Taking the Gospel to the Mainstream

Satellite, P.O.D., Atlantic Records
by Margaret Grady


P.O.D., If these guys catch fire for Jesus they'll be dangerous.
Rock band P.O.D. has made headlines for taking the gospel to hard-core music fans. Fusing Christian lyrics with rap, punk, reggae and rock music, P.O.D. (whose name stand for Payable on Death) has developed a new strategy for evangelism.

With their latest release, Satellite, the band continues to take the gospel where it doesn't always go. Their single "Alive" sat at the No. 1 spot on MTV's popular music countdown show Total Request Live for several weeks-only the third rock band to hit No. 1 on the show.

The four young men-Sonny Sandoval, Marcos Curiel, Traa Daniels and Wuv Bernardo-don't hide their Christian beliefs. In "Messenjah," they sing: "This I pledge, and I'll take it to my death / I'll lay my life down for You and die over again / I and I, I'm not ashamed of the Most High." Then they literally scream, "Even if I die tonight, if I die tonight."

With their appeal largely in the mainstream, P.O.D. offers a positive alternative to other rock-music fare. "Alive" is a no-nonsense declaration of faith and is said to have comforted youth after the terrorist attack. They sing: "I'm thankful for every breath I take / I won't take it for granted? / I feel so alive for the very first time / I can't deny you." P.O.D. also garnered attention for "Youth of the Nation," a haunting song about school shootings.

Some Christian radio stations have refused to play Satellite because it doesn't fit their adult-contemporary format. But the audience most in need of the gospel still hears their work. Though some Christians disapprove of their methodology, P.O.D. is going where few Christian bands have gone and making a stand for Christ in the mainstream.

Reprinted with permission from Charisma and Christian Life, January 2002. ? Strang Communications Co., USA. All rights reserved. Visit Charisma's Web site at www.charismamag.com.

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