Switchfoot as a Missionary Band

Why Switchfoot won't sing Christian songs
Switchfoot is going secular. Sort of.

I have to be honest, this is something I have struggled with for ages. As a musician, I have gone back-and-forth between wanting to only do Christian songs and to do no Christian songs at all. On the one hand I see the positive influence that Christian musicians could have but on the other I see the excesses of the Christian music industry and it really turns me off. Sometimes Christian music comes off as little more than a method to sell music to Christians.  Somehow calling it Christian is equivalent to calling it kosher.  All the lyrics have been inspected and are uplifting, written in the code language of Christianese, therefore it is good for Christian consumption.

Please don’t misunderstand me, there is a place for truly Christian music in worship and as edification for Christian people. It’s a wonderful thing to encourage believers and that’s part of spiritual gifting for some people. Edification is just as good as teaching or preaching or any other spiritual gift.  We are encouraged to “speak to each other with psalms hymns and spiritual songs”. But let’s not forget that one person’s spiritual gift is not the same as the spiritual gift for every other person. Some people are called to be evangelists, and evangelism doesn’t have to be undertaken with the same music and tools as you are using in the church. The truth is people that aren’t in the church simply don’t understand that language any more.

The thing that I see with Switchfoot is that although they aren’t openly Christian in their branding, they preach Christ in a way that perhaps someone who doesn’t know Christ might understand. To me it’s kind of like translating Scriptures into a different language so that someone else can understand them. If you only use the King James to communicate with a nonbeliever they’re never going to understand you. In the same way if you come at a nonbeliever and just shout “Jesus, Jesus, Jesus” at them they’re not going to hear you anymore than they would hear the Westborough Baptist Church.  Kind of goes back to the last post I made about disagreeing with your neighbors; are we trying to win an argument or are we trying to actually introduce someone to Jesus?

If we are truly called to “go into all the world” why should we be apprehensive to sing songs in a nightclub, or bar or anywhere else where the lost can be found?  Jesus dined with sinners in the sinner’s house, will we find the courage to do the same?  He did so without being conformed to the world, and through the power of the Holy Spirit alive in us, we can too.

This article titled “Why Switchfoot won’t sing Christian songs” contains a great quote by lead singer Jon Foreman.  I also contains a ton of depressing comments by well meaning Christian people who just don’t seem to remember what it was like to be unsaved.  If they could only hear and understand the freedom of Christ perhaps they would be willing to “become all things to all people in order to reach some.”  There are some lights in the comment soup however.

Doug Pierce, a worship pastor quoted the following…

Derek Webb said, “The word Christian, when it applied to anything other than a human being, is a marketing term.”

I think, almost always, that calling your art “Christian” is a way to sell your art to “Christian” people. It says, “buy my music because I love Jesus.” It’s one of the reasons Jesus went ballistic on the money-changers.

The lead singer for Rascal Flatts once tweeted a scripture…in that one small moment he reached more people for Christ than almost all the CCM Industry combined. Most of America has tuned “Christian Music” and “Christians” out. I’m on a plane and someone asks me what I do for a living. I say, “I’m a pastor”. The conversation is over. He picks up his magazine and buries his head. If I say, “I’m a musician”, the conversation continues. A relationship can form and possibly one day he’ll be ready to HEAR my thoughts about Faith. Until he’s ready…it’s nothing more than white noise pushing him further down the path of apathy toward God.

Bravo Doug.

Here’s another good perspective on Jon Foreman and Switchfoot from Jeff Goins on his Pilgrimage of the Heart blog.

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Seven ways for Christians to love their neighbors even when we disagree – Pastor Mark Driscoll

What does it look like to remain faithful to God while loving neighbors who passionately disagree with Christian convictions?

Can we love our neighbors even when we disagree?

Being relevant to our culture while still being true to our faith is something modern Christianity, or at least our caricature in the media, seems to have lost.  Finding it again is imperative to reaching people with the Good News of Jesus Christ.  If we want our message to be more than just a clanging gong we need to learn to speak with love, not concerned about winning the argument.  Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church in Seattle, Washington shares a great perspective that is right down the middle, avoiding the “ditch on the left – where we don’t call sin a sin — as well as the ditch on the right — where we are angry culture warriors battling unbelievers instead of evangelizing them.”

I have come to the conclusion that we cannot reasonably expect human beings who are dead in their sins to act like they are alive in Christ.  Their actions reflect their values and beliefs, and without a fundamental change in the depths of their heart there will be no real meaningful change in their lives.  If we can just introduce them to Jesus, then Jesus will finish the work that He starts in their life, bringing it through to completion.

Enjoy the article:

From Pastor Mark Driscoll

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A whole new year needs a whole new look.

As you can see the new year has brought us a brand new look.  I hope you like it.

With Winter comes a slow down in projects and a little more free time.  Although it isn’t always fun to be involuntarily idle, this break proved to be just enough time to do what I have always wished I could have done with the site.  It got me thinking about how often I miss opportunities because I am just too busy with other things.  I have a tendency to just keep doing what is right in front of me instead of looking up and seeing what else could be more beneficial.  I am praying that God will change my heart and mind to see the opportunities He has put in front of me and give me the courage to act upon them.  I hope this New Year brings a similar renewal in your life as well.

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Podcast 29 – Jesus asleep in your boat.

Today Rich and I discuss the passage in Luke Chapter 8 starting in verse 22 where Jesus and his disciples are crossing the sea of Galilee in a boat when Jesus lies down to take a nap and a storm suddenly comes up.  As the disciples began to freak out it becomes a wonderful illustration for us on how we are to trust Christ when the storms rage in our own lives.  After recording this podcast I was encouraged and Rich and I hope that you will be encouraged as well.

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Video Contest Submission

Hey everyone.  I have put together a promo video for C-Thru Music for a contest they are having to promote their amazing Harmonic Table keyboard instruments.  It is a popularity contest so if you are willing and have the time I would appreciate it if you would view my video.  Heck, watch it twice… ten times… every day.  Thanks in advance, I appreciate it.

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Podcast 25 – Philemon

Ken and I finished this podcast this afternoon.  We both agree this is one of our favorite books.  What an excellent story of friendship and redemption.  I also love the book because it is HILARIOUS!  Hope that you enjoy!


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Podcast 24 – The Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail

Today Rich starts reading in 1 Chronicles 11:45 where we talk about ancient walled cities and the highly fortified gates that were an important strategic defense.  Then we go to Matthew 16:13-17 where Jesus tells us that the gates of Hell shall not prevail against the church.  This is a passionate and exciting study of our role as conquerors against the kingdom of darkness.

If you thought you had no chance of winning a CD from Just Plain Darin, so did everyone else.  Apparently everyone overestimated our popularity of the show and thought they had no chance to win.  Well guess what, there are still 4 CD’s left!!  Unbelievable, I know!  Send your name and mailing address to show (at) dontblamejesus (dot) com and we’ll send one out to you.

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Podcast 23 – Hosea (The Late Episode)

Just Plain Darins album Brand New Day

This episode is a long time coming and for that we apologize… by giving you a present.  The first 5 people to email their name and shipping address to us at show (at) dontblamejesus (dot) com will receive a FREE copy of Just Plain Darin’s album “Brand New Day”.  Rich says he will pay for international shipping and I’ll pay for domestic so don’t wait.  Send us your name and address and you could be a winner.

This week Rich and I discuss his readings in the book of Hosea with some background from Genesis and the story of Jacob and Esau.  It is a fascinating study that has implications for us here in America today.

Please feel free to leave your comments on this post or if you have questions you would like to have us address on the show send them to us at show (at) dontblamejesus (dot) com.  And remember, you can get your free copy of “Brand New Day” by sending us your name and shipping address.  We just want to say thanks for listening.

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Podcast 22 – July 4 and Hebrews 11

Hey again everybody, thanks for tuning in.  Today I start with a short reading that was excerpted from Shane Idleman’s book One Nation ‘Above’ God.  His books and speaking excerpts can be viewed at www.ShaneIdleman.com.

I briefly mention the new OS3 that just came out for the iPod Touch and the cool FREE Bible Reader software I got from OliveTree.  Very cool and extremely functional.

Next Rich takes us through chapter 11 of Hebrews and the very beginning of chapter 12.  I know you’ll be blessed by his take on this pivotal section of Hebrews.

As always, please feel free to leave your comments in this blog post or email us directly at show (at) dontblamejesus (dot) com.  God bless.

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Podcast 21 – Jon & Kate, Standing at the Door, and more Anger Management

Today starts off with me talking about the television show on TLC called Jon & Kate Plus Eight.  I talk about the show from the perspective of having watched it from the beginning and how it has changed over the years.

Next, Rich reads the wonderful poem by Sam Shoemaker called “I Stand by the Door.”  It is a reminder of our duty as believers to bring people to the same place we have been brought and not to forget where we once were.  All too often Christians can forget what it was like to be a non-believer and lose their empathy for the lost.

Next we transition into a revisitation of the topic of our anger towards others when they do us wrong from the perspective of our having been forgiven.

Please feel free to leave a comment or send us an email at show (at) dontblamejesus (dot) com.  God bless you and thanks for listening.

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