Christians are hated and ridiculed because of our beliefs. The Bible tells us this will happen, 2 Timothy 3:12, Romans 5:3 and 8:18, 1 Peter 5:10, there’s many more references to this—it’s part of being Christian. However, I believe that sometimes Christians are hated because of their poor behaviour.
In a few days the new Violent Soho album Everything is A-ok will be released. They’re song Covered in Chrome recently made its way into triple j’s Hottest 100 of the Decade at #5. The alt-rock band originally formed in Brisbane, the four members grew up in ‘strict Christian families’ (Newcastle Herald, 2017) and eventually came together and started making music. In the past, this band has released songs with some loosely Christian themes, but with Christianity presented negatively.
Christianity presented in secular songs
This is an extract from Violent Soho’s song, Jesus Stole My Girlfriend. The song deals with one of the band member’s girlfriends leaving them in the pursuit of Christianity, and the hurting emotions this man feels as a result:
Every day, every afternoon
Tried so hard, but lost to God
I thought you're my friend, I'll guess again
I look to the clouds, God gives me a frown
This time next year, I'll be married
This time next year, I'll say sorry
Jesus stole my girlfriend
Jesus stole my girlfriend
I’m sure it’s very easy for Christians to respond to these lyrics and go, ‘Oh well God doesn’t really hate you and this is just to make you stronger’ or ‘being devoted to Jesus is more important than human relationships’. I don’t think someone going through the experience described in this song would care to hear this. These lyrics and the emotions behind them are not invalid. Christians should be aware of this.
In an email interview with Diffuser.fm, Violent Soho singer, Luke Boerdam, had this to say in response to the role of Christianity in their album Hungry Ghost:
“Violent Soho has no problem with Christianity or religion for that matter. If you want to believe in a fairy-tale god and dismiss science, I don't really care. What we do have a problem with is certain ‘organizations’ playing with people's hopes and personal lives while profiteering from them. They completely commercialize a concept that should be based purely on charity and goodwill.”
So, apparently not directly opposed to Christianity, but certainly not advocates for the church or a ‘fairy-tale’ god. This response seems a little hostile, but when I think about the feelings behind those lyrics, I find I’m more understanding of this response.
Jesus Stole My Girlfriend came out in 2010, were you aware of it?
What’s going on in the secular world? – this is a question that I think Christians should reflect upon often.
I don’t know what the content of Violent Soho’s next album will contain (aside from what’s already been released), though the band has said on Triple j that it will tackle issues that Australia has been facing in recent times, so it is possible that topics dealing with Christianity may pop-up. I think Christians should be aware of this if they listen to this sort of music or even the band itself. There’s a lesson to be understood from this example.
Some people dislike Christianity not because they hate the religion, but rather, because they’ve had bad personal experiences with people who are Christians. Much like the song Jesus Stole My Girlfriend expresses, of someone you love leaving you for God. I’m not dissing the band, in fact I quite like them, but I think Christians should consider the severity of people’s disappointing experiences with Christian people, and work to amend these perceptions.
We need to appreciate that the bad experiences people have had with Christianity are valid, and we need to begin the conversation by acknowledging them. Although I don’t agree with the views of Violent Soho’s vocalist about Christianity, I do think their lyrics have value and I sympathise with the lyrical content.
If you have any thoughts about this article feel free to @me on twitter to have a discussion about it.
Jackson Reid is a journalism student currently studying at University of Wollongong in Australia. He has been working casually at Pulse 94.1, a Christian radio station, for the last 5 years. He is particularly passionate about youth and kids ministry at church.