P.O.D. - A Popular "Christian" Rock Band

P.O.D. is a rock band from San Diego, California, that is popular with professing Christians. They were part of Franklin Graham’s Rock the River crusade in 2011. In fact, P.O.D. is even popular with some “fundamentalists.” Rob Hoerr, the youth pastor at Bethlehem Baptist Church, Fairfax, Virginia, wore a P.O.D. T-shirt in a photo that appeared in the church paper in 2002. The Baptist Bible Fellowship International (BBFI) national conference was held at Bethlehem Baptist that year.

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P.O.D. stands for Payable On Death. The original members of the band were Sonny, Traa, Marcos, and Wuv. Marcos left the band in 2003 but returned in late 2006.

The band members wear tattoos, earrings and other piercings, and flaunt long dreadlocks in direct disobedience to God’s Word in an attempt to be as closely conformed to the world as possible (Romans 12:2). P.O.D. tours with vile rock bands such as Korn and has performed multiple times at Ozzy Osbourn’s Ozzyfest.

The band claims they play concerts with secular groups and record on a secular label “to be heard by the lost people.” Note the following statement by Sonny Sandoval of P.O.D.

“A secular label will help us be heard by the lost people. … if they hear the music first, people will not be as quick to judge the Gospel being preached through the lyrics. That way, they can hear that not all Christian music is cheesy” (Sonny, POD, HM magazine, May-June 1998, p. 48).


In the minds of these musicians, traditional Christian music is “cheesy.” They repeated that sentiment in an interview in October 2002 with Hwee Hwee Tan of Singapore. Wuv said, “Christian music is the cheesiest music.” When asked if there was even one Christian rock group that they liked, the members of P.O.D. replied, “Nah!”

Thus, they flippantly dismiss God’s command to sing “psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs.” They think that the world can be drawn to Christ by a vaguely “spiritual” message driven by sensual music.

In fact, P.O.D. doesn’t have to worry about people judging the gospel preached through their songs, because it isn’t there. Note the following three examples of their lyrics:

“I see you people babble on and on and on graven/ Images, golden idols and false icons I’m seeking/ Wisdom like Solomon but my antennae keeps on/ Picking up evil transmissions at headquarters I/ Receive my mission blow up the ruler of the air (Eph 2:2)/ Like nuclear fission so I analyze my weapons laser/ Guided rifles that shoot spiritual wisdom I think I see/ Enemy warriors fragile heathens tryin’ to run stuff/ Like mayors so with brotha’s that snuff punks I set up/ Time bombs to destroy the strongholds of babylon” (P.O.D., “Breathe Babylon”).

“What’s the problem son? You said you wanted some/ But when I started rocking POD got the job done/ My Lord said hard, hard is how you hit ‘em/ One blow with the mic and the quickness is how I get ‘em/ Alternative thrash can you deal with it?/ Funk and groove with a hip hop feel to it/ Giving you a style with a different kind of sound/ So keep on rockin even when we bring it down/ Bring it down, bring it down, bring it down ya’ll/ Bring it down, bring it down, bring it down/ Bring it down, bring it down, bring it down ya’ll/ But don’t change the funky funky sound” (P.O.D., “Can You Feel It?”).

“Rhythmically moving, Emotions are rising./ Quivering to music, Trembling bodies in song./ Go unsteadily sliding, devious gliding./ So beautifully sailing and floating on./ Life's real, When Angels & Serpents Dance. ... Twistedly slipping, Radiance soaring./ Winding maliciously, creeping, flowing./ Righteous, moral, and just. Deceitful the creature is crawling./ The guardians flying, the dance is breathing,/ Who's leading?” (P.O.D., “When Angels and Serpents Dance,”2008).

I challenge anyone to find the gospel of Jesus Christ in those lyrics, and they are representative of all of their songs.

The main message in “Can You Feel It” is that you can keep on rocking no matter what. The song presumptuously claims that the thrice holy God Himself loves “funky” rock music.

The message to “Breathe Babylon” is so obscure that it is meaningless.

The same is true of “When Angels and Serpents Dance.” If anything, the message to this song is the heresy that good and evil can co-exist together. The refrain “Life’s real, when angels and serpents dance” is repeated 10 times in this short song, reminding us that one of the major elements of contemporary music is its mindless repetition that helps create the mystical atmosphere that modern “worshipers” are seeking.

It is obvious that it is the hard rock music itself that really matters to P.O.D. and their followers.

The powerful body-jerking, emotion-wrenching music and the obscure message of CCM is building the one-world church more effectively than any other factor. There is room for any christ, any gospel, and any spirit within the lyrics of this music (2 Corinthians 11:3-4).

P.O.D.’s platinum-selling album
The Fundamental Elements of Southtown didn’t mention the name of Jesus Christ, let alone give a clear presentation of the gospel.

Furthermore, the lyrics of P.O.D.’s music are difficult to impossible to discern because of the loud thumping music.

In a 2001 interview with Theresa McKeon of Shoutweb titled “P.O.D. The Fundamental Elements of God Rock,” members of P.O.D. (Sonny, Traa, and Marcos) cussed and otherwise demonstrated their worldliness even while claiming to love the Lord. (Many young people who have written to me to defend Christian rock music have cursed at me or used crude and vulgar language.)

Consider P.O.D.’s song “Bad Boy” --

“I like a girl with a big old a%#/ ... And I’m a bad boy, but I like good girls/ The kind you wanna take home to meet your momma/ you know that I’m a bad boy/ I’m a bad boy! and I want a good girl to share my world/ To show you how I do it!/ And girl you know how I do, girl you know you’ve heard of my crew/ And girl, I’m looking for a love that’s true/ Not some other hoe to do/ But when it’s all set and done I need more than a hit and run/ But don’t get me wrong, you could be real fun/ ... Gonna turn you to a freak tonight, come on! ... I need a girl who’s down to ride/ I need a party, I can be your card!/ I want a girl I could love to death like Romeo and Juliet...”

This is a filthy song with a mixed message. On the one hand the singer wants to find a good girl to take home to meet mamma someday, but on the other hand he is a bad boy who wants to turn that girl into a party freak tonight. Any father that would want P.O.D. singing to his daughters is a fool.

Consider P.O.D.’s song “I Am” --

“I am the murderer, the pervert, sick to the core/ I am the unclean dope fiend, I am the whore/ ... Since I’m a little strange Daddy called me a faggot/ Are you the one that’s come to set me free? Cuz if you knew who I am would you really want to die for me?/ They say you are the cursed man, the one who hangs from this tree/ But I know this is the one and only Son of God, so tell me who the *** is He?”

This song supposedly exalts the grace of Christ in dying for vile sinners, but the message is anything but clear and why the profanity? Further, there is nothing about repentance and faith, which is the only means whereby a sinner can receive God’s grace.

Sonny said, “Jesus was the first rebel. He was the first punk rocker going against all the rest of it.”

That is blasphemy. Jesus Christ was not a rebel. A rebel is a lawbreaker. Christ was the lawgiver, and He came to earth to fulfill the requirements of His own law (Mat. 5:17-19). Christ was not crucified for rebellion; He was crucified for testifying that He was God (John 10:33). The Bible says rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft (1 Sam. 15:23). See what these Christian rockers are saying about the holy Lord Jesus Christ! The wicked rock scene and the true churches of Jesus Christ stand in direct contradiction to one another.

When Shoutweb observed that P.O.D. is “making it cool for kids to be who they are” and “it’s not like every kid has to choose to be good or evil,” Sonny made the following amazing statement:

“It’s not even that they’re evil. I mean, I like Slayer. I like Manson. I like this music and this dark imagery. They are people that are saying, ‘Yeah dude, I’m Catholic. I believe in God.’ But it’s cooler to be into the dark stuff. … We’re not trying to be the ‘white stuff’ and they’re the dark stuff.”

P.O.D. makes no difference between good and evil, light and darkness, but the Bible does. “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5:19). “For ye were sometimes darkness, but now are ye light in the Lord: walk as children of light” (Ephesians 5:8).

Sonny went on to admit that he not only listens to vile secular rock music, but he watches R-rated movies and smokes. He justified that sort of thing, claiming that he has liberty in Christ to make such choices, and that Christianity is not “putting on shackles.” He is confusing liberty with license. It is the heresy of antinomianism. “For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13). The true grace of God teaches us to “deny ungodliness and worldly lusts” and to “live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world” (Titus 2:11-12). The “grace” preached by P.O.D. is a cheap, heretical grace.

When P.O.D. was asked, “Do you try to set a good example? Do you drink, smoke, do drugs, or swear, for instance?” Sonny replied: “No, see that’s what I’m talking about. Those aren’t even issues, you know what I mean?” (Sonny, P.O.D., www.zianet.com/straightout/pod_press.htm).

In an interview in 2002, Traa of P.O.D. said: “Of course we drink beer and we party. You don’t believe how often we get that question. People seem to have the misconception that we spend all our time on our knees praying, but I can assure you, we don’t. If there’s a party, we party!” (
Circus, July 2002, p. 22).

Sonny criticized kids “who want to segregate themselves from the rest of the world,” but the Bible warns, “Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God” (James 4:4).

When Marcos Curiel left the band in February 2003, he testified that P.O.D. is a party band and that he is tired of pretending to be one thing for the fans and then acting differently behind the scenes. “I hate the facade of putting on a mask in front of fans and then behind the scenes acting like someone else. I just want to be myself all the time.” He said to P.O.D. fans, “Dude, what do you think P.O.D. does behind the scenes? Do you think they're angels?” (
MTV News, Feb. 19, 2003).

P.O.D. guitarist Marcos stated their philosophy in these words: “Y’know, everyone is free to rock ass. That’s the message we're giving. We’re not talking about religion, not some crutch. When we get on stage, we go crazy, we’re like four guys you should put in a mental hospital” (interview with Hwee Hwee Tan of Singapore, October 2002).

P.O.D. does not warn about hell. In an interview in 2000, Sonny said, “We’re not passing out pamphlets that say ‘get your life straight or you’re gonna burn in hell.’ The Bible says it’s God’s love and kindness that leads people to repentance” (
Guitar World, Oct 2000, p. 78). Marcos agrees: “It’s not [that] you’re going to burn in hell. It’s love and respect” (Marcos, P.O.D., Guitar Legends, no. 37, p. 28). I wonder why Jesus Christ did not know this. He preached a lot about hell, warning men about eternal torment. The Lord preached far more about hell than about heaven. Hebrews 12:28-29 says the acceptable way to serve God is “with reverence and godly fear” because “our God is a consuming fire.”

P.O.D. is heavily influenced by the anti-Christian Rastafarian religion and by the Rastafarian preacher Bob Marley and his reggae music. They speak highly of Marley and do not warn of his false religion and drug-drenched, lascivious lifestyle. The Marley song “Get Up, Stand Up” is an assault upon salvation by faith in Christ. Note these lyrics:

“WE SICK AN’ TIRED OF YOUR BULLS—- GAME, DIE AND GO TO HEAVEN IN JESUS NAME. We know when we understand: Almighty God is a living man. You can fool some people sometimes, But you can’t fool all the people all the time. And now we’ve seen the light (What you gonna do?), We gonna stand up for our rights! (Yeah, yeah, yeah!) Most people think, GREAT GOD WILL COME FROM THE SKIES, Take away everything And make everybody feel high. BUT IF YOU KNOW WHAT LIFE IS WORTH, YOU WILL LOOK FOR YOURS ON EARTH: So now we see the light (What you gonna do?), We gonna stand up for our rights! (Yeah, yeah, yeah!)”

P.O.D. actually plays this blasphemous song in concerts (
Rolling Stone, Nov. 22, 2001, p. 35).

The Rastafarians call their false god “Jah Rastafari” and Marley’s music is filled with references to “Jah.” P.O.D. follows suit and borrows this pagan name for God in their songs. In “Tribal” P.O.D. sing, “I and I a Jah Jah warrior…” The phrase “I and I” is also from Rastafarianism; it means oneness and unity. The name Jehovah is a biblical name for God, but the name Jah Rastafari is a pagan god.

The following documented conversation took place between Rastafarian rocker Bob Marley and his mother, in which Marley ‘converted’ his mom from Christianity to Rastafari:

“During this US tour [1975], Bob paid a visit to his mother in Delaware for a couple of days. This time Bob had clearly decided to instruct her fully in Rastafari. ‘Bob tell me that His Majesty is the Almighty God -- it not Jesus no more. . . . Im said when we reason, ‘You know, momma, why is so hard for you to believe me when I say His Majesty is God? Because from the time you are a little girl growing up, you hear them talking about Jesus Christ; you go to church and you're into it. ‘But today Im come in a new name: no Jesus Christ no more...” (Adrian Boot and Chris Salewicz, Bob Marley: Songs of Freedom, pp. 143-144, cited from Terry Watkins,
What About P.O.D.? http://www.av1611.org/crock/pod_conf.html)

Note the following statement by P.O.D. about what they believe:

“Just because P.O.D. are a spiritual band doesn’t mean we adhere to any one religion, and all kinds of people want to use us as a symbol for their thing. There’s a thousand different definitions of what a Christian is, but we don’t feel like there are any lines” (
Rolling Stone, Dec. 14-21, 2000, p. 102).

Parents who think that Christian rock is a safe alternative for their children are sadly deceived.

Beware of P.O.D. They are busy breaking down all remaining barriers between Christian rock and the world.

[Many of the quotes in the previous report are from Terry Watkins’
What about P.O.D.? http://www.av1611.org/crock/pod.html.]

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