What makes a song Christian?
You can tell a Christian by the things he says and does. You can tell Christian music by the things it says (the words) and does (the effect it has on people). Jesus told us to judge trees by their fruit. This principle works whether we're talking about original Christian rock music or Christian rock parodies.
Here's what ApologetiX lead singer/lyricist J. Jackson has to say on the issue:
When we started doing parodies of rock songs in 1990, they just came to us naturally, like gifts from God. We knew the words glorified God, but we
still approached what we did prayerfully, with fear and trembling -- always asking God to open doors if we were doing the right thing and to close doors if we were doing the wrong thing. We have seen Him open bigger and bigger doors every single year, including 1994 when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that song parodies can be fair use of an original, requiring no permission or royalties.
The biggest blessing for us is that people come back to us after a concert or listening to one our tapes or CDs and say, "Now, when I hear the original song, I can't help but think of the new Christian words." (We very, very rarely find someone who says, "When I hear your song, I can't help but think of the original." (Maybe the first or second listen, but not after that.)
As the lyricist for our songs, I know without a doubt that our parodies are a gift from God. They come to me too easily (that doesn't mean I don't have
to put blood, sweat and tears into them, of course) to be just the product of my own talents/imagination. We try to incorporate as many Bible verses, facts and verse numbers into our songs as possible. I am absolutely delighted when people come back to me and tell me that our songs are helping them to memorize scripture.
Furthermore, we have seen those parodies used by God to bring listeners to Christ, to avert suicides, to get believers interested in reading the Bible and to evangelize others. We have received encouragement and testimonies from countless Christians, including many pastors, youth pastors, lay teachers and missionaries. That's the kind of fruit we're looking for.