Is Lifehouse really a Christian band? How can we tell if they are or aren’t?
Who is Lifehouse?
Lifehouse has been labeled by some as a Christian American rock band who are from Los Angeles. Members include Jason Wade, Bryce Soderberg, and Rick Woolstenhulme Jr. but they actually produce Alternative rock and Pop rock, so is that incompatible with being called a Christian band? The band members met at Vineyard, a Christian church in California, and in the beginning they played as a worship band, but eventually took the name Blyss, but have since changed their name to Lifehouse and since that time, the band members have been shuffled around some. The problem about Lifehouse being called a Christian band seems to be that some of their members are decidedly not Christian, and they will tell you so, but some fans of Lifehouse are certain they’re a Christian band, and they say it’s clearly evident by the lyrics in their songs. In a recent interview with Daily Bruin Online, Jason Wade says “We are not a ‘Christian band,’ but he says, “I’m a Christian, and the bass player is also a Christian.” Although some songs seem to have spiritual overtones, the lyrics are open to interpretation.
What is the Evidence?
If you were to ask one of Lifehouse’s fans why there is absolutely no mention of God or of Christ on their official website (lifehousemusic.com), they might not have an answer, because they would not be able to find a single reference about the band member’s faith in Christ. Even the two members who have said they’re Christian have no professions of faith anywhere on their site. This seems at odds with someone who claims they’re a Christian band, yet the lyrics within their songs give no evidence of this. Even when you read about the band on their website (lifehousemusic.com/about/), there is not one single word in reference to their faith in God, so it’s hard to justify fans calling them a “Christian band.” Let’s be clear; the band do not call themselves a Christian band. It is more accurate to say a couple of the members of the band are Christian, but as Jason Wade has said before, they are not a Christian band. If you listen to their music, you’d be hard pressed to pick them out of any of the other worldly bands. There is no difference from what I’ve heard in their music, and it seems a stretch to me to try and fit their lyrics into a biblical worldview. There are a scant few words in a few of their songs that mention the name of God such as in the song “Revolution Cry” where they sing, “When will this weeping generation dance again? Oh God, when will the truth be restored,” but the use of the name of God alone is not sufficient to say this is a Christian song, because the word “God” shows up in only one place in this song, and it’s not about praising Him, but more of an expression of frustration.
Who is a Christian?
Who exactly is a Christian? The word “Christian” could be described as “little Christ’s” because that is our calling. We’re too be shaped into the image of Christ, as the Apostle Paul said, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (2nd Cor 3:18), and “For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers” (Rom 8:29). Christians are commanded “to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ” (Eph 4:15), and even though we’re becoming more like Christ every day and week and year (or at least should be), the Apostle John says that “we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is” (1st John 3:2).
How People Become Christians
The biblical truth is we cannot make ourselves Christian, because salvation is fully a work of God. The Greek word used for “born again” which Jesus tells Nicodemus that he must be need to be (John 3:3-8) literally means to be “born from above.” This clearly refers to God. This matches what Jesus said elsewhere, like when He was with His disciples He said “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him” (John 6:44), and later tells the Apostle Peter, “flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven” (Matt 16:17). “God has revealed to us through the Spirit” (1st Cor 2:10), so it’s not by human effort, but “to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God” but they “were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13).
Is Lifehouse a Christian Band? No, says it’s leader, but that doesn’t mean that some of the members aren’t. There are no profanities that I could find in any of their lyrics of the dozens of songs I examined, and that’s certainly not the case with many non-Christian rock bands, however Lifehouse is a good, solid band with excellent vocals and musicians and relatively clean lyrics that anyone in the family could hear and not be offended. Jesus reminds all who profess to be Christians that to deny Him before others means He will deny them before the Father and all the holy angels (Luke 12:9). At Jesus’ return, many are going to come up to Him and say, “‘Lord, Lord” (Matt 7:21), but Jesus answers them in a most tragic way, by telling them, “I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness” (Matt 7:23).
Article by Jack Wellman
Jack Wellman is Pastor of the Mulvane Brethren Church in Mulvane Kansas. Jack is also the Senior Writer at What Christians Want To Know whose mission is to equip, encourage, and energize Christians and to address questions about the believer’s daily walk with God and the Bible. You can follow Jack on Google Plus or check out his book Teaching Children the Gospel available on Amazon.