P.O.D. – Murdered Love

By Lee Brown on July-8-2012 | Filed under Reviews | Tags : , , , , | Share

P.O.D. – Murdered Love
Score: 4/5Score: 4/5Score: 4/5Score: 4/5Score: 4/54
3.9 (25 votes)

Artist: P.O.D. (Payable on Death)
Title: Murdered Love
Label: Razor and Tie
Release Date: July 10, 2012
Reviewer: Lee Brown

Tracklisting:

  1. Eyez
  2. Murdered Love
  3. Higher
  4. Lost in Forever
  5. West Coast Rock Steady
  6. Beautiful
  7. Babylon the Murderer
  8. On Fire
  9. Bad Boy
  10. Panic & Run
  11. I am

P.O.D. has a tale to tell about dizzying success and dismal let-down. Having become the breakout band of 2001 with the release of Satellite  on September 11th (yes THAT Sept. 11th), P.O.D. would catapult to international fame. For a while, it seemed like the boys could do no wrong having hit song after hit song and becoming the most heavily featured artist on movies like Any Given Sunday, The Matrix Reloaded,  and… Little Nicky.

Having achieved more success than a lot of bands are even able to dream about (let alone those that openly proclaim their faith in Jesus) and after going multi-platinum a few times over, one would have expected P.O.D. to ride this momentum all the way into the history books. However, after notoriously being given the run-around by their label, P.O.D. seemed to shrink to the background. In the eleven years between Satellite and the upcoming Murdered Love, the boys at P.O.D. released a few great but critically ignored albums. Even the return of original guitarist Marcos Curiel didn’t seem to be the reinvention of the band that many were hoping for.

Having taken a break as a band for a while., lead singer Sonny Sandoval helped start the Whosoever movement, a group (including Brian “Head” Welch and Lacey from Flyleaf, to name a few) that go across the country sharing the Gospel message to the younger and harder-core youth that are often overlooked by many ministries. He also kept himself very busy making some powerful appearances on an incredible variety of albums by the likes of Lecrae, War of Ages, Kirk Franklin and Toby Mac, and most recently on new label-mate For Today’s powerhouse album Immortal.

Perhaps it’s that back story that best encapsulates the aura of Murdered Love. Having parted ways with disinterested labels and getting back to their roots, P.O.D. are set to release an album that may best be described as honoring the past as it looks to the future. In regards to honoring the past, Murdered Love seems to have an element of each of the various forms and genres P.O.D. has become known for. In the same album you have songs like “Eyez” and “On fire” which bring back elements of the band’s Snuff the Punk  rapcore days, songs like “Beautiful” which incorporates just enough of that reggae-punk flavor of Payable on Death, still leaving room for the straight-up hip-hop laced styles found on the band’s greatest album to date, Testify.

On top of that, many of the songs on this album feel like the spiritual successor to one of P.O.D.’s past jams. “West Coast Rock Steady” feels like it was written directly after the boys wrapped “Kaliforn-eye-a,” only replacing members of Suicidal Tendencies with Cyprus Hill. “Lost in Forever” feels like a culmination of both the styling of “Goodbye for Now” and the message of “Thinking about Forever.” “Beautiful” not only hits some of the styling of the sadly underrated Payable on Death album, but feels like a direct continuation of songs like “It Can’t Rain Every Day.” Then there is my favorite example as “Babylon the Murderer” seems to pick right up where “Breathe Babylon” left off so many wonderful years ago.

But don’t make the mistake of thinking that Murdered Love is just a canned rehash of all of their past works. This is not the case at all. What you get coming into this album is the feel of those past influences finally unleashed on a hopeful future. To put it another way, you finally feel like P.O.D. has really found the freedom they lost over the years in this new venture with Razor and Tie.

But is the new album perfect? Not at all. One of the biggest detractors for me was the contrast between the outright worship-filled passion in some tracks when compared to others which seemed to just muddle around a bit in banality. The biggest divide I could show in this would be the huge difference between the title track and the song “Bad boy.” “Murdered love” is a powerful and devastating look at the day Christ hung on the cross. The passion behind Sonny’s voice echoes as he shifts from screaming “they day that they murdered love” to an honest and emotional cry where he repeats the words of the penitent thief.

Contrast this with “Bad boy” which feels not only out of place on this album, but also as a P.O.D. song in general. This is not to assume that every song has to be about Christ directly (or indirectly), but “Bad Boy” comes across as a complete waste on the album. Not only is it weird for a happily married man to be singing “I’m a bad boy, but I like good girls,” but the song dabbles in some sexual themes while using language and verbiage that could have been chosen more wisely and gotten the same point across. The heart of the song, I know, is all about praising those women in life who make us better men. The execution on this, however is lacking severely.

As for the rest of the album, “Lost in Forever,” “Murdered Love,” and “Higher” seem to hit all the right paces to become instant hits. “On Fire,” the first track released in demo form, is certainly much better on the album than it was as a demo. The production values seem to have been improved greatly, but the song itself is rather repetitive and lacking that extra something which would make it a hit-level song. Finally, songs like “Eyez” and “Panic & Run” are just right in the middle, neither great nor bad, but neither are they mere filler.

Notably missing from my preview copy is the song “I Am,” which closes out the album. Those who have read our exclusive interview with Sonny, know why this is “notable.” P.O.D. seems to have one thing on each album that brings controversy. In the past, this has most often been centered on the album artwork. This was especially true for The Fundamental Elements of Southtown and Payable on Death (though the artwork on this new album is unlikely to inspire controversy, I can’t help but think of Invader Zim whenever I see it).

Any fan familiar with the special edition release of Testify (in the artist’s commentary portion) will see that the matter surrounding “I Am” is nothing the band hasn’t thought through in the past. As a fan of the band and their ministry, I feel that it was discerning to remove a particular element from the song, but merely “blurring” it out can leave the same effect in the listener’s mind as having it there. Though P.O.D. has typically landed on the right side of discernment in the past, this track may push some boundaries and be a little uncomfortable. Sonny talks about it being “an honest look” at who God is, who man is, and confusion over what comes in the middle on the metro lyrics preview. I’ll be interested to hear the full song when the album releases, but again feel that other words could be used to produce the same effect more wisely.

Overall: P.O.D. is back with an album that honors the many years of “Hard Knocks” that have come before while also making a statement that perhaps the best is still yet to come. Murdered Love is a worthy addition to the discography of one of the most prolific bands to come from the streets of San Diego. It has that “big” sound that P.O.D. has always brought to their albums and conveys passion, depth, and insight into both the mercies of God and the struggles of man. Fans should definitely pick it up and give it a listen, but those who haven’t connected with P.O.D’s style in the past are not likely to be won over by this new album, either.

RIYL: Blindside, Project 86, Thousand Foot Krutch.

P.O.D. - Murdered Love, 3.9 out of 5 based on 25 ratings

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About the author Lee Brown

Lee Brown is Discipleship Pastor at Meadow Park Church in Columbus, OH. He is the author of "Here's How: An Introduction to Practical Discipleship," and is also an adjunct professor and content specialist for Mid-America Christian University. Most importantly, he is a loving husband and father. Lee loves jamming to bands like Blindside, Project 86, Demon Hunter, Spoken, Lecrae, and Lil' Dre. For more about Lee, be sure to visit www.KnightoftheSon.com. View all posts by Lee Brown

129 Responses to 'P.O.D. – Murdered Love'

  1. Zac says:

    I’m really not one to complain about the whole swearing thing, but you know, it tells about their character that they have the balls to put the words in the last song, but not the gumption to actually keep it.

    Blanking it out is a sheepish move. It’s a way of saying we said it, but we didn’t say it.
    Regardless, POD has made horribly offensive , sorry, Sonny has said strong words against christians, and the people who run JFH simply for stating the fact that this album would be 2 versions, one secular, one for the christian market.

    It’s horrible the way they preach around and then not just swear, which I see little problem with for myself besides the compromise of the appearance of character, but the things they’ve said…

    • Just because everyone is going to start the whole “swearing” debate again, I’d like to share one of my favourite songs by a punk band called Praiser. ;)

      “All my love for Jesus,
      All my love for Christ.
      In my deepest darkness,
      He is still the light.

      I will never turn away,
      Never change my style.
      Forever with Jesus Christ
      Till the day I die.

      I don’t give a sh*t, my dear,
      What this world’s about.
      It’s full of lies, filled with crap.
      It’s wrecked, I got no doubt.

      It screams and yells so you might follow
      Its road to sorrow and grief.
      Masked with bright lights and nice faces
      But its heart is rotten,
      It’s a thief.

      And I know who to trust,
      Whom I will follow.
      It’s Jesus – Jesus Christ,
      My Lord and my Saviour.

      ohhhh

      I love you, Jesus
      I love you, Jesus
      You are my best friend, Christ
      You are truly my life.

    • Can’t wait for the new P.O.D. album, and I will definitely get the general market release. :)

    • Mark says:

      Sonny didn’t say anything offensive or strong. Stop spreading rumors and trying to divide people. The people at JFH are ridiculous sometimes when it comes to issues or reviews. I don’t even bother with them anymore.

    • ThinkFirst says:

      Just FYI – they had no say in the ‘blanking it out’. Provident said they wouldn’t distribute the album with that word on it. Initially they agreed to have two versions. Then Provident said they still wouldn’t distribute a copy with the word on it. So it got pulled from one version, and left, but blurred, in the other.

      And I’ve seen what Sonny said about JFH. It was well-warranted. JFH pulled their original comments. What Sonny responded to was highly offensive. JFH questioned P.O.D.’s faith and work altogether. Sonny was spot-on with what he said. JFH didn’t have the ‘gumption’ to leave their original comments up. They took it down to make it look like they are these innocent little bystanders.

      The whole story always brings about a different light.

    • Nathaniel says:

      As a JFH hideout staffer, I apologize for the whole staff for raising the bar on our reviews. I think it’s pathetic that JFH tries to hold artists who claim to be Christians to a high standard and then marks an artists’ album down for featuring a word you can’t even say on broadcast television. This is a true victory for POD, and hopefully those at JFH who are “spreading rumors and trying to divide people” will beat the fact that it doesn’t matter what comes our of your mouth into their heads.

    • Zac says:

      Interesting, Thinkfirst,
      If possible, I’d like to see what was said between the two.
      If you’d want to via personal chat

  2. Zac says:

    But for the matter of the review- congrats Lee, the review is well written, and reviewed with an unbiased and open mind.

  3. Mark says:

    Great review though. Bad Boy is a fun song and one of my favorite on the album. Love seeing the band do funk and have fun with it. Glad you didn’t take points off because of I Am, unlike JFH lol.

  4. WhenIRemember says:

    Everyone is open to opinion. I personally don’t think cursing is wrong, maybe not needed, but who’s to say what a ‘curse’ word is? Isn’t it more about the intent of the word, are you using it to curse/harm someone, not so good, it’s just a word though. God clearly sees the heart. Stop all the debate, it’s clearly a sensitive subject.

    Focus & Pray that this reaches people, and people come to know of Christ. Sonny is sharing his heart. I pray this reaches people, I hope the F-Bomb connects with people with a less wish-washy brain. Glory to Christ. Encourage your brothers in P.O.D. quit bashing them.

    • JahWarriah says:

      Spot on dude! I absolutely hate it when Christians who say they’re “not legalistic at all” criticize other Christians who swear. I personally am not one for swearing myself, but I also don’t see why it’s such a big deal in our society today. Oh, and I like your username too. That’s a great Blindside song, one of my favorites. As for the review, you, Lee, are one of the best reviewers here, maybe because you have mostly the same tastes that I do, lol. I agree with you though completely on this review. I’m buying this album as soon as I can tomorrow! =)

    • WhenIRemember says:

      Jah Warriah: Thanks man. Has to be my favorite Blindside song. Those guys are mega beast.

      Yea, this review is totally fair. I’m not getting upset at the review. You could have graded it horribly, and if you have a reasons to back it up cool. I like JFH, they are a great site, but I do think the main reviewers grading was rather off. You praise the openness of the album but take away from it so strongly because of an curse word. Had he just not like the cd I could understand the grading, but just because of the f-bomb… don’t agree with that.

    • Smacky X says:

      I can’t believe people are so shallow in their discernment as to believe that “I Am” with the f-bomb will connect with people in a way that it would not had they not used it. It would be nice for people to actually think about the logic of that before flying the “unwholesome talk helps Christians connect with unbelievers” flag. It’d be laughable if it wasn’t so sad…

    • WhenIRemember says:

      I’m not saying ‘unwholesome’ connect better. I’m praying it does connect though. God can use anything.

      I only ask people to think of what cursing is and how it came to be.

      Agree with me or not, don’t attack me. If we call ourselves Christians we can discuss, not argue. Encourage one another. If you feel you are truly right, than PRAY for God, emphasis on God, to open the eyes of the wrong. We are never going to agree on everything. We are different parts called to work together, but we don’t all do the same thing. Once again, agree or not don’t attack me. (I don’t believe anyone has attacked me, but I’m saying this because I don’t want to be attacked)

    • Smacky X says:

      Good reminders about not attacking- sorry that my frustration led me to using more aggressive language than I should have. I am having a hard time with the rationale of many that the swearing is justified because “God can use anything.” Because that is a universal absolute- that God being all-powerful can can use anything, it follows we could DO ANYTHING and God could use it for good. That’s actually true- Romans 8:28 arguably tells us as much: “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God”

      If I fell prey to a drug or porn addiction, God could use that addiction to show me His superiority as the all-satisfying One. Or maybe indulging in that drug-use would even create opportunities to talk to people about Jesus. It doesn’t mean that I should be eager to embrace drug and porn use.
      If someone gets shot in a drive by- God can use it for good. It doesn’t mean I should shoot someone in a drive-by.

      I know that I am arguing FROM THE EXTREME to make my point, but that is a part of my point. YES God can use ANYTHING for God, but that doesn’t create license or incentive to use anything just because we think it is cool or relevant or a point of connecting.

      If James 3′s discussing of “cursing” was the sole and definitive word on the issue of a word like f*ck, and the gratuitous use of it, then it would be harder to argue that the use of the word is wrong.

      But Ephesians 4:29 says “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
      F–k is an unwholesome word. This is why networks television and professionals avoid it and why albums that use it come with a warning. The world as a whole recognizes that the word’s ugly connotations make it unwholesome. This is obviously the case if it used with it’s original meaning, but is also true of any use of the word because it still carries the foul sexual connotations. And anyone who argues that it’s presence in the song “Is helpful” or “may benefit” listeners needs to realize that the song does that without the bomb. The f-bomb just is present in a song that would be edifying without it. And it actually doesn’t add any meaning to the line- which qualifies it as “careless”
      or “useless”, which Matthew 12:36 speaks against.

      I don’t keep entering the conversation to bash P.O.D.- in the Murdered Love Preview news I clarify that I love this band and have been thankful for the boldness and faith they have exhibited throughout their career. I just don’t like where embracing their example in this decision could take us all, and where else compromise may set in because we want to be relevant and because “God can use anything”- I really do think this is a slippery slope to learn from and avoid…

    • Skyler says:

      Smacky X, one big AMEN for ya.

    • BunnySlippersMan says:

      Smacky X totally agree with you.
      My main reason for not liking the FBomb in I Am is because of Ephesians 5:4, “Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.” and I’m pretty sure the F Bomb would qualify as obscenity, even by the world’s standards

    • Lucas says:

      Agreed Smacky. Thank you for that.

    • BunnySlippersMan says:

      ^This is not a reason for hating POD, I love POD, this is just my reason for not buying the song, I wasn’t trying to be judgemental

  5. Lucas says:

    I posted something in the Hawkboy thread concerning cussing. However I separated it into three posts and the end was accidentally posted first so I hope it can be followed. Not trying to promote myself in anyway but thought it might be relevant or maybe even slightly insightful. Any thoughts?

    http://www.indievisionmusic.com/2011/11/15/hawkboy-king-folly-ep-stream/#comment-252153

    • WhenIRemember says:

      To answer that last question, “do we need to swear?” No. But further question is what is ‘Swearing?’ Pardon me if this offends, I have no intention to do so, but the word ‘Ass’ is in the Bible, referred to a donkey. We get that, but now days ass can refer to a butt. It’s Slang, is it still cursing? If you were like “Man, look at that girls A**!” I would say yes. It’s derogatory/negative and foul. But the word Ass is not a curse word.

      On the matter of the F-bomb, look up the etymology, I’m not getting into that one. But I still won’t call it a curse word unless used derogatorily. In reference to P.O.D. song, if the line is something like “Who the F**k is he?” the words not being used to it’s proper definition. So what’s the matter, nothing even foul intended in the word, just a pure raw emotion, a new definition is being given to the term.

      I see I’m still not belatedly using the F-word. Purely because peoples ‘Perception/Perspective’ of the word is negative. I have no issue with using it though. If you hear it, try to read the context of it. If it is foul, don’t climb all over a person about it, but encourage them to use something else… (which ‘lawdy’ brings a discussion of using “Replacement Curse Words” We still all know what you mean by saying “B.S.” or “Bologna Sandwich” The context is still wrong, you only used a replacement word because of others perception.

      So, cursing/swearing is NOT needed. BUT be mindful of what cursing really is and what the intent of it really was meant for.

    • If it stumbles people it’s a sin. I have shared many times that I struggled with cursing. That was something I battled with for years. As soon as I got rid of my foul mouth dealing with other sins (for me) became easier. When I hear a band as big as POD just throwing this word around really upsets me. The F-Word offends me. The bible says not to use offensive language. It stumbles me because when I heard the song I AM, even though the word was bleeped out, it still got stuck in my head and I almost slipped a few times out loud. I don’t want to go in the wrong direction with my language. I don’t want the enemy to get his foot in the door.

  6. Jared says:

    For those who want to hear it before tomorrow, heres a link to the full album stream: http://music.aol.com/new-releases-full-cds/#/3

    • Thanx 4 the link, but wow, wer 2 start, lol.

      1. I concur wit wat “Jamos41″ sed below. – 10 cool/ scene/ rok/ bro points 4 “Lee Brown”, lol.
      2. I hav lost all hope in this band, as it pains me 2 say, havin been 1 of ther bigest fans eva bak in the day. Im prety sadened that they hav been reduced 2 this. Thers only maybe 3 or 4 songs on it that wer tolerable 4 me, the rest is prety much lame+ on par wit ther recent work, altho it seems mor in line wit testify than angels n serpents. I actualy liked angels n serpents beta than this 1, as sad as that is, since i thot angels n serpents was a prety mediocre album, but beta than testify. My point is that anybody that duznt hav “pod fanboy blindas” on can c this band started goin downhil startin wit the self titled album, wich i thot was decent lookin bak on it now compared 2 the otha garbage thats been released since then, lol.
      3. They shuda tried a 2 guitar atak wit truby (or at least truby shud go bak 2 ls+ let bruce just sing)+ marcos, that wuda been sik, but i think marcos was mor concerned wit “sharin the limelite” than actualy doin wats best 4 the band.
      4. I rated it a 2.
      5. Im sure ther wil b mor of an upror ova sonys use of the word “f agit” by the libtard extremists than the use of any otha word on tha song “i am”. Im just waitin 4 glad 2 release a statement, lol.

    • Jared says:

      For once, I’m in agreement with you, Phil. lol.

      This just cements my suspicion that I’m just done with them. Granted, I don’t mind songs like “Eyez” and “Lost in Forever” (guilty pleasure), but this band definitely will stay in my youth group days.

      I wish Truby and Carlos would’ve jammed together. Be interesting to hear.

    • Jared says:
      For once, I’m havin a moment of clarity, lol.

      Fixd it 4 u, budy, lol.

    • DT says:

      Thanks for the link to the stream! I haven’t anticipated the release of a P.O.D. album since the self-titled and the stream has let me know it won’t disappoint. I will pick it up.

      Phil, to imply that a liberal would have more of a problem with “f agit” (As you put it) than the ‘f’ word is no insult. I’m unclear why you brought it up. One at its base is a personal dehumanizing attack and one at its base is crude. I think to be more concerned with dehumanizing words than crude words is more Christ-like.

      The pharisee would be concerned with a word that is a bad word because it’s “bad” instead of the word that hurts and devalues a people group. Most of us know what Jesus thought of the pharisee’s values. Jesus is about people. Not rules and regulations. Rules and regulations have no value if the individuals they’re applied to are not valued.

      As someone who you have declared a “libtard,” I understand the context of the song and wouldn’t complain about any of the language used because of the context. Maybe you wouldn’t call me an extremist? Still, if there were to be an uproar over “f agit”, it at least wouldn’t be as trivial as the ‘f’ word that all the pharisee-like Christians are in an uproar about.

    • “dt”,

      1. It most certainly is “an insult”, so perhaps i can make myself mor “clear” 2 a self admited “Christian liberal” such as yurself (oxymoron), lol. I brot it up by the fact that liberals tend 2 get up in arms about anti- gay speech, yet wen anti- God speech or otha foul language is used its no big deal. This is clear hypocrisy+ “pharisee like” behavior. Calin sumbody out becuz of a lifestyle choice is clearly not. The only thing “dehumanizin” is those people telin lies about how they wer “born that way”+ floodin our society wit libtard propaganda n tryin 2 force ther beliefs on us who stand up 4 the Truth. If u people fot as hard 4 the poor, disabled+ sik as much as yal do 4 a certain segment of the population that chooses 2 liv a certain way, then that wud b mor “Christ- like”. Jesus had no prob hatin the sin, not the sina, and we r called 2 do the same if we hav the Spirit in us. Im not ofended by eitha word, so i dont care 1 way or anotha, but wen people start blasfemin my Gods name, thats a diferent story. I was just merely pointin out the duble standard nowadays, dont get yur pantys in a bunch, lol.

      2. Gud 4 u, but all libs r “extremist” enuf 4 me budy, lol. Yur last sentence proves my point, “pharisee- like” liby, lol. If its “foul language” then it shudnt mata wat “f word” was used, acordin 2 yur logic, so y try 2 defend the “dehumanizin” 1? Who r u 2 say that people arent ofended by both?

    • Lucas says:

      Come on, DT. Someone addresses their concern over a Christian’s use of an infamously vulgar word and it makes them like a pharisee? That’s not very fair you see. (get it?) :)

    • DT says:

      Haha, I do appreciate a good pun.

      Some ‘one’ ‘addressing’ it would probably be fine, but there are many who are addressing it and so there is a bit of an uproar about it and even here it has dominated the comments sections. Yes, I think it’s pharisaic territory. Especially considering the context of the song and that, often, that context is being completely ignored and the message and relevance of the song lost. Of course it’s being ignored, because in context, the only reason to address their use of the word is the simple fact that they used it. Sounds pretty bad… ‘they used a bad word.’

      Does that not remind you of the pharisees always being concerned about appearances on the surface–the outside of the cup? Taking the sabbath to ridiculous levels to stop healing? Judging Jesus for not washing before eating and for hanging out with tax collectors, drunks, and prostitutes? Neglecting “the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness.” Is the song not about injustice/justice and mercy? Is this uproar not similar to “straining out a gnat?”

    • Since my response 2 “dt” was deleted, i wil atempt 2 put it mor sucinctly: I disagree wit yur “logic”+ wil pray that u c the lite soon, my lib budy, lol.

    • DT says:

      Ha, I appreciate it, Phil. I don’t know if I’ll see that light since I already used to be a hardcore conservative. I’ve been there and know that part of the spectrum pretty well… but who knows!

  7. Travis Aker says:

    In James 1:26-27 26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not [ab] bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. 27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained [ac]by the world.

  8. Jamos41 says:

    I have to strongly disagree that “Testify” is P.O.D.’s best album. I don’t think they’ll ever top “Southtown” or “Satellite”……. just my opinion, though :)

    • Smacky X says:

      Agreed. I think that your opinion is in line with general fan consensus

    • JahWarriah says:

      It’s weird, ’cause when I saw that Lee said that I had to agree with him. Testify has always been my favorite album of theirs, then Satellite, Southtown, and the rest which I’ve never been able to put in order. I don’t know, I guess because that album has more of a straight up rapcore feel to it.

    • Lee Brown says:

      Satellite is a close second in my book. Testify is my pick for their best album for many reasons, not the least of which is the song “Strength of my life.”

  9. Lee Brown says:

    Hey guys,

    I want to thank everyone for the comments on the review. A lot of heart went into it because P.O.D’s music is a big part of my testimony. As for the use of the f-word on the album, if you read between the lines, you can see that I am against it. That doesn’t mean that the entire band is forever ruined to me, though. Wisdom would have placed another word there that would have had the same impact, but that’s just my take. The review score does not include “I Am” in it at all, because I have not heard it. Therefore it did not effect the score in either direction. That was the only way I could be fair with that.

    I agree with some comments above that the Bible is clear that we are to be wholesome in our speech. In that, though, I don’t want to make it like the f-bomb is the end-all-be-all of bad speech. Certainly gossip and knocking people down with your words (what I call “speaking death over them”) are in the same category as that particular word. I think it would be wise to examine the fruit listed in Galatians and see if P.O.D. and their involvement with the Whosoever movement is producing that kind of fruit.

    Be quick to listen, slow to judge, seek God for yourself, and pray for the boys that He will give them wisdom and discernment in their future ventures and use of this song. The lost will certainly grab hold of the idea behind it and someone may come to knowledge of Christ through it. But does the ends justify the means? Pray. Seek God. Pray for wisdom and discernment in the band’s choices from here with that song.

  10. Jeremy says:

    I thought I would give my opinion:
    What we may do in private (for example, curse) is not suitable to put on public display. We all have personal convictions, but also have testimony to protect.

  11. JoshIVM says:

    Are we really having this debate again?

    • Yorik Bruhl says:

      I have so much less respect after listening to that interview. I guess swearing is ok if you use it to fit in with the secular world. Sounds good…

    • Greg says:

      He’s not trying to fit in with the secular world. He’s trying to communicate eternal truths with a secular world using strong language to make his point and so we can relate to it. You might have heard a guy by the name of St. Paul? He did it, too. In the Bible. http://bible.org/article/brief-word-study-skuvbalon

    • Smacky X says:

      Greg- as has already been discussed, I Am is already “relatable” without the f-bomb. Do you really believe that someone who would hear “I know this is the one and only Son of God, so tell me who is he” (minus the expletive) would not be able to relate to it (or relate to it well) because there is no swearing? People keep using the “relate” argument generally without actually thinking about it in this context- it adds nothing to the song in terms of meaning or “relatability.” The argument that it does become easier to relate to implies that people who swear need to be sworn at to relate- that’s so weak.

      And that is what distinguishes this song from Philippians 3:8. Paul’s use of a word that is the equivalent of dung takes on powerful meaning in the context in which he uses it, as it heightens the contrast Paul is making to the greatest of degrees. “All things” are considered by Paul to be of no value in contrast to gaining Christ. Crap by it’s essence (no pun intended) is value-less- it is “the left-over” when a body has taken and used what it needs from food, it is the value-less waste that remains when all things of value of been digested. It is shunned and avoided and no one ever has any need for it. And Paul counts all things as that in light of Christ’s glory. Wow- that is a powerful statement!

      In contrast, P.O.D. added “f*ck” to their song… it doesn’t alter the meaning. It doesn’t, despite all the rhetoric here, make their point any stronger. It doesn’t help anyone to understand the message any better or make it something that someone who swears can suddenly embrace more easily.

      So the “skybalon” argument (which I have heard over and over) seems to not only be a straw-man, but I think it actually exposes the real nature of the band’s use of the f-bomb (that it is gratuitous), because it’s use is nothing like that of Paul’s usage of a “strong word” in terms of actually driving home a point. So it does become across as more of a “fitting in” issue than one of meaningful communication…

    • scott says:

      @Smacky X “I Am is already “relatable” without the f-bomb.” I agree with you to a point. Its relatable without the word to maybe you or me, professed Christians who, i’m guessing, don’t use a lot of this language. Theres no way that we can know the effect this language will have on the type of person P.O.D. meant it for. Maybe it will have the effect the band wished for. If this word was casually tossed into the song without much thought I’d be offended. I agree with Greg on this matter.

    • Yorik Bruhl says:

      @smackyX yeah. My thoughts exactly. Thanks man.

  12. Steve says:

    let’s get beyond the cursing and look at the album, it’s just mehhhhh…. we waited all this time for this?!?

  13. Travis Aker says:

    I listen to the album today in the car straight through,I would give it a 4. The only song I did not like on the album was Bad Boy. I think they could have left that song off the album personally myself. My favorite on the album is On Fire. Some of the solos where killer,kind of reminded a lot of Suicidal Tendencies. The rest of the songs where excellent.

  14. Ryan says:

    It’s interesting how everyone is up in arms about him using the F-word, but no one has mentioned the fact he used the word “faggot” in the same song. I guess Christians have a higher tolerance for gay slurs.

  15. KeithX says:

    Brilliant.

  16. Greg says:

    First, Murdered Love is a return to form for P.O.D. The band has embraced diversity again, mixing punk, hip hop, jazz, reggae, hardcore, and arena rock. It’s true that the architecture of the album is similar to Satellite, but there are also hints of Brown, something I never would have thought. It’s a nice change after basically pursuing the more straight forward, arena rock of the albums following Satellite. There’s an energy in the music that just wasn’t there on WAASD and aggression and intensity that was missing from Testify.

    As to “I Am,” how many of you guys have bought a DVD or Blu Ray with cursing in it? How about a video game? How about a CD from a band that isn’t full of confessing Christians? Is it that you are truly offended by a word or is it that you are disappointed that P.O.D. isn’t staying in the box you think they should stay in? If it’s really an issue, simply pick up the Christian store version of the album. Face it. We live in a world where the “f word” has been used in 2 hit songs in the last year. John Stewart uses it frequently on the Daily Show each day. It’s used in Internet acronyms, liberally, all over Twitter, Facebook, and in text messages. If we’re being real here, wouldn’t a seeker use the “f word”? I would say it’s inevitable.

    • KeithX says:

      I am disappointed that they didn’t just let their yes be yes, and their no be no. “I Am” would be a whole lot better if it weren’t fuzzed. At the very least, it would be honest.

    • Derek O. says:

      Whether you like it or not, P.O.D. is leading the church. They lead many people in worship. And they lead many through the ministry of the whosoevers. And because they are leaders of the church, they must be held above reproach. Therefore the dissapointment voiced on this page is completely biblical.

      “The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil”

      I just hope the gospel is being preached. Because if it isn’t, we have bigger problems than a swear word. But I am not very familar with P.O.D.’s ministry.

    • Derek O. says:

      1st Timothy 3 btw

  17. Patton says:

    The worst part about the whole I Am thing is that their is a Christian Bookstore version. I wish the Family Christian Bookstore would just not sell the album rather than take away a song and sell a “special” version. Isn’t it sending the wrong message? If you don’t agree with the song, don’t sell the record.

  18. Kevin Fitz says:

    POD isn’t trying to please Christians and thank GOD for that.

  19. Kevin Fitz says:

    Sonny – “I decided that I’m tired of worrying about what Christians are going to say. I don’t want to market the album to people who will trip over that word; I’m not trying to sell records to them. But people in the real world, they get it. They just say, “That’s me you’re talking to.

    You’ve got to understand. We’re not a band that plays youth groups and rallies. This is the real world. When some kid out there hears these verses, he doesn’t think, Oh my god, you said the f-word. He says, “This guy’s talking to me. Everything he says is relating to my soul.” The f-word is irrelevant; that’s how some people talk. I’m not saying what’s wrong and what’s right; I don’t talk like that. But when I’m talking to these kids, they’re like, “Hey, man, I’m so f—ed up, dude. But I love f—ing God, man.

    But I understand that I’m going to get my hand slapped from American Christianity. In other countries, no one gives the f-word any power. I’ve got a T-shirt that says “F¬ Satan.” It’s been hanging in my closet for so long; I don’t know when it’ll ever be appropriate to wear it. I’ll probably wait till we play Norway or some Swedish death metal festival, where people actually worship Satan. Then let’s see what kind of slack I get.”

  20. Travis Aker says:

    The thing is though POD is known about spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ to people who else would not know it,like the kids at secular shows. What kind of a example is POD setting though when they use that kind of language on a cd. It kinda almost like their contradicting themselves,I think they could went another direction with the song,I am not in the band,so therefore my opinion would be pointless,but there other bands like King’s X and Galactic Cowboys that have also used controversial lyrics in there songs. I love both bands. There not going around claiming that there Christian bands either.

  21. Michael says:

    I’m with Nathaniel and Smacky X. For those of you who think you know the inner workings of JFH, you are wrong. JFH has yet to pull any comments of the POD issue. The only thing that was “pulled” was the album PReview… in order to make room for the actual album review. Everything that was on the POD post has been on their since the beginning. There was a misunderstanding with a writer for a different website, but that issue was resolved. Yes, JFH will continue to hold Christian artists to a higher standard, just as all Christian’s are held to a higher standard. We aren’t living up to man’s standard of what a “good person” is, we are supposed to be living up to God’s holy standard.

    Smacky X. I’ve been singning the song the way you suggested the lyrics. It actually fits perfectly and would’ve driven home a necessary and strong message without any controversy.

  22. MrM says:

    While I’m staying out of the whole debate, I am (heh) curious about whether there’s an uncensored version of “I Am” available? I love the song, and personally think the censoring takes away from it as a whole. Is there an uncensored version?

    • DT says:

      Agreed. I wouldn’t mind that being available. The edit sounds terrible. It’s not like it’s said only once, so the edit sounds even worse having to hear it over and over.

    • KeithX says:

      I agree. On the other hand, I would take a version that used “heck”. If they would have just done that from the beginning, we wouldn’t have had this whole storm of controversy.

  23. Michael says:

    Only if someone leaked it…

  24. Travis Aker says:

    The thing is though,when use those kind of words, like its says James 1:26-27 you are better off saying nothing at all. You could very easily affect young Christian’s walk,just by our actions. They and the world are watching us everyday. I understand that we are supposed to live up to God’s Holy Standard, but what kind of message are we sending to other people watching us. You got to be careful.

  25. Sam says:

    Just tossing my two cents in on the whole issue, not looking to get to involved…on the one hand, I think P.O.D. did the right thing by leaving the song off the Christian market version of the album, so that the people the song is meant for will get to hear it and Christians who have problems with the language can listen to the album without worrying about it. I agree that they should’ve made the mainstream version uncensored, but apparently editing it out was a label decision so I don’t blame them for that.

    On the other hand, given the lyrics I’ve read for the song, the F-bomb does seem a little out of place. It seems like you could have made it “so tell me who the hell is he” and gotten a lot less controversy. Heck, for that matter, the line is kind of confusing in it’s current form and doesn’t really convey what Sonny says it was supposed to; you could just make the line “so tell me who this preacher be,” or something like that, and not have any problem with the Christian market at all! (Okay, some, but not from the same people as now.) Also, the verses already have some pretty vicious lyrics; I don’t think an F-bomb in the chorus really makes the song anymore relatable to the unsaved than “I am the beat down, mistreated, sexually abused/I have violated, fornicated, and sexually used” or “Suicidal thoughts, keep one in the chamber/I’m a turned out streetwalking heroin banger”. I appreciate what they were trying to do with the F-bomb, but I think it was kind of unnecessary.

  26. Brian says:

    I am disappointed to say the least by the song I Am after listening to it for myself.

    The message of the song is blatant … we have a lot of crap wrong about ourselves. It uses some harsh language to describe ourselves, our broken and sinful self. I don’t have a problem with this, this is very scriptural and accurate.

    But, like most people, I am disappointed by the distorted profanity in the line “I know you are the One and only Son of God, so tell me who the f— is he?”.
    The profanity is obvious, and is distorted in such a way that even if its not explicitly said, it is still heard in the mind. The song is powerful without the profanity, as others have pointed out. Its an honest look at ourselves, but why completely ruin it by cursing your only hope and salvation?

  27. Dave says:

    I personally agree and dont think the song benefits from the swearing, but I did want to share that the lyric “who the f… is he?”
    is not directed at Jesus. Sonny explains it here:

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2012/julyweb-only/pod-rocking-again.html

  28. Yorik Bruhl says:

    So all the controversy, and the song without an edit doesn’t get released…?

  29. Mikes says:

    I read thru all of this thread, and wanted to add a couple things to this. I’m a young English teacher, for 5 years now, and also also a christian who leads a bible study at the high school. I actually teach a lesson in class about cuss words, having to do with connotation and denotation, and so I thought I might add what I hadn’t heard here yet. When I listened to the album for the first time I was caught off guard by some lyrics. I was also blessed by some lyrics, which was interesting, so I sought out this type of discussion to see what others thought. …basically a cuss word is a word in a language that has a strong negative stigma. Some languages don’t even have cuss words. Ours does. The F bomb is the biggest worst word of them in our culture. It is also culture that makes a cuss word what it is by giving it it’s meaning. The word itself refers to sex in an angry or violent/rape sort of way which is already awful. But a cuss word is often used just for emotional effect. The word explicit means straight forward. In music and language it also means cuss words, but those words are being used to express an straight forwardly in a negative way. Like saying “give me those F-ing chips”it doesn’t mean the angry violent sex rape chips! It means the person is angry. What makes cuss words wrong? Us. People say things in an angry violent way with angry violent words. …i think MAYBE the reason for using the f word in this song is to express the bitter angry emotion in a straight forward way. He is being explicit. Is that wrong? …sometimes I wish christians would be more straight forward with their lives, rather than hiding behind a pious front (me too). I hate fakeness. I connect with the song because I AM a dirty rotten sinful person, if you find out the real me behind the smile. …i have also heard some very un loving things said without the use of cuss words. It’s funny when you get cussed out by a christian they bring out other hurtful words, and have such an awful unloving tone, they may as well be cussing. I was once called a false teacher with daddy issues, and a coward like a little girl. No cuss words but some of the worst things I’ve ever had said to me, and these things were said by my pastor and my brother–both christians (i think) (sarcasm). …the worst thing on the album I thought was the “so many girls in cali, how can you not be straight” lyrics. That’s not the nicest thing to say, but again, I have actually thought that before, I just didn’t say it out loud! I guess POD is being straight forward.

  30. Wow! I just heard about the whole use of a swear word on the album, and now I’m not sure what to think. I haven’t heard the song, but have been thinking about getting the album. Personally, I’m really disappointed. The swearing issue has nothing to do with “pleasing Christians.” It has to do with Colossians 3:8 among other verses. Yes, I get that Sonny was portraying the point of view of non-Christians. But he crossed the line into actual sinful language at this point. I know he isn’t perfect and is just trying to be honest, but that type of language is not godly. I appreciate that they censored it afterward, but still… I don’t know what the JFH response was to this, but I have no problem with them getting upset, as this crossed the line. I fully support POD, but I would caution the members to re-examine their use of language. Sonny’s comments about how the f-word has lost its power are correct, but that doesn’t make it any less inappropriate for a Christian to use.

    • Maybe to play Devil’s advocate, but mostly just out of curiosity, to get where you’re coming from:

      1. What’s your definition of swearing? What’s the difference to you between swearing and cursing from the Biblical perspective? I believe the two are different.

      2. (If he actually did cross a line,) where is that line specifically? It might not have been the f-bomb, right? Maybe a racial slur, or saying words like ass, poop, douche, etc? And who set that “line” you speak of?

      I know, I know – Everyone wants to say God, but the truth is that we’ve never been given a list of words not to say. We mostly try not to be a “stumbling block” to another or risk misrepresenting ourselves by glorifying ambiguous or perverse sexuality, talking about dirty things like s**t, or talking carelessly about “hell.” Don’t get me wrong. I’m not specifically defending coarse/colourful language. I keep the same things in mind as most of you, as I live as a Christian. But as much as I know God has called us to be mindful of speech, I get queasy when I hear Christians tell someone else that they’ve crossed “the line,” like they’re officiating an airport-like detector to monitor words. I personally have no idea where that line is, and who set it up. And some Christians out there might also say, “culture says that’s wrong and that it’s a dirty word.” But again, I can’t help but wonder if it was just North American Christians back in the early days, who were opposed to a term becoming a form of cultural slang. Maybe they didn’t find a specific word as “innocent” as their European friends did. I’m just thinking out loud, I guess. Somedays I just want a better answer than “Jesus would never say that!!” Because what North America forgets is that “What Would Jesus Do” and “What Jesus Wants You To Do” are two very different things. And more specifically, “What Would Jesus Say?” is limited to the gospel accounts, and modern Christendom would rather subscribe to “What Would the Founding Church Fathers Say?,” anyway.

      And something is “not godly”? Yes, I understand this dilemma. And the bigger problem is that the church thinks that the word “edifying” is a Christianese word. Thus, what one person finds edifying may or may not be edifying to another. Ex: Since common sense dictates you should choose your friends carefully, everyone knows you should choose “edifying” friends. BUT Christian culture says it it’s code for “Christian friends,”or more specifically, “friends active within Christian culture.” The unwritten rule says you may speak with unsaved people or Christians of a weaker stripe but you shouldn’t linger except for intentional, directed witnessing. WHO CAME UP WITH THAT??? > When it comes to speech/dialogue, jokes about private anatomy are shunned and Helen Keller jokes are pushing it. > Edifying music includes Christian radio, new country, Celine Dion and Coldplay. > Carrot Top is edifying humour, and Neil Hamburg is not. > The melody of a worship song must match the truth: we can’t sing “Come Thou Fount” to the tune of “Killing In the Name Of.” > “Jesus-centric” art and kitsch with lions, lambs, and crosses are considered more edifying over fringe/goth art or street graffiti. > Reading Relevant Magazine is more edifying than a magazine on feminism. > Mark Driscoll is considered a more edifying conversationalist than a pair of Jehovah’s Witnesses. > The Passion of the Christ is considered more edifying for children than Spongebob. > The idea of Osama Bin Laden’s death is more edifying than the idea that Jesus might possibly bring him to salvation. >

      Yup, now I’m definitely ranting. Oops. Again, I want to be the best witness of Christ I can be to those around me. But having grown up in Christianity, I’m now starting to get a little tripped up over these “rules” that are more dictated, detailed versions of Biblical truths. Not trying to offend, just offering an opportunity to think and dialogue. God Bless.

  31. Sorry, Part 2:
    I understand that Sonny is just expressing where he is at, but he is a Christian who is a public figure and therefore a leader. He clearly had a lack of judgement in this area, and so should be corrected by his Christian brethren. He shouldn’t be attacked or slammed into, but there definitely needs to be some accountability here. Whether POD censored the swear word just because of media backlash, or because they genuinely acknowledge that they made a mistake, I don’t know. But I do know that the backlash was deserved here, and hopefully Sonny will understand that though many of the reactions may have been too harsh and unloving, this is a legitimate area that he slipped in and should accept correction graciously. I mess up too, and it is the job of fellow Christians to steer me back on course.

  32. Jimmy says:

    POD reaches far more into the lives of unsaved kids than any other band thus far and a part of that is rubbing up against the world with F-Bombs/etc. Please don’t judge our fellow Christ-Followers but rather pray that God would use them for His Glory.

  33. Reply to Justin:

    First, I will point out that I backed up my comment with scripture, while you have cited “Biblical Truth” without providing any scripture. I’m not asking for a specific passage or proof text, just some reference to the Bible. Now, to get to my point:

    Where is the line? Filthy language. Period. Now, the question is, what is filthy language? Filthy language. What the society considers filthy, in addition to anything demeaning, crude (crude = filthy), or sexually charged. Swearing is by definition transgressing what the society says is appropriate speech. Now, society might consider demeaning language acceptable, but it still is not right.

    You are very right when you say “where is the line?” A racial slur or crude word would also be equally wrong (I’m ignoring blasphemy for now). In this instance, the “f-word” is a highly sexually charged word whose meaning is entirely demeaning. There is a reason that radio stations usually censor that word, even when they allow other demeaning and crude language and blasphemy. There is no exact line. This particular word is clearly transgressive just by how it is treated by society, but anything crude or demeaning is wrong. The Christian response should not be “well, if there is no clear line, it doesn’t matter,” but rather, “if there is no clear line, how far away from the line can I get?”

    But there really doesn’t need to be a discussion in this case. The “f-word” by its nature is offensive in our society, and I don’t really need to explain that, it is obvious. But Sonny is right that it has lost its meaning and impact. Our society has become profane, transgressive, and constantly trying to destroy meaning. I fear that our society is reaching the end stage as described in Romans 1:18-31. Christians should rise above this profanity and destruction of meaning and say “hey, this is wrong, and no matter how much you try to blur meaning and destroy boundaries, this is not right.”
    Yes, God can work through sinful behavior. I can right “Jesus Saves” on pornographic magazines, pass those out, and the Gospel will still be preached, but that doesn’t mean that it is okay to pass out porn.

    In closing, just because Christians struggle with when something is just different and when something is wrong, and are too quick to condemn things which are simply cultural differences, doesn’t mean we should give sin a pass. On the contrary, we need to be very vigilant and make sure in our eagerness to reach the lost we do not compromise our faith.

    Thanks for bringing up some good, challenging points of thought. This is something that I struggle with and devote a lot of study to. I’ve actually been doing some long-term studies on these issues, the first of which is on my blog under the title “A New Covenant Look at Modesty,” which hopefully is the first of many articles. Thanks again for your thoughts,

    Ken

    • Thanks, bro. You’ve really brought a lot of really good insight and reasoning into this discussion!! Really good. :) You’re right. I didn’t provide any scripture. I could have easily bring up any of the verses that people have been quoting on this thread – James 3, Ephesians 4:29. But I figured we’d been over them enough times to know where I was coming from. lol.

      I think in some ways, I will admit that it’s very hard. Like KeithX says below, words like the f-word are so commonplace. I have always done ministry stuff working with non-churched youth, young adults, etc. I also work in a beer/wine store. And I hear these words constantly. I know the ideas behind these words, because sometimes they’ve just really just feel like slang to me when I hear them because it’s the language of the people I work with. For example, someone saying the word s**t comes across as meaning that something is absolutely horrid and is the extreme end of unpleasant. I try not to entertain harsh/coarse language myself, but honestly, it is a huge temptation. It’s that weird balance: God has called us to be different in how we act and speak, but sometimes, like Sonny, I will admit there’s this desire to relate to others in the language they understand.

    • As well, I’ll add this tidbit:

      6 Years ago, I had a Bible study leader who radically changed my life. He was an ex-special forces soldier, and he was by far the TOUGHEST guy I’d ever met (the church questioned his techniques and his penchant for shooting kids with airsoft guns, teaching us how to make bombs, etc) ….. and with that persona, he also had the most colourful/questionable vocabulary I’d ever seen in a Christian. But those questionable words spoke deeply to me. They described extremes of sin, complacency, and irresponsibility in my life that I had refused to deal with. I had had spiritual leaders in my life previously who didn’t hold me accountable, didn’t push me to strive for more, and didn’t help nurture a passion for God in my life. But this guy changed that. He would “swear” at us kids all the time, telling us to use our heads and get our lives together. But you could tell there was a deep love behind it all. At the end of the summer, he had influenced 5 other kids I knew to get off drugs, get a job, and start serving in community ministry. My other friends have since gone from being cocaine addicts to doing street evangelism. That man changed all of our lives and turned our worlds upside-down. Could he have used softer words? Sure. But us teenagers were seriously so stupidly rebellious. We needed someone who would be harsh about the way we were wasting our lives and were stubbornly blowing God off. I had too many male leaders in my life who chose to “mother” me softly, instead of pushing me to ‘man up’. I needed this man to tell me to ” get the f*** out of bed” and meet up with him at 5 in the morning to do Bible readings. His threatening words echo in my head: “It will be much better for you if I beat the beat you into shape now. F***, I don’t care how you get into the Word!! If you don’t get into the Word, the devil will beat the living s**t out of you!!” That’s the type of loving counsel my friends and I needed. I’m serious. It’s obviously not for everyone, and it does seem to clash with Scripture calling for wholesome speech.. In that circumstance, I don’t know about his speech being “morally wrong.” But it was definitely offensive, and that’s what my friends and I needed.

      That’s just a little personal story. I don’t care if anyone likes it or anything. It’s not opinion, it’s a part of my testimony. hahaha!! :)

  34. KeithX says:

    For unlawful carnal knowledge. There, I said it. Does the full expression hold the same stigma as the acronym? (Mods, apologies in advance if you think that it does.)

    The f-word is in our vernacular, it’s the all purpose word. Here in metro Detroit, it’s an adjective, adverb, verb, pronoun, noun. How does this word hold so much power? The commandment is to not use the Lord’s name in an inappropriate manner. Yes, I know that Paul in particular advised us against course language. I also know that P.O.D. is trying to reach the lost before it’s too late. I imagine most of us here would agree that it is, indeed, getting late.

  35. synn'r sainte jeb'beau says:

    I’ve listened to & read the interviews. I’ve seen the reviews. The villagers are angry. The torches are lit. We will hunt the monster & kill it! Or maybe not. Maybe we shouldn’t. Maybe there is no monster. I’ve been learning a lot about how offense happens & works between & against us.

    I understand Sonny never intended to offend anyone. The fact remains that regardless of his motive, he has. There’s bound to be disappointment whenever one’s perception is challenged. Some fans (myself included) are hurt because we care. That speaks volumes of love & I hope P.O.D. gets that message behind some of this rhetoric. Whether Sonny offers an apology or not, we can still forgive & move on. We can discharge the debt we feel Sonny owes us, whether he pays up or not. We can still support & encourage P.O.D. We can still disagree with Sonny while doing so. We can offer more words of admonishment, with way less judgment.

    So many fans expected what they believe to be better of P.O.D. than any band they’ve rubbed shoulders with. I for one have stopped listening to a few others & kept listening (from the beginning, when they played C-stone’s new band showcase & had only a handful of people surrounding their merch table) & still will for the very fact that I came to see them as trustworthy with mine (& my son’s) ears in this area. Sonny might win a few with the f-bomb, but c’mon, we need to understand that this isn’t going to help smooth over any relationship between already estranged teens who “relate” to P.O.D. when Moms & Dads (and/or legal guardians) are quickly offended (even if wrongly so) by Sonny’s intervention/outreach. Offering a “sorry” would win a few more, as I see it. Nothing hard about an apology except personal pride (boy, have I ever learned). Remember, though, Sonny doesn’t owe us one! it’d be wrong to demand one.

    I’m no prude, I just think we can find a balance between witch-hunting & sealing our approval. I hold no judgment & understand every viewpoint expressed in this thread. So does God.There’s a lot of thought provoking dialogue that’s come about & it’s made for some good head (& heart) scratching. I think God’s pleased with all of it. I’m excited to see where all this takes P.O.D. It might open doors that we never knew were there. Some may close. Either way, P.O.D. has clearly chosen to shine where they are, instead of worrying where they aren’t. Wherever we land on this issue, we can all pray. This is a big family with room for each other, & room for more. Thank you to everyone for all the comments, references & opines. Thanks to IVM for not shutting this down as they easily could’ve.

  36. Khory says:

    I am new to this website but a longtime P.O.D. fan, I’m talking the BROWN days. I became a Christian well after I started listening to P.O.D. it wasn’t because of P.O.D. that I had a change of heart, but needless to say, after I did confess my sins to God and change my life, P.O.D.’s music has meant so much more to me. In regards to the song I Am, I do think the cursing was unnecessary, however if the point of view of the song is of a non Christian, it makes sense. To clarify my position, I am not disappointed, but do feel it was unnecessary when the song already has such a powerful meaning. I, too, like a few others, am wondering why the “other F word” isn’t getting the same public backlash.

    For those of you who are disappointed in the band’s choice to curse in the song, I would urge you to attend a P.O.D. show or a Whosoevers event and listen to what Sonny says. He talks about his faith and sharing the Gospel to an unbelieving world. You can tell he’s genuine. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and speaking to them, and they are all so nice and genuine. It’s very encouraging for someone like me who still struggles every day with trying to act, talk, and think like Jesus.

  37. Earthseedz says:

    Bottom line: It wasn’t necessary to use this word. Why don’t they just admit they did it for the money? Maybe, trying to shake the Christian band label? If Lecrae can sing hip-hop, a genre overrun with obscene words/themes without cussing, I don’t see why a rock band like P.O.D. can’t. Is Lecrae somehow less authentic or evangelistic, because his songs aren’t bleeping 50 times, a song, like other rappers? However, this reviewer’s biggest faux pas is comparing P.O.D. to Blindside. Yeah, they toured together a few years back, but the sounds are very, very different.

  38. BigBillSmash says:

    I don’t know about ya’ll, but ya boy can’t get Murdered Love out of his head, great song.

    And with them dropping the F bomb, who are we to judge? Do we all not sin? All sins are equal my friends.

    • NormireX says:

      THey are all equal, but when you do something knowingly and premeditated that is on a completley different level.

      Sonny seems to have lost his conviction, otherwise he wouldn’t have used that word.

      And those of us voicing our opinions on “I Am” are not judging, we are trying to hold POD accountable. THe Bible does state we are to hold one another accountable. If we just stand back and let our CHristian brothers and sisters continue down a dark path they may have fallen in, then we are as much to blame as they are for their sin.

      It’s just sad that so many so called “Christians” on this site seem to be more and more tolerant of wordly things and curse words being used by “Christian” bands.

      This really is starting to look like “the end”.

      Everytime I see other “Christians” agreeing with a bands decision to use a profane word in a song it just makes my faith in the Christian Community go straight out the window.

      I mean are we our brothers keeper anymore? I know I try to be and speak my mind and hold those accountable when they need to be, as should all Christians. If you see or hear a fellow Christian doing something out of line then you should let them know about it.

    • DT says:

      If you’re into brother’s keeper action, saying Sonny appears to have lost his conviction is a judgement (A poor one. Read any interviews or new lyrics?). Grouping people as “so called ‘Christians’” is also a judgement. Judging and claiming you’re not judging is akin to lying or avoiding accountability. I’ve done, and still do at times, all of those things, so I don’t mean to guilt you, but I am doing as you recommended.

      I am glad I have no faith in the Christian community. I do have hope for it, share a faith in God, and have myself been the type of Christian I now often disagree with. Those (Hope, faith, grace) are the reasons I continue to participate in it.

      I’m big on hope! But faith is a stronger word and something I now reserve for God alone. Try it. You may end up feeling less down about the state of Christianity and more free to be proactive within it.

  39. I’ve already said my bit a while ago on this thread. But I just want to comment on some interesting things I notice about this discussion (since comments on the review itself seem to have been pushed aside for a debate on whether Christians should deliberately swear).
    Point one: I want to say that this discussion is very intellectually and spiritually stimulating, and has led me to really think deeply about this issue.
    Point two: I think it is very interesting how a lot of people on this thread are very quick to judge those who are “judging”. I seem to notice this on almost every internet debate where an accusation (justified or not) is made that a Christian messed up. One of the first responses is “you’re judging!” But that itself is a very judgmental attitude, is it not?

    On that note, I will fade back into the shadows from which I emerged :)

  40. ^^ Na, actualy, its 1 of ther worst, imo.

  41. ParkerloveJesus says:

    Let me first say that I grew up covereing POD songs years and years ago in different high school bands. They’ve always had a special place in my heart. With that being said I finally had a chance to listen to this album. I listened to it 4 times through before I made up my mind on whether I liked it or not. What I liked was the slight return to their old form. I don’t have the album in front of me but I really enjoyed songs 1, 3, 4, and 6. I think song 6 is called Beautiful. It’s strange that I like this one the best. It’s the only one that really stuck out to me as a “good” song. The other one’s I listed were nice but not great. It’s unfortunate that there were a few songs that I hated. It might just be me but I expect Christian songs from a christian band. The west coast song and the bad boy song (I think they are called) ruined the album for me. Those songs are so bad that I don’t really want to listen to the CD any more. I can’t stand when Christian bands put songs on the record to try and appeal to the non christians. I think most of you know where I stand with the song “I am.” Sonny could have used the word hell instead of the one he used. It would have been just as powerful. I love the lyrics in that song but I can’t listen to it because the F-word(s) completely ruin it for me. I would give this album a 2 out of 5. The songs I liked are okay which isn’t that great. All in all it’s a very mediocore album. I expect more from these guys.

    • Smacky X says:

      What is a “Christian song?”

    • synn'r sainte jeb'beau says:

      I believe Oswald Chambers put it best; “A sanctified soul may be an artist, or a musician; but he is not a sanctified artist or musician; he is one who expresses the message of God through a particular medium. As long as the artist and musician imagines he can consecrate his artistic gifts to God, he is deluded. Abandonment of ourselves is the kernel of consecration, not presenting our gifts, but presenting ourselves without reserve to Christ.” Thanks to Smacky X, for striking the flint against the stone that sparked my thought as I read the comment that begged the “question”…

    • Lucas says:

      This article written by Michael Gungor is easily the most insightful thing I’ve ever read regarding the “Christian” label. I don’t always agree with what Michael says on things, and sometimes strongly disagree, but I don’t see anything in this (very long) article that doesn’t seem to be spot on:

      http://gungormusic.com/2012/12/christian-pizza/

    • ParkerloveJesus says:

      Smacky: a song that actually talks about Jesus or at least has something to do with the Christian faith. My goodness those songs I mentioned have nothing to do with that at all.

    • Smacky X says:

      So your expectation is that every song by a christian artist should reference their faith? So Christians shouldn’t ever write a “fun party” song, or to write a song to/about their spouse or child, or to tell a story that doesn’t reference faith? What about instrumental or covers songs?

      Should the rest of us be held to the same standard and never have conversations about the weather or sports or media without referencing Jesus or faith? Can a Christian visual artist paint a house or take a photo of a person without some sort of overt faith overtone? Or should Christian plumbers, check-out clerks, realtors make sure that they talk about Jesus with every customer?
      (If the “expectation” for Christian musicians, whose songs are their art and way of making a living, is that every piece of music contains Jesus and faith references, should we not hold ourselves and all Christians to the same standard in their art and vocation?)

    • Brandon J. says:

      I am with Smacky X on this one. He makes a valid point.

    • ParkerloveJesus says:

      There are different standards for different jobs. The job of a christian musical artist is to proclaim Christ through music. If you’re not doing that, you’re not doing your job. Can a plumber talk about sports, of course, but remember that’s not his main job. His main job is to work as if he is working for the Lord. I would say the same thing if a so called christian plumber came in to my house, cursed, did a half butt job, and then over charged me. And did you seriously ask me if it’s wrong to right a party song? Yes! Like I said before their job as a christian band is to spread christian lyrics. You asked if a song can be written about a spouse, heck yes! If I wrote a song about my wife it would definately be tied in to Christ. How can it not?

    • Lucas says:

      Parker, if Christians can’t write party songs then can they not go bowling or see movies or do anything that isn’t (directly) God-centered? Or is it wrong to joke around with fellow Christians instead of having deep spiritual conversation? Not trying to be condescending, because I know you’ll say “Of course not”, but it’s the same logic. The kicker is that Godly relationships can be formed through these seemingly vain things and God can strengthen by means of simply having fun, so as long as we’re not doing anything contradictory to what scripture would have us do. And concerning the P.O.D. songs in question, you’ll just have to make that judgement for yourself whether it’s right or not. Personally, do I think they could have replaced these songs with some deeper, more meaningful material? Sure. But who’s to say they won’t build a relationship with their fans through this just as we can build relationships by means of bowling, partying (the traditional sense of the word), or watching a movie.

      As for the term labeling things “Christian”… I wish everyone would realize that the “Christian” label is 100% subjective and has nothing to do with actual truth. It only divides and causes needless confusion. Besides, I don’t really want to be associated with GMC or any “Christian” stations that play in my area anyway. I appreciate the positivity, but the “safe for the whole family” philosophy really has nothing to do with Christianity. And while they do play a few fantastic artists with depth, it’s mostly just safety over substance. Drives me crazy!

    • synn'r sainte jeb'beau says:

      I agree with Brandon & Smacky X. Years ago, I had a very rigid construct of what I (not God) would allow myself to listen to. I was challenged by a non-believer to investigate what “secular” really meant. That discovery freed my creative pursuits up to no end (and also freed any artist I listened to & would come to listen to from my “analysis”). It also led me to investigate what “christian” meant. “CCM” was a term the church used for any rock music that passed “scrutiny”, because we simply couldn’t fathom the rebellion that labeling it “rock” would’ve sparked (it all seems so very silly now, doesn’t it? As it was & should be). I also discovered a phrase, “Coram Deo” loosely meaning to live all of life before the face of God (and/or under the gaze of God). Also, there’s this quote attributed to St. Augustine that demonstrates freedom available to believers in the choices we make as we create; ” “Love God and do whatever you please: for the soul trained in love to God will do nothing to offend the One who is Beloved.” That’s not to say we won’t offend others (but not necessarily God) when we do express certain “secular” ideas (but if done with “Coram Deo” in mind, nothing then is strictly “secular” coming from a believer, is it?). Yes, there have been many silly & ridiculous (even awful) songs, bands & artists (with more to come), that mean little to nothing, but it’s never been a crime & we as believers are sometimes too eager to make something a crime if there aren’t enough sins being committed to satisfy our judgement gallows’s quota. Besides, a “bad” song by P.O.D. (opinions vary, but they do have their share) is still a better option than any “good” one by other bands that do mean harm. What I’ve written here may not be worth two cents to some (& I’m totally OK with it, if it’s not), but it’s been invaluable to me for many years & many more to come, and perhaps it might be to others, so I’m just passing it along…

    • Smacky X says:

      Parker-

      I’ve never seen a Christian artist’s “job description” and it sounds like you are arbitrarily assigning them one. You left a lot of my questions unanswered about Christian visual art, about instrumental songs, or about other Christians in their workplace being required to mention Jesus in all their interactions.

      Maybe I wasn’t clear with my plumber analogy- I shared a couple analogies, one after the other, so maybe that was the confusing part. Is a christian plumber obligated to “proclaim Christ through plumbing?” And if so, does that demands an overt sharing of the gospel as he does his work?

      You said that a christian plumber should not reflect worldly values and should do the best work he can do, but said nothing about an obligation to “proclaim Christ.” Why not? If I hold christian musicians to the standard you are describing of the plumber, then that can glorify God by not reflecting worldly values, pouring all of themselves into their art, and acting with integrity, even if there is not some overt mention of faith in EVERY one of their songs. Can West Coast Rock Steady glorify God by showing the world that Christians can have a good time instead of being a bunch of stuffed shirts? Can it challenge people that they can have a good time without partaking in things that God knows isn’t good for them? Or is it not glorifying to God simply because they didn’t approach their art with a”half-butt” attitude?

    • Smacky X says:

      Methinks my last post got all spammed up in here

    • synn'r sainte jeb'beau says:

      I also agree with Lucas’s perspective. Well said.

    • ParkerloveJesus says:

      Are you saying we should hide our beliefs? Why shouldn’t a christian plumber bring up Christ. It can be as subtle as a God Bless you or Thank God for the work. As for the painter goes why can’t all his or her work be about their faith. The pictures/art don’t have to be pictures of Jesus but they can have something to do with the faith they love. I really can’t believe a christian site is arguing for POD not having all christian based songs. It blows my mind. We are here on earth for one purpose, to worship God. Has society molded us so much that we actually thing that doing anything otherwise is okay? Should we go to movies? Should we listen to music that has nothing to do with Christ? Honestly I lean towards no. I ask myself this question before I do anything (90′s wriste band quote), What would Jesus do or would Jesus be doing or listening to this? If the answer is no than do I need to be doing that? Would Christ be singing about the west coast and write a party song? Nope. His goal was to bring glory to the Father. Look I’m not perfect, I struggle big time with a lot of what I just said, but it seems in this day in age we accept more and more of the ungodly because we are afraid to be “too christian.”

    • Iaya97 says:

      Parkerlovesjesus, if it just takes a simple “God bless you” to be evangelistic, then how are P.O.D. failing to fulfill that role? This album is very spiritual and “Christian;” not every song mentions God, but neither does every sentence that falls out of a plumber’s mouth. As a whole piece of work, however, it is most definitely “Christian” in that it furthers Christian values and beliefs.

    • synn'r sainte jeb'beau says:

      I love the heart of parkerlovesjesus, full of genuine Godly zeal, but nothing is ungodly where Christ is in residence, even if it/he isn’t always outwardly & directly apparent. Personal discernment is commendable, but when/if it becomes the litmus test we require everyone else to pass, we fail, not only on a personal level, but universally as a”church”. As far as “What would Jesus do?” We need to remember that freaking out & flipping tables over is always an option…

    • Brandon J. says:

      Then Parker, you’re certainly not going to appreciate my year end best of list. There is a lot of music that may be deemed “Non-Christian” in the list. I think I do my part by sharing hopeful music with a hurting world through this website but sometimes these comments bum me out. You don’t have to talk about Jesus or share Jesus 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We all have our individual strengths and weaknesses and some of us might not be the greatest speakers the world has ever known if you get what I mean. I love Jesus with all my heart but there are times in life where we just live by a Godly example and not talk at people for hours on end. If all we do is “speak” and not “live” by example, what kind of witness do we have? P.O.D have done a tremendous job at reaching out to the lost world through their music and have won many awards, sold out venues, sold millions of albums, traveled the world, and gained people’s trust along the way. There is a certain crowd of rockers out there who don’t have a relationship with Christ nor have interest in one. Some of these people wouldn’t know the first thing about the Christian subculture if you brought it up to them. A band like P.O.D bridges that divide. I’ll have to be honest, I don’t talk about Jesus all day, every day in my normal life but I try to lead a good example and share when needed.

    • Chandler A. says:

      ParkerlovesJesus – in the article Lucas shared above me Michael Gungor mentions a non-christian artist who was in the christian music industry because “She just knows how to write the stuff that Christians like to hear.” Is lyrics that are “Christian” coming from a non-believer better than a Christ follower who writes about a variety of topics? I mean I think as a Christ follower in a band you can attract a lot more kids who haven’t heard the Gospel to a show by writing lyrics that aren’t necessarily “Jesus died to save your sins”. I have a friend who’s spiritual journey basically got started by the song “Meant to Live” by Switchfoot, and those are definitely not outright “christian” lyrics!

    • Lucas says:

      Parker, enjoying all these replies yet? Haha! I still don’t agree with everything you say, but I do appreciate how bold you are. We should never hold back or be afraid to follow Christ because it’s not normal in our culture. (even Christianity) I could definitely learn from you in the boldness department.

      I also have to say how much I love this site. So many calm conversations here which is so rare. :)

    • synn'r sainte jeb'beau says:

      agrees with Lucas regarding ParkerloveJesus’s boldness & sincerity of heart, and about the tone of this conversation. ParkerloveJesus has asked a valid question & I have been encouraged by the responses that have followed. IVM has been great about allowing honest discussions regarding potentially divisive topics.

    • Smacky X says:

      Hey Parker

      Just to clarify, I am not saying that we should hide our beliefs, not suggesting that a plumber shouldn’t talk about faith, and not arguing that a christian visual artist can’t all their art be about their faith. I am asking you to question your reasoning process to see if it is consistent.

      So the “CHristian plumber” question isn’t one of whether it’s “ok” for a plumber to express faith, the question is whether the plumber is REQUIRED in each interaction to- if his job as a christian plumber demands it.

      And the question about the visual artist overtly expressing faith is a question about where we draw the “faith” lines- what is spiritual enough to pass as Christian art, and what is too “unspiritual” to be considered Christian art. A painting of a house isn’t particularly spiritual to look at, by more “fundamental” standards (to use somewhat subjective terms.) Is a painting of a house spiritual because it is a portrait of the house that the artist grew up in and had memories that are faith-related? Is it spiritual because it reminds someone that “in the Father’s house there are many rooms,” even if it wasn’t painted with that verse in mind? The point is that what is “Christian” isn’t necessarily as simple as you are making it sound. Is the idea of having a party or a good time not spiritual? Why or why not? If it is not overt or direct enough to be considered “Christian,” then where is that line? is writing a song about family, or writing a song about happiness, or writing music without lyrics, Christian enough?

      Anyway- I’m not trying to win an argument- just trying to highlight the complexity of the issue of identifying something as “christian” or not…

      For what it’s worth, I am also in agreement with everyone who has expressed appreciation for IVM being a venue for such discussions as these…

    • Iaya97 says:

      As for secular artists with “Christian” messages, I think what The Game has done with his Jesus Piece album, and Lecrae’s response, is pretty relevant. http://www.christculturenews.com/michelle-malkin-twitter-beef-conservative-gets-into-it-with-the-game-over-jesus-piece/

  42. Lucas says:

    Happy 100 posts “P.O.D. – Murdered Love” thread! This calls for cake and ice cream!

    • MrM says:

      I prefer ice cream cake to cake and ice cream. But yes! We must celebrate!

    • JahWarriah says:

      ^ Agreed, MrM. And funny, Lucas, I was just thinking that when I saw ParkerloveJesus’ comment. You beat me to the punch though, haha.

    • Lucas says:

      Aww put the cake on the ice cream and it’ll be no different. Either way we’ll have balloons. Everyone loves balloons. And no clowns. Everyone hates clowns.

    • MrM says:

      I think I’d like clowns better if they just admitted they were plotting to kill me. Don’t beat around the bush and try and come across nice. Get it all out in the open. Honesty is always the best policy and all that.

      PS-With no clowns, who will make balloon animals!

    • Lucas says:

      Balloon animals can be found in various exotic locations. They tend to make their homes in prairies where the mortality rate is lower because of the lack of trees, briers, etc. They’re also quite easy to catch when found so clowns are unnecessary for any occasion. I mean, don’t be silly!

    • MrM says:

      Well, I’m living in some prairies, and I can assure you there’s nothing exotic about my location. But if the balloon animals do in fact make their homes in the prairies, does that mean they’re a burrowing animal? And are the wild ones truly tameable?

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