Christian rock band Emery is striving to make a statement with their next project and the ramifications of their bold new move is drawing a bit of controversy.
Emery hopes to stir the pot with "Bad Christian," and wrote about it their blog the, "UN-learning."
Emery starts their letter of sorts with a quote from Charles Barkley: "'I am [We] are not role models.' We (Emery) are messed up guys who play music."
"As a band, we have always strived for transparency and honesty. While this has made for good music and lyrics, it has also brought forth much controversy. We have purposely steered our music careers away from churches in favor of playing in what Christians call 'secular bars and clubs'-what we call 'normal places.' Yet we have always and will continue to sing about our lives and who we really are. So naturally our lyrics will include Jesus," Emery wrote. "This pursuit of being real has resulted in a lot of anger from those that see us as squandering our platform of positive influence and from those that simply want us to stop talking about all this 'religious bull****,' as they put it."
The band goes on to say they understand trying to be "good Christian" is quite simply an impossible goal. They also feel that trying too hard to be good ultimately takes away from the vision of Jesus.
"We liken the pursuit of being a 'good Christian' to what the Bible would label as being a good Pharisee. We prefer to label followers of Jesus as Bad Christians who fortunately have a Great Savior. We also believe that Jesus grows, changes, and makes people better. As Jesus pursues change in our hearts, our most effective response is BEING HONEST and transparent with our weaknesses and struggles. Through Bad Christian, this is what we intend to personally do-and encourage others to do the same," they wrote.
Emery wants to continue being the band everyone loves and create music people can relate and use to glorify God, however, they want their message to be pure and sincere and work from there.
"We strongly desire to share the perspectives and experiences that we've acquired while traveling hundreds of days each year for over ten years," they continued. "In those ten years, there has been an amazing shift in music culture and we've been fortunate to have seen up close and been a part of this shift. One of the many changes from this shift has been an increase in music fans' openness to Christians and Christian artists. And as a result, Jesus. This has occurred because of bands' willingness to actually get involved with the culture at large and authentically build relationships with people who don't believe the same."
In closing, the band believes they can help change and culture and the world with a movement.
Emery will be leaving their long time label, Tooth&Nail Records, but not because of bad blood, but because they just wanted a change.
They will also be starting a weekly podcast and publishing an eBook.
"We will not be a church. We will support and help the church by serving at our own churches and by helping plant Bad Christian groups that will exist within and alongside local churches. Hopefully these groups can support churches that already have effective Sunday gatherings, but are ineffective in their pursuit of fruitful community."