50 Shades of Grey or Contemporary Christian Music Lyrics? A Quiz

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By R.L. Stollar, HA Community Coordinator

Growing up evangelical, I listened to a lot of Contemporary Christian Music (CCM). I never understood the whole “rock music causes demons to eat your brain” mentality. But I did understand — to some extent — their point that Christian rock music was just normal rock music with “Jesus” pasted on top. To my friends and I, that wasn’t actually an intelligent critique. It was more a joke, something we all laughed about.

Fact is, my peers and I often thought it was funny that many CCM songs appeared to be sexy romance songs where the “you” was just capitalized so it suddenly was about Jesus rather than a hot piece of man-flesh. And some CCM bands — Skillet, most of all — have lyrics that are so spiritually kinky, even actual kinksters might blush.

So to honor this humorous memory of CCM’s steamy lyricism, I decided to create a quiz where you must identify whether certain phrases are lines from the bestselling erotic BDSM novel 50 Shades of Grey by E.L. James or lyrics from Contemporary Christian Music songs. So pull out a pen and paper and keep track of your answers; an answer key is provided after the quiz.

Make sure you don’t cheat. God is watching you. As Phil Joel says about God, “He’s gonna keep the night light on. He’s waiting there to receive you.”

Or was that something Anastasia Steele wrote in her diary about Christian Grey?

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1. Which of the following is a lyric from a Newsboys song?

a. Giving it over, I was flat on my back.

b. I come instantly.

newsboys

2. Which use of “hand” is from 50 Shades of Grey and not a CCM song?

a. You gentle your hand…

b. Gushing with surrender in your hands…

c. My hands are open, so take what you see…

glove

3. Three of the following four lines are from Skillet songs. Which one is from 50 Shades of Grey?

a. Stretch me bigger….

b. An empty vessel to be filled at your whim…

c. I’m exploding like chemicals. I’m going crazy — can’t get enough!

d. It’s so urgent. It’s so desperate I can feel it in my bones.

skillet2

4. One of these four is dirty talk. The other three are DC Talk. Which one is dirty?

a. You consume me like a burning flame.

b. Anytime, anyplace.

c. I am calling out your name.

d. Oh, you know that I surrender.

dc talk

5. Which “you” is from a Sonicflood praise song? (The other two are about sex.)

a. God, I want you

b. I want to touch you.

c. I am in awe of you.

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6. Can you figure out which is neither Rebecca St. James nor Audio Adrenaline?

a. Here I am. I will do as you say.

b. You’re pinning me to the wall.

c. I’m enslaved to what you say.

audioadrenaline

7. Different people handle pain differently. Which one is the 50 Shades of Grey way?

a. How can I scream when the pain is such a release?

b. The pain is such that I refuse to acknowledge it.

c. I do not deserve to be set free.

50Shades

8. Once you experience something you really like, you usually want more. Which wanting more is not about God?

a. We’re going all the way.

b. I’ve never wanted more, until I met you.

c. I’ll be chasing you.

d. I wanna do it soon.

grammatrain

9. Which romantic exclamation is not about Jesus?

a. When I’m in your arms is when I feel the best.

b. My heart beats for you.

c. I want my world to start and end with you.

d. I can feel your power surging through the whole of me.

Delirious

10. One of these is about a BDSM master/slave relationship. The other three are from Christian music.

a. Capture me, make me a slave.

b. I’m struggling to resist, but I’m drawn.

c. If I could only be your master.

d. You can have everything I am.

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Answer Key

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1. Which of the following is a lyric from a Newsboys song?

a. Giving it over, I was flat on my back. – Newsboys, “Giving It Over”

b. I come instantly. – 50 Shades of Grey

2. Which use of “hand” is from 50 Shades of Grey and not a CCM song?

a. You gentle your hand… – 50 Shades of Grey

b. Gushing with surrender in your hands… – Skillet, “Suspended In You”

c. My hands are open, so take what you see… – Smalltown Poets, “I’ll Give”

3. Three of the following four lines are from Skillet songs. Which one is from 50 Shades of Grey?

a. Stretch me bigger…. – Skillet, “Suspended In You”

b. An empty vessel to be filled at your whim… – 50 Shades of Grey

c. I’m exploding like chemicals. I’m going crazy — can’t get enough! – Skillet, “My Obsession”

d. It’s so urgent. It’s so desperate I can feel it in my bones. – Skillet, “Kill Me Heal Me”

4. One of these four is dirty talk. The other three are DC Talk. Which one isn’t DC?

a. You consume me like a burning flame. – DC Talk, “Consume Me”

b. Anytime, anyplace. – DC Talk, “Consume Me”

c. I am calling out your name. – 50 Shades of Grey

d. Oh, you know that I surrender. – DC Talk, “Consume Me”

5. Which “you” is from a Sonicflood praise song? The other two are about sex.

a. God, I want you – 50 Shades of Grey

b. I want to touch you. – Sonicflood, “I Want To Know You”

c. I am in awe of you. – 50 Shades of Grey

6. Can you figure out which is neither Rebecca St. James nor Audio Adrenaline?

a. Here I am. I will do as you say. – Rebecca St. James, “Here I Am”

b. You’re pinning me to the wall. – 50 Shades of Grey

c. I’m enslaved to what you say. – Audio Adrenaline, “Some Kind of Zombie”

7. Different people handle pain differently. Which one is the 50 Shades of Grey way?

a. How can I scream when the pain is such a release? – Skillet, “Kill Me Heal Me”

b. The pain is such that I refuse to acknowledge it. – 50 Shades of Grey

c. I do not deserve to be set free. – Grammatrain, “Pain”

8. Once you experience something you really like, you usually want more. Which wanting more is not about God?

a. We’re going all the way. – Delirious?, “Deeper”

b. I’ve never wanted more, until I met you. – 50 Shades of Grey

c. I’ll be chasing you. – Newsboys, “Beautiful Sound”

d. I wanna do it soon. – Seven Day Jesus, “Butterfly”

9. Which romantic exclamation is not about Jesus?

a. When I’m in your arms is when I feel the best. – Skillet, “Safe With You”

b. My heart beats for you. – Jars of Clay, “Love Song for a Savior”

c. I want my world to start and end with you. – 50 Shades of Grey

d. I can feel your power surging through the whole of me. – DC Talk, “Supernatural”

10. One of these is about a BDSM master/slave relationship. The other three are from Christian music.

a. Capture me, make me a slave. – Skillet, “Take”

b. I’m struggling to resist, but I’m drawn. – 50 Shades of Grey

c. If I could only be your master. – Grammatrain, “Sick Of Will”

d. You can have everything I am. – Audio Adrenaline, “Hands and Feet”

David Noebel, Summit Ministries, and the Evil of Rock: Jeri Lofland’s Thoughts

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Summit Ministries’ Jeff Myers and David Noebel on James Dobson’s radio show.

Jeri’s post was originally published on her blog Heresy in the Heartland with the title “Time Makes Ancient Good Uncouth.” It is reprinted with her permission. Also by Jeri on HA: “Generational Observations”, “Of Isolation and Community”, and “His Quiver Full of Them.”

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New occasions teach new duties, time makes ancient good uncouth,
They must upward still and onward, who would keep abreast of truth.

~James Russell Lowell, 1845

I ordered David Noebel’s booklet “Christian Rock: A Stratagem of Mephistopheles” from Summit Ministries in Manitou Springs as a teenager sometime in the early ’90’s.

I needed to know that Gothard and my parents weren’t crazy, that other intelligent adults had reasonable arguments with which to oppose Christian rock.

From the back cover: “It is The Summit’s purpose to arm Christian young people with facts and information concerning God, home and country so they will be able to hold fast to the true and the good in building their lives for the future.” I wanted facts; I wanted information.

And it turned out that Noebel supported my parents’ position:

“The church is beset with a relentless beat which weighs on the nerves and pounds in the head. And the syncopation evokes a most basic sensuous response from the body, since it is purposely aimed at the physical and sensual.”

“Squeezing in a few ‘thank you, Jesus’ or ‘Hallelujah, it’s done’ in rock music does not cleanse rock of its evils. Indeed, the lyrics were not its main sin for some time. The beat of the music was its evil.

Noebel presented 30 reasons, plenty of Bible verses, a study involving houseplants, and claims about applied kinesiology by a John Diamond. He quoted Henry Morris (a civil engineer and ardent young-earth creationist also opposed to modern art) and had a lot to say about sex and Marxism. Additionally, he linked the rock beat to atheistic Soviet communism and objectionable art styles like cubism and surrealism.

David Noebel is the author of "Understanding the Times," a book popular in evangelical and homeschool circles.
David Noebel is the author of “Understanding the Times,” a book popular in evangelical and homeschool circles.

I knew nothing about David Noebel.

I was not familiar with his much earlier work Communism, Hypnotism, and the Beatles, published in 1965–long before my birth–by Billy James Hargis’ Christian Crusade.

In one reviewer’s words: “Noebel is compelling because he’s intelligent, coherent, and well-researched, despite being absolutely paranoid and utterly mad. Aside from some inconsistent use of the Oxford Comma, he has a clear, if discursive thesis:

“Rock ‘n’ roll is turning kids into gay, Communist, miscegenators.”

Billy James Hargis was a right-wing evangelist and radio and television ranter long before Rush Limbaugh. He saw communist plots everywhere: in the NAACP and the civil rights movement, in the assassination of JFK, in water fluoridation. According to TIME magazine (Feb. 16, 1976), he founded American Christian College “to teach ‘antiCommunist patriotic Americanism'” from the city he called the “Fundamentalist Capital of the World”. From there, he promoted a hard line against drugs, homosexuality, sex education, abortion and the Beatles and toured with the college choir.

David Noebel was an aide to Hargis for twelve years, speaking around the country, founding The Summit in 1962 as a Christian Crusade program to combat anti-Christian teachings from secular universities (like the University of Tulsa) and contributing to Hargis’ television show where together they decried marijuana use and rock music. Later, Noebel became Vice President of Hargis’ new American Christian College in Tulsa.

In 1974, Noebel was staggered when students confided to him that Hargis, ardent promoter of traditional morality and father of four, had had sex with several of them.

Eventually four men and one woman exposed Hargis’ sexual abuse and manipulation over a period of years. TIME reported on the scandal in 1976, Hargis was forced to resign, and the school closed its doors the following year. Noebel went on to effectively “fold” Christian Crusade into Summit Ministries, building it into a successful international worldview training/brainwashing center targeting all ages, but teenagers in particular.

Noebel was an aide to Billy James Hargis, a right-wing evangelist and radio and television ranter who saw communist plots everywhere.
Noebel was an aide to Billy James Hargis, a right-wing evangelist and radio and television ranter who saw communist plots everywhere.

Postmodernism has replaced communism as the bane of our times. According to an article by Summit’s Steve Cornell,

“[The] pre-modern era was one in which religion was the source of truth and reality…. In a postmodern world, truth and reality are understood to be individually shaped by personal history, social class, gender, culture, and religion…. Postmoderns are suspicious of people who make universal truth claims…. Postmodern thinking is full of absurdities and inconsistencies.”

As a postmodern myself, I find it ironic that the decades have softened Noebel’s hardline position on Christian rock.

Apparently Mephistopheles has released it for other uses. Students at Summit’s youth conferences speak of the meaningful “corporate worship“, which now includes rock songs like “How Great Is Our God” by Chris Tomlin and “Jesus, Thank You” from Sovereign Grace Music.

The teens attending the worldview lectures today were not yet born when David Noebel penned Stratagem and would likely be surprised to learn that the religious anthems they find so powerful are actually “estranging them from traditional values”. According to the now retired, but still involved and revered, “Doc” Noebel, “although the lyrics might acknowledge the concept of true worship, the music itself expresses the unspoken desire to smash it to pieces.”

Summit’s John Stonestreet writes, “Truth does not yield to popular opinion. Unlike postmodernism, the biblical worldview can withstand all challenges and still speak to the dominant culture.” This belief is at the core of Summit’s “worldview” training.

And yet, Lowell’s line rings more true: time does make ancient “good” uncouth. Morality and truth are, in fact, shaped by history and culture.

As Summit’s stance on Christian rock illustrates so well.

Maybe, in another 30 years, Noebel’s successors will stop fighting same-sex marriage and even give up warning kids about “the gay agenda” as they “keep abreast of truth”? One can always hope…