Heliocentric / The atheist in the world of Christian Metal

Jared Smith, the one-man band who is Heliocentric, released the album Ishmael last year, its theme the study of the Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam). The talented metalcore artist recently issued a statement clarifying his position as an athiest in a Christian band.

“When I was a kid,” Jared says in his film, “it felt like a host of new up and coming musicians began singing about religious themes in their music. It seemed like all at once, dozens of believing musicians had achieved worldwide success and were writing songs about their faith. People want to understand how to conceptualize these musicians.

“For years, the most commonly asked question of any band that mentioned God, or belief in their lyrics, was, are they a Christian band or are they just Christians in a band? I’ve been asked this question hundreds of times, and the truth is I’m neither.”

“I am an atheist in a Christian band,” Jared says. “For a lot of people, this sounds like a familiar story like, you know, the punchline. A band starts off as a Christian band, and then once they achieve a modicum of success, they throw away their faith and start singing about Hedonism or anarchism or how much they hate God now.

“But this isn’t that. I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Christianity in the church.

“I wouldn’t be here without the words of Christ and the teachings of the apostles. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the most beautiful thing I have ever known.

“But I don’t believe that it’s true. I wish that it were. But I write my music for those who continue to believe that it is because I’ve seen Christianity done well. I’ve seen it done right, and I’ve seen it done badly, terribly.

“I want to write music that shows believers how beautiful the gospel they believe in really is. I write my music in order to edify the body of Christ, even if I’m no longer a part of it. I understand that for many, this sounds confusing. I know that many believers will say that an atheist cannot write Christian music.

“And my question to those people is, is God powerful enough to use an atheist to proclaim his gospel?”

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