Is Emo Among Us?

For those of us who live in caves (like me), I thought I’d take the time to write on a subject I was recently asked about. It seems to affect people who are in their teens and early 20s. This is the style of life called Emo. From my perspective, Emo is a softer  gentler version of Goth. I’ll call them ‘Emo-ites’ for the purposes of this blog. But I’ll try to use other people’s word to explain it.

According to the contributors at Wikipedia, ‘Emo‘ is short for ’emotional hardcore’ music. Or it used to be. Now it seems to be applied to a variety of musical styles. But it is said to have originated with hardcore punk music melding with pop punk and indie rock (independent) . Apparently, there is a sub-style called ‘screamo’, which is considered to be more agressive.

Emo-ites tend to dress in dark clothes. The men tend towards a runner’s look, with slim bodies and more feminine aspects of their nature are enhanced or focused upon. The hairstyle tends to be combed forward and just ever so slightly to the side, with one side longer than the other, and across the eyes – hiding one eye. Girls often, but not always, have hair styles which make them look masculine. Often they paint their nails dark. Many are loners, but just as many group together with other Emo folks. 

Have you heard the music these folks listen to? Its edgy, sad, or angry – lots of  ‘angst’.  The people I have known to listen to it are very damaged, hurt, injured. The music seems to be a way for them to connect with others who feel similarly, while expressing something they feel or want to feel or dont want to feel. It seems to be very evocative, allowing its listeners to connect to themselves emotionally in ways they may not be able to otherwise.

I know by now many of you are saying, “Ya? So? How does this relate to God or the Bible or theology or the Church? What’s yer point?”

I’m not sure I have a point, except to say that Emo-ites  are hurting. They are connecting to music and to others who express themelves similarly in ways they need to connect to God and people who trust in Christ.

Can they? Sure.

Will they? I doubt it.

Why not? Because the church makes it hard for them.

We may or may not want them feel they can come to us for advice, prayer, or some other sort of help, but they don’t.

How does the church make it hard for them?  Why don’t they feel like they can come to us? Because we make them feel judged. We may or may not be thinking we are better than they are, but you and I both know we’re not.

We may or may not want them to feel put upon or judged, but they do.  

We make them feel lesser. We make them feel wrong. We make them feel unwanted.

Let me ask you, have you ever watched Superman or Spiderman or Batman – either the TV shows or the movies? Or have you ever read comic books, day dreaming you were one of the characters? Do you ever remember wanting to be a super hero? Do you recall wanting to be able to fix things or protect people or stop speeding bullets? Do you recall wanting to fly like Superman? These were forms of escapism. Everyone has them. 

For some people, music is a way to both escape and to connect – with their emoti0ns and with others. Emo music allows  Emo-ites to feel (or express) their pain in safe ways.

But Emo music also serves as a red flag for those of us who are not into it. The red flag is saying these people are feeling stressed. They are feeling pain. They are trying to escape. Perhaps they do not feel loved. Perhaps they feel pressure to perform. Perhaps they have been hurt. Perhaps they feel abandoned and alone. Emo lets them feel it and express it.

The church, and individuals within it, needs to find ways to share Christ, and to help  Emo-ites relieve stress in their lives and helping them find healthy ways to connect and deal with their pain and the causes of their pain. And we need to do so in ways where they feel cared for and loved, rather than judged and condemend.  We need to share the love of God with them, as they need the healing of the Holy Spirit. This is what it means to love our brothers.

One of the problems with  Emo-ites is they are asocial, except perhaps with other Emo-ites. This asocial behavior causes them to feel even more misunderstood and more lonely and more uncared for. It is a cycle that they spin down into.

Another of the problems  Emo-ites have that many have hurt themselves physically, in efforts to deal or not deal with the emotional pain they have. We need to help them connect to someone outside themselves and their group. This is a challenge, but they need to feel loved and understood. They need to know God’s love.

Still another of the problems with  Emo-ites is that they are often searching for identity and trying on this style to see if it fits. They either do not know Christ, or do not have a strong enough sense of who they are in Christ to not need to find their identity. The issue comes in because there are a lot of young men who embrace a more feminine look, and the girls a more wild look, which in turn seems to attract a number of bisexual and homosexual people. These young people who are searching for identitfy sometimes get drawn into a lifestyle that is incongruent with loving Jesus. They fall to temptation. 

Like all sin, actions taken while exploring the Emo lifestyle can cause a separation from God. This needs to be addressed with love and care needs to be taken to not make them feel abandoned. Yet at the same time, these individuals need to be made aware of how God loves them where they are, sent Christ to die for their sins, and yet still calls them to be holy. No temptation has befallen them that they can not over come and that others, including Christ, have not dealt with. No sin is too large to not be forgiven, if they simply believe in Christ.

Christ died for Emo-ites also, but does your life express this to them? Do you show the love of God to them, or do you make them feel judged and unloved? God loves them; we need to also.

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8 Responses

  1. Excellent post, sir, and I will be using it.

  2. […] See the original post here:  Is Emo Among Us? « Wbmoore’s Weblog […]

  3. Lincon said all people have the right to love somebody, included LGBT. Now I can speak out loudly “hi everyone, I’m a bisexual. I love the world.” without any hesitation. No matter we are gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, our heart is full of love. And we also hope to have life-long love” said by one of my bisexual friends met at the bisexual club [URL removed] on heart blog. Most of us like-minded people are deeply moved by her honest words. Thanks for making us accepted by others. We are really proud of us. Join 10000000000% free. happy life is up to you.

    • I don’t think Lincoln actually said that.

      We are all free to a point. We all have the right to choose to do what God wants or not. Unfortunately, this very freedom also allows us to make choices that affect us in the future – good and bad. We need to take care to make choices that have lasting positive consequences, rather than transitory, temporary, immediate feel good consequences and lasting negative consequences.

      Sex outside of the parameters provided by God has emotional, physical, and spiritual consequences. We need to love God as HE said, and this includes not sinning (as far as we are able).

  4. […] now, Wb had posted another great topic on Emo where is says, in part, But Emo music also serves as a red flag for those of us who are not into […]

  5. […] now, Wb had posted another great topic on Emo where is says, in part, But Emo music also serves as a red flag for those of us who are not into […]

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