In the Christian Ghetto we sometimes like to kick the crap out our own brothers and sisters. As a fan of Switchfoot I first started going on-line on their old discussion board (yes, I’m a geek). One of the issues that always comes up is that Switchfoot isn’t blatant about Christ in their music. In this thread
this topic is being discussed and I wanted to keep my response because those boards lose stuff. Here’s what I said:
I must admit that I respond with a heavy heart as I tire of feeling I have to defend the men of Switchfoot. I shouldn’t have to but will finally emerge from the blogosphere to weigh in.
My first thought is that I actually don’t think it’s appropriate for rock starts to be terribly preachy if they haven’t gained a track record. I used to get sick of hearing guys like Bono act like self-righteous pigs. Now, I think Bono has earned real credibility and I’ll listen. Personally, Switchfoot has a ton of credibility with me as I do know them a bit (except for Drew). They truly are great guys who live out their faith. Now, if I didn’t know them and wasn’t a Christian but I paid good money to see a band in concert because I liked their music ( or their hair ) I expect a concert. If I went there and it all of a sudden turns to church, that would just suck. They would just come off as these young punks who didn’t know me but were telling me how to live my life. That would be a terribly uncharitable act on Switchfoot’s part.
Just as my job is to be a software engineer, theirs is to be musicians. My job and theirs, as Christians, is to love God and my neighbor. Starting from that we begin having credibility with actual people, not the masses. That leads to real opportunities to share our faith. If Switchfoot were to turn preachy (or myself) then that may make some people happy but will not do a darn bit of good for Christ. Right now, and I’m going to be blatant, the people who go to see Switchfoot are Christians who’ve known of them for a long time (the choir that they’d be preaching to), people who’ve heard their 2 hits and decided they are worth listening to and young ones that thinks “they are hot”. That’s the basic make up of the crowds at their shows. If Switchfoot got all Billy Graham on the crowd (who came for a concert and to be entertained, people who go see Billy Graham are going there for a different purpose) then the “choir” would be happy, the music fans would be pissed (they came to a concert) and the “they are hot” crowd would squeal anyway.
Here’s how it works; Switchfoot and everyone else in life, come across many people. Our first job towards others is to love them, that is the essence of showing other people Jesus. If our behavior towards them is truly Christ-like and we don’t act like salesmen then people might actually care about what makes us tick. To the casual fan they honestly don’t give a rip what the Dixie Chicks, Bono, Bruce Springsteen or Switchfoot believes. They just want to go to a concert and get their money’s worth.
Many people have written that they’d brought friends to see Switchfoot because they are a Christian band and hope that Switchfoot would preach Christ. Well, that isn’t the purpose of a concert. We can’t hope Switchfoot or Billy Graham or anyone else would help bring people to Christ. That person exists and it is the person in the mirror.
Remember, Switchfoot is basically a new band to the non-CCM world. They really haven’t earned the right to be very preachy to the masses. Someday, they will have a bit more credibility and could take a different tact. That is all in God’s hands, not ours.