Hello Creation Liberty! I've been visiting your site for quite a while to learn about subjects like marriage, 501(c)(3) and "Christian" rock. I wanted to share my testimony of how I used to embrace an artist in the genre, but now repented. I was introduced to it back in 2005 when my former youth pastor had a game (Mingle or Musical Chairs, something like that) for a prize. I had no idea what the prize was because everyone was so noisy, but it was for Another Journal Entry by BarlowGirl.
Only after copying two songs, I passed the CD to someone else. I later bought a "Fan Pack" edition of that CD and collected more over the years, most on sale and a few given to me as gifts, so that my collection reached close to 100 unique titles. When I first played Another Journal Entry (AJE), I felt strange because I didn't like rock, but I kept listening because my pastor approved and because of the message.
BarlowGirl (BG) was big on purity, including purity rings. I'm aware that CLE since exposed rings, but back then, I thought it was a noble and holy choice because I barely knew anything about marriage, hence my recent post in the "Government & Law" forum. The band's big emphasis was "don't have sex" and to dress more modestly, so it seemed. I don't recall any lessons about what marriage is and how Christ sees marriage. I didn't know that rock music and BG's influences (like The Beatles) was a problem. I thought that this was church, the new way to worship.
When the band announced its disbanding in October 2012, my heart sank. I wanted to get a fan mail read and replied in hopes that it would help me battle sexual sin. It sounds strange, but I thought back then that the sisters were still pure and some fans still believe today that they'll marry one day. I sent my mail in May 2013 and waited a month's time, tweeting and e-mailing in the meantime. They didn't reply, but merchandised in an online store. I eventually lashed out, which led to the road manager sending a generic postcard, but not before accusing me of bothering them.
Unable to cope with the truth, Alyssa and Lauren Barlow blocked me on Twitter, and so did the road manager. The latter and Lauren blocked me first simultaneously, after which Alyssa told me to be "positive and uplifting." That's part of why in 2014, I translated Lauren's book "Inspired by Tozer" to Spanish and French. Back then, I still believed in the band, despite its religious deception and problems like Alyssa and Lauren praising Beyoncé and Bruno "Mars". Alyssa blocked me after I criticized her praise of the film Maleficent. (I saw the film in Digital IMAX and it horrified me.)
Come January 2015, I chose to e-mail my book translations to one of BG's friends. In sum, that friend (theirs, not mine) alternated between accusing me of nuisance and complimenting my work, while BG dismissed it completely. I made that friend aware that BG praised the works of bad secular artists. In response, she gave me excuses instead of the truth that I wanted to know. In January 2016, I've exposed BarlowGirl with a video, which led to that friend blocking me one day after upload. I've sent her a lot of biblical exhortation, but I'm sad because she seems to reject it.
I hope that my testimony gives you more insight as to why I embraced "Christian" rock in the first place and why I now dismiss it. I wish that someone would have made a BarlowGirl exposé earlier so that many fans, staff (like the road manager or friend) and even the band itself could know the difference between profane and holy music. Music has a long-lasting impact and it's hard to detach oneself from it. Also hard is being detached, after attending for about 15 years, from the church that gave me BG AJE. The pastor kept defending BG even after I shared BG's issues. I've rebuked other artists they love, like Chris Tomlin and Hillsong Y&F. BG has a closely-knit fan community, even in Brazil with fans not
fluent in English. The Spanish book could've easily been translated to Portuguese (mutually intelligible), but no. I made the fans aware of this and BG's other leaven, but I got shunned. All of these people are being robbed of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. I'm anguished. I now enjoy Old Christian Radio and even some good clean secular music, while my CCM collection is now drastically reduced. I pray that people can avoid making the same mistakes that I made and seek Jesus truthfully and wholeheartedly. :-)
As a bonus, here is Vincent Barlow (BG's dad) boasting about the band. Notice that his boasts are exaggerated ("Multi-Platinum-Selling" generally means two million CDs or more; the 800K is song sales) and deny Jesus Christ. Here's his pitch to sell "emotional quotient" training and seminars.