Christians should not judge their own kind

by Reggie Edwards I’ve been debating with myself for a few months on whether or not to write this column. It’s a touchy subject and a volatile one as well. However, I just can’t contain myself any longer. Something has to be said. Back in May, KoRn headlined Carolina Rebellion, a huge rock festival in North Carolina. Present that night was former long-time lead guitarist and founding member Brian “Head” Welch. Head’s new band, Love and Death was playing a show in town that night. In what may have been one of the most demanded reunions in metal history, Head joined his former band and brothers on stage for the final song- the one that started it all, “Blind.” As a metal fan, when I heard about this I was speechless. This is something I, much like the rest of the metal industry, have been waiting for since Head departed after accepting Christ into his life. However, the backlash that ensued from the Christian community was sickening. I try hard to keep my faith out of my work but as a Christian myself, I couldn’t have been more disgusted and put off. Head’s posted a status about how awesome it was to play with his brothers again after so long. The comments that I read on his page had me enraged. Christians from all over judging him and coming down on him for playing a song with KoRn. “How could you go back to that world,” read one comment. That’s a nice one, though. Comment after comment of people just condemning him from playing a song with his former band. I can understand this a little bit. I mean, he left the band because he was addicted to methamphetamines and losing any chance of being a good father to his daughter. Here’s what people and those “Christians” don’t understand. This is his job and career. The guys in KoRn weren’t just a band to him. They are his brothers. They grew up together; Head and bassist Fieldy went to junior high and high school together. These guys go back further than anyone can ever imagine. To say that Head should cut himself off from them is one- inconsiderate and two- going against everything we, as Christians, are told to do by God. In the Bible (hey Christians, remember that book?) it tells us to go into the world and make disciples. It tells us to be in the world and not of it. Being in the world and not of it is a concept that is highly misinterpreted, perhaps the most misconstrued in the Bible. Being of the world means to do everything we know not to do. Being of the world means we’re partying, getting high, drinkingto excess, and all that stuff we’re not supposed to do. Being of the world means no one can tell we’re different. Now, being in the world means just that- we’re living on Earth, living among nonbelievers and trying to make a difference with witnessing and professing our faith- not to the point that its force-feeding it to people who don’t want to hear it, not being those annoying street preachers that push people away. We’re just living among nonbelievers. Head was being in the world and not of it when he played ONE song with KoRn. How dare anyone judge Head for doing this. He is a born-again Christian who was showing that he’s just another person. He was showing that he’s not one of those stuck-up, holier-than-thou Christians who want nothing to do with nonbelievers and who only stick around other Christians cuz they’re too afraid to step out into reality. Also, I don’t hear anyone judging The Devil Wears Prada, As I Lay Dying, Skillet or Red for playing shows with nonchristian bands.   I don’t hear anyone criticizing John Cooper of Skillet for being a diehard Rob Zombie fan. I don’t hear anyone criticizing The Devil Wears Prada or As I Lay Dying for playing Mayhem Festival with Slayer, Slipknot or Anthrax. Why should Head be any different!? By the way, Fieldy (KoRn’s bassist) is an open born-again Christian and no one said anything when he didn’t leave the band. So, dear Christian brothers and sisters, stop judging and criticizing your fellow brothers and sisters. All it does is push people away and turn them away from God, which is something we’re commanded not to do.