Why Switchfoot won’t sing Christian songs

Switchfoot – Hello Hurricane Atlanta (55 of 231) by susanlloydphotography.com

The headline of this blog is misleading. Jon Forman is a believer. What he says is that the label of “Christian” music is confining and limiting. Music is not “Christian” just because it contains the right buzz words. It is not “unchristian” if it fails to contain the same buzz words.

I appreciate and like Switchfoot because I do hear the message in their music, and like their creativity in they way they lace their songs with meaning in a way that is approachable and accessible. They do not sound like “Christian music”. I hate to say it, but there is a distinct sound to “Christian music”, and people who hear can categorize it. I happen to like what is labeled “Christian music”, but there is a place for believers who do not have that sound; there is a place for music that is maybe more outward oriented, than inward oriented to the Church audience.

These are Forman’s words:

“None of these songs have been born again, and to that end there is no such thing as Christian music. No. Christ didn’t come and die for my songs, he came for me. Yes. My songs are a part of my life. But judging from scripture I can only conclude that our God is much more interested in how I treat the poor and the broken and the hungry than the personal pronouns I use when I sing. I am a believer…. Jesus didn’t die for any of my tunes. So there is no hierarchy of life or songs or occupation only obedience. We have a call to take up our cross and follow.”

Forman’s words echo the blog by Michael Gungor I reblogged a week ago.


Lead singer Jon Foreman was asked if Switchfoot is a “Christian” band. His response is worth pondering.

“To be honest, this question grieves me because I feel that it represents a much bigger issue than simply a couple SF tunes. In true Socratic form, let me ask you a few questions: Does Lewis or Tolkien mention Christ in any of their fictional series? Are Bach’s sonata’s Christian? What is more Christ-like, feeding the poor, making furniture, cleaning bathrooms, or painting a sunset? There is a schism between the sacred and the secular in all of our modern minds. The view that a pastor is more ‘Christian’ than a girls volleyball coach is flawed and heretical. The stance that a worship

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