When lead singer, Tim Lambesis for the Christian metal band, As I Lay Dying, came out as not really Christian and was just doing the Christian gig for the money, I had one reaction: What the heck is Christian metal? I found out that it is a form of Christian music that mimics heavy metal music. There is Christian techno, Christian rap and hip hop, Christian pop, Christian jazz. If you’re a Christian, there is a Christian version of the secular music you like. Be Thou My Vision is so old fashion. We need to get with the modern beat of image and style over substance. So, when Tim Lambesis said, right before going to jail for attempting to hire a killer to murder his wife, that he was not really a Christian, it shocked the Christian Metal world. The gig was up.
His bandmates reacted by saying their former head was crazy and creating a new non-Christian metal band that will soon release its debut album. What really shocked the Christian metal world was how Lambesis said how he doubted many of the Christian metal bands As I Lay Dying play alongside were Christians. They were all just acting out a role, he claimed, because the money was good. The image was the most important part of the act. It is interesting to point out his defense in hiring out a hitman to do away with his wife was that he was on steroids. He got on steroids to look better and get to the next level. (the next level of pretense?) He had the image of a good Christian, fresh face wife, the required children and the right words. Only Jesus was missing from his life. Would it be rude to point much of the Evangelical world shares a lot with him?
We have been treated to a long parade of Christian pastors, musicians, and actors who have gotten into trouble playing to an image, rather than being real humans. Mark Driscoll has had to deal with revelations of plagiarism, fraud committed to get his book on the Best Seller list, and internal fighting at his Mars Hill. Affairs and scandals with money from people that look pretty good in front of a camera and have the right image have become front page stories in the Christian press.
What to make of image conscious Christianity, where Christian portrays one face to the public and another to themselves. When Christianity reduces only about more morals and less about Jesus, these things have to be expected. The image of a good Christian has become more important than the search for Jesus.
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