FLYLEAF Guitarist: 'We Love Jesus And We Know He's Our Redemption'

February 11, 2008

FLYLEAF guitarist Sameer Bhattacharya has penned the following blog:

"There have been many messages about whether we're a Christian band or not, so I just decided to post one of my replies in a blog for everyone to read.

"Brace yourself. This is long-winded.

"To clear everything up we are all Christians. We all love God and strive to live and perceive the world like Jesus would. Not necessarily like today's 'church' would, but how the apostle's and, more importantly, how Jesus explained how we should by the examples given to us in the Bible. Yes, we are Christians. But there is a dispute among everyone, even us in the band. Not one that we fight about, but one that is light-hearted and fun to discuss. It's the issue of whether we are a 'Christian band' or not, and what that means.

"If you asked us, the band, that question we'd all give a different answer. One would say, 'Of course we're a Christian band. It's why are together doing this, at all.' Then one of us would chime in and say, 'Yes, that is true to why we are together doing this and it's what keeps us together, but we are five individual songwriters who are Christians and who started a band. A plumber or a doctor, or an IT guy doesn't go around advertising himself or his company in the yellow pages under 'Christian ______,' you know? They have their job and they do it accordingly with Christ in their hearts. The is that your faith whatever it would is should impact the entirety of your life. That would mean we're signed to a Jewish label and all Steven Spielberg movies, like 'Jurassic Park' and 'E.T.' are Jewish movies." and so on the debate would go.

"In my personal opinion and conviction I'd rather not be advertised as a 'Christian band' while dealing with the business side of this. Am I ashamed? No. Am I trying to increase our record sells, or whatever, by 'steering clear of religion?' No. Even though from a business stand-point, it makes total sense for anyone to be in as many markets possible, so that question never made sense to me anyway. Though I have my own dissent with the 'religion' in 'steering clear of religion,' because 'religion' for me are rituals that supersede our personal relationship with God — not that I don't agree with symbolism and that bringing our focus back to God, e.g. Holy Communion or baptism by water, but I don't agree if someone tries to convince me that some ritual is required. With all that said, I understand that most people mean 'Christianity' when they say "religion" in the context of an interview.

"I would like not to advertise our band as a 'Christian band' on the sole purpose of using Jesus' name as a marketing tool. I don't want to 'bank' off of the name of Jesus. That seems a little smite-worthy ;) That is a personal conviction of my own, but there have been long debates and compromises are to be made when you're working with multiple people. That's life. For me, knowing that everyone in our band loves God and strives to seek and understand His counsel, accept it and am at peace with it, though I don't always agree it.

"Also, I've seen a too many bands and artist claim the label 'Christian' so they can get signed to a Christian or play youth events here and there and Christian festivals. And a lot of the times the music just isn't that great, and are shallow lyrically and poorly thought out. But man do they get $$paid$$! In that sense the Christian market (which the phrase 'Christian market' is an oxymoron because Jesus specifically said not to make is Father's house a market place John 2:16) can be, at times, more corrupt than the secular market from a business stand-point. There are parents that limit their children to this! Even a lot of the Christian labels are in it for the money, alone. The Christian label we signed our distribution with is SRE and they seem to be mostly good and honest (from what I've seen and researched). I thank God for that. I'm not saying by any means that FLYLEAF is above any other band because we certainly have our faults. I myself would acknowledge that I am a piece of crap and could to much better at exhibiting the Fruits of the Spirit specified in Galatians 5. I know I will be a better example the more I grow in Christ by prayer and with the renewing of my mind by reading the Bible.

"I could go on and on and it would just be complaining. I know. And I know God is doing so many great things with many bands in the 'Christian market.'

"I'm sorry this is too long and it's late. 3:50AM in Cologne, Germany. I'm speaking too freely, and I fear it's wasting your time.

"I know for all the reasons I stated above whilst talking trash, it's good to be in the 'Christian market' as long as we are doing it the correct way from the right motives and for the right reasons.

"Keep in mind that these thoughts are mine and I'm not speaking of FLYLEAF of as a whole, though I believe that they all would say some of the same things. We're five very different individuals with one heart. We want to do God's will, whether it be this band or being a teacher or a chef or a nanny, joining the military, an A/C repair person or whatever.

"As for us being a 'Christian band' or not, whatever :) Call us what you want. We love Jesus and we know he's our Redemption! God is everywhere and being so the inspiration for everything we do and write.

"Keep us in your prayers, that God will continue to humble us and keep our fat heads on straight. And pray that He won't stop speaking love and encouragement through us, our songs, and our mission. We're writing a new record soon, so if you could pray for that, too, that would be awesome!"

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