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Christian punk

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Christian punk

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Punk rock
Stylistic origins: 1950s R&B, rock and roll, country, and rockabilly, 1960s garage rock, frat rock, psychedelic rock, pub rock, glam rock, and proto-punk
Cultural origins: Mid 1970s United States, Australia and United Kingdom.
Typical instruments: Vocals Guitar Bass Drums
Mainstream popularity: Chart-topping in the UK, less success elsewhere. Some success for pop punk, especially ska punk and Two Tone
Derivative forms: Alternative rock Emo Gothic rock Grunge Math rock New Wave Post-punk post-punk revival
Anarcho-punk Christian punk Crust punk Garage punk Hardcore Horror punk Oi! Pop punk
Fusion genres
Anti-folk Chicano punk Death rock Funkcore Jazz punk Psychobilly Queercore Ska punk Two Tone
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History Cassette culture

Christian punk is a form of Christian alternative music and a subgenre of punk rock played by bands where the musicians are openly Christian, their lyrics reflect their faith and they see their audience as the general public. This includes bands like Relient K and MxPx. The extent that their lyrics are explicitly Christian varies between bands.

Christian punk bands that target a Christian audience, explicitly state their beliefs, use Christian imagery in their lyrics may be considered a part of the contemporary Christian music (CCM) industry.

Given the edginess of punk and some of its sub-genres, such as hardcore punk, many bands have been rejected by the Christian and CCM music industry. Some bands generally avoid specific mention of God or Jesus and may specifically reject the CCM label.

Related genres are Christian hardcore and metalcore, Christian rock, Christian alternative music and Christian metal.




Christian punk's origins during the wider 1980s punk rock scene are somewhat obscure. As the Jesus Movement gave rise to cultural institutions such as Jesus People USA (JPUSA), these served as an incubator for various Christian subcultures including punk. Crashdog is one characteristically punk band that was rooted in JPUSA.

In the 1980's many bands performed at Chuck Smith's Calvary Chapel in Orange County California. A particularly popular group with a cult following was Undercover (band), who proclaimed that "God Rules" with a combination of rockabilly and hardcore elements. Another early influential group were the Altar Boys.

The Cornerstone Festival provided an important venue for Christian punk bands.

Growth of an "underground" scene

During the 1990s the undergound scene grew, bands such as Officer Negative greatly influnced many bands. The term "JCHC" is often used by christian punks, and it means "Jesus Christ Hard Core". Pop punk bands like MxPx and Ninety Pound Wuss being important.

Emergence into the mainstream

In the 21st century developments in Christian punk parallels broader punk, with pop/punk bands such as Relient K and FM Static very popular with the mainstream crowd, but they started as Christian bands, playing at church groups and youth gatherings.

Other bands with Christian roots that have become very popular within their genres are Zao (metalcore), Norma Jean (newer hardcore), and mewithoutyou (post-hardcore).

Key record labels include Tooth & Nail Records and its subsidiaries Solid State Records and BEC Recordings; The Militia Group, which signs groups that straddle the boundary between Christian and secular music; Flicker Records, owned and operated by the members of Audio Adrenaline; Gotee Records, owned and operated by TobyMac of dc Talk; and up-and-comer Mono vs. Stereo.

Contemporary christian music
Stylistic origins: Gospel - Hymns - Country - Folk - Pop - Rock and roll - Alternative - Punk - Hip hop - Heavy metal
Cultural origins: Jesus music - Jesus movement - Popular culture - Evangelicalism
Typical instruments: Guitar - Bass- Keyboards - Drums
Mainstream popularity: Limited until recently depending on genre, has gained much popularity in recent years.
Outsells combined sales of Classical and Jazz since the 1990s.
Derivative forms: Contemporary Christian music
Christian rock - Christian alternative rock - Christian hip hop - Christian metal - Christian punk - Christian hardcore


Fashion is similar to normal punk fashion, with the Christian fish symbol, the cross, a crown of thorns,the JCHC symbol, etc. Chi Rho is a popular symbol amongst more anarcho-Christian bands, such as the psalters [1]. In Europe the most used symbol is the anarchy symbol, modified as it might become an A and Ω. This is the Greek alphabet symbol for "Alpha" & "Omega" (the English equivalent is "A" and "Z".); meaning the first and last which in turn is to represent God and/or Jesus. Refer to the book of Revelations 1:8, 21:6, & 22:13. Rev. 1:8 says, "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty." Basically, the symbol is a visual play on the "anarchy" symbol but with a different meaning and intent. However, it does have a resonance with Christian anarchism itself.

Christian and Punk

Acceptance of Christian punk is at times challenged both amongst members of the punk subculture and in some Christian churches. Can a person be Christian and punk? For people active in both punk and Christianity it is not a question but a lived experience. There are strong elements of anti-authoritarianism in both. Challenging the uncritical acceptance of social norms in the church and the world.

One illustration of this is seen in the concept of "anticonformity" to the world. This can be seen in a lot of Christian punk music, including the song "Anticonformity" by Krystal Meyers. Within this perspective, the Christian's view of anticonformity is different from the punk view. The Christian's reason for anticonformity is found in the book of Romans in the Bible: "Do not conform to the patterns of this world, but be transformed..." The Bible tells Christians not to conform, and punks are also strong non-conformists.

Some may still argue that punk is anti-religious and thus in opposition to Christianity. Many Christian punks do not agree with religion either. They say that real Christianity is not a religion because it's not supposed to be about rituals and rules. They believe true Christianity's a relationship with Jesus, not a religion. Many Christian punks are against religion like other punks, yet they are strongly in support of a personal relationship with Jesus Christ separate from rules and tradition.

A significant number of Christian punks and indie kids may be involved in Christian socialism, Communism, Anarcho-christianity and some variations on queer and liberation theology.

List of Christian punk bands



  • Ace Troubleshooter
  • American Culture Experiments
  • AnnexTosh
  • Antiskeptic
  • Armored Trucks
  • Ballydowse
  • Blah
  • Blaster the Rocketboy [2]
  • Calibretto
  • Civil Defence
  • Comrades In Arms
  • Crashdog
  • Deploy
  • Destroy the Vile [3]
  • Dingees
  • Do Not Resusitate
  • Dogwood
  • FBS
  • Flatfoot 56
  • Feeding Frenzy
  • Fight to Die
  • Forgone Conclution
  • Fraggin Monarchists
  • Ghoti Hook
  • Gransane
  • Green Means Go
  • Greyskull
  • Hanover Saints
  • Hawk Nelson
  • Headnoise [4]
  • Hit the Deck
  • Human Error
  • IHS
  • Jesus Skins [5]
  • Lack of Focus
  • Left Out
  • Lust Control
  • Mercury Radio Theater
  • Minute Switch
  • MxPx


  • Neon Rippers
  • Nuetron Bomb
  • No Purchase Necessary
  • Nothing Left to Lose
  • Officer Negative [6]
  • Olivia the Band
  • One-21 [7]
  • One Bad Pig
  • Opposite Direction
  • Our Corpse Destroyed [8]
  • Private First Class
  • Public Unrest
  • Relient K
  • Riot of Words (formerly MY SON CID)
  • Scarred For Life
  • Scaterd Few
  • Scatter17
  • Spudgun
  • Squad 5-0
  • Stellar Kart
  • Tekla Knos
  • Thee Imposters
  • The Banned
  • The Culprits
  • The Crucified
  • The Decoded
  • The Deal
  • The Discarded
  • The Dublin Brigade
  • The Graveyard Nightmares
  • The Havoc
  • The Incited
  • The Kick
  • The Last Hope
  • The Psalters (A Christian anarcho-punk band) [9]
  • The Ranks
  • The Remnants
  • The Resistance [10]
  • The Scarred
  • The Sloths
  • The Violence
  • Toothpaste Rebellion [11]
  • Triple 7
  • Underclass Society [12]
  • Undercover
  • uniSEF
  • Voice of the Mysterons
  • World Against World

Record labels

BEC Recordings
Bettie Rocket
Facedown Records
Flicker Records
Gotee Records
Mono Vs Stereo
Rescue Records
Solid State Records
Squint Entertainment
Tooth & Nail Records
The Militia Group

See also

External links

Punk rock
Anarcho-punk - Anti-folk - Crust punk - Garage punk - Hardcore - Post-hardcore - Horror punk - New Wave - No Wave - Noise rock - Oi! - Pop punk - Post-punk - Psychobilly - Deathcountry - Riot grrrl - Ska punk - Streetpunk - Two Tone
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Music Sound, v. 2.0, by MultiMedia

This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.

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