In episode 14 of my new series, Questions With God, I ask the question, "How can you be a Christian and still work in a dark industry?" This is in response to Part 2 of a series of questions I have been asking surrounding my controversial decision to film with Todd White at a Korn concert in my movie, Holy Ghost.
Christians love to use labels because it makes everything so much easier to understand. We like a clear "us" and a clear "them," because somehow that makes us feel better and more stable. If you're in the fold, you're a good person, but if you're out there doing bad things all the time, well, then you're obviously a bad person who needs to give your heart to Jesus so you'll then become a good person. And once you've made that statement of faith, you better become like the rest of us, otherwise we can't be certain that you actually are one of us.
I've become good friends with Brian "Head" Welch over the years (sneak peek: He'll be part of another awesome adventure in next year's Finger of God 2), and we have had many conversations about his present situation that is causing many people so much angst.
A quick snapshot for those of you who maybe aren't aware of all the fuss: Brian is the guitarist for the hard rock band Korn, which, let's just say, is decidedly not a Christian band. Aggressive music, swearing in the lyrics, dark imagery, the whole shebang. About 10 years ago Brian was radically saved and subsequently left Korn. Recently, feeling that God was calling him back into this world, Brian has rejoined Korn and is currently touring and making music with them again. He still loves Jesus (his bandmate, the bassist, Fieldy, is also a Christian), but now he sees his world as a kind of mission field.
He meets with fans after every show, gives his testimony, prays for them, seeing healings and salvations all the time, and is generally doing what most Christians would want him to do. The only problem? He's still playing the same dark songs in front of the same dark imagery. This, it seems, grinds many Christian minds to a halt. How can you call yourself a Christian and still be a part of something like this?
One of the things I love about Brian is that he wrestles with these same questions for himself. He freely admits he wouldn't be doing this if God hadn't clearly told him to. He had no desire to jump back into that world. But God had a purpose for him, and he is now simply being obedient as best he can. But he understands the tension (although I think he, as I do, wishes well-meaning Christians would be a little more kind when they are spouting off their opinions about his decision), and he is very aware of the duality of being a part of something like this but then also bringing Jesus into it—knowing many kids won't have any other voices in their life offering the hope of Christ.
While filming the interviews for Adventures With God and Questions With God, Brian, Bryan Schwartz, who is a former NFL linebacker, and I were talking about what life used to be like for Brian and Korn when they were out on tour. Schwartz gave a knowing grin and said, "Sounds a lot like an NFL locker room!" We thought about that for a second. Should, then, Christians avoid playing in the NFL since there is a lot of dark stuff happening that the public doesn't see? The idea seemed laughable. But for many, the tension remains.
Ephesians 5:11 states, "And do not have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness; instead, expose them." This is a verse that is often quoted at Brian in this debate, and in part, I get it. On the one hand, he is having something to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but on the other hand, by meeting with thousands of kids after these "fruitless" shows, he is exposing the darkness they just saw for what it is—a road to nowhere good. And he offers a way out of their own personal darkness through Jesus, and many, many kids are taking him up on the offer. And by the way, the only reason they're even listening to him is because he's actually in the band they love.
So while we continue to play armchair quarterback and debate about whether or not Brian should be doing what he's doing, he is about to play another concert, and he's about to talk to some kids about the goodness of God and how He is offering them forgiveness and a hope and a future. Should Christians be involved in a dark industry? Well, I don't think any of the kids who have recently experienced Jesus after a Korn concert really care what we think. They're too busy getting to know the King of kings.
Darren Wilson is the Founder and CEO of WP Films and the creator of various films, including Finger of God, Father of Lights, and Holy Ghost. His newest TV series, Adventures With God, can be seen on various Christian networks around the world and purchased at his website: wpfilm.com, as well as his newest book, God Adventures.