Toby has band jealousy. This week, he ponders life in bands other than Emery, and describes the freedom afforded those who don’t have the social expectation from their fans to be moral heroes. How can U2 or Mumford and Sons get away with even talking about God or Jesus, but use swear words in their songs and no one cares? Meanwhile, Toby can’t smoke, Dave can’t drink, and Matt can’t tell off people on the internet. Would it have been better to just never have professed any Christian faith so people can leave Emery alone? We need a place where Bad Christians can love Jesus honestly, and that’s what the BC community is all about.
Sometimes I get jealous of bands. Like, maybe it would be better to be in a different band rather than in Emery. I’m being a little bit of a crybaby, but hear me out.
It would be so freeing to be in a radio band like Mumford and Sons, or even a band like U2. These bands do whatever they want musically and lyrically, and their fans just love them and support them regardless. They can be honest within their lyrics and no one questions them when they use words like “f-ck,” or when they talk about things like sex, abortion, or other sensitive social topics. What’s really crazy is that these same bands can also talk about God, even Jesus himself, and nobody gets their panties in a wad. In fact, if they do talk about God, Christians claim them as their own faster than Peter sinking in the sea. Bottom line, if you never claim to be a Christian, a Christian band, or the popular, “Christians in a band,” then you can say whatever you want.
But what if you do say, “We are Christians?” What are the implications of that approach?
Christians seem to flock to bands from the “secular world” just because they did a cover of “I’ll Fly Away” or “Amazing Grace” on a B-Side album. This loyalty is so surprising to me, because at the same time, I’ve seen Christians seemingly wait to pounce on a band that claims Christ yet merely falls short of a religious standard held by the fans. Ultimately, a Christian band will certainly do something that their fans wouldn’t; even something that’s not a sin. And in the case that the band does sin, how are Christians supposed to handle this kind of stuff?
Here are some examples. What would you do?
Toby from Emery is seen smoking after a show.
Matt from Emery responds harshly to people that are bashing the new record on the internet.
You see Dave from Emery out at the local bar with other bands drinking beer.
You read about the lead singer of your favorite band trying to kill his wife.
That last one is definitely okay to be angry about! But how do you respond in love and grace?
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Answer these questions:
Is this the time to call them liars?
Is this the chance and opportunity to say they aren’t or never were Christians?
How quickly can you read something on the internet and know every true detail of a person’s heart?
Are Christians really thinking, “These bands aren’t Christians because they don’t live their lives like me?”
It’s tough because I realize all entertainers or sports figures are held to higher standards. We are automatically placed in the position of role model as a result of a certain level of success, but the problem is that it’s still a setup for failure. I am a Christian and I try to bring glory to Jesus every day, but I really am bad at it. For that matter, I don’t even want to be a good Christian.
When people talk about me, I want them to say “that guy loves Jesus,” not that I am good at being a Christian. I truly hope that people see my life and see the amazing things Jesus has done and is doing with this lump of clay. It sounds like semantics, but it is so important to focus on Jesus and never on what we do as Christians. We aren’t saved by our good works or condemned by the bad ones. We are saved by Jesus. The “good works” are for others to see His glory. Our works aren’t about proving we’re in the club.
So maybe we could be given a little slack.
It’s tough to hear or read other Christians saying really hurtful and untrue things about us. We’ve been told we are heretics, that our faith is not real, that we are evil sinners (you’ve pegged us there), and even that we are leading people away from Christ. That hurts.
If I’m honest with you about my sin, if I let you in on the real me and my personality, if I like beer, if I say damn, or shit, or what the hell, my identity is still in Christ. Christ is my identity,not the things I do or don’t do that you may disagree with. We poorly follow Christ. He does the works, and helps us to love others and change the world for the better. We don’t mind that people disagree with how to live life, but don’t say we aren’t Christians when you find out we’ve done something you wouldn’t do. We’re all different, and remember that Jesus has us at different places. We might feel freedom in areas you don’t and vice versa. But let’s discuss, not crush.
Jesus is real. He does the work. We’re sinners. You all are sinners, too.
I’m in a kick-ass band and I love making music that honors God. So let’s keep it about Jesus, and then it won’t ever be about us failing as moral heroes, something we could never be in the first place.