Charlotte Parents, Relient K and Amos’s at South End

Christian teens all around Charlotte are talking about Relient K’s appearance this week-end at Amos South End. I decided to do a little research on the “event” to learn a bit more about it.

There is a trend in the “Christian” “entertainment” industry to “connect” Christian groups with the unsaved world — or so we’re told. Groups like Relient K deign overt evangelism and you can visit their website and leave it totally unaware that they are a “Christian” band. They sing a nebulous “gospel” that speaks occasionally of God and struggles and such without any sort of direction to a personal relationship with Christ. Here’s the LINK to Relient K’s Biography from their website. See if YOU can find anything that in any way suggests that they are a Christian group.

I have major philosophical issues with that whole strategy, but here’s my bigger beef. Groups like Relient K are doing a better job of connecting Christian kids with worldliness than they are connecting unconverted kids to Christianity.

The visit to Charlotte is a perfect example.

Their venue of choice is Amos South End. Click on their website HERE. Amos makes no pretense of being a Christian club. It is a regular dance club and bar. Look at the bands that are going to be there in the coming weeks. But this Friday night, making up the audience in the smoke-filled room where the regulars are going to be swilling alcoholic beverages and exchanging phone numbers is going to be a large number of Christian teens who are drawn to the club to hear their “hot” band. Realizing that these pre-21-year-olds aren’t going to be able to drink those high profit drinks, Amos’s hits the 20 and younger crowd with a $2 surcharge.

So imagine this…your 15-year-olddaughter can be standing next to a 25-year old “club regular” who has a beer in his hand and a condom in his back pocket while mom and dad think that Susie is out at a “Christian concert.” The desensitizing magic of a place like this will create an appetite for additional visits to hear other “interesting” groups as they promote their next concerts. Friendships will be forged, shared experiences will create connections and the shock of being in a room with dancing, drinking, smoking kids in a club will soon wear off. It will be easier and easier to feel at home in this kind of atmosphere.

I know I’ll get hate mail for posting my opinion on this. Someone will surely tell me that I’m a dinosaur. Someone else will defend Relient K’s approach to stealth evangelism. Others will call me a legalist. Some might even try to convince me that this is a great way for their kid to be a witness or to have their faith tested. (Both fallacious arguments I’ll address some other time.) But I’m going to be clear on this. Letting your Christian kid go to a dance club to hear a concert — even a so-called “Christian” group — is playing with fire.

Here’s how strongly I feel about this. If there are any Northside kids with tickets to this, bring them to my office and I’ll buy them from you for what you paid for them. No questions asked. You don’t even have to see me. Just put the ticket in an envelope with your name on it and I’ll send the money right back to you in the same envelope. No one who knows me can ever question my love for our teens in our church and school. I believe in them, am protective of them, love them, pray for them, am proud of them. And it’s all those things that motivate me to write this warning and to offer this deal. Parents….check out that website. Here’s the link again. Amos South End. Read the Scripture below and tell me how we can rationalize letting our teens go to a dance club to hear even a band that describes itself as “Christian”.

Philippians 4:8

Amos 3:3

2 Corinthians 6:14-18

Joshua 24:15

51 thoughts on “Charlotte Parents, Relient K and Amos’s at South End

  1. John

    Dan, I completely understand your point and agree mostly. I can understand how Reliant K might think they are “ministring” but I also realize I would not want my 16 year old daughter there either.

    I really believe that you do have the best interests of your church’s kids at heart and wouldn’t “hassle” them if they did brin g you their tickets. That is impressive. Thanks you for being a good example. I hope other pastors see this as an example of grace and care rather than just shaking a finger in the face of kids.

    God bless you.

  2. Don Hazelett

    Kevin Maxx is at the bottom of the coming events page. He used to be a part of DC Talk.

  3. Justin Miller

    I definitely agree about the dance club scene. Psalm 1:1-2 is anther verse you could add to your list.

    Superchick is another popular “Christian” band that Christian radio stations around the country–and especially here in Charlotte–play. Their lyrics completely teach the gospel of self-esteem.

    If you look on the “What We Believe” section of their Web site you won’t find God mentioned and you most certainly won’t find the name of Jesus Christ anywhere on the Web Site or in their lyrics (at least none that I was able to find). A few of their lyrics and some of their band member bio’s contain a few soft and un-intrusive references to God. But like Relient K they are “without any sort of direction to a personal relationship with Christ.”

    If I were in darkness without Jesus Christ and I listened to their songs, I would come to the conclusion that I needed to look inward to find goodness. The message is “believe in yourself” instead of “believe in Christ.”

    Here is what Superchick says they believe on their Web site. “Every person has greatness in them and something special and unique to offer the world. The world doesn’t stand in our way. Other people don’t stand in our way. We are the only thing standing in our way. We are the ones who define who we are…” This message is reinforced in most of their songs.

    I find it interesting and a bit surprising that their songs are still frequently requested on the Christian radio stations in town. Unfortunately, Im sure the list is much longer than just Relient K and Superchick.

  4. Rus Hardin

    I don’t know if I can fault the band that much for this. If they feel led to minister in this capacity, then I have no problem. But as it often does, this comes down to parental discretion. At every turn, there are pitfalls for our kids, and as long as they are our kids, we need to watch out for them. They can be even more subtle than this sort of thing. I personally wouldn’t allow my kids to go, but if they were 18 or older then, well, first, it is their choice, and second, I’d hope and pray they’d be strong enough and passionate enough to take an unsaved friend there and then go out for coffee afterwards.

  5. Brent Peak

    Although I’m a casual fan of Reliant K, I’d have to agree with your analysis, Dan. There’s no way I’d let my kids go to something like that.

  6. Bob Sweet

    I have listened to two or three Reliant K albums. While they are marketed as a Christian Band, I have never really gotten the idea that they are attempting to be overtly evangelistic with their music. I suppose we could debate whether a Christian Band or perhaps more accurately described, a band full of Christians should alwasy be expected to present an overtly evangelistic message. My take on them is that they try to sing about stuff teens deal with from a more positive perspective than most secular musicians do…and frankly, they are sort of goofballs..on purpose. They give that vibe in their biography and in their music and it makes sense to one who has listened to them many times….my kids love their music. Just because they love it does not make it good of course, nor does it make it bad. If my girls aske me if they can go to the dance club to hear Reliant K, the answer will be no. However, I don’t see anything terribly wrong with a fun band of Christian musicians with a positive message mixing it up in the popular cultural venues of today. Jesus was typically caught associating with the less holy segments of society on a regular basis. I have honestly struggled to balance the commands to be seperate from the world, and to Love not the world with Go ye into the World and preach the Gospel.

  7. Lee

    Hey Pastor Dan, I wrote you a nice big response over on facebook. Just want you to know that I respect your opinion, but I disagree with it, mostly because you have some of your facts about the band and the venue wrong. Check out my note and let me know what you think.

    In Christ,

  8. Ron Costello

    What does the music say? What is the music supposed to say?
    I really mean the music not the words
    Isn’t the music meant to be emotion intesified?
    What emotion is being stirred up? Peace, hope, love?
    While I whole heartedly agree with Pastor Dan’s opinion on this subject,
    it’s really not the music that’s the problem.
    Ask yourself why you are going?
    Can you honestly say that it’s to glorify your Lord and Savior Jesus Christ?
    Or is it for some self indulgent “Chritian liberty”?

    I’m one who loves to self indulge and can make up a variety of justifications as to why it’s ok. None of these glorify God. We are all looking for something and sometimes we think it’s away from God. That forbidden fruit looks sooo gooood!!!
    It’s natural to want it. But it never satisfies, NEVER! I continue to learn this the hard way. The morning after is always so empty, didn’t quite find that fullfillment I thought I had.

    Slowly, ever so slowly, I find that that satisfaction which I’m constantly seeking can only be found in the Sovereignty of Christ. In the scriptures, the Living Waters. God invites us to come and drink and be filled. We come in take a sip and leave Him very sad for us. Self denial takes honesty and practice but God promises that He’s the Way, the Truth and the Light. Does God lie? He promises us a banquet in the midst of our friends? No, our enemies. He doesn’t suggest that we go set up camp with the enemy.

    So then why don’t we trust and depend on Him? We lie to ourselves and fool ourselves into believing a little bit won’t hurt and it’s really not that bad. Friend if it’s bad at all, it’s totally bad. This is how the serpent fools us and lulls us in, making that fruit look so good. What did God tell Adam? It’s death!

    Don’t be deceived, for we battle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

    That natural yearning for something deep inside us comes from God and He is the only One who can fill us perfectly, completely, leaving us lacking nothing. But the serpent is crafty and clever and knows all to well our weaknesses and exploits them to our own destruction, (I preach to myself). Jesus said that all who are heavy laden and burdened should come to him and He will give them rest. We need to trust Him instead of looking outside ourselves, allowing the serpent to creep in like a roaring lion and destroy. He does want to destroy us. Makes it look so good, so innocent. Not!!!

    Be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    The real question here is, where does your heart lie?
    As for me and my house we will serve the Lord. Not in my house, not on my watch.

    Lord please help us to trust and depend on You? Please finish the good work You have started in us? Help us find the way of escape and into Your all sufficient grace. Please Lord have mercy on us and our children?
    Let us not be deceived, we cannot serve God and our own desires.

  9. rk

    you have no idea what kind of emotion is stirred up in teens while listening to music, specifically me to relient k. the band has had a huge impact on my life now for 7 years. THEY HAVE BEEN MORE OF AN INFLUENCE ON ME THAN ANY PASTOR OR RELIGIOUS LEADER. any one person who questions the motives or music of relient k has never even bothered to listen. almost every song is about repentance, love, and growth in Christ. whenever i have strayed from God, i put in a relient k cd and begin to weep. each and every time it hits me deep and hard. this is why relient k means so much to me, they have encouraged my growth and relationship with Christ. i can tell you that it touches every Christian teens heart that listens to the music. and it surely brings non-Christian teens that every bit closer to wanting a relationship with God.

    I HAVE MET EACH MEMBER OF RELIENT K, and can see the sincerity in their actions and speech, as well as performance on stage. everything to them is to the glory of God, and they make it clear and point that out during shows. even if you cant listen to a relient k cd, please look up the lyrics online. this is sure to prove that matthew thiessen (lead vocalist/song writer) and the rest of rk are absolutely in love with God…and are not ashamed to tell the world!!! THAT IS REAL, that is what Christianity is about…THAT IS WHAT MAKES ME LOVE THEM!

  10. Dan Burrell Post author

    You know, RK….I find your response typical and interesting. I realize that to some of my college-aged friends and students, I’m an old goat, and I’m OK with that. However, for 20 years I’ve watched and noticed that kids 15-25 or so would rather have you trash talk their momma’s than even question their tunes.

    You missed the primary point of my post which was NOT to open a debate on the quality, content, philosophy or anything else motivating Relient K or their music. That’s an entirely different debate which I’m too busy to open right now. (Again, I point out a bit of knee-jerk reactionism on your part which caused you to totally MISS the point.) I don’t care if it was the Northside Baptist praise team doing the music. My issue was with a venue in which teenagers are invited on the pretense of a Christian concert into a dance club/bar where a conversation with the manager confirmed alcohol would be served in a night club atmosphere. I have yet to speak to a parent whose child had a ticket that knew it was at Amos’s or what Amos’s is. Once they found out it was a club, without exception, they said…well, THAT changes EVERYTHING…which is what any responsible parent of a teenager would do.

    I’m happy that Relient K does it for you. It doesn’t for me. But the issue of the post was the atmosphere of the location. I threw a little red meat on Relient K out there for the fun and you took the bait quite nicely.

    If you’ll notice in my blog introduction at the top of the page….I enjoy poking folks in order to make them think. I poked, you responded….now step back and do some thinking. Pretend you have a 15-year old son or daughter and ask, “Is this a healthy place for them to be spending their Friday night?”

  11. rk

    i absolutely understand how you would not want your young daughter at a venue where alcohol is served. completely relevant. i understand that your post was about relient ks choice in venue, i just felt as if you were questioning the morals and motives of the band. i just want people to read the other side of this…i want people to know the impact relient k can have and realize their importance in some Christians lives. i dont want them to be tossed aside as some “Christian” band who is just in it for the money, and hasnt felt a true calling from God.

    also i do not want to be labeled as the typical response you would receive, as you mentioned in your blog and pointed out in your response. this is just something i am passionate about, therefore it wouldnt feel right to not respond.

    i have learned, especially in the last year, that there are so many different opinions in Christianity. sometimes i wonder why brothers and sisters in Christ argue about so many little things when all it really boils down to is one thing. i want you to know that i respect your opinion and there are no bitter feelings whatsoever. i hope you can understand mine as well…ps im not trying to hide my identity or anything (haha). im sure you know who this is and thats cool.

  12. rk

    i was afraid that you would label my response as typical when you mentioned it in your blog. but i dont see anything ordinary in what i have to say, and im sure youll receive few responses like mine.

    also i realize that the main point of your argument was relient ks choice in venue. i just felt as if you were questioning the motives of the band. i can absolutely understand why a parent would not want their young teen in a bar environment. but i would also like to say that amos’ is not a “dance club” by any means. i respect your opinions, as well as anyone elses.

    i have realized, especially in college, that there are so many different views within Christianity. i dont understand why brothers and sisters in Christ argue about so many little things when really only one thing matters. that is just life for you, i guess. (not saying this is an argument, because there are no bitter feelings whatsoever. i just wanted to provide another insight on the matter.)

    ps, im not trying to hide my identity or anything. im sure you know who this is, and thats cool with me.

  13. Tammy King

    I completely appreciate Pastor’s convictions on this issue! Thank you so much for your unapologetic stand, and I hope it will make everyone pause and think for a minute. I don’t know a thing about reliant-K…never listened to them. But I think his point is that we are to be IN the world and NOT OF. The thought of allowing my teenager to go to a nightclub to hear even the most godly of bands would scare me silly, because of the sinful element that would be present. I think the Bible says something about teaching your children about evil so that they recognize it when they see it, but don’t submerge them in it. And even if kids went and there was “no harm done”, what kind of statement would they be making by going to that particular venue? Would they be placing a stumblingblock in another believer’s path? Or would the world look at them and say, “see–Christians are no different than us” The world is watching us…

  14. Tim


    When you wrote “You missed the primary point of my post which was NOT to open a debate on the quality, content, philosophy or anything else motivating Relient K or their music.” that is simply not true.

    You raised the issue of the lack of mention of Jesus in their biography. You raised the issue of the lack of the gospel in their music. You even wrote “They sing a nebulous gospel that speaks occasionally of God and struggles and such without any sort of direction to a personal relationship with Christ.”

    In fact you even issued a challenge on this topic when you wrote: “See if YOU can find anything that in any way suggests that they are a Christian group.”

    So it seems to me that RK didn’t miss the point of what you wrote. Come on Dan, be a little bit honest here, instead of dodging the point RK made.

  15. Mark Venable

    A good shepherd knows a wolves den.

    Thank you Pastor.

    A fellow dinasour, Mark Venable

  16. Lee


    I just got back from the show and I can assure you it was far from a wolves den. It was more like a sheep pen filled with sheep who loved to jump around and sing praises to the Lord. I know the Good Shepherd was there right beside me, being glorified.

  17. Ron Costello

    rk, I wasn’t being specific to Relient K, I was just referring rhetorically in general.
    Most of what I said is based on my own bad experience from my own deceitful heart.

    One question I have is, why do teenagers think that older folks have no idea what teenagers feel? It’s not like we skipped that part of life to become old. LOL
    Again, it’s a matter of the heart, not the music. I dare you to listen to your conscience, to that still small voice and let the truth speak to your heart.
    Apart from your feelings. That’s tuff to do. I know from bad experience!
    My heart aches for todays youth. The truth is not often represented even in churches. Which leads us to self reliance. Self pity, self servance instead of
    Christ relinace. Again, I preach to myself.

    Being as that you brought up lyrics I looked up some.
    I tried hard to find the gospel in any of their songs and only found
    a lot about self. Figured “Forgiven” would be about Christ at least.
    “i’m in love with the 80′s” reminds me of the partying I used to do back in high school. “I’m faking my own suicide” is very confusing, sounds selfish.

    I looked up a few other lyrics and looked for Jesus and the gospel but I couldn’t find Him. I see somebody that sounds very depressed and selfish. Do these songs actually lift you? They leave me depressed. I’ll bet there tunes stir up self emotion. Maybe you could help me see where the scripture is? Maybe I didn’t look at the right song?

    Do these songs actually help you worship God…
    making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    They leave me thinking about myself, not God. But that’s just me.
    Going back to what I was trying to express earlier, we have a tendecy to be deceived by self. The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? Jeremiah 17:9

    You said that there is only one thing that is important. I’m curious to know what you believe that is, and what scripture you base it on?
    Sincerly curious. Please don’t take this the wrong way, I’m just saying what I see.
    I’m trying to see things the way our Lord does. I find it hard, often. So help me to see Him praised and glorified by these guys?
    This is the whole purpose of living in worship after all, to point up to Christ with all that we say and do, with our whole heart, mind, soul and with all our strength.
    Peace Ron

  18. LJ

    I don’t have to take the lid off the trash can to know it stinks! And I know this stinks! Thanks Pastor for your unabashed convictions.

  19. Gordon Cloud

    Great post, Dan. Leaving out Jesus seems to be a disturbing trend among Christian rock groups.

    We recently invited one of the up-and-coming bands to sing at an “evangelistic” effort for youth in our association. I was incensed to find that after 45 minutes of performance, the name of Jesus had not been mentioned once. They had sung songs about “God”, but a Muslim could have attended this concert, assumed they were singing about his god and not felt any conviction at all.

    If our gospel is hid, it is hidden to those who are lost.

  20. Sarah

    As a strong supporter of Relient K, I attended the concert at Amos’ last night. I had no doubts nor guilt about going, and–to be honest–it stirs me up a bit to read your negative feelings toward the concert choice.

    First of all, to belittle Relient K for not directly mentioning God in their music although they claim to be a Christian band is ridiculous. If Relient K claimed to be mainstream, would you approve of their music? Or is all secular music sinful?

    Secondly, Amos’ is not nearly what you made it out to be. For you to judge the venue (as you judged Relient K) without true knowledge or experience on the matter is absurd. There were a few tables in the back near the bar where older (as in mid-twenty somethings) sat and sipped on bottles of beer, but there were certainly no temptations to the younger crowd–at least not any more than at the mall, around town, or even at school. It was no sort of hook-up joint as you implied by your comment on the exchanging of numbers, and there was definitely not a cloud of secondhand smoke to be found.

    It was truely an uplifting, energizing, and incredibly bonding experience that I believe everyone should experience at some point. Thank God for Relient K and similar artists who deliver the hope of Him to teens daily. And God Bless You, Dan.

  21. Don Hazelett

    I’m amazed when it comes to the defense of Amos’ Southend, it may be an empty building full of high schoolers during the concert, but it is also the regular site for Amos’ Purgatory Parties. It is considered to be Charlotte’s premiere bondage and S&M parties. Nudity and voyerism is the norm at the place. It is open to over kids over 18 and anything goes as long as all parites agree. It used to be that Christians would picket places like this if they knew what was going on. Now we help support places like this by paying to go there for concerts of any kind. Wether you like a band or not, is it worth supporting the venue’s other activities that would horrify you and definitely ruin your witness.

  22. Bob Sweet

    Don, I would like to discuss your last sentence. “Whether you like a band or not, is it worth supporting the venues other activities that would horrify you and definitely ruin your witness.” I would not debate the inappropriateness of any Christian, Teen or adult, looking to such a venue as a normal source of entertainment and relaxation. What I would like to talk about is the trap I believe Christians fall into when we attempt to “come out from among them and be seperate.” I often think of the typical Sunday School reaction to reading about the rebellious children of Israel and how they constantly rebelled and stumbled and had no faith in God. I have been guilty of looking down upon the faithless children of Israel myself in the past as if I am any better then they were. We Christians tend to get all self righteous and arrogant when we compare our own relative and perceived “personal holiness” to that of the people stuck in the miary clay of sexual sin and other debauchery. I think it is dangerous for Christians to get into the habit of looking at those people as somehow far removed from those of us who do not have any blatant or outwardly visible sins. A couple observations from the scriptures. Jesus was often found with the outcasts from the harlots, to the tax collectors and sinners. The people he was most often found chastizing were the religous leaders. I believe that the most dangerous form of sin we can fall into is that of pride. In fact that is what tripped up Satan if I understand the scriptures correctly. I actually can’t see any way that simply going to see Reliant K in any venue would ruin a persons Christian Witness. I can definately see how getting drunk or participating in other sinful behaviour could harm a person’s witness. I can’t see how going to see Reliant K supports the venue’s other activities. I see it this way. Since the club is totally driven by profit, they will likely bring in more Christian Artists if Christians do patronize the club. If we are cheap and don’t purchase food and cokes, it probably won’t pay either. I can not see anything bad about having a percentage of Christian Bands in a Secular Venue. 2% has to be better than 0% but don’t ask me for a chapter and verse on that. Otherwise, they are going for the market the events and bands that will give them the biggest pay check. Unfortunately sex and alchohol sells big time. We won’t shut down nightclubs by laws or by Christians not patronizing them. All we will do is assure that they are as spiritually dark as they can possibly be since the light of Christ will never darken the door through one of His children. Good grief. When we shop in Walmart and purchase gas at Citgo…if we do, we are supporting Communist China and Stupid Venezuela. In fact, I can’t think of a better place to be a witness that a club assuming that in your heart of hearts, that is what you are there for. Every club has a room full of people seeking desperately for fulfillment and hope and fun or forgetfullness. Many are broken and all are lost. Jesus misses those lost people. Moving on…the scriptures teach us that our hearts are deceitful. It is therefore critical to counsel with our elders in the Lord prior to deciding we have a “ministry in the night clubs”. I think the challenge is to be where we are supposed to be per the call of God upon our lives….and again…my girls were not there and won’t be there until such time as they are called into “full time night club ministry” which won’t happen until they are on their own.

  23. rk

    RON, although relient k is not like the worship music we hear in church, or on 91.9, it offers a fun and unique perspective on Christianity, while staying true to God’s word and our purpose on earth. im curious where its hard NOT to find references to Christ and the happiness we have in Him. All I see are words that offer encouragement and hope through Jesus Christ. This hope appeals to Christians and non-Christians alike. Here i have offered ONLY A FEW of Relient K’s songs…

    “register” is all about a lost lifestyle and repentance. (“I hate my sin, destroy it and mold in me from withinI love You Jesus, I need Your love in my life. I love You Jesus, I want to be like You Christ.”)

    “c.u.r.b.” (“Gather my insufficiencies and place them in Your hands, place them in Your hands, place them in Your hands. Never underestimate my Jesus. You’re telling me that there’s no hope. I’m telling you your wrong. Never underestimate my Jesus. When the world around you crumbles He will be strong, He will be strong.”)

    “William” (“God I need You, here I need You now to help me through. I think it’s clear You know just how to do, what You’re gonna do. I am feeling quite content. I will reign in Your Testiment. Sure of what I see, my guidence is Your everlasting love.”)

    “Balloon Ride” (“There were times in my life when I was confused. There were things between me and God that were blocking my view. So I prayed, ‘Oh dear Lord, take these things away so I can see.’ He answered my prayer and at the sight of Him, I fell to my knees.”)

    “Everything will Be” (“Jesus gets us through the good and bad times. And lets us know that everything will be just fine. A year’s passed since I wrote this song. A lot’s gone right a lot’s gone wrong. But I know that Jesus has been there right by my side. And I see the sun still shines. It shines outside and in my life, and I know that everything is gonna be just fine.”)

    Although the song “Pressing On” does not mention God’s name, it offers hope and encouragement. (“Somewhere back there I left my worries all behind. My problems fell out of the back of my mind. I’m pressing on. Pressing on, all my distress is going, going, gone.”)

    “Down in Flames” might convict some Christians…(“The enemy is much ignored when we fight this Christian civil war…we’re cannibals, we watch our brothers fall, we eat our own, the bones and all…we see the problem and the risk, but nothing’s solved, we just say tisk tisk tisk and shame shame shame…I’m part of the problem, i confess. But i gotta get this off my chest.”)

    “Breakdown” relates a broken down car to satan trying to keep us down (“he’ll seek and destroy everything that i enjoy. but, i won’t be the one he takes down. no, i won’t breakdown.”)

    “Those Words are Not Enough” (“i lay my life before You, and i’m not getting up. Father, how i adore You, those words are not enough. Father, know i love You, and know i am wrong. Lord, please take my life, make me Your son.”)
    “The Rest is Up to You” (“‘Cause I know you’re hurting. So put down your burdens. Crucify your doubts and just reach out. Reach out to Jesus. Embrace Him. Turn your life around to face Him. You’ll find mercy, you’ll see grace, love, and beauty defined in His face.”)

    “Less is More” (“Jesus, I call out ’cause I’m sorry. Because I fall so short of Your glory
    To the best of my ability, i’m practicing humility. And I lay myself before ’cause less is more. I pour out myself. All that I am. You love me so much, that You fill me again. And may these words on my heart, on my lips, somehow mean so much more than this.”)

    “Trademark” (“i’ll kill the thing that turns me away, amputate the arm that will disobey. withdraw from everything that’s hurting me. until You finish your work in me.”)

    “In Love with the 80′s” shows absolutely no references to partying. (“so it was jeremy in 1983 in his ocean pacific t who got a bloody knee. on his skateboard in the half pipe in the backyard that tuesday night.”)

    “Falling Out” (“i won’t think twice or even three times about taking a gamble with You. cause with my life You have been so kind, i take all my comfort from You.”)

    “I am Understood?” (“You’re the only one who understands completely. You’re the only one knows me yet still loves completely. And sometimes the place I’m at is at a loss for words. If I think of something worthy I know that its already Yours. And through the times I’ve faded and You’ve outlined me again, You’ve just patiently waited, to bring me back and then the noise has broken my defense. Let me embrace salvation.”)

    “Getting into You” (“I’ve been a liar and I’ll never amount to the kind of person You deserve to worship You. You say you will not dwell on what I did but rather what I do. You say ‘I love you and that’s what you are getting yourself into.’”)

    “Be My Escape” (“I fought You for so long, I should have let You in. Oh how we regret those things we do. And all I was trying to do was save my own skin. But so were You, so were You.”)

    “High of 75″ (“And now I’m sunny with a High of 75, since You took my heavy heart and made it light. And its funny how you find you enjoy your life when you’re happy to be alive.”)

    “I so Hate Consequences” (“When I got tired of running from You I stopped right there to catch my breath. There your words they caught my ears You said, ‘I miss you son. Come home.’ And my sins, they watched me leave. And in my heart I so believed the love You felt for me was mine, the love Id wished for all this time. And when the doors were closed I heard no I told sos. I said the words I knew You knew. Oh God, Oh God I needed You. God all this time I needed You, I needed You.”)

    Devastation and Reform (Thank You God for giving me the insight. So I might make these wrongs right. If and when there ever is a next time, cause failure is a blessing in disguise.)

    Deathbed (You said, Jesus, please forgive me of my crimes. Sanctify this withered heart of mine. Stay with me until my life is through and on that day please take me home with You. I am the Way, follow Me and take My hand. And I am the Truth, embrace Me and you’ll understand. And I am the Light and for Me you’ll live again. For I am Love, I am Love.)

    Please also see:

    Be Rad
    Marilyn Manson Ate my Girlfriend
    When Youre Around
    Maybe its Maybeline
    What Have you been Doing Lately
    My way or the Highway
    Failure to Excommunicate
    Give Until Theres Nothing Left
    Bite My Tongue
    Fallen Man

  24. Don Hazelett

    Hi Bob,
    You read way too much into my post. Im concerned only with hanging out with the bar crowd on their turf. People dont respond well to bar evangelism because we are hanging out in the same bar that they were patronizing. I have a list as long as my arm of kids who tried bar ministry who are now in full out rebellion. Younger Christians always get the idea that they will storm hells gates and lead everybody to Jesus, but a lot of them get steamrolled by the enemy. Jesus is the only difference between Christians those who patronize the Purgatory parties. Jesus was with the outcasts, but did he didnt give them cash for the next beer run. He challenged them to repent and sin no more.
    Corporate revenues and a stupid band are silly rabbit trails. We are talking about Christian bands drawing Christian kids to a bar. Follow the money, a bars attractions supports the entire bar. Amos Purgatory Parties push an agenda that teaches kids about sexual bondage and S&M. If the local papers were shocked by the activities at Amos then why would you support a kid going there for anything? The world actively seeks to tear down our kids, so why should they go a bar where hard-core sexual activity is promoted? Is that sounding too high and holy? Anybody remember David? It all started with a peek. If I go to a bar that allows whips and candle wax on the premises, it will ruin my witness. My wife would certainly think so.
    I applaud people who evangelize in secular places. The Neighborhood Theater has a church that reaches the alternative crowd. A church rocks uptown Charlotte at midnight on Saturdays and the members reach out to kids going between bars. My father in law reaches out to the homeless and the drunkards on a regular basis. They arent going spending a dime to support a bar or a sexual bondage party.

    People observe you and wait for you to fall. They remind you of that when you witness to them. The world understands the principle of separation, so why do some Christians think they can change the world from a barstool?

  25. Ron Costello

    Thanx rk! The songs I looked up were the ones I posted. I just looked up the ones that looked interesting to me. After looking up several I found no reference that I could see about Christ or serving God.

    As far as,”In Love with the 80s shows absolutely no references to partying. “, I said that it just reminded me of partying since that’s what I mostly did in the 80′s.

    Don’t get me wrong, my concern is for what some of the posters are referring to about getting lulled into rebellion. I walked away from the “hypocrites” at church and rebelled for 24 years. Thank God for His mercy and grace. There are not many that turn back and repent after such rebellion. Finally figured out that I’m the hypocrite.

    At any rate, God bless you rk, keep on.

  26. ProphetE

    So I was reading this and the comments because Jon Schneck from Relient K said, hey check this out, and I was okay! Heh heh! I totally understand Dan’s view on the subject, but I also totally understand rk’s view on Relient K. I myself am a Relient K fantard who listens to them because I can rely on there songs to cheer me up, let me worship the way I want to, or remind me to keep my head high following the narrow path of christianity. But there’s something that I must point out, I’ve read several articles on the questioning of Relient K “christian music”. They have been on many talk shows and in many interviews where they’ve been asked if they were a Christian band, and every time that I’ve heard them talk about this subject they simply respond with, “We don’t think of ourselves as a Christian Band, but a Band with Christian influence.” Why must they label themselves as a “christian band” when many people in this world, especially in the punk/rock/pop music industry/culture hate christian. Simply labeling themselves as a christian band would only draw them away! Jesus himself hung out with the rejects of the time. Why was He going to stay at the synagogue and preach to everyone who knew what He was talking about? Jesus saw the importance of going out into the world and reaching those who didn’t know about the Law. Look at who Jesus hung out with, tax collecters, fishermen, and thieves. Jesus didn’t care, as long as He got them to Heaven with Him. I think this is how Relient K views the places they go. Why go to a church or a christian stadium and preach to the choir when they need to reach people who don’t know “The Truth”……

    That’s my arguement, and I respect everyone elses, I’m just saying we should pick at something that isn’t for the glory of God. People on this page have proven that Relient K has a christian method, and though it may seem unorthodox, that doesn’t make it wrong. Without unorthodoxy, we wouldn’t have the Lutheran Church, the Nazarene Church, the Baptist Church, or and Post-Catholic Church (And no, i’m not saying catholics are bad). We all have different forms worship and leadership, and so does Relient K. Don’t begrudge them just because they do things a different way, embrace them and hope that they’re doing what they are doing for righteousness of God.~God Bless~ProphetE

  27. Aaron Boynton

    Mr. Burrell,

    Thank your for posting your opinion on this matter. I agree with the idea of Christians choosing wisely, but I disagree with how you went about making your judgements. It is apparent that you have fallen into a trap that a large majority of Christians encounter when it comes to entertainment. Not all Christian musicians are called to be an evangelistic group. Those who are, great. However, if you are looking for a band like Relient K to go the “JPM”, or Jesus Per Minute, route in their music, you are sorely mistaken.

    I am a Christian who is disgusted with the “Christian Music Industry”. The industry has done a wonderful job deceiving the masses of Christians who buy products without a discerning ear. You would be surprised to learn about many supposedly evangelistic Christian bands who got into the industry because they could sell their product easier than the mainstream market. While I respect many of these artists as people, the majority of Christian artists are sacrificing quality and integrity for the sake of watering down the Gospel. Relient K never claimed to be an evangelistic group. The gentlemen in the band are all indeed Christians who happen to make music together. They are not solely marketed in the Christian industry. If you wanted to be technical and true to the Word, a band who wanted to be evangelistic would never sign to a “Christian” record label or play in churches. The majority of Christian musicians are playing to the already-saved, not the lost. You’re not seeing groups like Casting Crowns, Building 429, 4Him, Point of Grace, Avalon, Third Day, Michael W. Smith, Steven Curtis Chapman, and others preaching to the lost. They are generally performing in churches and other Christian venues to the people who already know the gospel and have accepted Christ as their Savior.

    American Christianity has become too legalistic, individualistic, and has forgotten the true message of Christ. As some other posters have commented before me, Jesus called us to go out into the world and bring the Gospel. He loathed people who sat in their comfort zone within the church and refused to be challenged. Complacent Christianity is one of the biggest problems facing the American church today. Christians in this great country have become too focused on issues that are trite and are ignoring the more pressing issues.

    Getting back to your assumption about clubs, I can agree that many clubs are seedy establishments and I would not go there as a young man of 24 as I am. However, there are clubs I have attended where alcohol sales have been not allowed when a Christian band is performing. Not all clubs are places for people to exchange numbers and hook up. I believe your assumption and generalization of this club being the standard for all clubs is ill-founded.

    Thank you for giving me the time to respond to your comments. Christians don’t have to agree on everything as long as we agree on the main thing: We are all sinners, and Christ died for us. God Bless, Mr. Burrell.

  28. Ethan

    Mr. Burrell,
    Unless your reading a different Bible than me, where did Jesus hang out and talk with people? I’m talking about the tax collectors, prostitutes, the weak, the sick. Not in churches all the time. There’s nothing wrong with having shows in churches. But where do people need Jesus the most? I say, outside of the Church. Just because RK doesnt do what you want them to from stage, doesnt mean there is not minisry going on. I know these guys personally, for years now. They are some of my best friends, I know their hearts and how they live their lives. You are in no position to put a stamp on them because what you saw from afar. I, personally talked with a few people that night about Jesus. I work for the band and was there early talking with crew guys and they were much more open to what I had to say because of the simple concept of respect. The one thing I think you lack in this situation with RK. There are many forms of ministry. I was in a band for years, and although I never said much from stage, I found it more effective talking one on one with people, showing them my actions.

    It is to your discretion if you want to drop your kids off at these places. Here’s a solution, why not talk to your kids about where they are going? Or better yet, go with them and show them that people exist outside of your communities and churches that need the Lord as well.

    Just remember…Jesus wouldn’t avoid these places if he were walking today. These are the places where people need him the most.

    Thank you for your time.

  29. Megan

    Their show at Amo’s was awesome.
    I got there at 12:30PM and didnt pull
    out of the parking lot till 12:30AM. I
    wasnt raped or offered drugs during
    those 12 hours. I made tons of friends.
    Who cares if the place wasnt a Christian
    venue? Jesus didnt hang out with other
    sons of God. He hung out with the drunks,
    prostitutes, and people who needed him
    the most. I go to the grocery store. Its not
    a Christian grocery store. Is that wrong too?
    Relient K is awesome regardless of where,
    when, or how they play their music.

  30. Melanie

    Wow… I read this and a few things came to my mind. First of all, I know a lot of NON Christian kids that are now exposed to the gospel because of Relient K. I don’t know about the Amos, but in a similar establishment here, the people who are in the drinking portion of the venue are separated and have to show ID, so they are not standing next to the teens with a beer in their hands. In most states, I’m not sure that is legal. I’m am wondering if I will see similar passion about restaurants that serve alcoholic beverages? I see lots of families there. I know some of the venues are not in the nicest places. But sometimes even Christ went to places that were not so nice specifically to minister to others.

    There really is no subsitute for parental discretion. There are options for Christian parents whose children want to see Relient K, and one of them is to go with them instead of just dropping them off and picking them up with lots of discussion in between. Another is to discuss these things with their child and help them to make wise decisions. I think even RK could respect a decision made by a loving parent to tell their kids they aren’t going.

    As for Relient K’s music, I am rather guessing you have not listened to their latest cd at all. Take a listen to the 11 minute track called Deathbed. It pretty much reduced me to tears. It’s one of the most moving presentations of the gospel I’ve heard in a while. And “Give” spoke and still speaks volumes to me about my attitude towards God.

    You know, these guys have faith. They love God. I have met them numerous times and they are very open with the kids and actually care about them. It shows. I’ve watched them. Have you? This stuff HURTS them. Before you post it, I would recommend that you actually talk to them first. I think there is something in Matthew about that.

    God’s blessings,

  31. Dan Burrell Post author

    Ethan….I know quite well that Jesus went to and spent time with individuals — tax collectors, prostitutes and the like. But he didn’t go hang out in the lobby of the brothel. Show me a passage where he passed time in the pub. He didn’t frequent the local pagan temples where hooking was a form of “worship.” He met individuals of every kind in the streets and even went to their houses, but he was a Rabbi and there was some things we might note that He didn’t do and places He didn’t go.

    Face it — you and your friends (thanks to the Relient K band member who blogged a response and directed loads of readers here) are rationalizing the use of Amos’s and the more you do, the more you prove my point about the lack of discretion today’s generation of CCM performers and fans possess. There are TONS of other venues (besides churches) available in Charlotte to groups other than a part-time S and M adult club. Relient K should admit they didn’t do their homework and chose unwisely. And you’d better bet the band members would have a fit if their front people booked them into a seedy Motel 6 in a nasty section of Crown Town after the concert. They should also get after their front people for putting them in a venue that was seedy as well.

    Amos’s is as much a gateway for further adventures into the world of seedy music clubs as pot is for cocaine and crystal meth. (And beer is for Jack Daniels and rehab, I might add….but that’s a different debate.)

    For the record 19 out of 20 HS kids that I know of (some with the influence of their loving and careful parents, I’m sure) chose NOT to go to the concert at Amos’s though they all enjoy RK. I think that says something.

    If Relient K is going to develop a large following among Christian teens, if they are going to promote their concerts and their music on Christian radio and in Christian media….they owe it to work WITH parents in insuring that where they hold their concerts is in a healthier place than Amos’s. It doesn’t have to be in a cathedral — nor does it need to be in a part-time S and M club.

    How about a little more responsibility and lot less rationalization?

  32. Karissa

    “How about a little more responsibility and lot less rationalization?”

    I’d like to see that, too. Let’s start with the parents. Responsible parents would never let their 15-year-old daughter go alone to a venue that they know nothing about, whether they thought the concert was “Christian” or not! I loved to go to concerts at that age, but until I turned 18, I would always go with a supervised group or with my parents. It was just the smart thing to do. These things that you’re criticizing Relient K for… you should be turning around and telling it to the parents. Relient K didn’t ask for anyone to assume that every venue they play at is safe for children to attend without supervision. (To my knowledge, the band doesn’t even have much control over where they play – management handles that. I’m sure if they requested to play somewhere or not play somewhere specifically, management could comply, but it’s not like they sit down and research every venue for themselves.)

    I completely AGREE with you that that scene you described (little “Suzie”) should not happen! I agree that it’s not only a tempting situation, but also a dangerous one. I APPLAUD you for checking out the venue before the show, and alerting the parents to the fact that it is used as a club/bar. In my opinion, that’s exactly the right thing to do. :) But where I disagree with you is when you turned around and criticized the band for not doing a better job of babysitting children that aren’t theirs. That’s not their job. Like I posted on Jon Schneck’s blog – “They’re doing great at what their job IS – being excellent musicians who glorify God with their talent.”

    Also – you keep coming back to the S&M thing, and I think it’s a little ridiculous to bring that up as if it has anything to do with Relient K. First of all, that’s NOT the main purpose of the club (I could understand your concern if they played at a place called “S&M Central” or something). It’s just an event that happens there. Tons of weird events happen at tons of venues (not just dance clubs and bars), and you can’t hold a band accountable for them, because there’s no relation there. I can understand if you don’t want to give your own money to a venue that supports that kind of event, but why is it Relient K’s fault for not obtaining records of everything that goes on at every venue they ever appear at, when these events have nothing to do with them? (And I’m sure you’ve raised much more publicity for the Purgatory Parties than the Relient K concert did, considering that neither myself nor my husband – nor many others that I’ve talked to – knew about them before reading this blog. Way to go! ;) )

    I am a 20-year-old female who attended this show, accompanied by my husband who just turned 24. And I have to say… I am amazed at your imagination! The dark, dirty, seedy, drug-using, sexually perverse scene you seem to have in your head isn’t at all what I experienced. I can understand why your worried mind might go there, though, so let me put it at ease… First of all, the area that the venue is in isn’t really “seedy.” It may not be a country club in an upper-middle-class suburb, but it’s not in the slums, either. It’s probably not a good idea to take a walk there alone at night, but is that really a good idea anywhere? Second, the majority of the people that I saw while waiting in line for the show were not sketchy 20-or-30-somethings who wanted to enjoy a drink and a smoke while preying on minors. They were music fans! I’d say at least half of them wore some kind of band t-shirt, and at least 2/3 of them also bore “X”‘s on their hands – the mark that security gave people under 21 so that they could not buy drinks. There was a young girl in front of me, probably no older than 13, who was attending the concert with her PARENTS. They gave her and her younger brother cotton balls to use as earplugs, to protect their hearing. Third, once we got in (after an hour, thanks to the long process of ID-checking and the $2 surcharge, which I agree is a racket), the concert looked like almost every other show I’ve been to. And I’ve been to plenty of shows – usually “Christian” but sometimes in “secular” venues. Yes, there were some people drinking alcohol. Yes, I’m sure there were some people lighting up. But mostly, this was the scene – over a thousand people packed into a room like sardines, jumping up and down, throwing their hands in the air, and squirming around occasionally to try and get to a spot where they can actually see. People clapping, singing along at the top of their lungs, and holding up cell phones to call others or to take pictures. There was a balcony area for those who wanted more breathing room and a better view (and were willing to give up the rush of being in the crowd), and that’s where I saw the family with the cotton balls go. Were there opportunities for young people to get into bad situations? I’m sure there were, but like most other people there, I was too focused on the show to really notice. At that point, Amos’ wasn’t primarily a dance club or a bar (and it wasn’t an S&M club at all, as far as I could tell) – it was a concert hall. It was a building to house a show. Please, take it from someone who was there, and who is telling you the truth… it’s not as bad as you’re imagining, at all. I’m not defending whatever weird things that the venue might host. I’m just trying to dispell your notions of that the show was actually like.

    Also – I know you are a pastor and probably have your own set views about alcohol, but the view I (and many Christian leaders) hold is that drinking alcohol itself is not sinful. I realize that many people get drunk at a bars, and because of that sin they are more easily tempted to engage in others. Drunkenness is something we must be careful not to endorse. I also realize you’re concerned about youth here, and I understand why you wouldn’t want to expose them to a situation that involves alcohol. But a group of Christians, glorifying God, and playing at a place that serves alcohol… is not a contradiction. :) Once I turn 21 this summer, I may want to enjoy an alcoholic drink while watching one of my favorite bands perform. I may have that drink in one hand while raising the other in a moment of worship and praise to God. And that would be my choice to make – and that’s according to my interpretation of the Bible, not according to me wanting to be “rebellious” or “self-indulgent,” any more than my drinking a Dr. Pepper right now is either of those. (Well, maybe I’ll give you self-indulgent, but who doesn’t enjoy a sugary carbonated beverage every now and then? Haha.)

    You say that you aren’t attacking Relient K, but I challenge you to read your post again and see if that’s really true. You’re obviously not familiar with their music, but “rk” has made some very intelligent comments that should give you a little more insight into the band. They may not constantly scream and shout about Jesus, waving their faith around like a flashy banner for all to see. But you know who does that kind of thing in the Bible? The Pharisees. Now, I’m not trying to call anyone a Pharisee – I’m just saying that it might not be wise to hold up that behavior as ideal. The most effective witnesses, to me, are the believers who speak Jesus’ name with awe and reverence… the ones who speak boldly about Him without making a spectacle of it. The ones who live in such a way that even if you couldn’t hear them speak, you would know that Christ was in them. The ones who are still human… who acknowledge their own doubts and struggles and desires (in the form of songs, perhaps), who know that they “have not already been made perfect,” but who still “press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” And, after following Relient K’s music for several years as a discerning Christian, I believe that’s who this band is. And I’m GLAD they play at places where non-Christians are likely to hang out… we’re ALL called to follow in Jesus’ footsteps. (See Matthew 9:9-12 of an example where Jesus essentially went to a party full of people who were not squeaky-clean. He didn’t indulge in their sin, but he didn’t refuse to stay and eat with them either. “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” If they are bringing a bit of God’s hope to the hopeless, in a way that doesn’t turn people away, they might be doing more good than the average “youth group band” who essentially preaches to the choir in safe and sterile environments.) Of course Relient K is not Jesus – they’re not perfect, but none of us are. From what I can see, their music, their words, and their lives all bring glory to God. I hope… maybe after having a talk with one or two of the band members themselves… you’ll start to see that, too.

  33. Ethan

    I just think when you see hundreds and hundreds of Christians take over a place like that for a night, praise God. I said it before, theres people in there who need the Lord who you would probably never spend 5 min with. Its people like you who make me understand why others wouldn’t want to serve the God I do. This is my last comment. God Bless You.

  34. Bethany

    I don’t think Relient K has ever claimed to be a “Christian band.” They’ve referred to themselves as a band that has Christian members. Relient K doesn’t decide where they play, or what other bands or actvities or anything else that goes on there. If the venue they played at was “seedy,” then that’s too bad, and maybe they won’t perform there again. Having said that, I would point out that S&M was not a part of Relient K’s show, so I don’t really see how that would influence whether or not someone went to a concert there. I went to a Relient K concert last year at a venue where alcohol was served and where acts such as Hinder, who has songs about “getting stoned” has performed. Knowing that such acts performed there did not take away from my experience. The concert moved me greatly and helped me find my way back to God. I understand your concerns, but I think you’re wrong. The students you spoke of who didn’t go to the concert missed out on a show by a great band.

    As far as John Schneck writing about this in his blog, and yes, that’s how I found this, I would think you would be glad. He’s raising awareness about what you’re saying, so your message is being spread to more people than if he had not posted about it.

    On the topic of Relient K’s music…just because not every song directly mentions God or Jesus does not take away from it’s religious and spiritual implications. I have always found their music to be moving and uplifting. I was diagnosed with depression recently and there were days when Relient K’s music was literally the only thing that got me through the day.

    I’m sorry you can’t see what a great band Relient K are, and I pray that one day you will be able to appreciate them for the great band that they are.

  35. Karissa

    Just wanted to add that I came off as a little harsh against “the average youth group band,” but that I think those have their place, too. :) My favorite band for the past several years has been Audio Adrenaline, and they definitely made music primarily for Christians. Their music is encouraging to me and to a lot of others, and I don’t deny that there is merit to that.

    I’m just saying that Relient K may be doing more to spread the Gospel than any given band (not every band) who chooses to stay insulated in the “Christian” world.

  36. JesusFollower

    Ok, I have seen so many post about how Jesus went to where the unsaved people were and talked to them and hung out with them. One question, who has done that this week??? Quit wasting your time on here and get out there and tell somebody about Jesus and salvation. As a Christian thats what we should be concerned about, people’s souls, not wether or not you agree with another opinion. I think Mark Cahill said it best, ” Its a matter of obedience and disobedience.” If your not telling people about Jesus your disobeying, plain and simple. Im not trying to condemn in anyone in here, Im just trying to put things in perspective. What is more important, telling everyone that you either agree or disagree with DB’s blog, or wether or not one of the 150,000 people that die goes to heaven?

  37. aznsong50

    Is a building in and of itself necessarily un-Godly? I would think that it would be what goes on inside, rather than the structure itself, that characterizes the building. Certainly S&M shows and the like are no places for young children, but such profanity does NOT occur at a Relient K show, and odds are the 25-year-old club regular would not be around with beer in hand for a Christian concert anyway. In the end, I agree that it is up to parental discretion to decide whether or not a place is suitable for their children to go.

    As for Amos’ being a “gateway” for drugs and all that because it allows things like S&M shows to occur there, your logic can be applied to so many other venues that there seems to be no end to it. Movie theaters must be unsuitable for Christians because of all the R-rated, sexual, violent smut that gets shown there, despite the benign G-rated or even Christian fare that also gets exhibited in cinemas. So are bowling alleys, as they allow raucous parties with beer, smoking, and swearing. Even my local playground is off-limits because they say gangs sometimes deal drugs there during the night.

    Nevertheless, I respect your right to your opinion and know that you have only the best interests for American youth at heart. God bless you in your ministry.

  38. HelloThere

    First of all, I’d like to say that i found this blog much the same way ProphetE did, and when I read it I found it both interesting and disturbing. I have been a fan of Relient K for two years now, and their music have helped me through a lot of hard times. Not because of the way it sounded, but because of the lyrics. That is why I was disturbed. You said that Relient K did not mention serving God, or anything about salvation. I happen to dissagree with that.

    I believe someone already posted about “Less is More” and “Deathbed,” but it seemed to have no effect. Well, I’d like to say that I am 13 and when I first heard Less is More, I ried my heart out becuase I relized how far I had gotten from God. Same with Deathbed. When (in Deathbed) they said:

    I was so scared of Jesus
    But He sought me out
    Like the cancer in my lungs
    That’s killing me now
    And I’ve given up hope
    On the days I have left
    But I cling to the hope
    Of my life in the next
    Then Jesus showed up
    Said “Before we go”
    “I thought that we might reminisce”
    “See one night in your life”
    “When you turned out the light”
    “You asked for and prayed for my forgiveness”

    You cried wolf
    The tears they soaked your fur
    The blood dripped from your fangs
    You said, “What have I done?”
    You loved that lamb
    With every sinful bone
    And there you wept alone
    Your heart was so contrite

    You said, “Jesus, please forgive me of my crimes
    Sanctify this withered heart of mine
    Stay with me until my life is through
    And on that day please take me home with you”

    It brought back to the day when I accepted Jesus and once again made me relize how far from God I was.

    I have also attended one of their concerts andd it was far from what was described. There was a place for drinks and condoms but it was not really involved with the rest of the concert. In fact, my Mom was there and she actually liked it! When I was there I felt closer to God then I had in ages.

    One last thing. Many Christian bands have gotten music videos onto secular TV stations and mentioning God on those stations, when interviewed is seen as a death sentence. I am happy to say that Relient K did not fall into step with other “Christian” bands such as Switchfoot. Right there on national telivision they said that their most popular radio single was written towards God, because they are Christians. And that, I thought, was something that they did not need to do and were probably advised not to, but did. Relient K is a very Christian band, and I am not afraid to say it.

  39. Brittani

    its not about what venue they play in. just because a band doesn’t play in a church and sing “jesus jesus jesus” in every single song doesn’t mean they are trying to bring a watered down version of Christianity. Its about how we are in our personal relationships. I’m not mad, but people say the same thing about Switchfoot, my other favorite band. They have some of the most amazing lyrics I have ever heard, and the songs from both of these bands have gotten me thru some hard times. I just think before you write a whole blog about how unChristian a band is, you may wanna do alittle more investigation. If you don’t wanna listen to their music first, then don’t even bother writing the blog. There are plenty of artists I don’t like ,but I don’t judge them; especially if the farthest I went to finding out about them is reading their bio on a website.

  40. jon

    Pastor Dan…

    First off, I wanted to say that I respect your opinion as my elder, and as a fellow Christian. I think that its great that you obviously screen what your kids do outside of the house, and I respect that. I was a little bit put off by some of your comments in your original blog. there are several comments that dont have anything to do with the venue we played, and you challenged your readers to see if they could find Christianity in our content… I think that that we may disagree on our approach as a band, and that is perfectly fine. Just know that different people are called to do different things, and just because they are different doesnt necessarily make them wrong. It was never my intention to have anyone attack you for your opinion. If everyone had the same opinion, life would be boring. I hope that you realize that, and I was simply airing my opinion, just as you were originally airing yours. Feel free to email me anytime. Thanks.

    Jon Schneck

  41. Grace

    How many non-christian teens do you know that listen, or would even want to hear a song by Steven Curtis Chapman? I know absolutely none. Sometimes I dont even want to listen to his overly Christian songs, but when I play songs by Relient K I acutally listen to the lyrics and find the message. For instance, the song Be My Escape, an extremely popular radio song that millions of people have heard, has even been played on MTV. When you break down the song and actually take a look at the lyrics its easy to see that its about Jesus. If but if that song specifically said “Jesus” in the lyrics there would be no way it would make its way into millions of non-christian’s ears.

    You have no right to judge the way Relient K decides to do their witnessing. They are a very extemely open band and love to communicate with their fans. I have never seen a band so devoted to their fans like Relient K is. Even if you think this band is not stearing non-Christians into a Christian way, they are definitely planting seeds.

    I can say right now that Relient K is one of the main reasons I am a Christian today. If it weren’t for them I wouldnt have been best friends with Rebecca who I always talked to about these extremely awesome boys in this extremely awesome band. Rebecca then brought me to her church and showed me the extremely awesome ways of Jesus Christ. Relient K planted a seed in me through their music and lead me on my way to Jesus Christ.

  42. Don Hazelett

    Hi Dan,
    Thank you for taking a stand. I’m the one that started on the S and M bit as a reflection of why local Christians should avoid a venue like Amos’. I couldnt care less about Reliant K. I zealously defended bands in my youth and they have all disbanded. The emotional happiness that I sought dwindled every time I had to come to the realization that believers Christians are being imprisoned and killed for their faith. They looking at us as only interested in being happy and shake their heads at us. I work with people in India on a daily basis who are cut off from families and are under the threat of torture to become a Hindu again. They are not interested in our “Christian” culture or about our bands. I agree with Jesus Follower that this is a big waste of time.

    The building is amoral. The business in the building is not amoral. Christians should be choosier where they spend their money. I’m not saying avoid a movie because of the whole business. I’m not saying avoid a restaurant because of alcohol sales. Im only concerned about an instance where we can draw a very direct line to a growing problem in our local area. I know that Reliant K and their front office would have no ideal about the Purgatory Parties.

    The more people that know what Purgatory Parties are the better. If are concerned about crying because a song makes you feel good, then you should take a look around you and see where your enemy is making gains in your neighborhood. You might start crying about something that is more important than yourself.

    Every generation is fascinated with a band until reality hits them and they jump off the bandwagon. I loved Steven Curtis Chapman and D C Talk, but I grew up and my tastes changed. Most of the bloggers on here will someday defend a new band. Wait until the day you have kids and you are faced with the same issues. I only hope that some of your kids will treat you better than you do Pastor Dan for being concerned about kids in his church.

  43. Bob Sweet

    Don H.,

    Though I appreciate your heart of the Lord and desire to do right, I am quite confused by all the stuff you just wrote out; changing taste in bands, the persecuted church, venues Christian Bands or Bands of Christians play at, Pergatory Parties, and emotional response to music…they are all unrelated subjects in my humple opinion. For the record, I still love DC Talk and Steven Curtis Chapman and a score of other fantastic Christian musicians since them.

    I do not think this discussion is a waste of time in the least. The reason it is not a waste is that we in the church desperately need to learn to think correctly and Biblically regarding how we are to relate to our culture. Until our minds are renewed by God’s word, we can’t think correctly. The scriptures teach us that Iron sharpons Iron and in the same a man sharpens his friend. So lets have at it.

    Without writing another book, I can tell you that there are not many people in the church less exposed to the world than I. ie..I had a rocking witness and testimony by some standards. I could list the “lists” I kept as a “godly young man.” Because of my “rocking witness” I am largely and sadly ignorant of the music of secular and pop Christian music of the 70′s through 90′s. I did not go to a movie until the age of about 37. I don’t dance, chew, play cards or drink alchohol.

    I could also tell you how useless I was in reaching the people Jesus misses most…I was a pride filled, useless, “Holy” and seperated Christian young man. i would have made a pretty good monk. I am not in any way wishing I was a partying, card playing, tobacco chewing alcholic so I could be a better witness. What I am trying to say is that my success obeying the lists did not make me a better witness for Christ.

    Over the past 10 years, God has broken me, shown me my sin, gave me a heart for lost and hurting people. Now I just can’t stand it when I hear people talk sneeringly of lost people and and making judgements about the relative evil of one sin over another. God help me to love the lost like Jesus did. Does Jesus not love people who participate in pergatory parties. Does He not love people who love to go to clubs for fun and relaxation. I used to be deathly afraid that if I was exposed to sinners too much, I might become like them. But then Jesus showed me I already was one so whats to lose? How can you lose your “testimony” or “witness” by associating with people just like yourself. I had to find that out how lost I truly was before I could truly be saved. He loves those people. They are not aliens. They are the ones He died for. They are us.

    I would say this. Bands like Reliant K are obeying the Great Commission far better than I ever have. They are a part of the Body of Christ and I agree with them that they are doing what their part requires them to do. S and M is the “World”. They are in it, engaging it, and loving people that Jesus Loves. They are not afraid of the muck and mire. God bless them and help them to find their way.

    I am also 100% supportive of Pastor Dan’s leadership in encouraging the youth in his church and school and influence to avoid environments that might possibly be a negative influence upon some if not all during the years when they need to be growing strong. Leadership is tough. I know that because I am a dad. But all the more reason for Pastors and Dads to step up and do right by their children. I also believe strongly that we must teach our children how to live in this World. They must know how to engage the World without fear. We must lead and teach them how. We must protect them while they grow strong but then help them learn to love lost people like Jesus did.

  44. Karissa

    Don Hazelett, you are missing the point entirely now.

    Dan says that you guys aren’t “dinosaurs,” but then you proceed to talk about young people as if they have no mind of their own. You want to relate to the younger generation? Then don’t talk down to us!

    It is insulting to me for you to go on about being “fascinated with a band until reality hits them and they jump off the bandwagon.” Do you think that this is all about crazy fans who idolize a band and follow them blindly? It’s not. It’s about someone making a judgment about someone else without knowing all the facts. Plain and simple. I would have made the same post had it been about any other band… provided that I knew enough of the band to know where their hearts are. Just because we’re young doesn’t mean we can only think as far as the latest fad.

    And why in the world did you bring up persecuted Christians in India? They’re not a part of this. I could just as easily say to you, “Why are you spending money on internet access? You should be giving money to the Ethiopians so they can have clean water!” But that has nothing to do with what we’re talking about. It’s a cheap shot – a guilt trip someone uses when they can’t respond to the REAL issue at hand. Let’s leave starving children and AIDS orphans and wounded veterans and persecuted Christians and whatever other unfortunate group out of this, please.

    You don’t know what ANY of us are doing to help those in poverty, or those being martyred for their faith. I’ve participated in World Vision’s 30 hour famine for a few years, organized fund raisers for various charity projects, gone on several mission trips, and helped raise awareness of the genocide that is currently happening in Darfur, Sudan. I have written letters with Amnesty International on behalf of various individuals who are being imprisoned unfairly – including Christians jailed for their faith. I do not worship Relient K – I worship Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior. I’m a fan of many different bands, both “Christian” and “secular.” My tastes have changed over the years – some artists I was a fan of before, I am no longer a fan of now. And some artists I didn’t like before, I enjoy now. I will readily defend some artists against attacks such as the one on this blog, but others I will stop and think about, because I don’t know them as well or I know that their motivations might not be good. I, as well as many people I know who are younger than me, can think for myself. But all you see is young people who like music, and you assume that all we’re doing is following our favorite band like little mindless sheep. I know that there are some young people who do tend to follow the crowd and not make their own decisions. But especially with the intelligent arguments some of us have made (most of which make more sense than your last post, Don Hazelett), I would really hope you would give those of us posting here the benefit of the doubt.

    It could have been Sandi Patty playing at Amos’ and I would have defended her, too. It makes no sense to put such responsibility on an artists’ shoulders and question his/her/their faith like that, no matter who it is! But I don’t know her or her music very well, so I probably wouldn’t have been able to say as much about her, or been as assured of her intentions. With Relient K, though, I feel like I know where their hearts are. And that’s why Relient K fans have been posting here – not that they’re just giving a knee-jerk reaction to someone criticizing their favorite band. (Trust me, I’ve seen those types of fans, and you can spot them a mile away even online.) But many of them have followed the band for a long time. Some of them have gotten to know the members personally. Ethan (a Christian musician himself) has worked with the band. So not only are we disagreeing in principle… but we are responding to unfounded attacks on people we have come to know, if not personally, then through their music.

    Don, from your past responses it seems as though you understood from “rk” what the issue actually is. I was glad to see that. :) Please remember that, and stay in that understanding, instead of making judgments about people you don’t know. I completely respect the concerns that you and Dan have – what I don’t respect are the accusations and the assumptions being made.

  45. Dan Burrell Post author

    I am closing comments on this article. This was never about Relient K and the comments folks are attempting to leave here are growing to a point where the point of my blog entry has been obliterated and any semblance of rational discussion has evaporated.

    I stand by the case I made that no teenager should be at a concert — any concert — at a place like Amos’s. I stand by my opinion that parents have the right and responsibility to say “no” to their kids as many of them chose to do after finding about the nature of Amos’s. This is and has never been about bands as babysitters, freedom of speech, secular vs sacred music, your momma’, my momma’, whether or not the members of Relient K have genuine faith or 99% of the other issues that have come up.

    This exchange has revealed much to a lot of folks about “worship” in our culture. I’m planning another article on the topic in the future. Stay tuned. I have chosen to allow only about 50% of the comments to be posted. Some were incoherent, some were absurd, some were irrelevent and some just had a level of hysteria that I found unhealthy. I think the 50 that I did allow to be posted provide a very decent cross section of the comments I received. Thank you for all you participated in the discussion. As always, you don’t have to agree with me and I urge you to think through each decision and position Biblically.

    In closing, our youth pastor recently said something very profound at one of our youth meetings recently. I think it about sums up my opinion on this matter.

    “It seems to me that many teens are far more interested in standing up for their favorite band than they are standing up for our Savior.”

    Frank Shimkus — Student Ministries Pastor, Northside Baptist Church

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