Things have been a little slow on the Jellyrox front because eleventyseven is getting ready to put out a new EP of hymns. I’m really excited about this release, because these hymns have spoken into our lives so many times through the years when we really needed them. When you’re a kid singing them, they just seem really boring and almost like a chore. But as I’ve gotten older they’ve reminded me of some incredible truths about ourselves and the Lord that got lost in the sheer volume and hype of the Christian subculture.

I usually don’t like talking about my faith, because for so long in Eleventy, thats what got the attention, and i knew we were being looked to for answers we couldn’t give. I felt like people were looking to us as these role models, or gurus that had it all figured out. We were treated like somehow we must be more connected to Christ because we were on a stage and a part of the Christian music subculture. Just because somebody is on a stage with a microphone and is louder than everything else around you, doesn’t mean they are worth listening to. We didn’t have some great insight into life. If there is one thing I’ve learned about having faith, it’s that its a process. I felt like we were still learning ourselves, and didn’t want to give people false information or false hope. Its so easy to confuse sharing Christ, with sharing yourself and your image. We met a lot of bands that loved talking about Christ, because it brought them acceptance, money, belonging, and career opportunities…all of which, they equated with the Lord’s purpose for them. So many times we confuse all of these things with what Christianity is really about. We are taught that if we do everything right and force ourselves to look, act and think like all the rockstar pastors, bands, and guest speakers we see, that somehow we will be fulfilled in a way we never have before. Somehow we are now acceptable, because we meet the requirements of mainstream Christianity. The longer I spent in that scene, the more I realized how little truth the was to any of it. Truth doesn’t line the pockets of the famous and elite of Christianity, money does. 

It seems like a lot of the music sung in churches these days is lyrically self centered. It’s like pop love songs about Jesus. It romanticizes a believers relationship with Christ, almost in a chick-flick kind of way. While I do believe there is a time and place for everything, I also think we can so easily dilute the Christian life with sentiment, americanism, and religion. For whatever reason, these songs in the new EP seem to cut to straight to my heart; to hold me accountable, and to remind me that it’s not what i do that give me worth, its who I am in Christ that does. This music isn’t better than everything else out there, it won’t bring you closer to Christ, and it won’t make you a better person. Jesus will. My only hope is that these new renditions of hymns will be the reminders of that fact to others that they are to us.

-matt