Linkin Park (and why they are probably Christian even if they don’t know it yet)

Apparently this is not a new thought or theory.  I mentioned this briefly before and my wife and I have discussed this frequently, but I had never actually researched this.  So if you google “linkin park christian” you find an amazing amount of discussion about this, even a Christianity Today article! (1)   Linkin Park has historically been one of my favorite bands, though in a somewhat peripheral way.  They can’t really be called a Chrisitian band in the classic sense partially because they make good music (2).  Many Christians would have a problem with their themes and lyrics but also in their presentation.  This has often been a problem for people with Christian rap who say essentially “how can music from a genre that glorifies sin be about Jesus”.  My wife discussed this in detail in her blog (3).  See in particular point #5 which the discussion revolves around this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MllhC0qyEjY&feature=player_embedded

 I link that video because it’s a nice example of the rap/rock/punk fusion that’s actually somewhat similar in style to some of Linkin Parks stuff (maybe emphasis on the rap while Linkin Park is emphasis on the rock/punk), but actually is fully Christian music. 

On the surface one might listen to a Linkin Park song and hear nothing but loud screaming (depending on the song, some of their recent stuff is pretty toned down and tame), but closer evaluation quickly leads to the source of my claim.   I should note at this point that my assertion that they are Christian is somewhat tongue in cheek as I do think that to be a Christian you have to profess a faith in Jesus Christ so you can’t really be one without knowing it.  I do think however that some people are very close to the Truth and just need to make one more leap to get there.   I was there once. 

So let’s take a closer look at some of Linkin Park’s music and see why I have this opinion:

Link Park, In the End,  (4) Chorus:

I tried so hard
And got so far
But in the end
It doesn’t even matter
I had to fall
And lose it all
But in the end
It doesn’t even matter

Ecclesiastes 1:13-15

13 I devoted myself to study and to explore by wisdom all that is done under heaven. What a heavy burden God has laid on men! 14 I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.

Ecclesiastes 2:11

11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
       and what I had toiled to achieve,
       everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
       nothing was gained under the sun.

Ok so those are fairly common nihlistic themes and might point more to the ageless timeliness of the writings in Ecclesiastes more then a real example of Linkin Park being Christian. 

But that’s sort of my central thesis about Linkin Park, they deal with topics of sin, death, life, and while some might not agree with some of their cursing or even their presentation and angst (again see my wife’s discussion about teenage angst in section 4 of the same blog post).  They deal with timeless themes that are relavent and beautiful to all people. 

Linkin Park, No More Sorrow (5)

No, no more sorrow
I’ve paid for your mistakes
Your time is borrowed
Your time has come to be replaced

I see pain, I see need
I see liars and fiends
Abuse power with greed
I had hope, I believed
But I’m beginning to think that I’ve been decieved
You will pay for what you’ve done

No, no more sorrow
I’ve paid for your mistakes
Your time is borrowed
Your time has come to be replaced

Thieves and hypocrites!
Thieves and hypocrites!
Thieves and hypocrites!

Probably an anti-government, anti-big buisness, anti-greed song, but I also hear the theme of final judgement and final reckoning.  I hear Judgement:

Jeremiah 30:12-15

“This is what the LORD says:
       ” ‘Your wound is incurable,
       your injury beyond healing.

 13 There is no one to plead your cause,
       no remedy for your sore,
       no healing for you.

 14 All your allies have forgotten you;
       they care nothing for you.
       I have struck you as an enemy would
       and punished you as would the cruel,
       because your guilt is so great
       and your sins so many.

 15 Why do you cry out over your wound,
       your pain that has no cure?
       Because of your great guilt and many sins
       I have done these things to you.

Ok, well I’m going to leave my comparisons there beause the tempation is to continue to search the Bible to make it fit with Linkin Park’s lyrics to make a point.  A point that I’m sort of jokingly making to point out that it often feels like all people have some version of God’s Truth printed on their hearts.  The agnostics or Universalists out there will say “YES! How can you know for sure…” in which I would disagree with them, but I do think there’s a lot of truth to the idea.  C.S. Lewis discusses this very idea in great detail in Mere Christianity, here are two nice quotes from that:

We have two bits of evidence about the Somebody. One is the universe He has made. If we used that as our only clue, I think we should have to conclude that He was a great artist (for the universe is a very beautiful place), but also that He is quite merciless and no friend to man (for the universe is a very dangerous and terrifying place.) …The other bit of evidence is that Moral Law which He has put in our minds. And this is a better bit of evidence than the other, because it is inside information. You find out more about God from the Moral Law than from the universe in general just as you find out more about a man by listening to his conversation than by looking at a house he has built -Mere Christianity

My argument against God was that the universe seemed so cruel and unjust. But how had I got this idea of just and unjust? A man does not call a line crooked unless he has some idea of a straight line. What was I comparing this universe with when I called it unjust? – Mere Christianity

 The book as a whole deals with the theme that there is a universal moral code and that points toward their there being an abolute Truth.    So Truth can be found in many types of music and art and for me Linkin Park is awfully close. 

Post-script: I can’t get the embed link function to work, which I know my wife knows how to do so I will be finishing this post up some over the weekend and embedding the videos and probably formatting the quotes to stand out from the rest of the text a little better. 

1.  http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/music/glimpsesofgod/2003/meteora.html

2. http://oursovereignjoy.blogspot.com/2008/08/what-can-christian-radio-learn-from.html

3.  http://dorothyinidaho.wordpress.com/2008/09/26/response-is-rap-inherently-evil/

4. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AWbgkRpYwc

5.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyBFySXi6Cc

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Published in: on February 26, 2010 at 8:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

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