Why Switchfoot Won’t Sing Christian Songs Anymore

switchfoot_pic-thumb-2574x2574-29801I absolutely love this article. I’ve never really been a fan of “Christian” music nor shied away from “secular” music, because I don’t think there needs to be a chasm between the two.

Let’s be honest – Christian music is just preaching to the choir. Not that the choir doesn’t often need preached to, but I think a lot of Christian artists, authors, singers, etc., fool themselves by thinking they’re reaching the world with their Christian labels.

Take a look at this article.

Singer Jon Foreman was asked if Switchfoot is a “Christian” band, and his response is definitely something worth reading. This is such an incredible story! I love seeing “faith” driven bands step outside of their comfort zones for the sake of reaching more people.

Read the full article here.

What are your thoughts on his response? How do you go about your work so that it crosses the line from “Christian” to “secular”?

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My lovely wife and I are foster parents, dog owners, home owners, and Christians. I am a blogger, book editor, and author. On my blog you'll read about adoption, faith topics, inspirational thoughts, and a whole lotta Disney/Pixar lovin'! For the most exciting read ever, check out my suspense/adventure novel, The Man in the Box. You. Will. Love it.

42 Responses to Why Switchfoot Won’t Sing Christian Songs Anymore

  1. I think to be effective in today’s culture the church needs to be visible in the marketplace. That is not to say that the sacred and the secular are the same. They are different and both are necessary but I think God wants to invade both. Sometimes we humans shut Him out of both.

  2. Mary says:

    This is an interesting article and Switchfoot’s response definitely gives me pause. I like Joseph’s comment. There’s a lot of truth here.

  3. Faith Simone says:

    This is a great topic! I consider myself a Christian/Faith based writer at times, and other times I simply write what’s on my mind and in my heart, not necessarily something with a “Christian” theme. I struggled for a while, because so often in inspirational fiction, publishers have very specific guidelines regarding moral decisions and actions of the protagonist, etc. I felt like I couldn’t tell the story with authenticity, due to guidelines that force the writer to sugar coat life events. Now, I write what I want and pray to find a home for it somewhere! I agree that often in the Christian world of entertainment or publishing, artists are forced into a box. That needs to stop. I thought Christians were supposed to be the epitome of freedom in so many ways, not prisoners to the perceptions of others.

  4. Wonder Woman says:

    So odd. Was just listening to them now. Got to read this

  5. Wonder Woman says:

    Please be slow to judge others with a different calling says it all. Thanks for sharing.

  6. artechoes says:

    I am a writer and an artist, but I also teach bible and mentor women. It’s very hard for me to merge these or decide which matters most; they all matter to me and to God. I’ve been working at having a more biblical attitude about my work. With the arts it seems especially difficult. You can be a doctor and a Christian or a gardener and a Christian and offer faithful work to the world without having to “Christianize” it. But the moment you become an artist (musician, writer, painter, etc.), it’s as if you must include the name of Christ or Christian themes in all your work. As creative believers we must in some way let Christ lead us and be a filter for our voice. Our work shouldn’t be anti-Christ or filled with expressions that might entice someone to do evil. The Holy Spirit needs to be our guide, not the legalistic voice of those who don’t understand the arts at all. Creativity by its very nature is outside of a box. May those to whom God has given creative gifts honor God by bringing them to the world, and let God be the judge.
    …Loved the Switchfoot article.

  7. You can say the same thing about writing or blogging. Just be me whatever I am. Without a label. :)

  8. Sara says:

    Great article! Many wise words in it. Thanks for sharing.

  9. I agree with everything Jon has said.

  10. mbman says:

    Ha! This band still exists?

    I have not heard the name since 2005 or so.

  11. y. prior says:

    thanks for this article link!!! I can;t wait to check it out – I love their songs….
    and this one (Faust Midas and Myself) is one of my favs:

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  13. vwoods1212 says:

    Very controversial article. :) vw

    • y. prior says:

      yeah I agree Ms. Woods – I am not sure who I feel about it – like I “get” what they were getting at, but also need to digest it a bit more because some areas are more black and white – and well, not sure how I feel about it right now. but thanks again for the share :)

      • vwoods1212 says:

        In this walk all I am called is to point the road to Jesus. vw

        • y. prior says:

          yes, but there are many ways to do this – and sometimes they say Christians need to talk less – and maybe love first – and sometimes we exude the presence of Christ without every whispering a word – His essence becomes evident by the love others feel from us – a contagious joy they feel as we first love them. I love your passion and it seems like you are doing exactly what the Lord has put on your heart to do – and how you witness and share is unique from the different callings we have at different times, do you know what I mean?

          and well I think Switchfoot is doing what “they are called to do – for this season – and I like their stuff, but well – I am even more glad that there are other bands that have a different calling – and maybe choose to be more direct – because at times I want to hear and say the name of Jesus – because there is power in that name and it breaks strong holds and stirs up the heavenlies and well, it is something that some people just cannot understand until they feel it – and when they feel the powerful, life changing power and love that comes from the name of Jesus – well they will never be the same…..

          like in this song – I am so glad Matt Redman wrote it and was direct:

          • vwoods1212 says:

            I can’t and won’t give a comment on the group; I don’t really know their background and what they are about. But I wish them well in what they hope to do for God.

            thanks for sharing the MR video. I just heard some his music.

  14. Lukraakvars says:

    I love Switchfoot even more now!!!

  15. Erick says:

    I think we out here in the real Christian world get this. We live and work and witness each and every day, many of us doing jobs that are not necessarily ‘Christian’ except for the fact that we are doing them so we have a certain mindset about what work means and that anything and everything we do is a witness. Bravo to Switchfoot for understanding the difference between being a light in dark places and one in a room full of other lights competing for brightness. I remember when Amy Grand “crossed over” into pop music…she was virtually excommunicated from the Christian music industry and labeled a sell-out, but clearly from her music then and still today she understands more about fulfilling one’s purpose than the lot of her critics.

  16. Debi Smith says:

    I love this and I think he is right on point. The great divide between Christian music and secular music and the blow back “Christian artists” get from Christians when they crossover is horrendous. What’s the difference between us going out to evangelize and a musician who branches out to reach a greater audience who needs the message more than the small group they’ve catered to? It’s a greater risk to stand up for what you believe among the masses than to stay in the comfortable box where nothing ever changes.

    Thanks for sharing the post!

  17. I don’t know about this. Beyoncé claims to be a Christian, but do her lyrics, wardrobe and empire reflect Christian values? Nope. There’s a ton of difference between a janitor or volleyball coach and Beyoncé. The first two are just doing their jobs. Beyoncé is bringing ugliness into the world. So yeah, when she says she is a Christian, I think her lyrics give a lie to that story, for her and many other artists out there today.

    We listen only to Christian radio, and I don’t think it’s preaching to the choir. I think it’s prayer and ministry for me, but it is also reaching my children in their early faith. And it’s a way for me as a mom to try and control their exposure to the over sexualized and incredibly violent music that’s available on other stations. Christian rock is a safe place.

    • Beyonce, I assume, has no fruit bearing from her songs. That is how we can tell. I’m very picky with my secular music, even though I listen to it. And I will admit, it takes a lot more time searching out appropriate secular music. I think you are doing right by listening to Christian radio with your kids, as they ought to be catechized at a young age.

  18. pastedreams says:

    Madeleine L’Engle, one of my favorite writers who happened to be a Christian said that she doesn’t make Christian art. She said she was a Christian who made art, and that anything that spoke the truth brought glory to God. So an atheist speaking truth and creating something beautiful would bring glory to God. I’ve carried this with me and Switchfoot expresses it surprisingly well too. And it seems to me that when art is labeled “Christian” (unless it is iconography or specific praise and worship songs) it runs the risk of being too “holy” and removed from real life. I would much rather understand God’s love by reading a “Wrinkle in Time” than by singing “Open the Eyes of my Heart Lord.” There is a reason that Christian art is often tepid and vague. It is scared to say anything of content because with the label of “Christian,” it has to set an example of holiness. The artist Jennifer Knapp (when she was making “Christian” music) was maybe one exception to such vapidness. I don’t listen to Switchfoot, but their articulateness in this article makes me want to!

  19. Reblogged this on Life in arrghland and commented:
    Interesting read and i agree. Inspiring music, art, book, blog etc are just so, without any labels.

  20. mwitasblog says:

    God is far wider than many of us would want to confine Him… and so is His love.

  21. Pingback: Look at the Fruit ~ Jen | Full Of Graces

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