My Favorite Christian Rock Songs

My faith was seriously influenced by Christian rock. I know that this is not the sort of proper thing for a well-educated, theologically-minded, conservative pastor to say. After all, Christian rock is full of simplistic, often trite lyrical content. Most songs don’t come close at all to the rich theological truth of God, the gospel, salvation, or the Christian life. In addition, far too often bands seemed more interested in bringing the world into the church than they are in bringing the gospel to the world (though this is not true of all bands). So, saying that my faith was influenced by such music should hardly encourage confidence and excitement from respectable Christians. I understand all of that, and yet it remains true that as a new believer my faith was dramatically impacted by Christian rock.

A number of themes from within music made a huge impact on me over the course of my early years as a believer. Christian rock was often filled with passionate devotion, for example. There was a strong theme of giving it all up for Christ, of radical obedience. There was also a major thread of concern for the disadvantaged and poor; alternative Christian bands in particular often seemed concerned to point out where the church needed to do more for those who were underprivileged and downtrodden. There was also a constant drum beat against hypocrisy and blind tradition. Finally, I appreciated the theme of grace which was presented in terms of a welcome invitation for all to come regardless of past or present struggle. The rock scene was always a welcoming place for misfits, and that comes through especially within the grace-themed testimonies of Christian rock musicians.

I am grateful that music has not been the only, nor even the dominant influence in my theological development. I have had plenty of more robust contributors to my faith. Yet, for this series I will be looking at some of the different sub-generes of Christian music to explore some of my favorite songs.

With all of that being said, to kick of this series I will be highlighting some of my all-time favorite Christian rock songs, in no particular order:

1.  “Pitiful” by Blindside

The struggle to love our sin more than our Savior is real!

2. “I am Not Talkin’ About Religion” by The Altar Boys

Christianity is about a relationship with God, not just religious rituals and rules.

3. “Why Don’t You Look Into Jesus” by Larry Norman

Jesus is for hippies too!

4. “Good Intentions” by Slick Shoes

We fall, but He catches us in his nail-scarred hands!

5. “Creep” by Calibretto 13

A bitting and bitter critique of hypocrisy within the church, set to a unique acoustic punk sound.

6. “Do or Die” by Dogwood

This song has stuck with me for years as a testimony to Christian punk at its best! Solid and simple doctrine set to driving classic California punk.

7. “Carry Me” by Hangnail

A real punk-rock hymn, heavy metal riffs combined with power chords and praise-oriented lyrics!

8. “Resolution” by The O.C. Supertones

Ska band invites us all to be resolved in our devotion to God.

9. “Wings to Fly” by Plankeye

Grunge rock pleading to be nearer to God…also awesome guitar solo!

10. “Who I am Hates Who I’ve Been” by Relient K

The acoustic version of this punk song is best. A beautiful prayer for change.

11. “Save Me from Myself” by Glen Kaiser Band

One of the forefathers of Christian rock reminds us, through the blues, that we are our own worst enemies.

12. “Doing Better” by Shorthanded

Awesome pop-punk sound promotes obeying God because He deserves our worship, not because we are trying to earn salvation.

13. “To Hell with the Devil” by Stryper

Probably the most well-known Christian metal song of all time!

14. “Why Should the Devil Have All the Good Music” by Larry Norman

The apology for all Christian rock!

15. “You Found Me” by The Altar Boys

Punk rockers who wrote a love song to God, that is right up my alley.

16. “Do it For Love” by The 77s

Love is a powerful thing.

17. “It Must Be Wonderful” by Outer Circle

Walking the narrow path doesn’t always come with sunshine, but that’s alright.

18. “Man in Black” by One Bad Pig

Johnny Cash and 80s Christian punk combine to remind us of the “poor and beaten down” whom Jesus loves.

19. “Me Against Me” by Project 86

I am my own worst enemy, set to post-hardcore sounds.

20. “Failure to Excommunicate” by Relient K

Jesus loves the outcast.

21. “The Lust, the Flesh, the Eyes, and the Pride of Life” by The 77s

A legendary Christian rock song, all about the danger of giving into self-indulgence and temptation.

22. “The Rock that Doesn’t Roll” by Larry Norman

Jesus is good for the body and great for the soul.

23. “Promise” by Pedro the Lion

A beautiful indie rock song about doubting and believing…if only the songwriter would have heeded his own encouragements.

24. “Tomorrow’s Another Day” by MxPx

I don’t want to let my life fly by.

25. “Drive” by Plankeye

Surrendering our life to God because He can be trusted.

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