Bible Study and Rock Music: An Interview with the Band Kutless
- Thursday, October 14, 2010
BSM: As a band who has studied whole books of the Bible together, like Romans, what are some of the difficulties you experience when studying the Bible, and how do you deal with these difficulties?
JON MICAH: The hardest thing for us is carving out the time for everyone to sit-down together and study.
JAMES: I called most of the bands on our Creation Tour and talked to them about a study model for the road. I said to them, "I want us all to be feeding each other on tour. It does not have to be this ‘blow me away' theological revelation for everyone on the tour, but every night let's bring the focus back to Jesus, the grace and simplicity of his gospel; the reason why we are at a venue to begin with." I said, "Let's take turns—10 minutes—to just talk, pray and sing a couple worship songs."
JON MICAH: Even if you do not get into real deep theological study, and it is just real simple, refocusing for 10 or 15 minutes a day to read the Bible helps. Even if you just read a chapter, let it be, and do not say anything about it, it is still the Word of God, it never goes out void. There is a purifying effect that happens from just reading it that is incredibly valuable.
JAMES: What I have noticed from our tours in the past is that when we all agree to set the mood for a tour, it opens up more times throughout the day where we get into big discussions. I have been on tour with bands where the mood was such that we talked about things like the rapture from an eschatological perspective. As you set the mood, and really as any Christian in their individual life does, the imminence of the Lord has the opportunity to make you live differently. It opens up the conversations you have with others.
JON MICAH: Bible study is so important, yet it is easily neglected. We know not to make excuses, but I think that everyone has a hard time in their lives trying to stay in the Word; I think diligence is a common human struggle. Not being in church regularly puts you in a very dangerous place. If your study of the Bible gets neglected for a while, you can find yourself in a place where you really did not expect to be. You wake up one day, or you get home, and you say to yourself, "Wow, how did I get here? What happened to my walk with Christ?" My pastor growing up said, "You are never sitting still, you are either moving forward, or moving backwards."
BSM: How much does your Bible study affect your song writing?
JAMES: When writing a song, a little bit of everything comes into play. It involves what the Lord has personally taught us through our circumstances growing up, what he has put on our heart, and what we learn sitting in church going through the Word as our pastor speaks.
BSM: Being a band that regularly speaks and sings to thousands of people, there must have been times when your cup felt like it was half empty. Can you tell us about one of these times, and what you did to get through?
JON MICAH: I had a massive shoulder injury that I got skiing at Mt. Hood. I tore almost everything possible in my shoulder. It took me about two years to get healthy again—I was in a sling and had two surgeries on my shoulder. Making music and being on tour during that time was very frustrating for me. I often said, "God why have you placed me in a situation where I can't do very well?" My Dad, who has a bad back and has had surgery on it, said to me, "The one thing that I have learned is that when I'm laid out and can't do anything, the one place I can look is up." The pain caused me to refocus. When I reflect on these difficult times in my life, I realize that God was getting my attention. I was so busy that it was the only way God could get my attention. Every once in a while it seems that God says, "I'm going to slow you down, I'm going to take you out, and here is what you are going to learn." I think it is easy for us, especially young men, to have an almost invincible mentality—"I can go do anything I want, I can accomplish anything I want." You get so focused on what you are going to do that you forget to focus on how frail you really are, how much you need a Savior. If it wasn't for all these hard difficult times where I experience pain, I wouldn't understand what it is like to have good times. You can't have the high times without the low times.
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