[dropcap1]Q:[/dropcap1] Jake, do you think that someday people will forget or just let aside their religion and live just following good principles and treat everyone as equal? As a part of this world? not distinguishing skin colour,religion,sexuality but what the human is for it self?
No, unfortunately I don’t ever think that will happen. Me, being a believer in Christ, I believe that the world has good and evil within it. There will never be peace on earth because of sin and the mistakes and imperfections of our thoughts, actions and pride. This beautiful state of life you are talking about (I believe) is only in one place called heaven. Where there is no sin, no mistakes, no selfishness, no racism, sexism, prejudice and evil.
I bet if you and I sat down and had a conversation about what you believe to be good or what you value in your life, probably would be different than what I see as good, acceptable or valued. We are all different, with different backgrounds, certain gifts, strengths and weaknesses. So with that being said, many of us are not going to see eye to eye on certain subjects. For example, imagine a young man growing up in the projects who’s sister died of an overdose and had a father that was absent his entire life. Coming from a poor educational system and relying on the gang that ruled his street, he isn’t typically going to “fit in” with a rich and wealthy, suburban, white collar society. That society can’t relate. They don’t know his struggle, let alone have any idea what it’s like to be a part of a gang. His sister is dead from an overdose and let’s say he know has to sell drugs in order to bring food to his mother’s table. Now, he may think family is everything and cherish his time with his mother. The loss of his sister brought family to the top in his priority list. He will fight and die for his family, or what’s left of it. But not everyone looks at family like he does. Not everyone has had to rob a place to feed his or her family. This is just one example of a person’s life not matching up to another group of people due to upbringing and cultural norms. How many different types of cultures are there in the world? Just think about that for a minute.
Sadly, there is always going to be injustice in the world. Their will always be heartache and grief. Their will always be opposition. You will always struggle in one way or another and because of this common struggle that all humans deal with it typically births pride, rebellion, destruction, sin and fear.
People will never treat each other fairly because they do not know what fair is. The scale is in each persons mind, experiences, upbringing, standards, expectations and values. When it comes to values, morals, beliefs…well that’s the foundation of a persons being. It’s what makes them who they are. If they do not believe in something then they are just a dead man walking. They have a short 70-8- years and that’s it. Slowly dying day by day. Each of us realistically believes in something; we all have our own religion. We may worship a God, or we may worship ourselves. We worship celebrities, jobs, materialistic things, even our own standard of success. But we worship something. We identify ourselves in all sorts of things of this world, and what we believe in makes us what we are. So whatever you choose to worship creates the lifestyle you live in. Everyone worships, and a lot of us worship differently. And what we worship in turn will affect the way we treat others.
[dropcap1]Q:[/dropcap1] First I wanna tell you, how much I look up to you and everything you do, biggest inspiration in my life and your band gave me more than you could think.
How do you relate that when you listen to bands talking about the contrary to what you think, for example the faith?
Can you explain the feeling when you write a lyric at your room, airport or where are you, and what do you feel when the guys sing it back to you?
Do you ever quarrel with the band members on a tour? I mean real quarrel. And a last one, since you are the singer of abr, did you think about that this whole things not being worth and you want to leave?
What do I think when I hear other bands talk about the opposite of my beliefs? It honestly doesn’t bother me. I grew up around people who aren’t of Christian faith, and I’ve seen a lot of people from different cultures that have turned their cheeks on what I believe. Some of them, I don’t blame them. They’ve gone through some horrible experiences and ask themselves.. “Where was God when that happened!?”.
I like to talk to others who have different beliefs than I do. It keeps me constantly questioning, exploring, and turns me to seek answers or pray for them so that I can deepen my faith with God through others trials and experiences.
I also believe that if someone thinks different than me that I should give them the courtesy and respect of listening to them. Isn’t that what I want from others if I’d like to share my views or faith in and on life? Also, how are we to really introduce our faith to others if we do not take the time to even relate, understand, or comprehend what the other person is going through, feels or believes?
You can’t expect God to be able to use you if you are blind to building trust, relationship, and honor. It’s like trying to talk to a wall about the most personal and passionate thing in your life.
So no, it doesn’t bother me when I’m around others who don’t believe in what I do. It’s my job to just try and be a positive, uplifting, encouraging and fun guy and then when they want to talk about faith. I listen and then discuss my thoughts and views.
Do I ever quarrel with the band members on tour? You bet! Dude, it’s like being married. Except I’m married to 12 guys that all live on a bus for about 7 months out of the year. It’s impossible for you to not butt heads at some point. I’ve also had a lot of personal struggles that bled into my relationships with the band mates. Those guys have seen me at my best and at my worst. Yet, the great thing about the band is they’ve never given up on me. Yes, at times we’ve had to have our space from one another and we’ve got into some arguments, but anything that is built off of strength only gets stronger by confronting the weakness in and of itself.
Have I ever thought of leaving the band? No. No, I have never thought of leaving the band. I believe I’m in August Burns Red to do work on this earth. To love and encourage, to inspire and to also share my personal faith in Jesus Christ. You see me wanting to play music was a selfish pursuit when I first started. I wanted to be the main guy! I wanted to sell albums, be the famous guy, have the glory, and call the shots. Yet, after I accepted Christ into my heart, He started to guide me towards other things that were not so selfish. To write encouraging lyrics, to pour my heart out on stage for the fans, to work on building relationships at the merch table after the show and now for the past four years to have this online community for people to come together to overcome their personal struggles. See… this is why I talk about my faith, because God can truly turn you into something called love. He can turn you into something that involves His purpose and being on earth. To not just treat one person (yourself) but to learn how to love, give, bless and treat others.
[dropcap1]Q:[/dropcap1] What would you say if someone was to say “God can’t use Metal for his glory”?
I would have to ask that person why not? Why can’t God use metal music for His glory and what determines that?
I would think that someone who is against the idea that God can use metal music for His glory would be putting God in a box. I mean we are talking about God, the creator of the universe! This is the God who created galaxies, planets, stars all the way down to the soft grass you walk on and the taste of a delicious steak. You’re telling me that God can’t use something He created to bring glory to Himself?
God creates, satan replicates. God created music, satan can only use what God has created and try to corrupt it for his own evilness. So my question is how can something not be used for good and glory to God if it was not God who created it the first place?
God created all on earth and said it was good. I know that this specific scripture in Genesis is discussing creation of human kind, water, sky, heaven and animals. But for this discussion we can see that God also created music, thus I believe that whatever God has created can and will be used by Him for His own glory.
I mean, take me for an example. I’m a follower of Christ and I’m in a metal band. I’ve written plenty of lyrics about my faith in Christ. I’ve prayed with kids at merch tables, I started this community that was given to me by God to create for His glory and love for His creation.
I truly believe that God GAVE me the position of being the singer for August Burns Red. And with that being said I’d like to bring to you Romans 8:28: “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
So perhaps it is God who blessed me with this band, who gave me purpose in this band and has protected this band and provided for it making all work together for the good of those (myself) who follow them.
So if we look that deeply into the story of God capturing my heart and transforming it to praise Him on stage, write lyrics about Him and to pray with kids to HIM at the merch table. Knowing all of this information, how could we possibly put God in a box with metal music?
[dropcap1]Q:[/dropcap1] How do you continue to have faith when you become filled with doubt?
Crazy man, I’ve always grew stronger in my faith because of my doubt. Me doubting God has always turned me to seek Him even harder. Now my moments of doubt can last an hour up to a month! Times where I’ve given up or I’ve felt so alone that I was hopeless and doubted that God was with me. Sometimes I feel I’ve had to not be able to see God or feel Him in order to really grow in my faith. I actually take some sort of joy in my pain because I know that God is going to teach me something. I don’t think I’d like to know that everything is going to go the way I want. Isn’t that the whole idea behind faith in God? That we are to seek His face, what He desires, change US to be more like HIM?
To be honest with you, having faith in God is a lot harder than having faith in yourself. Think about it, God calls us to be selfless, to give and give, to turn our cheeks, to pray for our enemies, to give our shirt off our backs to those who are hurtful towards us. He calls us to be humble and to give Him all glory.
It’s basically the complete opposite of who we are and how we see life and function.
Lets think about this for a second, Jesus Christ was God’s son. He was full of the Holy Spirit and His father asked of Him to sacrifice Himself for the same men who were spitting in his face, put a crown of thorns on his head, whipped him and belittled him. That’s God’s love. Do you think you amount up to that type of sacrifice? You think you give like Jesus? Love like Jesus? Have grace and forgiveness like Jesus?
No. Not even close, and when we look at this you can now see why there is so much pain in our lives. Because the amount of transformation we need in our lives to be more like Jesus would take more than the one life that you get to live. So yes, there is pain, there is doubt, there is sin. But it’s those moments that we can face God and ask for help and forgiveness that we grow with Him. Take doubt as a trial but take joy in those trials because they will bring you closer to the one you serve and ask to be more like.
[dropcap1]Q:[/dropcap1] Do you believe that just because your family has had issues that will you have those same issues? example: your dad or uncle is a drunk, will you be one? or ur family has had a lot of cheating involved does that mean u will be a cheater or fear your spouse will be because it’s around in your family? or sexual abuse you experience in ur family does that mean you will become someone who will sexually abuse? does this make sense? i don’t want to be like my dad or my family but these are the things that come from my family? will i be someone who struggles with this? i know satan works in different ways and in different people but does it get passed down like that or no?
I can’t say that all of these types of situations end the same. I’ve actually known of stories where someone’s dad was a drunk so they grew up never touching alcohol because they knew what it would do to their body, mind and family. So they went the complete opposite direction. Then there are cases where people become drunks just like their father. What we can call these types of addictions or issues of the heart that come through family generation and generations would be called strong holds.
Your great grandpa was a drunk, his son was a drunk, your dad was a drunk, you become a drunk, and your kid becomes a drunk. It is a strong hold that has been in your family for generation after generation. So with this being said, the strong hold in this family would be alcoholism.
If someone who was raised in a home where the mother and father screamed all the time, that person is going to grow up “thinking” that screaming is how you communicate to others. If there is a lot of angst in your house, usually that carries over into your relationships. I know this because I’ve experienced certain issues from my family growing up and saw these things as “normal”. It wasn’t until I left my home that I saw other ways of living from those around me. Then I started to question how life was to be lived and what is inside me now that needed to be changed and transformed.
Often times we can create our own habitual sins in our lives to cope with other sins we’ve been raised by. This I’ve seen as well.
A young woman grows up with her mother always telling her she looks fat. Her mother feeds her very little and is always talking about her image and figure. Let’s say the girl is very young and only 11 at the time and just starting to come into maturity and develop. She has massive pressure from society to be “pretty” yet it doesn’t stop there. When she goes home she has her mother throwing beauty products, gym exercises and women’s magazines on “how to look sexier”. This girl has been raised in an environment of vanity and self-worship. She ends up then having an image complex which leads her to anorexia, binge eating, and purging. This lifestyle brings her to have a low self-esteem causing depression and self harm. There are many ways that our past experiences, and growing up under certain households can create fear, resentment, anger, addiction and sin in our lives. We can form addictions based off of other sins from the past.
So the best thing for us to do is to seek help. We need to really dig deep into our own personal pasts and experiences and find what is in our heart that shouldn’t be there.
Write these things down and then seek help. Talk to a close friend about these heart issues and openly tell your story. Ask other people questions about this problem. Is this normal? Have you experienced this? What happens to people who have this issue? Seek counseling, go to a professional counselor with these issues and find healing for them. It’s our choice to decide how we live our lives. If we live them from our past, or if we decide to create a new life and make our own history of how you lived your life. Just because we were raised to be “taught” something doesn’t me we can’t unlearn it and accept a new teaching in our life.
That’s why I’m a Christian, because the father in heaven is a better father than my dad. He is a better father than what I will be and His grace, love and mercy is greater than any love, grace or mercy anyone on this earth can give you. He never leaves my side, and His passion and desire is to teach me how to live my life! Not to live as men of this world, but to be a man of God in this world. He wants me to be in His family, carry His name and live like Him. He is the reason I’ve changed, He is the reason I seek change, and He is the only reason why I’m here to tell you about change.