Christian rockers' music praises the Lord Teens use tunes with a message

September 08, 1993|By Alisa Samuels | Alisa Samuels,Staff Writer

When 16-year-old singer Marc Scott of Oakland Mills steps to the microphone, the lyrics are cleansed of sex, obscenities and nonsense.

As a Christian rocker, his words praise the Lord instead.

A senior at Howard High School, Marc is lead singer for a new teen-age Christian rock band called IX, a name band members derived from the word "crucifix."

Formed last December to spread the gospel and to show the members' love and appreciation for music, the group hopes to tap into a growing market for rock music with Christian themes.

And as early as this October, the group expects to have a steady gig, performing once a month for the youth ministry at Columbia Presbyterian Church on Route 108, where three members attend regularly.

"We're excited," Marc said. "It's not for money. We just want to do it for the church, and get our name out and get booked for parties."

Teen-agers, who attend parties where the band plays, won't hear cover versions of songs by the likes of Aerosmith, Naughty By Nature or other hot secular groups.

"A lot of music today is filled with bad ideas and bad language," said drummer Adam Fream, 15. "I prefer Christian music just because it has a better message."

Though some teen-agers are turned off by Christian music, "they don't know much about Christianity," he said.

Marc said he was inspired to create a band last year after listening to Petra, a popular Christian rock band whose message he found powerful and compelling.

The band members met through the Navigators, a ministry group for high schoolers, and occasionally performed for that organization.

In addition to Marc and Adam, the other band members are keyboard player Melissa Jacobs, 15, and saxophonist Jan Allan Grothe, 15.

The group currently is looking for two guitarists, to replace the two who left in February -- something that has proved difficult because there aren't many young Christian musicians in the community, Adam said.

In the meantime, band members work to refine original tunes with strong Christian themes.

In his song "The Fall," for example, Marc discusses Adam and Eve, the errors of man as recorded in the Bible, and the restoration of hope with the coming of Jesus, the central tenet of the Christian faith.

"The Lord is very, very important," Marc said. "I feel life isn't worth living if you don't have the Lord, because you end up going to hell."

In addition to original tunes, "we do other songs and jazz them up a little bit," Marc said. Among the Christian groups the members admire are Petra, White Cross, Amy Grant, and Breakfast With Amy.

Bob Bjbrkaas, youth ministries director at Columbia Presbyterian Church, said he's proud of the teen-agers.

"I think it's encouraging," he said. "I'm always excited to see kids do something for Christ, rather than spin their wheels" and follow the crowd.

The young musicians are voluntarily expressing their faith in God when no one really wants to discuss religion, he said.

"All of society tells you: 'If you're religious, keep it to yourself. No one else needs to know about it,' " Mr. Bjbrkaas said.

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