My son came home from school not long ago with something he learned in his IT class that day about using music editing software. He was excited! He found out about subliminal messages in advertising and music.
He immediately logged on to iTunes and downloaded Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway to Heaven’ so he could flip it back to front and play for us the subliminal message that was said to be burnt into the original recording. Try as I did, I couldn’t hear it. It wasn’t long, however, before he found the version on YouTube with the words written out so we could read them as the song played (backwards) and hear the hidden message.
I remember hearing about this as a kid and getting the stern warning from the preacher: ‘This is why you never should listen to rock music. It’s Satan’s music and he has made sure his message is always clear, even if it is only clear in your subconscious mind.’ (I recall borrowing my neighbour’s 45s and trying to wind them backwards on my record player, but with no obvious damnation forthcoming.)
Many people have tried over the decades since to show how certain songs have been ‘used by Satan’. But I would have NEVER imagined this: when you play backwards the now-classic contemporary Christian song ‘I Can Only Imagine,’ it’s actually pronouncing damnation on God and saying all sorts of blasphemous things. Imagine that!
I say this all tongue-in-cheek because I don’t believe for a minute this is intentional (as the YouTube post (Have a listen here) would lead you to believe.) But I’m sure there are a lot of Christians who are right now going through their music collections, playing every song backwards just to make sure.
The unfortunate truth is that there are some who look for the devil behind every bush, claim that anyone speaking anything not in alignment with their viewpoint is influenced by Satan, and blaming demonic forces for anything and everything untoward in their lives.
Case in point (thanks to Jesus Needs New PR): Have a look at this Facebook conversation between an Evangelist and one of his Facebook friends:
Is Satan around every corner waiting just to trip you up, deceive you, thwart your godly deeds, play with your mind, and overturn your faith? Does he send his demons to speak into your subconscious, lead you into sin, or plant ungodly ideas in your mind–or is this just the way we as humans are wired?
Are we giving the forces of evil too much air time in our lives?
Are we perhaps diminishing our own personal responsibility by finding a scapegoat for our unlovely thoughts and actions?
Should we not rather fill our thoughts and our lives with the goodness of God and thoughts of what is true, lovely, praiseworthy, and noble so we have no room for negative, oppressive thinking that would pull us away from abiding in Jesus?
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Need more proof that some well-meaning people have gone off the rails? Have a look at Christian Nightmares. It’s a combination of the bizarre and the unbelievable–all with the disclaimer ‘Only in America . . .’