This week's Bad Christian Podcast featured Jake Luhrs, vocalist of August Burns Red, and he talked about a variety of topics including using the stage as a pulpit and being Christians who are not necessarily focused on ministry.
Luhrs was asked by co-host Joey Svendsen whether "he felt a responsibility to preach on stage."
"We've had this discussion with the band multiple times, and you know everyone asks, 'Well are you a Christian band?' And everybody gets thrown off by this question. No, we are not a Christian band because, in my eyes, and I'm a believer in Jesus Christ...that doesn't mean because all of us are Christians we are now a Christian band," he replied.
He furthered expounded, "A Christian band for me is a ministry for Christ that the sole purpose of that band is to get on stage and preach the gospel. We're not a ministry band. We are not at all. The only way we do ministry is through our lyrics and through our positivity. There's definitely scripture that's been layered and sprinkled throughout our albums."
Luhrs said he needed to know this when joining the band because he was going in a direction where he wanted to preach the gospel on stage. Sometimes he feels "that desire" and does it "whenever I felt led to."
Luhrs shared, as followers of Christ they wanted to be mindful of this, but did not necessarily want to "jump in." "We want to write music because we love music. We want to promote Jesus through our music, but we don't want to carry it to the degree of, 'Now instead of playing seven songs or eight songs, we're playing four and half because Jake's going to talk about the gospel for 15 minutes'. That's not us."
He believes there is a place for that, but God can also use them in many different ways and aspects. The screamer also shared a personal story of before he was a believer that ties into what he does on stage now.
"Well, funny you ask. I played a show with Norma Jean, UnderOath, and Between the Buried and Me and UnderOath got up on stage and said, 'Well you should love Jesus, and Jesus loves you.' At that time I didn't follow Christ." He said at that time it left him wondering why should "I follow Jesus" and "Who is He." Luhrs said he got offended for someone even mentioning Jesus and "shoving" it down his throat.
"That's why I don't do that. But I can preach the gospel through my lyrics. I can preach the gospel when I go to the merch table. I can pray for kids at the merch table...those are the ways that I can serve and love, and encourage, and preach."
Check back with BC tomorrow as we dig further into the interview with Jake Luhrs. To listen to the entire interview, visit Bad Christian.
What do you think of Jake's comments? Do Christian artists have the obligation to be a "preacher" on stage? Let us know what you think.