ To profane something is to take that which is holy and make it common. When the character of this cartoon keeps saying that God has been good and doesn’t really mean it, he is using profanity in its most deplorable sense.

    I pray you would reconsider your use of this cartoon on your blog. It just doesn’t jive with the separated Christian life your family usually portrays.

  • Thanks for the cartoon!

    [Note From Editor: Nicky, I’m afraid some of the content on the website you linked to is inappropriate and for that reason we have removed the link. I hope you understand.]

    Thanks for the great blog by the way, It is always a pleasure to read!

  • Marcia, as a Christian parent, I can appreciate your viewpoint and insights. Yes, after looking at the posts on Rebelution as see two young men who, along with a number of other young Christian bloggers are trying to be a light on the internet. The humor in the Jiffy and Lou comic may not be to your liking, but the heart of what is behind it was well expressed in Brett’s respectful reply to your post. I agree that sarcasm and rebellion against God is rampant in society, but please don’t take one little part of this blog-site without looking at the whole picture. There are plenty of other posts on this site that may be of interest to you. (I especially like the Rise of the Kidult series.) If you read their other posts you can see that rebellion against authority is not their intent. From what I ascertain from Brett and Alex’s posts is that they are not promoting rebellion against authority, but rather rebelling against unbiblical preconceived ideas of how teens should behave. I am rather amazed at how combative you seem to be on the issue.
    In Christ,
    Ponderin’

  • I understand Marcia’s feelings. I felt the same way the first time I saw the cartoon series (in Josh’s New Attitude magazine). It was clear to me from the rest of the magazine (and it is clear from the rest of this blog) that the cartoons were not meant to promote rebellion, but even though I knew that, the series was very disconcerting, and I didn’t know how to respond.

    At this point, I am personally ok with the cartoons, because I recognize the intent behind them, and I realize they are probably quite effective for some audiences. At the same time, I know that satire and humor are very hard to do without sending confusing messages, and I don’t fault some readers for feeling as disconcerted as I used to feel. Sometimes, it is just very difficult to identify the real intent behind such humor. If the intent is NOT clear to a reader, and if the message is missed, the cartoons come across very badly.

    Perhaps one solution would be to frame the cartoons in a context that indicates they are NOT meant literally. I think you’ve already done this before, but you could, for example, include the cartoon, with a few serious questions following that help readers understand and think about its real message. That approach sort of detracts from the humor and genius of satire, but it might at least ensure that readers are not drastically confused and alienated by a misunderstanding.

  • 1.) I think the correct response would be that a Christian ‘Band’ could be identified by an entirely biblical orthopraxy.

    They wouldn’t be playing the dating game, showing off their ‘WWJD’ tattoo’s, and their music would glorify God. Not the lyrics, the music. Of course, the lyrics should glorify God as well, and have meaning, not just a ‘happy clappy’, “my life was boring until I found Jesus, and he is almost as cool as my ‘M’ rated video games’ lyrics, but a truly, scripturally based, teaching lyric.

    Now, back to the music. I’m personally trying to understand this as well, and I only have common sense knowledge of this. Doug Phillips has a very deep understanding of ‘musical philosophy’, and I would love to know what he does about this issue, but for now, stick with me on this.

    I believe rock music is stereotyped as being completely reckless. Why? Because most of it IS reckless. The instruments used are not clear, and when many of them are used together, it creates disorder. Confusion, is a better word.

    1 Corinthians 14:33

    For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

    God doesn’t author confusion. The phrase ‘It’s just a bunch of noise to me’ is used all the time to describe pop and rock. And I must say, most of it is. There’s no order to the sound.

    Now, Hans Zimmer and John Williams have no lyrics in their orchestral music, but most of it (there are some disorderly tracks) is orderly, and peaceful. It’s very lovely to the ear, and any Christian around the world can listen to it and enjoy it.

    So first, the music must be Godly, in that it must be orderly, and peaceful (even if it’s ‘The Blacksmith of Brandywine’ it can be peaceful) and the lyrics must also be orderly, sensible, and meaningful.

    So that describes the product of the bands creativity, and how it should be Christian, but the bands themselves must follow that practice. They must be orderly, separated from the world, and called out. They shouldn’t wear earrings and punk clothing, just because they’re ordained with crosses or ‘WWJD’. Because I have a feeling that one thing Jesus wouldn’t do, is wear earrings or muscle shirts.

    I feel it would be completely appropriate for a band to perform in suits and ties, and I think they should.

    2.) I’ve seen it a lot. Generally, the parents don’t care, as long as the music is labeled ‘Christian’. My Dad doesn’t care what somebody is called, he cares how they look, and how they sound. By that, we determine whether we should listen or not.

    I have a tendency to be a pushy ‘D’ type personality, and somewhat rebellious. Not on purpose, and I constantly correct myself, but I have that nature. Then again, we all do.

    But I was listening to a song called ‘American Pie’. A friend of mine said it had to do with the end times, so I figured it must be a good song. Dad heard it from down the hall, and immediately told me

  • Dad heard it from down the hall, and immediately told me to shut it off.

    He was right. There was something about that song that was depressing and evil. Neither of us really knew what, but it was pretty enough that I figured I’d let it go.

    Well, upon research, I discovered that the music revolved entirely around death, the satanistic nature of rock bands, and how depressing this young mans life was. You can’t read the lyrics and find this, but upon reading why he wrote the lyrics the way he did, I was completely amazed.

    Needless to say, I don’t listen to that song much anymore. ‘not much’ as in, not at all.

    3.) Emulation of non-Christian artists shouldn’t be the goals of a Christian. Christians shouldn’t emulate non-Christians at all. We should do what is good, and just, and righteous, and acceptable, and virtuous, as is judged by God’s word.

    That even goes to clothing. God wants Women to wear dresses, and Men to wear pants. It’s biblical that the men girded up for battle, and the women girded around, for protection and covering. So emulating Rebecca St. James, who is known to wear ‘hip’ clothing, which reveals her form, to a level that is considered ‘Christian’ in the worlds eyes, but is not ordained by God’s word. She isn’t supposed to go into battle, and she isn’t the high priest of her home, so she should be in submission to her Father, and wear a dress.

    4.) The devil doesn’t have the good music. He has the ‘attractive’ music.

    Such a question is almost as ridiculous as ‘Why should the devil have all the pretty girls’, which isn’t true. He doesn’t have them. He merely twists them, and has them do things that are not at all Christian, which of course causes us to focus on them. Beauty in Christian Women is appropriately hidden.

    Beauty in Christian music, is also appropriately hidden. The lyrics stand strong, but the music is subtly far more beautiful (Not attractive, necessarily) than music of the world.

    Wow, that was really, really, really long.

    Alex, or Brett, if you read this, I’d love your comments or advice. Let me know where I’m wrong. Or even just read it and let me know you did, because that was so long, if you read the whole thing, I’m delighted.

  • John: I read it! It wasn’t too long. We so appreciate you taking the time to think through and write about these issues. We just pray that you came away with a better understanding of your own beliefs and that you stretched and grew through writing. Plus, we know that we have benefited from reading it, and we are positive that others will as well. Keep it up!

    Specific feedback will have to come later. I need to go and make dinner! God bless!

  • 1.) I enjoy listening to some Christian rock. But I have discovered you cannot tell if a band is Christian by whether they refer to G-d or not. I used to listen to one band who sung about G-d in one song, then in their next CD they used obscenities in their lyrics. Obviously, though they may profess Christianity, the fruit of their spirits is contrary to the fruits of the spirit listed in the Bible. Because of this I have learned that one must not just look for the word “G-d” in the lyrics of the song, but also read their lyrics to see if they are on the whole, reflective of a Christian/Biblical view of life.

    To me, another heavy indication of whether a band is truly Christian or not is whether their lyrics are edifying. In Jiffy ‘N Lou, they talk about a fictional band called “Shallow.” I’ve heard many bands, even on my local Christian rock station, sing about very shallow topics (i.e. happiness, dating, etc.) While they may not say anything bad their songs, their songs are not edifying and do not pass the Phil. 4:8 filter.

  • To clarify my original comment, I wasn’t saying that I thought it was funny in the sense that the charactor was doing what was right. I still think it was a great cartoon, however, and didn’t have any problems. In my opinion, it’s taking the concept of “bad influence” too far when even seeing sin such as this portrayed as stupidity isn’t ok. But that’s just my personal opinion 🙂

  • Alex: You also have to remember that classic comic strips such as Calvin & Hobbes, Foxtrot, and Dilbert, all work off the premise that perfect people aren’t very funny. Therefore they present imperfect, often stupid people who make us laugh without making us admire them.

  • I’m trying to understand where all of you are coming, because I believe God teaches us to be understanding; but I can not. Many of you leaving comments seem confrontational and self rightieous. It’s sickening to me. I do not consider myself to be a “good christian” by any means but if you are the “spiritually mature” of our generation then I am happy to be where I am. You are so quick to label and so slow to lood for the good. I am not a frequent conasuer of Christian rock, but I know for a fact that it has been extremely benificial to many of my Christian friends. Who are you to target those who make and listen to Christian rock if it brings any glory to the Kingdom of God. As I said before, I do not consider myself to be a “good christian” by any standards let alone Biblically speaking, but I promise you, the comments you have left are not of God. You are part of a new age generation of Christians that make Christian living unatainable. You are the pharasies of this generation. God forgive me if I’ve said anything contrary to the God’s Word, but I say it in hopes that you will abandon your judgemental state of mind, and turn to the loving, patient, way of thinking that Jesus had. I appologize if this comment was not as articulate as the previous, but I hope my point has been made.

  • There have been some really good comments made. I would like to add my 2 cents. Speaking of my own personal experience, music has strongly affected my life. I personally like country music. There was a time that country and ‘Christian’ music were the only music I listened to. Here is what Jesus showed me by His grace. Country music was making me focus on myself and what I wanted. Not God’s will, and how I should live. Also, my selection of ‘Christian’ music became very contemporary (i.e. rocky). I liked the beat, the wildness, and the tough as nails feeling when driving down the road with the music blaring. When I became aware that my life was starting to mirror the values portrayed in the music, which I was devoting so much time to, I made a change. I quit listening to country music for 6 months. I also started listening to calmer Christian music that focused on God and His love for me. The main use wasn’t what music I heard. The main issue is what I chose to digest/desire. You are always encouraging growth. The question is what is growing. Self or God. What is the music you are hearing appealing to? Some of the comments above jumped to other subjects and made statements that can’t be backed by the bible. I would encourage everyone to take the truth from what they said and not throw out everything just because they make a statement that we disagree with. If we seek Him with our hearts our lives will follow. I have enjoyed the discussion.
    In Christ,
    Noah

  • I think the point that it makes is very good (I didn’t know that most record label were owned by secular companies). I know my sister has been completely turned off of Christian music because of the corruption of it’s stars and now will only listen to the most wicked of secular music. I agree with the point that there is a lot of “Christian” music that is more about pleasing the flesh than glorifying God. How can it be Christian if it’s only godly in that it says “God” every now and then? The questio I ask people is “How can you please and glorify a God of light in whom there is no darkness, with music that is FULL of darkness?”

  • Ha ha ha. Right on. Thats what alot of ‘christian’ bands are… I could say more, but it isn’t usefull.

    Blessings
    > Beth

    If your too busy to laugh, your too busy!

  • I personally think that the term “Christian band” is misleading. Jon Foreman of supergroup Switchfoot put it this way: (and I may paraphrase him just a little, for clarity) “Christ did not come to die for my music. He came to die for me…Are Bach’s sonatas Christian?” The point he was making was that DISCERNING Christians can enjoy art in the form it is meant to be enjoyed in- whether it’s Bach, or Switchfoot, or Sheryl Crow. I personally don’t listen to much Christian music- it’s all the same “happy-clappy” stuff. And a lot of it is self centered- “Jesus died for ME” “I have to tell everyone what he did dor ME” etc. Not that there’s anything wrong with it, I just choose to believe that there is more to Christianity than that. Anyway.
    Since I don’t listen to much “Christian” music (as opposed to what, non-Christian music?) I listen to mainstream rock. And I get a lot of enjoyment out of it. My favorite band is Linkin Park. They are not a “Christian band” but they deal with life issues in a very non-threatening way. I was dealing with some mild depression for a while, and honestly, their music really helped me out of it. Another favorite of mine is The Fray. Thier big hit right now, “How To Save A Life” deals with suicide or a friend. And they deal with it very commendably- no angst, anger, or depression. What I want to know is, why are a lot of Christian bands scared to touch subjects like that?! That’s what teens are dealing with! We don’t need tunes that they play on AC Christian radio (Adult Contemporary). We need “sanitized” music!
    I’m sorry if I offended anyone. This is a subject I feel very, very strongly about, and I know I’m not the best at articulating my thoughts. Let me know if I need to clear anything up that I said.

  • I have not read all the comments but I will say this: I read the strip, laughed, and felt uncomfortably convicted in the end. In other words, it worked. You can not say that ‘others will associate with the wicked person’ and keep that from letting the strip appear on the site. Some people will sadly associate with Judas and Satan (it has happened many times and is happening now) but that didn’t keep Jesus from preaching the Truth. If you are a Christian you will understand it and (through the Holy Spirit) hear the message, if not, its just blur…
    for the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing but to those who believe, it is the gift of eternal life (I forget exactly how it goes, but that’s the jest of it).
    Jdc

  • One more comment…
    I agree that God is a God of order, but I’m a bit confused about saying rock is disorderly. For instance the song ‘Stars’ by Swithcfoot (my favorite guitar song) is very “disorderly” in the sense that it is very complex and the notes are jumping around, but it is still in an order that is pleasing to the ear. BY disorderly what do you mean? Obviously someone randomly playing notes is terrible to the ear, and very disorderly, but there are not many songs that are played without an order that will make a decent sound.
    Joshua DC
    I just don’t find anywhere in the Bible where Jesus says that this type of music is bad. He ENCOURAGES loudness, and energy in music (read Psalms) which many Christians seem afraid to display.

  • (I said I was awful at expressing myself.) I think all I was trying to say is that music does *not* have to expressly say God, Jesus, or churchy terms to be considered glorifying or Christian or edifying. I was saying that teens like myself who are dealing with real-life issues do not need to hear the latest rendition of “Lord I Lift Your Name On High”- while there’s nothing wrong with that song, most normal kids don’t want to hear that when your friends are contemplating suicide!
    And Joshua, I totally and completely agree with you that God encourages lodness and energy! At one celebration in Old Testament times, the music was so loud that the earth shook! I’m willing to bet that if everything was THAT loud, people probably weren’t standing there scowling, with arms folded. 😉 I think there’s not enough musical energy in the church today when it comes to worship.

    Basically, I think all I’m trying to say is that music does not need to be something you hear in Church to be considered Christian, and that people just need to loosen up about music in general. A book that I recommend is Body Piercing Saved My Life, by Andrew Beaujon. (I will warn you, there is some language.) It explains it far better than I’ll ever hope to be able to.

    Peace, love, and rock & roll in Christ,
    Cassandra

  • Wow,

    I had no idea my senior paster (Joshua Harris) was such a good cartoonist. Way to Go Mr. Harris. Anyway, i noticed some coments on Rock music and disorderly music on this article. Well music is something i study a lot, as a musician who wants to make it my profession (Lord willing) it’s neccessary to be keen on theory and styles. I see most rock music (or any style, whether i like it or not) to be very orderly. Anyone who has studyed music theory for ten minutes+ and knows what a ‘musical key’ is, they know that no music that carries a melody/rythm/harmony is disorderly (unless played out of a musical key/mode). All music styles are pieces of art and are creative. God is the ultmate creater and He made us in His image so we glorify God when we use creativity for His glory(Genesis 1:1, 1:26-27, Col. 1:15-16, read these for Biblical reference). He wants us to cultivate creativity because it reflects His attributes of creativity and brings Him Glory.
    Also, one thing must be made clear. Rock/Rap/Country/Techno/Blues/Jazz/etc. styles are not in any way the devil’s music. No style of music is unbiblical, and i mean it. I do NOT agree that Satan “has all the good music”! Thats undermining God’s creativity. God Loves music and loves new songs and commands skill and creativity (Psalm 147:1,7/148:1-14/149:1-9/150:1-6}for skill-{Ex. 36:1, 1 Chr. 25:7, Ps. 33:3, Romans 12:6-8}) but God commands upright speach and NO corrupt speech (Eph. 4:29, Psalm 17:3, Psalm 19:14, 39:1, Prov. 12:14, 16:23, 17:27, Jeremiah 15:19, Eph 5:6, Col 3:17, James 3:3-6) The devil uses good music to make evil/immoral/unbiblical lyrics attractive. Music (Spiritual or secular) should never, ever be judged souley by the “music”(rythm/melody/etc.) but most importantly by the lyrical message and content. At our church (CLC http://www.covlife.org) our pastoral team, when choosing CDs to put in our bookstore, reads the lyric booklet before they listen to the songs. That way they are not swayed by the catchy beat or stuck-in-your-head tunes. This should, in my humble opinion, should be the practice of not just a pastoral team but of parents. Parents NEED to be involved in what thier children are involved with, what thier influences are (and music is a huge influence and ‘friend’), and who thier friends are. I could go on, but that is something that requires much more biblical references and time than i am able to give right now. just to clarify, i am a teen, who thinks like a teen, but i am a transformed teen, ive been transformed by grace and have a biblical world view, not a rose colored-glasses view. I believe all that i have said, and will standbye it all the way. I believe that God’s word has a LOT to say about music. He even devoted the longest book in the Bible to it, Psalms. Please read the references i have provided, and thank you so much Brett and Alex for the spiritually chalanging and enriching articles/posts on rebelution. You guys ROCK & ROLL. Oh and it does not take long at all to search the web and find great bands with good theological standings and awesome music. I found Whitecross that way and man they speak the truth like no other band ive heard and they rock hard.(Whitecross is from the late eighties/early nineties and they are very skillful and give all the Glory to God!). Well, i think i just completed a seminar on Music and the Bible so, thanks for reading. Peace,

    Always in Christ,

    Philip W. R
    From G-Burg MD,
    A youth of Covanent Life Church

  • This is a hot issue, one that I’ve been thinking about lately. Basically, my life is steeped in Christian music. Specifically rock music. And I honestly don’t know quite what to make of the issue. I know that there’s been a lot of name calling on both sides. And I think that getting some input from God (read: praying about it) would be wise. On both sides.

  • Brett and ALex, I am ashamed of you for putting this up there. When it comes to christian rock you guys slam it and tear it apart for no reason I can see. This comic is disgusting. It is mocking the christian market and putting words into their mouth. And I have a request, show me one time that a current christian band has ever said, “All we care about is money and fame”.

  • I’m not sure what’s so evil about American Pie. The song is about the death of Buddy Holly and several other talented musicians, as well as a social commentary. The “end times as a main theme” interpretation is very sketchy, the song’s been debated for decades and everything outside of the plane crash is up for individual interpretation. As with any rock song, or any genre of music, if you don’t listen to the lyrics and judge the music based on your neurosis, that’s exactly what you’ll get out of the song.

    I don’t listen to music to hear what I want to hear, I listen to get what I can out of a piece of art. If you get a “feeling” from a song without even hearing it all the way through, chances are you are in the group of people that believe Led Zeppelin IV was created by Satan because Stairway to Heaven sounds creepy if you play it backwards at a certain speed. Sometimes people write music just to express themselves and connect with an audience, rarely with bad intent. It’s the people that have to judge the Beatles and Led Zeppelin and CCR and Black Sabbath because the music seems threatening, that are missing out. Black Sabbath with Ozzy Osbourne seems to be particularly frightening, even when all the man sings about is love and peace while ridding the world of hate, greed, and corruption. John Lennon says one wildly misinterpreted statement in the mid-60’s and the Beatles end up having to flee a country at gunpoint because everyone jumped to unreasonable conclusions. Led Zeppelin was called Satanic because Jimmy Page is weird and Robert Plant’s octive range can be interpreted as anything when played backwards. CCR somehow still draws anger for “Fortunate Son,” decades after the Vietnam War wasted thousands of American lives.

    If people just listened to the music and thought about what they heard without prejudgement, there wouldn’t be a market for “Christian Bands,” nor any conflict over just how Christian a band needs to be to be called “Christian,” Christians could simply be artists that don’t have to emulate other bands to gain acceptance.

  • I should also add that the generally accepted interpretation of American Pie is Don McLean’s view of the 60’s in comparison to the 50’s, starting with a young Don McLean discovering that Buddy Holly and others had died in a plane crash. The song is definitely negative; McLean laments the fading religion within the public and the escalating violence in protests and rock concerts, as well as the Manson killings. He sees the public fighting for civil rights and peace on Earth in all the wrong ways, while the Kennedys and the Beatles begged for peaceful change. Bob Dylan was injured in a motorcycle accident and, after being the young peoples’ voice of the 60’s, was not available when the 60’s peeked. Other bands such as the Rolling Stones “sold out” in order to maintain their popularity. The end of the song implies that the 60’s failed to end war and corruption, and the “future” was left to the next generation. It’s not a happy song, just a man’s point of view, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the “end times,” supporting Satan or an obsession with death.

  • I can see why some people would flag that as offensive, but only if they know that it’s true and they don’t want to except it.

  • In reply to “Luke Green”

    Actions speak louder that words.

    Now I’m not going to claim that every CCB (Contemporary, Christian, Band) it just out to make money and be famous, I don’t believe they are, but they don’t seem to be any different then the secular bands. The only difference is there lyrics, thats about it.

    I see it like this: say you were telling someone to go get some ice cream, only you did so using the same tone of voice as a enraged person set on smashing his key board because he lost some game! Do you think that would be effective? How do you think the person would react to your message? I believe that this is essentially what CCBs are doing, they have the right message (some/most of them), but they are sending it through the wrong carrier.

    [email protected]

    PS. Oh and I liked the comic, I thought is was funny, and yet enlightening/thought provoking.

  • Wow, that was really an eye-opener! I love Jiffy N’ Lou. Oh, and thank you Roy for explaining American Pie. I wanted to respond to whoever said it was evil, but I didn’t really have the essential thought organization. It’s a very thought-provoking song.

  • Another small thought; there are a lot of crazy interpretations of that song out there, if you ever Google it or something you’ll see what I mean. My dad and I were researching it, and we found a very sensible explanation, namely the historical and social narrative viewpoint, which makes way more sense than, say, predicting 9/11 (seriously, that was one of them, how insane is that?).

  • This Jiffy N’ Lou comic shows a very important problem with the world of Christian music. The big question is, “Is this pleasing to God or are these so-called ‘Christian’ songs?”

  • You are my intake , I possess few web logs and infrequently run out from to post : (. comments by Armando Pasco @ This blog post is mentioned in the email from Bryon Mchan @ <a href=鈥渉ttp://www.tablethowto.com/鈥?Tablet Tutorial

rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →