8 Great Christian Rock Songs (For People Who Hate Christian Rock)

8 Great Christian Rock Songs (For People Who Hate Christian Rock) August 3, 2016

If you’re anything like me, music and religion are two of the most important things in your life.  For me, nothing is more sacred than one of the rare moments when the two intersect and a song triggers a numinous moment of religious profundity that leaves me speechless.  Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series, had it right when he said “Music!  A magic far beyond what we do here.”

However, if you’re like me, you also find the current spectrum of “Christian music” and especially “Christian rock” woefully inadequate.  Maybe it’s because my beliefs are quite unorthodox, but listening to these groups of white twentysomethings croon endlessly about how awesome God is just doesn’t do it for me.  Nor does listening to traditional hymns and worship songs, the kind you’d hear in church.

A big part of it is that Christianity, in addition to being about salvation and redemption and joy, is also about pain, and misery, and loneliness, and despair.  It’s nice and all to write a straight worship song that glorifies all of God’s goodness, but what do I do when I’m depressed, or angry, or anxious, or even questioning my faith, and need some music that reflects that side of the human emotional spectrum while also appealing to the Christian side of me?

Well, I listen to songs like these.

8. “Him” by Lily Allen

My father first introduced me to Lily Allen, the English singer-songwriter who broke through with her debut single “Smile.”  However, it’s the 2009 deep track “Him” from the album It’s Not Me, It’s You that I come to when I’m in a spiritual mood.  Almost a sequel to the Joan Osborne song “One of Us,” Him expresses a deep sense of yearning and questioning for the nature of God, with lyrics like “When he looks down on us I wonder what he sees,” as well as “Do you reckon he’s ever been done for tax evasion?”  (it’s more profound than it looks in print).

Some people might claim to know all there is to know (or, at least, all they need to know) about the almighty.  For those of us that are not so sure, and who cannot resist the urge to question, this song is a shot of validation.

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  • Otto T. Goat
  • Brandon Roberts

    should’ve had something from flyleaf or skillet

    • Christian Chiakulas

      I totally forgot about Skillet, which is weird ‘cuz I’ve seen them live. I didn’t know Flyleaf was Christian; I haven’t really listened to them. Thanks for the tip.

      • Brandon Roberts


        • Teawano


  • Francis Zine
  • Kevin R. Cross

    Might I suggest the Hooters’ “All You Zombies”? I’ve often found it appeals well across the religious and non-religious spectrum despite it’s overtly Christian lyrics.

  • The fact that your list is missing a Stryper song makes it pretty much null and void. If you want to talk about overly maligned bands . . . . they were heavier than most of their hair-metal kin, better musicians, and Michael Sweet sings like an angel (the vocal overdubs a la Queen don’t hurt either).

  • MNb

    Christian rock that actually rocks (unlike for instance the cheesy Stryper and U2):


  • summers-lad

    All you said about U2 could equally well be said of Runrig. I think Calum Macdonald has said that all the songs he has written are spiritual, but although some are obvious, none are ordinary. “Every River” is a hymn of doubt becoming faith, which I sometimes use for worship. Like any good hymn book, they have a wedding song (That Final Mile) and a funeral song (Precious Years). In many the spirituality is “more felt than tellt” as we say in Scotland, but the song I’m nominating here is one that uses profound Biblical imagery to lament the Troubles in Northern Ireland. My favourite line: “Some of your men have taken seeds of truth and planted fields of hate.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jquy7P4zrUk