Nick Jonas, one-third of the former boy band The Jonas Brothers and son of a former worship leader and pastor, recently outlined why he abandoned his purity ring for fornication, a symbol some Christians wear to notate that they have committed to remain sexually pure until marriage.
“Was the whole purity ring thing a part of your marketing to families and young kids?” one follower recently asked Jonas on Reddit during an “Ask Me Anything” session. “Or were you seriously about abstaining … and it was just publicized to give you guys a cleaner image? Did you just bail on it once a bunch fine women started throwing themselves at you? Or you still trying to be pure and whatnot?”
Jonas, whose father Kevin Jonas Sr. served for a time as worship leader and then as a pastor, replied by stating that he was brought up in church, and because of his father’s position, others were closely observing his life.
“I came from an incredibly religious home. Growing up my dad was a pastor, and much like the First Family or people in front of the public eye, we were highly scrutinized as a family within the church and looked at as, well, I guess you would call an example of what that family image should be,” he wrote. “So long before our career started in music, that was what we were dealing with.”
Jonas said that a member of his church urged the youth to wear a purity ring, but that he and his brothers didn’t completely understand that they were agreeing to never have sexual relations outside of marriage.
“There was a person in the church who at one point demanded that all the kids in the youth group put these purity rings on and make this commitment, so without a full understanding of what we were stepping into, we all made this commitment,” he stated.
Jonas stated that he later began formulating different beliefs about premarital sex apart from his upbringing and chose to fornicate with his girlfriend.
“[Y]ou grow up, you live life, you gain some world perspective and you develop your own views and opinions as it relates to faith, as it relates to sex, and everything that falls under the bounds of what your parents teach you and what comes from religion and you get to make your own choices,” he said.
“So I started making my own choices, fell in love with somebody, made the choice to have sex with them,” Jonas continued, “and from that point on it was about me being a man and being okay with my choices.”
He reiterated that he had no regret and asserted that the ring taught him that he was okay with making a choice not to save himself for a future spouse.
“[I]t was such a strange thing to a lot of people to wear these purity rings especially as young men in a pop boy band,” Jonas said. “Although it was challenging to live with that, to be seen and have that attached to our name was very tough, I think it was a good thing. It gave me a really good perspective to where as now my main thing is about being okay with who I am as a man and the choices I’ve made, and I think everyone should have a good and solid conversation with either their parents or loved ones about sex and about what they want to do with their life…”
As previously reported, Jonas, 23, and his brothers Kevin, 28, and Joe, 26, disbanded in 2013 after an eight-year run as The Jonas Brothers. Before forming the group, Jonas had been signed as a solo artist to the Christian record label INO Records, where his first single, “Dear God,” had been released to Christian radio stations nationwide.
“Dear God, people take your words and try to twist ‘em round/I know you can’t be happy with what’s goin’ down,” he sang as a 12-year-old in the song, which he also performed at churches and other venues.
“I hope this record touches a lot of people and I’ve been praying that the Lord will use it in a big way,” Jonas said in a press release about the album. “The hope of this record is to make people feel good and happy inside. I’m excited to see what comes next.”
For a time, Jonas’ father served as worship leader at Christ for the Nations Institute in Dallas, Texas, where he also taught songwriting to students. Kevin Jr. was the subject of one of Jonas Sr.’s worship songs entitled “I Am Amazed.” A young Kevin sang the song for the church, surrounded by other children whose voices rang out in awe of the love and mercy of God. Jonas’ mother, Denise, was a singer at Christ for the Nations as well.
In 1996, Jonas’ father was offered a ministerial position at Wyckoff Assembly of God in New York, and the family soon moved to the big city, where Jonas became involved in show business as a Broadway actor.
However, after his Christian music release caught the attention of a Columbia Records official, Jonas was signed to the secular label with his brothers, who then became known as The Jonas Brothers. The trio was featured on MTV, Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel, and were later signed to Hollywood Records after being dropped by Columbia. They were featured in a Hannah Montana episode with Miley Cyrus and were also stars in the Disney film “Camp Rock” featuring Demi Lovato.
“More to love when your hands are free/Baby, put your pom poms down for me,” The Jonas Brothers sang as screaming girls pined for the trio. “Want you like a kid just wants a milkshake/And I won’t let it go to waste if I get a taste/I’m gonna drink the whole thing.”
During this time, megachurch leader and author Rick Warren invited the group to perform at a service celebrating Saddleback Church’s 30th anniversary. Warren applauded the trio as being “followers of Jesus Christ,” noting their commitment to wear purity rings until marriage as he gave the brothers the stage to sing some of their most popular secular hits.
But some expressed concern, stating that The Jonas Brothers’ music was not reflective of Christianity and that their appearance at Saddleback was anything but honoring to God.
“How anyone, especially someone who claims the name of Christ and claims to read and know His word, could look at something like the mess that was presented by Saddleback Church … and not have problems with it, is beyond me,” wrote blogger Mike Corley.
Some had speculated in recent years that Jonas had discontinued wearing his purity ring. In 2014, he acknowledged that he had done so, and in recognizing to reporters that he also had appeared in a television drama series that contained simulated sex scenes, said he didn’t find any conflict between his choices and and his faith.
“I’ve had an incredibly intense journey with faith and religion and my growth,” Jonas said. “My belief in God is still very strong and important to me as a person, and I think that’s all that should matter. The other things around it are not as important to me as my relationship with God.”
“There are a lot of things that I feel I agree with and things I don’t,” he continued. “I grew up in a church environment, and still have love for the Church, but what’s important to me now in my life is my relationship with God and that I not be judged and that I not judge.”
Jonas’ latest solo pop single, “Champagne Problems,” says, “How did our clothes end up on the floor/Didn’t we just break each other’s hearts/… We got champagne problems/Oh my G*d, the room is spinning from the Perignon.”
Jonas’ father has been supportive of his sons’ careers, re-Tweeting a post from Nick containing profanity on April 5th and a photo of a lustful scene from one of Nick’s music videos on March 30. He also re-Tweets from Joel Osteen almost on a daily basis. Jonas’ mother was a recent featured speaker at East Belmont Baptist Church in Belmont, North Carolina.