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Should I Stay or Should I Go? A Christian in a Heavy Metal band? (long article)

Iron Maiden. Nicko McBrain 2nd from left.

Iron Maiden. Nicko McBrain 2nd from left.

I was doing a bit of web surfing awhile back and came across an article about spiritual imagery in heavy metal music. I’ve always been intrigued by spiritual imagery in both music and literature so clicked the link to have a read. I confess I’m not very up to speed (at all) on the heavy music scene these days, which probably went a long way to explaining my surprise, no, my astonishment at what I read.

Nicko McBrain…is a Christian.

Okay, I best backtrack and explain a little, or perhaps a lot.

Nicko McBrain is the drummer with heavy metal/rock band Iron Maiden. Iron Maiden have for years been considered one of the best heavy bands around, especially live. They play many songs on many topics with sometimes deep and heavy lyrics, no ‘manufactured popcorn pop’ here. Among the famous songs they play and sing are Number of the Beast, The Clairvoyant and The Evil That Men Do. They also have a mascot called Eddie who represents a kind of demonic figure. In this band, playing these songs with that mascot…the drummer, Nicko McBrain (real name Michael Henry McBrain), is a Christian.

For anyone reading this who knows all about the heavy music scene, this will come as no surprise at all. To someone (like me) who hasn’t engaged with this music for years, it came as a shock on the scale of a minor earthquake. I wasn’t surprised he was a Christian; God can save anyone, anywhere, at any time. What surprised me, more than a little, was that he was still a member of Iron Maiden. How does he justify this?

Nicko and Rebecca McBrain

Nicko and Rebecca McBrain

He had been to church in Boca Raton in Florida, where he and his wife Rebecca had made their home. His wife (who had herself been converted via the testimony of a neighbour) had asked him to accompany her to church but all the minister spoke about was money and he said he wasn’t going back.

Rockgod website takes up the story,

“But Rebecca didn’t give up … and neither did God. Rebecca suggested they try a different church. She had heard of Spanish River Community Church, and decided to give that church a try. Nicko was “blown away” at the very first service. The music was contemporary and similar to what he had known. A drama team performed a sketch that was related to the message. And the sermon dealt with real-life issues that he could relate to. Nicko continued to attend Spanish River during breaks in his tour schedule. One morning he was lying in bed physically depleted from a rigorous tour. Rebecca woke him up and asked him if he was going to go to church with her. “I just lay in bed, completely exhausted, and said, ‘No, go on without me,’” he recalls. Rebecca then retorted, “If you don’t want to go for yourself, then at least go for your son.” That was it. Nicko couldn’t go back to sleep and prepared himself for church, and — unknown to him — an appointment with God. “I can’t remember what it was,” he says, “but right in the middle of one of the songs, I starting crying my eyes out. I just stood there saying, ‘What’s the matter with me?’” Pastor David Nicholas asked everyone in the congregation to stand for the closing prayer, and Nicko couldn’t maintain his balance. “I just sat there thinking, ‘I didn’t drink last night … why can’t I stand?’” Nicko believes the hand of the Holy Spirit was on him in a mighty way. “If you’d like to know Christ in a personal way,” Pastor Nicholas said, “then you need to open your heart and ask Him to come in, right where you are.” Nicko started crying again. All the years of running away and of living life on his own terms came to a collision point as Nicko came face to face with the One he was created to know. He quietly asked Jesus Christ to come into his heart and redirect his eternity.”

Afterwards, the question of his place in Iron Maiden came to the fore and he had to “…make that agonising decision of whether he should go out for another tour…after lots of prayer, he felt God’s affirmation that it was the right thing to do.” He admits that he didn’t get much time to become grounded in his faith before he went back on tour.

Anyone who knows about Iron Maiden’s famous songs won’t be surprised that the obvious question didn’t take long to be asked. How can he still play songs like Number of the Beast, with lyrics, “666, the one for you and me”? McBrain reasons, “…it’s a story. If you look in the Book of Revelation it tells you all that…I’m not glorifying him (the devil) – if I was I wouldn’t be Christian.” He goes on to explain that the song is based on a nightmare that bassist Steve Harris had.

Nightmare or not, the biblical imagery and message are unavoidable. He describes the band’s demonic mascot Eddie as a “cartoon character” who can be “whatever you want him to be”.

Of course playing or singing a song doesn’t mean you believe the words (does everyone in a church who sings the hymns really believe all the words?) but should a Christian play these songs at all? Especially when literally thousands of adoring fans at their worldwide concerts hang on their every word?

On the other hand, McBrain has been able to share his faith and has,

“…given his testimony in front of heavy metal fans, and seen them commit their life to Jesus and he also frequently talks with fellow Iron Maiden members about his beliefs.”

It’s great that fans hear testimony and come to Christ through his witness and they’d listen to him, one of their own, before they’d listen to anyone in a church. But does that justify staying in the band; God could surely reach them without McBrain’s presence there?

Clearly McBrain has been able to accommodate his continued membership in Iron Maiden within his conscience but it won’t sit easily with many Christians, particularly in light of verses like 1 John 1:6,

“If we claim to have fellowship with Him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth”.

It’s rarely painless leaving the world you knew behind when you receive Christ but surely the Spirit of Christ, which indwells every Christian, would not uphold the devil, or qualify him as “just a story”?

McBrain’s conversion has particular resonance for me because I listened to Iron Maiden in my youth and had many of their albums. When I attended Computing College for a time one of my friends there was into Iron Maiden as well and I would borrow albums to listen to (I think they were on cassette, shows how long ago it was!). When I became a Christian, part of me still liked the music but deep down I knew there was a conflict. The crunch came for me when I felt God asking me what I’d say if another Christian (or anyone) asked me why I listened to it? I knew that any defence I gave would be an excuse. For me, to say it was just a story wouldn’t have been a sufficient reason to keep listening.

Nicko and tons of drums!

Nicko and tons of drums!

When Iron Maiden released their album A Matter of Life and Death in 2006, McBrain said, “The lord really blessed this album.” You can detect glimpses of light in the song lyrics and of those in 2010’s Final Frontier. Perhaps this reflects McBrain’s influence although their songs cover many topics. But again the question remains; does this justify remaining in the band? Or is there a case for him remaining in the band but not playing songs questionable from a Christian viewpoint, like Number of the Beast, The Clairvoyant and Seventh Son of a Seventh Son?

If you are in a group (not necessarily music related) which conflicts with the teaching in God’s Word, should you stay? Is it even a question that needs to be asked if the answer seems obvious? What if God’s answer surprises us? Are there times when God might say, “Stay where you are and be my witness”?

When you read McBrain’s testimony it’s hard not to be impressed with his enthusiasm and his love for Christ is tangible and contagious. When a fellow Christian fan asked about his Christian faith on an Iron Maiden website forum, only a few years after his conversion,  the brief chat went like this,

Ben: “Can you speak a little bit about your new-found faith in Christianity? Being a Christian myself, I was so excited to hear about your rebirth. Thanks.”

Nicko: “Hi Ben. Yes I am a Christian. I came to know the Lord and asked him into my life going on three years now. It has changed my life. I have only just started my walk with God but I know that the footprints next to mine are those of Jesus. Praise the Lord.”

Sometimes people are suspicious when celebrities suddenly embrace God (particularly in America where embracing God can bring commercial benefits) but for a member of a heavy metal/rock band singing songs frequently littered with references to darkness, there is no obvious benefit in publicly declaring a conversion to Christianity. In fact quite the opposite.

Yet there is a troubling dichotomy. When not on tour McBrain plays the drums in his church band, glorifying God. The next week he plays songs for Iron Maiden with lyrics like, “666, the one for you and me”.

The question remains, should a Christian remain in a group which contains such anti-Christian sentiments, even if they do think of it as “just a story”? Or should a Christian remain and try to influence from within? Or does the inner witness of the Holy Spirit leave no room for such an accommodation. Clearly McBrain believes he is in the right place. Perhaps the day will come when he feels God leading him to leave the band, perhaps not.

What do you think?

Stay tuned for a follow up article on a member of another heavy metal band who became a Christian but decided he had to leave his band.

Thanks for reading 🙂

James Norman

Editor

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50 comments on “Should I Stay or Should I Go? A Christian in a Heavy Metal band? (long article)

  1. davidhellsten
    July 22, 2013

    What about Christians in the banking world – can they stay despite the blatantly ungodly corporate culture there? Not to mention politicians – can a Christian remain in either of the three main parties after they all voted for a redefinition of marriage? It’s a tricky issue – and it’s great article!

    • Through Another Lens
      October 3, 2013

      Thanks David and apologies for taking so long to reply!

      It’s a good question how a Christian deals with working in any environment which assumes blatant unChristian principles. I think there’s a Biblical case to be made for God using both people on the outside speaking ‘into’ an ungodly environment, and God using people within that environment as well. As I said in the article, McBrain has clearly reached an inner accommodation with God which he is comfortable with, without, in his view, compromising his faith.

      I think there’s a case to be made that Iron Maiden don’t necessarily believe what they sing but are rather articulating their own search and countless fans share that search. So when McBrain, as part of that search, finds Jesus then that will impact many Maiden fans in a way they may not otherwise be reached. While I don’t like the ‘dark’ environment surrounding Maiden, I do think it’s a very important distinction between a band actually believing what they sing, and a band singing songs, not necessarily believing them, but as part of a search.

      It doesn’t sit easily with me, I don’t think I could be in a band which sings some of the songs Maiden sing. I don’t necessarily think he should have left the band but I’d be happier with him omitting to play some of the tracks.

      Just my opinion.

      Thanks for comment.

  2. MIchael
    August 4, 2013

    Great subject. I myself have been a Christian since I was 18, but I had ALL (at the time) LPs of Iron Maiden, which I eventually gave away. Being a Christian, it just didn’t feel right to sing “666…the one for you and me..”, “…kill the unborn in the womb…”, “… tell me why I had to be a power slave, I’m a god…”, “…take a look in that pool… spirits beckoning me.. ..they won’t leave me be… Now I feel they are so near…” and so many other songs.

    So I gave all LPs away. OK, maybe I should have burned them.

    I myself am an amateur musician, played the bass for 20+ years now, so music has always been in my life. I like good music, and can’t deny how good Iron Maiden is.

    When I first heard that Nicko McBrain had become a Christian, my first thought was when he’d be leaving Iron Maiden. But he remained there. So I started to question if he was/is a true Christian, or another religious person, lukewarm or something. I’d compare him with other musicians that became Christians and had a complete change of career.

    I live in Brazil and one huge witness is of Rodolfo Abrantes, ex leader and vocalist of Brazilian punk-rock-forro band Raimundos. Heavy songs, lyrics all about women, sex, and all sorts of dirty things, with this wild person in the lead. No discussion, it was musically a great band, and I liked the sound. But the lyrics and the clips… just didn’t agree with my beliefs and standards. Some sample clips (Rodolfo Abrantes is the vocalist).


    …and the classic “Whorehouse in João Pessoa”, about the place where apparently he or someone lost their virginity:

    Raimundos had big contracts with big recording companies. Until one day, at the interview about their new album, Rodolfo informed that he was not going to continue with the band. Shocking news for his colleagues, the recording company, and zillions of fans.

    But what happened before that decision is a long witness of the transformation of someone that many (or most?) would think was a lost case.

    Rodolfo is now renowned as a true Christian, which recently at a worship conference left many Brazilian christian singers pretty uncomfortable as he condemned the “gospel market” and glamour that surrounds so many Christian artists, that seem to have forgotten what being Christian is all about and that there is a God above them.

    A year a two ago, on a TV interview, Rodolfo was asked “when will you be singing ‘Mulher de Fases’ (Woman of Phases) again?”. And the reply was simply “Never.”.

    So, how can Rodolfo say “never” to his previous band/life, and Nicko McBrain continue in the Iron Maiden? Is Nicko not CHristian then? I had my doubts, but thinking and reading more, I think it is perfectly possible for Nicko to be a true Christian.

    We are all supposed to be “Light of the world, salt of the Earth”. We are supposed to make a difference. We go to our jobs, walk the streets, spend time with people, go to shops, which most of the time have nothing to do with Christianity. To be Christian is not to lock ourselves inside church, but to continue in this world and make a difference wherever the Lord wants us to be.

    Jesus spent time with the tax collectors, with the prostitutes. But that didn’t make Him less than He was/is.

    So, each case is a case. I think, as Nicko said in an interview, that it is perfectly possible for him to remain with Maiden and be in the presence of the Lord. Just think about his witness within the group, how the Lord’s Word can reach places that before would seem impossible.

    Likewise, why then did Rodolfo leave the Raimundos? It’s likely a completely different case. God knows the reasons and knows what’s best for each one. Maybe it wouldn’t work out. Maybe he’d fall back in to all the crap he lived in. Maybe it was just because the Lord had a different plan (a whole new ministry and music band – such as Christian band Rodox and Rodolfo’s solo career).

    It is not up to us to question these things. Of course, we have to be wise and cautious to not get involved in things that could cause a scandal, etc. but as long as we are on His path, wherever that path may lead through, it will all be fine.

    Meanwhile, I do still listen to non-Christian bands, but am careful about lyrics and things. Today I listened to Irond Maiden’s “Wasted Years”, which I hadn’t listened to for many years. I definitely won’t pick “The Number of the Beast”, but songs like “Aces High”, why not? Bruce Dickinson had, if I’m not mistaken, a degree in History or something like that, and wrote many songs about historical moments. “Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner” is a master piece, based on the poem by S.T. Coleridge. A great song.

    I believe we should seek the Lord first, mature in Him, and always use Him as a baseline for whatever we choose. And be careful not to become like some Christians who can be so narrow-minded and come up with so many things out of their minds (that have nothing to do with the Lord) that just cause the world to hate Christians even more, instead of making a positive difference.

    • Through Another Lens
      August 16, 2013

      Sorry to take time to reply and thanks for the comment! I will read your comment when I have a moment to do so and thank you for the link as well. Great to hear from someone else with similar thoughts on Christians in a heavy metal band.
      Thanks again.

    • Through Another Lens
      October 3, 2013

      Thanks so much for your reply and your own testimony! Nothing excites me more than hearing of a person’s journey to and with God!

      I agree with what you say, I think God can use different people in different ways and places. God may guide one person to leave a situation whilst guiding another person to stay and be a witness for Him. It is for each person to seek the specific pathway God has for them.

      I confess that I was troubled with McBrain’s continued presence in Maiden and it still doesn’t sit well with me but when I read of metal fans coming to Jesus through his testimony it does make you think, “That’s why God still wants him there.”

      After my McBrain/Christian discovery I actually went back and listened to some Maiden songs (mostly iTunes samples!) and while I was actually okay with the more ‘neutral ones’ I still felt deeply uncomfortable with Number of the Beast and some others. The bottom like for me is that I simply can’t imagine Jesus playing that song. I can imagine Jesus having a great time in a band, playing tunes people identify with and are inspired by…I just can’t imagine Him playing “666 the one for you and me” regardless if it was thought of as ‘just a story’.

      Thanks for the info on Rodolfo. I hadn’t heard of him but will check him out.

      Thanks again for your comment, I enjoyed reading it and the clarity of your own story.

      PS. I listen to many non-Christian bands 🙂

  3. MIchael
    August 4, 2013

    Hmmm… I didn’t know the YouTube links would appear as embedded videos.

    Well, here’s Rodolfo Abrantes preaching a few months ago. Yes, the same fellow from the other two clips.

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  5. Tony Felich
    September 12, 2013

    I’m a pastor, I’ve listened to Iron Maiden for years. The Number of the Beast is a song about a dream, nothing more. It’s not mean to be evangelizing people for Satan. You HAVE to listen to the majority of Maiden’s songs before jumping to conclusions- like “Revelations” which starts by using the first verse of a GK Chesterton hymn. Maiden is SO much deeper and complex in the themes they explore than just about any other band out there- any genre. They key heavily on history, war, and eternity. Harris and Dickinson are the key writers, and they seem to want reincarnation to be right. Of course, they’re wrong, but with all the searching they are doing, perhaps McBrain’s influence will be used of God to bring them to Christ. That would be awesome. Maiden doesn’t sing about sex and drugs, the band is living pretty clean these days. I’m glad McBrain didn’t quit. Eddie is a character. It’s theatrics. Nothing more.

    • Through Another Lens
      September 12, 2013

      Thanks very much for your comment. I appreciate you taking the time to write.

      I’ll reply to you when I have a few moments to spare 🙂

    • Through Another Lens
      October 3, 2013

      Thanks for posting this, it’s good to get a variety of insights.

      While I appreciate that Number of the Beast is a song about a dream and Eddie is theatrics, and I appreciate that not everyone will be adversely affected by these and other songs, I really speak from my own experience.

      When I first heard Number of the Beast (the whole album actually), I was completely enthralled by it, I played it constantly and became increasingly drawn to the darker side of the story. I am aware that Maiden (as far as I know) never had or have the intention of evangelizing for the dark side, but nonetheless that is the effect it has on some people, it certainly had me going in that direction as a teenager. That may not have been the intention of the band but it was my experience from listening to it. Equally with Eddie, theatrics it may be (and I do actually understand that) but it gave me nightmares as a teenager. Maybe you could argue I was simply naive or something. I wasn’t a Christian but was in a Christian family and I was increasingly uncomfortable with what I knew of God (though not yet a Christian I was aware of His presence) and the images in my head from Number of the Beast and other songs. After I became a Christian I finally reached ‘critical mass’ and knew I had to stop listening to Maiden, it was the way God guided me. Even though I know now that many of their songs are effectively stories and tales, I simply associated them with my troubled mind from imagery of Eddie and ‘the Beast’. To me it was anything but harmless.

      From my current vantage point I fully appreciate your own perspective and, having (I hope) grown up spiritually in my faith, I can appreciate that God is using McBrain (and other Christians in the metal scene) to bring others to Him and I do pray for his witness to Christ. But I can’t deny I am still uncomfortable with some of the darker associations.

      Thanks for your comment, appreciated.

      PS. Though I’ve cited my unease with McBrain’s presence in Maiden I am actually glad he has remained because of those who have come to faith through his testimony.

      I pray God’s presence in your own ministry.

      • Anthony Perez
        March 9, 2015

        Its the heart that our Father knows, and not everyone that enters Gods kingdom will have the same amount of crowns.

  6. Nickolaus Pacione
    September 18, 2013

    As a long time fan of Iron Maiden, I knew what the inspirations for Number of the Beast and where it came from. It was Steve Harris’ nightmare he had after he saw Damian: The Omen II. I had a similar nightmare after seeing the 2006 remake where I actually threw up in the movie theater. Nicko contributed to a book called The Heavy Metal Bible which also has the bassist of Megadeth contributing too –as you might know the founding members of Megadeth are also Born Again Christians. Because of the bands Iron Maiden and Metallica, I took the literary route that inspired secular heavy metal — Tourniquet has the same literary influence as Iron Maiden, author Edgar Allan Poe.

  7. Michael
    September 27, 2013

    Last week the Rock in Rio happened again. Among the heavy bands like Metallica, Iron Maiden, Slayer, etc.

    The local media published a number of articles associating some of the bands with satanism, and many talked about this band called Ghost BC, which hit call their shows something like a black cult, wear satanic symbols and sing satanic lyrics.

    Iron Maiden was again a point of controversy: do they sing satanic things? The drummer is Christian? Two articles raised a lot of discussion:

    First, the Maiden fan that is in the Guinness for his 172 Maiden tattoos, and that after seeing “a ball of fire in the sky” turned from being an atheist to become a Christian pastor (he says).

    Second, the church pastor that, after preaching Sunday evening at church, put on his Maiden shirt and went to the concerts. And then posted an article on his site justifying his action.

    Lots of discussions there. The second situation specifically raised a lot. Even non -Christians and atheists published harsh comments and mocked the pastor. IMO, the main point is not the pastor being a Maiden fan, but being a pastor and going to the Rock In Rio itself, due to all the things involved. As a church leader, his acts will influence people and could (and did, in this case) cause scandal.

    Whatever the story is behind “The Number of the beast”, it’s something most people don’t know, it’s hard to explain, and very strange for a Christian to sing along. No matter what the pastor above says, there are many, many scandalised now. Totally avoidable. Couldn’t he watch it on TV? Or not put it on the internet?

    A number of people say the pastor is one more of those “modern Christians” which watered down the truth and act and live like any non-Christians.

    1 Cor 6: 12 says a lot: “”I have the right to do anything,” you say —but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything” —but I will not be mastered by anything. ”

    We can go on forever in this discussion. But whether we’re Maiden fans or not, our thoughts and actions, are judged by God, and as Christians we should give good witness.

    Links to some of the mentioned reports:

    http://noticias.gospelmais.com.br/iron-maiden-rock-rio-pastor-tatuagens-show-banda-60750.html

    http://www.hermesfernandes.com/2013/09/o-que-um-pastor-foi-fazer-no-rock-in-rio.html?m=1

  8. Interested
    October 22, 2013

    The discussion about McBrain, Christianity, and Iron Maiden seems to be about contextualization; as Christians we change the method of presenting the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ (salvation by faith through grace), but not the message itself. It is similar to what missionaries have to deal with in witnessing to Muslims Muslim lands. Switch “Muslim” for “heavy metal” and change Muslim terms for heavy metal terms and it will help place things in perspective and give a grid in which to evaluate.

    If one goes too far on either end they end up with 1) syncretism or 2) irrelevant Christianity — neither of which are biblical.

    Where is McBrain? He seems to fall between C4-C5, and that is where much of the controversy exists in mission circles.

    http://www.thepeopleofthebook.org/C1-C6_Spectrum.html

    The C1 – C6 Spectrum compares and contrasts types of “Christ-centered communities” (groups of believers in Christ) found in the Muslim world. The six types in the spectrum are differentiated by language, culture, worship forms, degree of freedom to worship with others, and religious identity. All worship Jesus as Lord and core elements of the gospel are the same from group to group. The spectrum attempts to address the enormous diversity which exists throughout the Muslim world in terms of ethnicity, history, traditions, language, culture, and, in some cases, theology. This diversity means that myriad approaches are needed to successfully share the gospel and plant Christ-centered communities among the world’s one billion followers of Islam. The purpose of the spectrum is to assist church planters and Muslim background believers to ascertain which type of Christ-centered communities may draw the most people from the target group to Christ and best fit in a given context. All of these six types are presently found in some part of the Muslim world.

    (Evangelical Missions Quarterly (October, 1998): 407 – 408)

    A brief summary of each Christ-centered community described in the spectrum

    C1
    Missionaries establish a church that is basically identical to wherever they are from. Services are conducted in the language of the missionaries. They call themselves “Christians” and have very little cultural connection to the region where they plant the church.

    C2
    The same as C1, except the services are conducted in the language of the region.

    C3
    They have incorporated many non-religious cultural forms of the region into their community, such as dress, art, etc. They still reject any purely Islamic religious elements. They may meet in a traditional church building or in a more religiously neutral location. They call themselves “Christians” but try to have a more contextualized presence in the region.

    C4
    They are similar to C3, but they incorporate some Islamic religious elements into their community – like avoiding pork, praying in a more Islamic style, using Islamic dress and employing Islamic terminology. They call themselves “Followers of Isa” or something similar. Their meetings are usually not held in traditional church buildings. They are not considered to be Muslims by the Muslim community.

    C5
    They retain their legal and social identity within their Muslim community. They reject or reinterpret any part of Islamic practices and doctrine that contradict the Bible. They may or may not attend the mosque regularly, and they actively are involved in sharing their faith in Jesus with other Muslims. They may call themselves Muslims who follow Isa al-Masih, or just Muslims. They may be viewed by their community as Muslims that are a little unorthodox.

    C6
    They keep their faith secret because of an extreme threat of persecution, suffering or legal retaliation. They may worship secretly in small groups. They do not normally share their faith openly and have a 100% Muslim identity.

  9. Interested
    October 22, 2013

    The discussion about McBrain, Christianity, and Iron Maiden seems to be about contextualization; as Christians we change the method of presenting the message of the gospel of Jesus Christ (salvation by faith through grace), but not the message itself. It is similar to what missionaries have to deal with in witnessing to Muslims Muslim lands. Switch “Muslim” for “heavy metal” and change Muslim terms for heavy metal terms and it will help place things in perspective and give a grid in which to evaluate.

    If one goes too far on either end they end up with 1) syncretism or 2) irrelevant Christianity — neither of which are biblical.

    Where is McBrain? He seems to fall between C4-C5, and that is where much of the controversy exists in mission circles.

    http://www.thepeopleofthebook.org/C1-C6_Spectrum.html

    The C1 – C6 Spectrum compares and contrasts types of “Christ-centered communities” (groups of believers in Christ) found in the Muslim world. The six types in the spectrum are differentiated by language, culture, worship forms, degree of freedom to worship with others, and religious identity. All worship Jesus as Lord and core elements of the gospel are the same from group to group. The spectrum attempts to address the enormous diversity which exists throughout the Muslim world in terms of ethnicity, history, traditions, language, culture, and, in some cases, theology. This diversity means that myriad approaches are needed to successfully share the gospel and plant Christ-centered communities among the world’s one billion followers of Islam. The purpose of the spectrum is to assist church planters and Muslim background believers to ascertain which type of Christ-centered communities may draw the most people from the target group to Christ and best fit in a given context. All of these six types are presently found in some part of the Muslim world.

    (Evangelical Missions Quarterly (October, 1998): 407 – 408)

    A brief summary of each Christ-centered community described in the spectrum

    C1
    Missionaries establish a church that is basically identical to wherever they are from. Services are conducted in the language of the missionaries. They call themselves “Christians” and have very little cultural connection to the region where they plant the church.

    C2
    The same as C1, except the services are conducted in the language of the region.

    C3
    They have incorporated many non-religious cultural forms of the region into their community, such as dress, art, etc. They still reject any purely Islamic religious elements. They may meet in a traditional church building or in a more religiously neutral location. They call themselves “Christians” but try to have a more contextualized presence in the region.

    C4
    They are similar to C3, but they incorporate some Islamic religious elements into their community – like avoiding pork, praying in a more Islamic style, using Islamic dress and employing Islamic terminology. They call themselves “Followers of Isa” or something similar. Their meetings are usually not held in traditional church buildings. They are not considered to be Muslims by the Muslim community.

    C5
    They retain their legal and social identity within their Muslim community. They reject or reinterpret any part of Islamic practices and doctrine that contradict the Bible. They may or may not attend the mosque regularly, and they actively are involved in sharing their faith in Jesus with other Muslims. They may call themselves Muslims who follow Isa al-Masih, or just Muslims. They may be viewed by their community as Muslims that are a little unorthodox.

    C6
    They keep their faith secret because of an extreme threat of persecution, suffering or legal retaliation. They may worship secretly in small groups. They do not normally share their faith openly and have a 100% Muslim identity.

  10. Vincent Roosendaal
    January 2, 2014

    If nicko is a true cristian, this is probably the best place to be. But I would,nt like my brother to sing (Judas my guide) any more, but for the rest keep up the good work nicko!

    • Through Another Lens
      January 3, 2014

      Thanks for comment.

      I agree there are some songs it’d be hard for a Christian to sing but Nicko does seem to have a good witness for Jesus there.

  11. Jesús David López
    March 31, 2014

    Hey there! I found this thread on google, reading about Nicko. I’ll tell you a little about myself. I’m a Christian now, and also a musician. Before I became a Christian I used to play with different bands in my city, performing at bars, parties and so on, I was young by then and I got good money doing that. Once I was born again I kept playing in those places for a while. I used to give excuses like “this is my job” and “this is what I do for a living, how could I stop?”. After a while, I felt like God faced me and I finally understood I was doing the wrong thing. The bands I played with did sang about sex, alcohol, we played a night bars and, well, it’s pretty obvious now that I shouldn’t have been there, but believe me, it wasn’t at the beginning. Now I don’t play anymore out of church (maybe sometimes performing jazz standards with friends, mostly instrumental stuff). When I felt confronted by God about this subject, I understood that my money needn’t to come from men I played for, but from God himself. He has provided me with the right job ever since I stopped playing outside Church. God dealed with me and I know he used me in different ways while I stayed playing outside, as well as all that experience I got playing non christian music is now being used to praise and glorify the Lord. My point here is (yes, I have a point, hehe), God will deal personally with everyone, and will have different purposes with everyone lives. My own process lasted months, maybe Nicko’s must last several years, but it must be something between Nicko and God. I still listen to some Maiden songs, and I don’t feel comfortable listening to songs like TNOTB, Charlotte the Harlot or 22 Acacia Avenue, to name a few, and I think the Holy Spirit is the one who will show you what’s the right thing for you to do.

    Blessings!

  12. mercied
    April 20, 2014

    God bless Nicko. So thankful for His conversion. I am a follower of Jesus and also a Maiden fan. There really is no issue with Nicko playing with Maiden and being a Christian. To claim otherwise is simply legalism. I pray his faith leads the rest of his bandmates to Jesus.

    • Brad
      September 16, 2015

      Amen, brother. I too am an enthusiastic Christian Maiden fan. I pray for Bruce routinely to know Christ Jesus in a real and personal way.

  13. Ken
    May 8, 2014

    I am a fan of Iron Maiden and also a born again Christian. There have been several musicians who have parted ways with their bands after converting (Danny Spitz of Anthrax, Brian Welch of Korn).

    Iron Maiden, believe it or not, is not your “typical” metal band. Their lyrics are sometimes dark, sometimes mystical, sometimes controversial. But in all of it, they never disrespect the Lord or honor darkness/evil. The song “Holy Smoke” comes to mind, which speaks out against corruption in the church, specifically televangelism, hypocrisy and theft. Also, Maiden members are family men, most (if not, all) of them are married and a few have sons/daughters.

    You can find them on their off days golfing, fishing, and spending time together having fun…not carousing and hanging out with groupies.

    It’s refreshing to hear this, and it seems Nicko is in a great spot to be a witness to God’s power to change lives.

    Maiden has been around a very long time and have refined themselves better than most bands. They also conduct themselves as professionals which is another intangible that makes them a great band.

    Great article and God bless 🙂

  14. byrdinbabylon
    July 16, 2014

    I stumbled on this and had to have a quick post. Iron Maiden has been my favorite band since 5th grade, and I’m now 38. I was raised as a child in a Christian home, but it was rather superficial, my dad was doing bad things, and I eventually drifted. When I first heard the Number of the Beast album, I initially thought it was evil and cool. However, as time went by and I heard their whole catalog, gaining understanding that most of their lyrics were based on history or literature, I realized they weren’t trying to sell evil the way so many metal bands were. As I drifted through spirituality from Wicca to shamanism to eastern thought to new age whatever, I still listened to seriously heavier stuff (Slayer, Exodus, King Diamond among others). Next to them, Maiden was like a Harry Potter story!

    Anyways, about 2-2.5 years ago, I was led to give some Christian apologetics/philosophy podcasts a listen, and I found I had been severely mistaken about how reasonable Christian faith actually was, how unfounded my own previous beliefs were, and I came into a relationship with Christ.

    Almost immediately, I became ‘turned off’ to quite a bit of my metal collection. For some bands, like Slayer, the whole catalog was out. For others, some select songs that weren’t too offensive remained. I really trusted the Holy Spirit to help me discern. For Maiden, there weren’t too many songs I didn’t sit well with, though I’m just not enough full metal anymore to listen as much as I used to. Really, the song Number of the Beast was one of the few I felt weird about, but luckily for me, it was never even close to one of my musical favorites of theirs. I knew they never meant it as a celebration of Satan, but more as a dream. Still, I just couldn’t sing along with it. I have prayed for the band members to all find Christ. Having watched almost every interview, I think they are a swell, down to earth, remarkably humble group of dudes. Having just found out today that Nicko converted is awesome! I think he’s such a likable chap, he has a real chance of getting to the other guys, especially as much as they sing about eternity and the struggle of good versus evil. The other members are like I used to be, following history, and seeing how the Church has been misused so often by power hungry men. It can cause a person to overlook to truth of the gospel the movement grew from.

    As for guys leaving bands, I believe it’s a case by case situation. God can have an individual plan for each. Though some may be tempted to hang on to a bad band for money or fame, I sense Nicko needs neither. That being said, if the Holy Spirit calls him strongly away from it, I’m sure he’ll walk away then. Knowing how broad the fan base is though, I could totally see why God might want him to stay, impact the rest of the band, and then impact millions of fans. Christ himself didn’t steer clear of sinners, as that was an Old Covenant mentality, where the Israelites had to remain ceremonially free of contamination. Obviously men are less secure in faith than Jesus, so Nicko will need some good Christian fellowship and support while touring. I’ll pray he gets that and stays in the word. I’m am okay with other musicians leaving bands if they disagree too much morally with the content. At the end of the day, we all have different roles. Some are meant to focus on building up believers behind Christian walls, while others are meant to help the lost by meeting them in their places. Neither one is worse if God is prompting it. He knows how strong each individual is to face temptation.

    As a side note, I play guitar and sing in my church worship band. I do dig a lot of worship music, and listen to it for inspiration outside of church, but I still listen to some secular stuff, either to get musical ideas or to hear what the desperation of the lost sounds like these days. I’d love to start a band that stays true to faith but still speaks the language those in need can hear, like a P.O.D. or somebody. I have to thank Iron Maiden for the musical influence, because my playing has always had a more passionate/rhythmic vibe that is different than most of what you hear in the worship scene. The Lord wants people from all backgrounds to make up the church.

    One last point. Sometimes when people who are raised in a Christian environment come across genres they’ve been warned about, there may be an emotional guilt reaction based on the instilled expectations of the parents. That may not be the Holy Spirit warning them away from something, but rather that residue from being a bit sheltered from the darkness in the world. While I have a 7 year old, and am raising her to love God, I try to also reason things out with her so she can discern true evil from surface level impressions of evil. I can explain to her a lot more easily why I like Maiden as a band overall rather than most lewd modern pop/hip-hop lyrics these days, which revel in idolatry of self, wealth, and fame.

    Peace to all in Christ!!

    • dazz11
      January 2, 2015

      I have often prayed for Bruce Dickinson of iron maiden to become a christian , i love his voice i have been inspired by him over the years .i am a vocalist myself i was thinking it would be so much better to have him singing up up up there ! than down down down there.

  15. Anonymous
    August 25, 2014

    Nicko is exactly where he needs to be unless he feels the Holy Spirit moving him elsewhere. His testimony trumps being in Maiden. What better place to be to give a testimony than among metal fans who may need Jesus. He’s going to the ones who most likely will not set foot in church. But also his presence in church may also lead metal fans to the church he attends. I think as long as he is open about his faith when on the road or wherever who he plays with is irrelevant. It’s his job and most workplaces aren’t Christian but that doesn’t mean once someone is saved they must quit or seek employment in a Christian environment. On the contrary, remain there and be a witness for Christ. I hope to meet Nicko, Dave Mustaine, and Alice Cooper one day.

  16. Ralph Circelli
    June 4, 2015

    I think some of you have missed the point. There are quite a few references to God and spirituality on Maiden’s later albums. Maiden has never been a “satanic” band….and a lot of bands who claim they are are only doing so for the gimmick. Let’s face facts; Metal has always had a sinister imagery associated with it…..however, if you read interviews with a lot of the musicians, you’d understand that they don’t go sacrificing small animals and have satanic rituals. Most Metal musicians (especially in my age bracket of 40’s and 50’s) have families, do a loot with their children and grandchildren and also do a lot for their respective communities. I myself am a Christian, and I have loved maiden, Priest and a whole slew of Metal bands for a long time.

  17. wnorton70
    June 4, 2015

    “666, the one for you and me”.

    Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.
    Revelation 13:18

    Not only is it not Satanic it is biblical. 666 is the number of man.

    I am also Christian and love Maiden.

  18. Ryan Flick
    June 24, 2015

    I struggle with this as a lover of most rock/heavy/pop music etc… If 99% of the people playing music are clearly living out of sync with God’s word, can we listen and put their art in our hearts? According to documentaries and biographies of almost all my favorite artists, they are all terrible human beings that rebel against God, Christianity and the Word. I am not a good person either, but actively try not to rebel against God.

    But what’s so wrong with listening to someone that is anti-god? We read authors who are anti-god, watch movies that are very worldly and look at visual art that does not glorify God. Is this ok? Is that part of being in the world? Or should we turn our backs on everything that is not of God. Even a hint of it? All those love songs about spending the night together that seem so innocent, yet are totally against God’s word to the lyrics of Moterhead, Iron Maiden, even Alice Cooper. What’s the difference if it talks about a one night stand, worshipping the devil, or free love and fun if the people making it are not even people we would put in our circle of friends.
    I have chosen to not overthink it and enjoy the music I do until something comes up that really convicts me not to listen to it. I do not think this music takes me away from God. It provides a range of thought and emotion that is not easily found elsewhere in life. Can a Christian make a horror movie? Can a Christian write a book about a satan worshipper? There is a difference between the story and glorifying it. Thats up to the people making the music though and your interpretation of it. If you can listen to Iron Maiden and take the song for a story, than continue to enjoy it. If you take it to heart and glorify it, I think the problem lies therein.
    If someone was on the street ranting about the devil, i would run the other way. If that person then told me they were just trying to get my attention. It’s not real. I’d say there are better ways to do that.

    • Very interesting points. Thanks for commenting 🙂

    • About horror movies.. I know there’s a Christian horror movie on Netflix, can’t remember the name… It’s about a married couple, struggling to stay married, crashes their car next to a dark mansion in the woods… there things get strange, lots of “usual” horror/scary movies clichés, including that scary long-haired girl crawling around.
      In the end — minor spoiler alert, not mentioning the actual ending though — that scary girls mentions she is “the lamb”, and I don’t even remember whatever happened, something like she was sacrificed by the hosts or whatever, so the couple should be free.. something along these lines I guess (it’s been a while).
      then everything goes “ok” for the couple, and happily ever after…
      still, something like Narnia, it doesn’t mention God, Jesus, Bible… just like the lion getting into the table to get sacrificed so the kids can live (something like that, I don’t remember Narnia so well either), a parable.
      Same thing that a secular, worldly story could also be a parable, not necessarily a “real” deal — both ways could either impact or cause no motion at all.
      Try being a Christian heavy metal band. One could either influence their fans — or simply make great stuff that even satanists would listen to and have no clue the band was Christian.
      It’s like throwing a coin in a wishing well — either you wish comes true or not — again, either because you threw it in, or simply because it happened no matter whatever you did or wish.
      Nah I’m just randomly thinking now, sorry about the sidetrack!!

      • Through Another Lens
        July 19, 2016

        Thanks for the comment. Interesting thoughts on the Christian message across multiple genres!

  19. mtaffer
    August 28, 2015

    The song Number of the Beast is a horror story and does not promote satanism. Listening to it is no worse than reading Edgar Allan Poe. The story is told from a 3rd person perspective and all of the words afterwards are from that character. ALL OF THE WORDS. We have to keep in mind the reference to it being a nightmare. In a nightmare, evil always wins…hence it being a nightmare. We either can’t run or stop a falling descent, essentially we are powerless. The victim in the song knows that he is seeing something wrong…”This can’t go on I must inform the law”. Then just like that he spots their eyes and can’t avoid them and essentially becomes one of them. The “the one for you and me” reference is after the transformation is complete. How is this unlike any other horror tale like The Black Cat or The Cast of Amontillado…heck even the Tale Tell Heart? Is it because it deals with satanism? Nightmares are what is horrific to you. If Steve Harris just watched the Omen 2 and got creeped out about it, then having a nightmare based on that content is perfectly plausible. But are we going to call him evil because he wrote it down and turned it into the song. Do not horror authors write down their dreams and turn them into terrifying short stories or novels. Some people do that as a catharsis. Why are we giving this song so much power and ignoring all of the other songs that Maiden has written? Are we going to condemn them for writing about greek mythology too? Seventh Son of a Seventh Son is just an original fantasy concept based on religion.

    And God is mentioned way more throughout Maiden’s catalogue of songs than satan is. I just think that judging a band by one or two songs and calling them evil is a bit ridiculous. There are bands out there that have no bones about the fact that they are promoting evil. And honestly, they don’t mind the fact that Nicko is a Christian and professes it. Just like literature can be mis-interpreted, so can songs. And for the record, Eddie is a zombie, not a demon creature.

  20. Anonymous
    October 12, 2015

    Think about Alice Cooper

  21. Daniel Gutierrez
    November 23, 2015

    The Lord also tells us to minister to those who are lost & in the darkness. Him being an influence on his band members is a form of ministry & he’s sharing the Gospel with them which is another thing the Lord commands us to do.

  22. Chris Jordan
    February 14, 2016

    Iron Maiden’s songs are narratives. The Bible similarly depicts good and evil in the world- particularly more on the topic of evil. So to say anyone in the band who is a Christian would necessarily be in conflict, may be a Straw Man.

    Is Nicko “giving the appearance of evil” by remaining in the band? I don’t think so. Obviously it’s not for everyone or for all Christians. If something causes you to sin get rid of it. It’s about your personal walk with The Lord. Also it’s about your personal conscience (Romans 14). Never offend your conscience.

    Many Christians would do well to stay away from this type of music, but there are some who could actually grow stronger in their faith by thinking about these songs and the topics they discuss. At the end of the day, if you can listen to Iron Maiden and still lead a holy life- no profanity, no fornication/adultery, no out of control drinking, humility, patience, etc- then continue to listen to Iron Maiden.

    Do everything to the glory and understanding of God.

  23. Andy
    February 21, 2016

    Hi everyone, I’m the creator of http://www.rockgod.co.nz and was surfing the web for legit stories to update my site and came across this article which I assume is based on my reports of nicko?

    I won’t spend to long as it is nearly midnight but glad it has made people aware.

    I set up this site as an outreach tool to reach my fellow metal heads. I have been a Christian for nearly 40 years and come from a strict evangelical background with a pastor for a dad. I was never allowed to listen to bands like iron maiden etc but it seemed ok for everyone to listen to the Beatles or madonnas etc with no condemnation. Rather than pray for these guys the Christian world tried to crush them.

    35 years on some of the biggest metal bands are now Christian or have Christians in them. All converted by miraculous events and none from the constant hassle of Christians branding ‘your going to hell’ signs.

    Whether they stay in the bands is their own personal decision. They are the ones that answer to The Lord and not for anyone else to condemn them for any decision they make. Right or wrong, that is how it is.

    Alice cooper put forward the reason he is still in the scene as a Christian is he is able to reach people inside that world no others can reach. He quite rightly said Jesus didn’t spend every moment with fellow believers but often in the presence of criminals and prostitutes etc to tell them about god.

    Brian welch of korn left but is now back as he had to get away from the poor lifestyle to prevent backsliding but field the bass player stayed!

    Sometimes people here a star is a Christian and then put them up on a pedestal land expect them to be the perfect example. They are human and make human choices. Yes they are stars and to a certain extent set the tone to the younger generation but they are still human and should not be judged by anyone.

    I know it is just opinion but sometimes find it very hard to hear people who used to listen to iron maiden then slate songs quoting just bits of lines to make a point without going into the whole reason for the song. Some of these songs were written years ago and yes some still sung as classics but every song has it’s meaning and written in a way that the writer knows and can’t be broken down into one liners. You can do that with the bible and get into all sorts of trouble. With the bible you have to read the whole passage and understand the background and the setting (forget the correct term)to understand hat it means. Likewise songs are the same.

    I still listen to heavy metal and always will but know which bands to avoid who come right out and say they are satanic.

    I’d rather my kids listen to iron maiden for instance than some of the terrible artists nowadays with all their innuendo and sex songs.

    Anyway enough for now. Check out the website over the next few months as updating a lot of stuff on it and also expanding it into other areas to reach different groups of people.

    Thanks for reading

    Andy. http://Www.rockgod.co.nz

    • Hi Andy, sorry it’s taken so long to reply! I’m the author of this article and drew from various sources and provided links within the article. If I drew from your site then thanks for the info! I appreciate you taking the time to comment and I’ll check out your own website shortly. Thanks again.

  24. Jeremiah
    May 25, 2016

    Have you ever actually listen to the whole album The Number of the Beast? Are any Iron Maiden album in its entirety for that matter? Iron Maiden have never been a satanic band. In fact, a great deal of the lyrics are quite a bit to the contrary. read the lyrics to Hallowed be thy Name on The Number of the Beast. Read the lyrics to Revelations on Peace of Mind. Read the lyrics to Rhyme of the Ancient Mariner on powerslave. The whole album Seventh Son of a Seventh Son it’s just a good vs evil story how about the lyrics to the songs No Prayer for Dying and Dance of Death? I’ve been an Iron Maiden fan for about 30 years. And the fact that one of them is a Christian doesn’t surprise me at all. At the same time, you don’t have to be Christian to have faith. Christians don’t corner the market on what’s good or evil. For you the question Nicko’s place in the world or even in his band, it’s sheer arrogance. Arrogance, by the way, is evil. In any case, it’s just music. Get over it.

    • Hi and thank you for your reply. To answer one of your questions, yes, I’ve listened to several Iron Maiden albums all the way through. I related in this article that when I became a Christian I found that I had trouble listening to this music. I didn’t say no-one should listen to it and I didn’t say no Christian should listen to it. If I had said that no Christian should listen to it then that could be interpreted as arrogant and I’d agree with you. What I did was ask the question…which is why at the end I asked what other people thought and I appreciate you taking up that invitation. There is a big difference between being inquisitive and asking a question and being arrogant. So I disagree that I’ve been arrogant, I’ve simply asked the questions.

  25. Nihou
    June 5, 2016

    Thanks for your article. I’ve seen Iron Maiden a couple of times and my husband has pretty much all their albums. It’s exciting to know that Nicko is a fellow believer.
    As regards his stance in the band, I think it’s important to look at the standpoint in the song. I write songs in a band and sometimes I’m singing as if it’s someone else’s words, to illustrate a point from another person’s life or viewpoint. In my band, I have the pleasure of singing Iron Maiden’s ‘Hallowed be Thy Name’ at top belt at the end of some of our sets. Whilst the verses might not be Christian in motivation, the opportunity to yell the second line of the Lord’s Prayer at an unsuspecting audience is not to be missed! It goes down beautifully.
    My understanding is that we are called to be in the world but not of it…and it strikes me that this might be how Mr McBrain sees his task now. What a great opportunity to reach people who are often feeling dark (if some of the scary T-shirts at various metal gigs I’ve been to are to be believed). If there are chances to show that Christians are contrary to what a great deal of people think we are – tedious, unthinking and home before 9 – I think what Nicko is doing is great. We need more witnesses who can stand up and be credible to people searching.

  26. Jules
    June 28, 2016

    If your employed for a secular company i.e a say working in a factory, would you quit your Job because you became a Christian and everyone one who works with you are clearly not, with the bad language, talking about different not so christian topics on a daily basis, going out partying all the time etc etc etc. No you wouldn’t quit because it’s your Job.
    You would or could become a witness or just live your life the way Christ would have you live it. But you would still remain in the Job because after all it Pays the bills.
    So whats the difference here?
    The Band maybe his passion and he clearly loves playing the Drums but ultimately it’s his Job.
    It would be wrong for his fellow Christians to say you need to leave.
    Rock On Nicko 🙂
    I am a committed Christian and still listen to a lot of Metal especially Iron Maiden.

  27. Paul Loader
    July 22, 2016

    Great article, its good to ask questions…the disciples did and Christ was able to give them the answers they needed.
    In terms of Christians in rock music, I have played in bands all my life (well, since the age of fourteen), both Christian, worship and secular, and my current band although made up of three Christians is a secular covers band. But I sadly have to state that some of the most unpleasant people and bands I have ever worked alongside have been Christians….what kind of witness is that?
    I’m certainly not pointing the finger, oh no, I don’t have the right. When I started I was the teenage front man for a full-time Christian rock band and I have to confess, we were young, arrogant, full of ourselves, an appalling witness, and really hard to work with….praise God he was still able to use us (That’s the grace of God for you folks) and people were ‘saved’ at our gigs (The Lords work I promise, not ours)
    Now I’ve grown up (I’m in my mid 50’s so I’ve seen a bit along the way) I believe quite firmly that it’s not always what you say that makes the difference, what how you live and behave.
    Over the years I have met Christian bands and singers that are an absolute pain in the rear. They are rude, arrogant, demanding and selfish. I remember my band supporting a very well know British Christian band in a secular venue in the UK that treated us as their support with such little courtiousy that the venues promotor commented that there attitude was shocking.
    As we grew in popularity we were supported by another Christian band in the same venue many years later who decided that they were better than us and decided not to come off stage after their allotted slot……we, as the headliner were left with 20 minutes. I winced as a famous Christian solo artist berated the non-Christian sound engineer at a Christian festival during a sound check…over the main stage PA; the whole site heard his tirade.
    I could bore the socks off you with our tales of woe, but I won’t on this occasion (some are listed at my blog http://themudheads.blogspot.co.uk/). However; I have learned my lesson from those young and arrogant days of my own, that it is not about what I am singing and claiming to be as more about how we behave and the witness we give as a band through our actions.
    This was proved when playing at a gig in a pub on an Easter Sunday, and the promotor gave me his blessing to sing a couple of songs about the true meaning of Easter, and I was able to sing “When I survey the Wondrous cross”. He told me that “I had earned the right” and you could have heard a pin drop whilst I sang, followed by many great discussions and opportunity to share my faith as folks supped their pints.

    To be honest its Nico’s actions that impress me the most (although I love the phrase “We are not sinless but are trying to Sin-Less”. Man alive that is true for me…I’m still a work in progress). If Nico’s life shows the light of Christ in a dark world then praise God. If his faith shows through the way that he conducts himself, the way that he treats and speaks to others, the way that his nature is more forgiving less judging, that he is a consummate professional, that he is a joy to work with, that puts the needs of his bandmates and roadcrew before his own, then let’s keep praying for him to be upheld, to be helped in those tough time and that Holy Spirit strengthens him in his walk and that he continues to shine bright.

    Right sermon over, I’ve just fallen off my soap box. Sorry
    Great article and I look forward to reading the others
    God Bless
    Paul

  28. Joe
    September 19, 2016

    I was thinking about this question my self, I have an opportunity to join a band in which I feel I can help bring to a professional level however the lyrics are not very Godly, yeah I struggle with the dichotomy that I’m stuck in this evil world, I believe I should take this opportunity and be a witness for Christ who knows what the future can be for the band members, and if we get famous or known in the city people will inquire about me because I will be the lead guitarist. I even have the name “Jesus” tattooed on my wrist… Still though, im struggling as I observe my thoughts regarding this topic.

  29. Kevin
    October 16, 2016

    Should a plumber give up his job when he comes to Christ. Day in, day out the plumber deals with worldly crap that pays for his living. He gets paid for dealing with unredeemable shit. Nicko gets to be salt and light amidst
    sinners. Did you know , Bruce Dickinson, lead singer of Iron Maiden was a failed abortion. By the grace of God, Bruce survived. It is no coincidence that Nicko is in the midst of Iron Maiden, and so is the Holy Spirit…. enclosed in Nicko’s flesh. Iron Maiden has a job to entertain, and they deliver. Legalists
    are caught in their sins. Sinners are delivered from sin by their Savior, then pour out grace right where they are becoming salt and light.

    • Mickets
      October 18, 2016

      I don’t think a plumber has to sing “666 the number of the beast… 666 the one for you and me… sacrifice is going on tonight” as part of his job.

      Or “…Spirits calling me … They won’t leave me be. All my life’s blood is slowly draining away And I feel that I’m weaker every day …”

      Nicko probably does. And I don’t think he’s there because he needs to pay his bills and has no other option.

      One can argue that it’s just a movie, or just a song, etc. But the point is: what are we spending our time with? What are we as Christians declaring with our lips? Are we being light of the world, salt of the earth? Are we making a difference? How much time of our day do we spend worshipping the Lord, seeking intimacy with Him, and how much do we spend on things that add no value?

      “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.”
      Proverbs 18:21English Standard Version (ESV)

  30. Byron
    October 23, 2016

    You have to always take lyrics in their context to understand the meaning. “The Number of the Beast” is set during the tribulation after the rapture. It is a tragedy of an unsaved person trapped in that who eventually succumbs to the evil around him.

    “666…the one for you and me” is what he says once he has fully succumbed after resisting satan through the entire song. Tragically, this will happen to billions of people during that period. What else would you expect about a story with a character who has no Christians around and no Holy Spirit to convict him?

    Iron Maiden’s “feel good” album is “Somewhere in Time” except maybe the title track. And before anyone comments on the song “Heaven Can Wait”, it’s about a person who thinks he has too much to do before going. He simply doesn’t feel it is his time to go. But listen to the nostalgia of “Wasted Years” the determination of “The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner” the history of “Alexander the Great”. These songs actually lift my spirit.

    Iron Maiden has many songs that contain positive messages and do not in any way contradict scripture, but don’t take my word for it….read the lyrics yourself (and read the entire lyrics of a song before deciding). I am not saying all Maiden’s songs are good for Christians, but I don’t completely condemn them either.

    • mercied
      October 25, 2016

      Excellent thoughts. And really, whether the lyrics are biblical or not (Iron Maiden makes no claim to being a Christian band; Nicko professes Christ), the lyrics are thought-provoking. Even songs that are considered dark reflect reality. Their lyrics are certainly of much deeper content than the drivel from most bands whose lyrical content doesn’t rise above a weekend revelry of wanton sex, drugs and booze.

Be nice, be contrary, but don't be rude :-)

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This entry was posted on December 21, 2012 by in Music.
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