Like many Christians, my family has been blessed over the past 20 years by the music of the Newsboys. Surprisingly, the co-founder of the group renounced Christianity in 2007. And so it is worthwhile to consider a way back home for this disenchanted band member.
George Perdikis helped launch the Newsboys 30 years ago, and it developed into one of the most popular Christian bands ever assembled. Their breakout album was released in 1992, and the title track said it all: "I'm Not Ashamed."
The Newsboys were destined to have a target on their back simply by virtue of their high calling. Certain spiritual forces in the unseen world despise Christian musicians who inspire others to celebrate Jesus and His love. And so like anyone who falls prey to his doubts and to the lies of dark angels, George Perdikis was "picked off" by the enemy, at least temporarily.
In case you're wondering, the enemy of a Christian is not an atheist, or a person of another religion. Instead, the enemy of a Christian is an intelligent angel who rebelled in heaven when his self-perception became too big for his britches. This traitor then led Adam and Eve astray in the Garden of Eden. And he now manages his own band of followers consisting of other fallen angels.
So if spiritual confusion can sidetrack the first two people God created, it can happen to anyone, including someone in a popular Christian band. No one is immune from the temptations or schemes of evil angels. But in the end, we cannot fall back on, "The devil made me do it."
If truth be told, George Perdikis chose to take plenty of "mini-steps" on his journey away from Jesus. And he credits a number of well-known atheists for his fall from grace, as well as inconsistencies in his own life and the lives of other professing believers. If only George had recognized early on where this detour would lead him. After all, each of us tends to be a product of our thought life. This is true for the atheist as well as the Christian.
In 1992 the Newsboys produced a slow song entitled, "Where You Belong," with a special rendition of "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus." Check out this YouTube video to see what George was singing about "back in the day." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByZ99D8UTRc
The video reveals a group of guys who seemed content in their relationship with the Lord. The key for any believer is to continually turn our eyes upon Jesus. Only then does God's living water flow freely and powerfully within our soul. But when we look away, and begin giving our mind and perhaps even our body over to other pursuits, our walk with Christ quickly begins to disintegrate.
In other words, our thoughts and our behavior have a huge bearing on our faith. And immorality is a common distraction which has led some people to walk away from Jesus. In other words, when the sin of a professing believer develops into an obsession, Jesus may become nothing more than a footnote in your life.
Therefore, it is only in turning our eyes upon Jesus that we gaze upon the perfection which our soul longs to enjoy. We don't long to see professing Christians giving into temptation. For that matter, we don't long to display such inconsistency in our own life. But we do long to witness a perfect example of integrity. And we long to be forgiven and walking on the narrow road with our Creator.
In Jesus, we find what our heart longs to experience. In Jesus, we see perfection through and through.
It's tragic when people get turned off to Jesus for one reason or another. It usually has little to do with Jesus Himself. Instead, it often has to do with personal struggles, or pressure from certain religious folks who constantly push believers to "do better." And boy does the devil know how to spot people who are on the fringes. In fact, that's where Satan likes to hang out. He ensnares the person who begins drifting away from a close relationship with Christ and a firm reliance upon God's Word.
George Perdikis has drifted, and then some. But this doesn't mean George can't get back to a good place with God. In spite of the other voices which have filled his mind in the past decade, the voice of the Savior is calling Him back. The prodigal band member can most definitely come home and get back in tune with God.
But will George hear the Savior's voice? Or will he continue to embrace the unbelief of atheism rather than the truth which the Messiah makes clear to His followers? Will George let his own imperfections and the imperfections of others keep him from gazing upon the perfection of the Lord?
If the philosophy of influential atheists wasn't intellectually seductive, no one would fall for it. But it is seductive. And it has entangled many victims. It's sad, really, to see how man wraps the philosophy of unbelief around his soul, and then convinces himself that his secular approach is superior to a life with Christ.
But it boils down to choices. God made man with free will. And with their free will, the current members of the Newsboys boldly proclaim, "God's not dead." The sad truth is that a soul without Christ is in fact the one who is dead. Or at least on life support. And George Perdikis is a case in point.
But God isn't through with George. So pray for him. And ask the Lord to touch his heart. You see, if George will once again turn his eyes upon Jesus, the Lord can clear up years of atheistic indoctrination. I know, I know. Atheists feel that Christians are the ones who are indoctrinated. And I can't really dispute that fact. I mean, who isn't indoctrinated? Think about it. Any person with a worldview has been indoctrinated in it to one degree or another. But that doesn't make it true, or false. It just makes it personal.
Truth, after all, is absolute. Man cannot create truth. He can only accept it, or reject it. And millions of believers today continue to proclaim the truth and love of Jesus Christ without shame or apology. Years ago, George boldly confessed such faith as his own. In those days, George seemed to enjoy turning his eyes upon Jesus.
But that was then, and this is now. Thankfully, Jesus still loves George. And if you ask me, I think there are plenty of reasons to be hopeful that this former band member may one day return to his first love. But it will come down to where George chooses to turn his eyes.
Jesus said, "The eye is the lamp of the body. If your eyes are good, your whole body will be full of light. But if you eyes are bad, your whole body will be full of darkness." (Matthew 6:22,23)
So where are you looking today? Just remember, what you see is what you get. George Perdikis is living proof.