Posted by: warnick68 | December 23, 2008

The Testimony Of A Former Korn Member And Some Thoughts Beyond

bhw

This is going to be a long post.

I was sent a ‘shout’ via Digg today about the video testimony of Brian “Head” Welch.

For those of you who don’t know, Brian Welch was at one time the guitarist for the group Korn.

I had known he had left the group some years ago and become a Christian but had never really heard the story behind it. His video can be viewed here along with the testimony of others.

I understand many may not care to hear this mans testimony but I find it interesting for a couple different reasons.

One, because I am a Christian and I do find myself interested in hearing how others came to know Christ.

Two, because Brian was representative of a scene I was very much a part of at one time in my life.

After having watched the video I found myself thinking about it but thinking about it beyond him. Remembering how it was I became so wrapped up in that kind of music and the lifestyle that went with it. How much of an influence it was in my life and the choices I made.

You’ve heard the saying, “the sound tract of my life”?

Punk rock and thrash metal were, without a doubt the sound tract of my life from the time I came across ‘Nervous Breakdown’ by Black Flag in 1980. I was twelve.

A good little Mormon boy gone bad (I’m no longer Mormon by the way).

Black Flag, Dead Kennedy’s, Slayer, Exodus, Storm Troopers of Death, Method of Destruction, Testament, Suicidal Tendencies, some examples of the groups I was listening to with in the years to come.

If the band names themselves aren’t a bit of an insight for those of you who are unfamiliar, then I’ll provide some quick lyric samples for context.

From Nuclear Assault:

Hang the Pope hang the Pope hang the Pope Hang the Pope hang the Pope hang the Pope

Hang him with a **** rope
Let’s go to the Vatican, get him out of bed Put the noose around his neck and hang him till he’s dead.

From Slayer, my one time favorite band:

The Gates of Hell lie waiting as you see, There’s no price to pay just follow me
I can take your lost soul from the grave, Jesus knows your soul can not be saved
Sacrifice the lives of all I know they Soon shall die

Their souls are damned to rot in Hell and keep the fire growing deep inside
Hell awaits
.

From Celtic Frost:

Sleep brings no wish to knit, My harassed heart beneath, My only wish is to forget, In the sleep of death.
Death is my joy, I long to be at rest
I wish the damp earth covered, This desolate breast

Imagine slamming these and similar words in to your mushy teenage brain for hours on end, day after day, year after year.

This post does have a point.

This music, these lyrics, that life, stunted my growth both mentally and spiritually.

It matters what we take in to our hearts and minds.

It matters what we allow our children to take into their hearts and minds.

It matters greatly.

Part of the message here is that despite what those involved in this kind of music might say, music can and does influence the way you think and act. I can say with 100% certainty that while thrash and punk were not directly responsible for my being involved in drugs, alcohol, crime and violence they without a doubt influenced me in those directions.

As a parent, be aware of what it is your kids are listening to. Take time not just to hear the sound of the music but read the lyrics as well. Don’t make the assumption that your influence on your child is greater than music (or any other given medium) might be.

If you leave it strictly to your children to locate those things and those people that will impact their lives, then they will. No doubt children are capable of making good choices in life, no doubt you cannot make all of their choices for them. No doubt there are others out there who want to indoctrinate your child.

Others do in fact want the mind of your child, Korn wants their mind so that they continue to sell CD’s and sellout concerts. Pornographers want their mind to sell their products. Atheists want them in order to further their world view.

I am not afraid to say I do seek to indoctrinate my children, that is, win them to my world view, the Christian world view. I seek this because I want them to know the God who created them and I want them to serve the God that created them.

If I do not indoctrinate them, someone else will.

Am I going to indoctrinate them, or am I going to allow Korn or maybe Ludacris to indoctrinate them?

As parents we cannot be afraid to engage in this battle.

I don’t lie to my kids and I do not hide them or keep them sheltered from the world they live in. They are taught creationism, but they are no less exposed to the theory of evolution and the reasons provided in support of evolution.

They are raised in a Christian home and taught Christian doctrine, but are not ignorant of Islam and the Quran, Mormonism and the Book of Mormon, etc.

I figure I am the only thing standing between one of my kids becoming everything I was and worse (I know in reality I am not the only thing, for instance there is my wife, there is God), from becoming everything my parents thought I would be.

One of the greatest heartaches I have ever known came the day I discovered that my own father had feared me when I was a teenager. He thought that it was very likely that I would some day cause him physical harm or worse.

Every member of my immediate family felt with near certainty that I would spend a good portion of my life in prison.

As I said, I cannot say that the music I listened to or the groups that made that music caused me to be the little street punk I was. I was the cause, but the music did influence me in that direction.

The music influenced Brian Welch in that direction.

If you are not influencing your children in a given direction, then someone else or something else is.

If you are not putting into your children the things that will help them grow spiritually and mentally be sure there are thousands of things out there that are competing for that child’s attention that will retard their growth.

I don’t write any of this to try and make anyone fear anything or to try and make anyone put fear into their children.

Brian’s video testimony was just a reminder to me of times past and how we as parents must be aware of the world we are raising our children in. That we must know parenting is a serious charge and while our children hold responsibility in who it is they are as men and women, we too hold responsibility.

Not that my kids are approaching anything near perfection, but I look around kids today and I wonder if we as a society are really taking parenting seriously. If we as Christian parents really take our children’s relationship with God seriously.

That’s it.

I apologize if it seemed a bit heavy, but it felt heavy on my heart.

Unfortunately it also seems a bit ‘all over the map’, but I think the gist, the essential meaning got across.

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Responses

  1. You have a good message and its comes from an experienced heart. Don’t stop spreading the Message of change and influence. Thanks for the post.

  2. Keith, excellent post. No apology needed. Whatever emotional, psychological, or spiritual harm punk rock and thrash metal did to you, rap music did to me. I don’t think I ever had my family in fear of bodily harm or anything like that but I’m sure they were worried about me doing harm to myself.

    I thank God that he’s changed you to be the person you are now and allowed you to be the father that you are. Praise the Lord for the testimony of his saints. Thanks for posting yours brother!


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