Frank Zappa: Musical Genius, Questionable Bible Knowledge

Saying that Frank Zappa’s music is influential to mine is an understatement. I very much appreciate his musical genius. Other than the music, most of the time I would agree with his criticisms of society. However, I have to say that when he makes such sweeping claims about the Bible, that’s where I would disagree with him. Had he read the Bible well with openness and understanding, he would not say that it turns people into idiots. Any person who carefully studies the Bible would need to exercise thought and logic. Most of the time he misinterprets scripture in some of his songs.

It seems to me that his criticisms stem from various facets of “Christianity” that give the Bible a bad name such as televangelism, the Roman Catholic Church, and all other cults and organizations that dupe people their money into a lot of doctrines that otherwise don’t hold up to the truth in the Bible. The thing is that all of these allegations against Christianity are the result of prominent individuals and groups pursuing their own selfish agendas while slapping the Christian label onto themselves. What a shame. Seems like Gandhi is vindicated when he said (I’m paraphrasing here), “I like your Christ. I don’t like your Christians.” It exposes the fact that many “Christians” do not follow what Jesus Christ actually said. In Matthew 7:15-23, the Lord said this about such people:

15 “Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. 16 By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? 17 Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.20 Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them. 21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23 Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”

The reason why people such as Frank Zappa have loaded accusations against the Christian faith is because he sees the impact of such people claiming to be “Christian” and how much they’ve messed up society. They should be rightfully rebuked for their hypocrisy as Zappa tried to do within his lifetime. However, Zappa commits the error of making a sweeping accusation that such people are representatives of true Bible-based Christianity.

It’s fascinating when you see people like Frank Zappa and all of these other so-called geniuses mock the very thing that gave them the liberty to do what they wanted in the first place. Many of the laws that keep the civilized world free have been patterned after the Bible , so it really is kind of amusing when people start attacking it as the cause of bigotry and hatred around the world. Sweeping generalizations are dangerous; most of the time, it’s the result of seeing things from a narrow perspective rather than really getting into the meat of it all.

Listening to Frank Zappa’s music is always an exercise in critical thinking. I appreciate the music for it’s ingenuity. I would go so far as to say that serious musicians will find it very worthwhile to study the music of Zappa because it is very much groundbreaking. At the same time, it’s kind of like viewing a TV show like Family Guy any of those Seth McFarlane cartoons. You always need to take on it with a grain of salt and you shouldn’t watch or listen to such stuff without having a firm spiritual and intellectual foundation. At the end of this piece, I will still say that Zappa’s musical aptitude remains to be laudable. I just don’t agree with him when he starts attacking my faith from a skewed perspective.

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