Saw an article about the band Switchfoot making the rounds on some social media sites last week. Go read the full article by clicking here.
Although I have a problem with the title of the article being “This is Why Switchfoot Won’t Sing Christian Songs Anymore,” since that is not what the band is saying at all, I thought the comments by singer Jon Foreman were pretty insightful. There is an ongoing tension between the sacred and secular in a lot of industries, but perhaps it is easiest to see in the entertainment industry. Here’s some snippets of what Jon Foreman had to say when asked if the band was a “Christian Band:”
There is a schism between the sacred and the secular in all of our modern minds. The view that a pastor is more ‘Christian’ than a girls volleyball coach is flawed and heretical. The stance that a worship leader is more spiritual than a janitor is condescending and flawed. These different callings and purposes further demonstrate God’s sovereignty. Many songs are worthy of being written. Switchfoot will write some, Keith Green, Bach, and perhaps yourself have written others. Some of these songs are about redemption, others about the sunrise, others about nothing in particular: written for the simple joy of music. . . My life will be judged by my obedience, not my ability to confine my lyrics to this box or that. We all have a different calling; Switchfoot is trying to be obedient to who we are called to be. We’re not trying to be Audio A or U2 or POD or Bach: we’re trying to be Switchfoot.
I am a lawyer by profession. It would be foolish to say that I am not a “Christian lawyer” simply because all of my clients aren’t Christians or all of my cases aren’t focused specifically on Christian issues. I’m no less a Christian because I wasn’t called to be a minister. For that matter, I feel strongly that God called me to be a lawyer just as he calls some to be ministers.
The music that I create and share here is overtly centered on Christ, the gospel, and the Christian life. That’s what I enjoy and feel led to do with my music. There is a lot of secular music out there that is pretty overtly anti-Christian beliefs and values, with negative messages. But there are plenty of groups playing so-called “secular” music that honors God also and they should not be looked down on by Christians for following the path Christ has laid out for them.