Award-winning Christian singer Jordan Feliz is gearing up for the release of his third album and spoke with The Christian Post about the freedom that he’s experienced in being vulnerable in his music.
Feliz’s full-length project is slated to be released in early 2021, but his new single “Glorify” is quickly gaining traction on radio stations. While the song is not a personal confession, its message lays out the kind of purpose Feliz has for his entire album, which will be transparent.
The following is an edited transcript of CP's interview with Feliz where he talks about the quarantine, the freedom he’s experienced while working on his upcoming album, and the advice he gave to Jon Steingard of the Christian rock band Hawk Nelson who recently announced on social media that he no longer believes in God.
CP: How's it been coming off the road and going into quarantine?
Feliz: I'm so good. We're just kind of living the dream. We got two kids, a 4-and-a-half-year-old and an almost 2 year old. It's a little bit like chaos over here, but it's good too.
We were actually on a tour called Hits Deep with Toby Mac. I actually heard that we were the last concert to happen in the country. So we played a show in Little Rock, Arkansas, and we ended up getting shut down. And I think we were home on March 13. We've been home ever since and we've just been chillin'.
It's a little crazy, a little nutty, just trying to figure life out a little bit. But it's also been amazing. It's been an incredible season of just being able to be a husband and be a dad. Especially because we don't really get to do that very much. We don't get to just be home for an extended amount of time, so it's kind of been awesome.
It's awesome to just be a dad and wake up in the morning and make some coffee, make breakfast, figure out what we're going to be during the daytime. And so it's been kind of a nice change of pace for our family.
CP: Can you share about your new "groovy" single "Glorify Your Name?"
Feliz: "Glorify" is a special one for me. That song came out of a season where we're kind of trying to figure out what we're going to say on this record. I think I really started struggling with "Oh, man, what's next? What do I say?" I kind of went into a quick prayer mode.
I was in a writing session, one day we're out the road on the tour with my producer, songwriter, and [I said] all I know I want my life to represent God in every way possible. I want like my work to be my worship. I want my family, the way that I speak, the way that I act, I want everything to point to Him.
We went and looked up the definition of glorify. The definition of glorify is actually praise and worship. But it was amazing because the sub context of glorify is to acknowledge the splendor and majesty of God by one's actions. And I was like, "Oh, this Is it! This perfect. That's exactly what I feel like I want people to know. I want them to know that this is why we're here.
I don't want them to think that we have one day a week to bring glory to God. It's not like just we're going to church and we get to worship. No, it's every single day. What a privilege that we get to worship and everything that we do and acknowledge Him and everything we do. So that's where the song comes from and getting people pumped up about the fact that we get to celebrate the worship we get to do every day.
CP: Is there an album title yet?
Feliz: Unofficially, the album name is going to be called Say It. I'm pretty excited and pumped.
CP: We're in a time where we're seeing people lose faith or fall away from the faith. A friend of yours, Jon Steingard, recently announced that he's no longer a believer. How do you navigate that as a Christian performer and somebody who wants to encourage people to keep the faith?
Feliz: I will say this, Jon and I actually have had probably three or four conversations about what he posted about and it was never confirmed. It was never like, "I don't believe in God anymore." It was more of just like," I'm having questions."
Hear me say this first. That dude, still, he will always be one of my closest buddies. I mean, literally, I have known Jon since I was 17 years old and I love him. I've seen some posts about it and stuff. And one thing that believers do is we automatically just negate compassion the moment that we hear somebody walked away from their faith. We just forget that compassion exists, that grace exists, and that it's by His goodness that we are all here.
For me, I guess when Jon and I had spoken originally about stuff, the large amount of what he's talking about is a lot of logistics, it's a lot about factual doctrine. What I had told him was that, "You need to go speak with doctrinated professors in theology. That's where these answers come from."
They don't come from, and I believe that pastors have a lot of knowledge and I trust my pastor, but there are certain questions that rock all of us. There are always going to be questions that nobody has the answers to. And what I tell people who are struggling is, that's why it's called faith. That is why it's [not] called fact. It's because we are believing based on the things that we know that Jesus has done in our lives now. Can we somehow prove it at a factual level for all the scientists out there? No, it's all faith-driven.
I know, for a fact in my heart that Jesus called my wife and I out here for me to start a ministry and to start performing and elevating the name of Jesus every day. Now, can I sit there and prove that I know? It's all just faith. That is what this is, it's believing in something that you can't see.
When you cannot see it, but you feel it, you know it in your heart. I think that that's a large portion of what people that question their faith are struggling with. The fact that maybe necessarily they're not being as diligent to listen. I think that's one of the reasons why it's the still small voice of God. Yes, God is massive, but He also wants us, He craves a relationship with us.
The faith of a having a Creator, the faith of having somebody who has orchestrated this complete, complex, amazing event that is life, I don't think He's just going to come out and stand in front of you and be like, "Hey, I'm God, what's up?" They're people that have had that experience ... and that's incredible. But I haven't had that.
But I know He's there because I can feel Him. I sense Him. I feel His presence in my life. I just feel like, for a lot of people that are questioning their faith, a lot of it is the stats that they are confused by. I mean, I get it. I understand. I mean, I've been through this same thing. I can't say that I haven't questioned my faith in my entire life. Of course, I have. I'm a human being.
If somebody is walking down the street and is saying, "Oh, by no doubt I have never questioned the existence of God." I don't know if we could ever be friends because there's just no way that that's possible.
CP: Yeah, Job. Although he never renounced his faith or questioned it.
Feliz: There are so many people in the Bible that have, that's the thing. I'm always so driven by certain situations like this. I've had three or four friends that have fallen away from faith. Honestly, I've had two or three of them back, you know what I mean? They're back because they're like, "Man, I was gone for about three or four years from the church and then it got worse, the depression got worse.
The stuff that I felt like I was trying to hide got worse, the stuff that I was holding, that was actually the issue. It's a tough discussion, especially with friends, but at the same time, they need, more than anything, what I feel like Jesus would give to them, which is a hug. He'd be like, "Hey, man, I still love you. You're my son. I would never leave you. You're never gonna be forgotten. I'm always going to be there with you."
That's what I feel called to as a friend. I want to always be there like no matter what, no matter if they're a complete atheist. I know that God's not going to give up on them. So I'm not gonna give up on them.
CP: In this new chapter of your music you talk specifically about God telling you He wants you to be vulnerable. What does that look like?
Feliz: I think I slowly started realizing that I had had these things in my life that I had not really let anybody into. Even one thing that I feel like my wife was even like, "Wow, I don't know if we've ever talked about this." You know what I mean?
For me, I slowly but surely just realized that as all these questions arose of what I was supposed to be saying, I felt like the answers were there all along. And I felt like instead of asking the question, "Oh, is this too much?" or "Oh man, is this brutal?" or "I wonder if people will think it's weird if I say this, or whatever?" I just felt like the Lord was like, "No, no, just say it. Say exactly what I've given you and that's it."
That's been a really tough part for me because all of a sudden now I'm talking about things that are really fun things, but then there's also some things that are extremely serious, things that go deeper than just faith. Not that faith isn't to the depth of your soul, I'm just saying that they go deeper into the human level of who we are. I think that that's one thing that I think a lot of people are a little scared to address. But I think it's something that I miss.
The greatest pastors that I've ever seen speak, the acknowledgment is through the greatness of God through their life, not directly in their life. It's like, "oh man, when I was 9 years old, I was addicted to pornography, and I was doing drugs." It's always like what God did through that though, it's just insane.
All of a sudden you're like, this dude is a pastor of a 5,000-seat church and he's literally changing hundreds of thousands of lives every year. And he's going into prisons and he's bringing people to Jesus. And he's bringing drug addicts and he's bringing people that are addicted to pornography and people that had been wounded by their parents or by family members.
For me, that's not necessarily just, "God is so good." It is and it's kind of hard to talk about, but when you can do it the right way and acknowledge what God has done through the pain, through the stuff that is human in you, I think man, like what an amazing gift to share. Not only like a portion of the raw truth in you but also something that maybe has been a part of your testimony that you've been scared to share.
CP: What have you found to be the benefits of being so vulnerable?
Feliz: Because where the light is there is no darkness. There's nothing left to hide when you're vulnerable, man. I believe that God can see; He sees everything in us and He loves us no matter what, which is insane. But what a gift to be able to be that way and kind of have this attitude, take this with a grain of salt because it's a little bit shoddy the way I'm gonna put this, but I don't care!
I do not care what people think. Because if my God can accept me for my mistakes, then if my friends and my family can't, then I'm sorry. But l know that my Jesus does. He accepts me the way that I am.
I'm a counselor through this app that helps people through porn addiction and stuff. And I've had friends that have literally had struggles for years after they've been clean of addiction, and they still feel worthless because they feel like they can't talk to their spouses or their parents or their brother, their sister. I am like, we need to open up the conversation that is, let's be real man.
I have never seen, hardly ever, anybody come out of something and share the beauty of what God has done, the achievement of what God has done in somebody's heart, and somebody's been mad about it. And if they are, that's their own insecurity, it's their own thing.
But I think, for me, this is a season of like, "Man, I just got to say this stuff and I'm gonna put it all out there and this is who I am. I'm a husband. I'm a dad. And you know what, I struggle with things that everybody else has struggled with or is struggling with right now. And what a beautiful thing that maybe I might say something that hits somebody exactly where they are that God can use to change your life.