I guess I don't really expect musicians in Christian rock bands to be theological leaders. We follow them for their music, not their biblical literacy. Although at some point we do expect them to act like Christains, especially since they claim in their marketing to be one of us.
So when Jars of Clay frontman Dan Haseltine tweeted support of gay marriage yesterday, fans who expressed disappointment were called haters. In tweet after tweet these past two days, Haseltine doubled-down on his position:
Metro Weekly reported the story this morning, which quickly went viral:
“Not meaning to stir things up BUT… is there a non-speculative or non ‘slippery slope’ reason why gays shouldn’t marry? I don’t hear one.” He went on to write “I’m trying to make sense of the conservative argument. But it doesn’t hold up to basic scrutiny. Feels akin to women’s suffrage. I just don’t see a negative effect to allowing gay marriage. No societal breakdown, no war on traditional marriage. ?? Anyone?”
For many fans, this is all quite new and upsetting. Dan Haseltine is a Christian who has a Christian band playing for Christian churches and youth groups, so naturally we are heartbroken that he is shaking his fist in Jesus' face. When did Dan depart from truth? Apparently he has been "out" about his beliefs - or rather about walking away from them - for quite a while. In a blog he wrote about his new album two summers ago, he's pretty clear about what he no longer believes:
...since the themes of the record are very far from evangelical Christianity, the church community will most likely not embrace this record. Which, on one hand, is a relief. I am pretty weary from years of pretending to be more of something than I am. I am tired of carrying evangelical expectations on my shoulders. I have never been so sure of my faith that I was able to find a true home in the church communities where we played most of our shows.
Our particular style of writing and the perspective that we have written from has not been an easy fit into an artistic community that has such a massive agenda and only a single idea of how that agenda gets accomplished. I don’t fit there. I may have at one point. I did grow up as a youth group kid wearing a t-shirt with a picture of Jesus on it. I did drive a car with a “Christian” bumper sticker on it. And at one point, I was sure of who God was, and how God operated. But I am not that way now. And so it is impossible to write from that old version of myself. I am in the middle space. SOURCE
Here is the story that first alerted most people to Dan's departure from Christianity. We need to be praying for this man, that he confesses and repents, and finds forgiveness through the shed blood of the One he mocks:
- An Open Letter to Dan Haseltine, Lead Singer of Jars of Clay, Concerning His Recent Comments Regarding the Nature of Scripture and "Homosexual Marriage" (biblicalapologetics.wordpress.com)
- Popular Christian Musician Backs Gay Marriage, Backlash Already Underway (joemygod.blogspot.com)