Jars of Clay Frontman at Odds with Evangelicals Long Before Same-Sex ‘Marriage’ Support

JarsofClayAfter he took to Twitter last week to express his support for same-sex ‘marriage’ and engage in open dialogue about the issue, Jars of Clay frontman Dan Haseltine received a mix of outrage and praise from fans. But according to Haseltine himself, the award winning musician has been at odds with evangelical Christianity long before he pondered the issue of homosexuality.

As previously reported, Haseltine posted to his Twitter account last Wednesday: “Not meaning to stir things up BUT… is there a non-speculative or non ‘slippery slope’ reason why gays shouldn’t marry? I don’t hear one.”

“I’m trying to make sense of the conservative argument,” he continued. “But it doesn’t hold up to basic scrutiny. Feels akin to women’s suffrage. I just don’t see a negative effect to allowing gay marriage. No societal breakdown, no war on traditional marriage. Anyone?”

Haseltine felt the brunt of the fallout in the days that followed, as he explained that some radio stations had decided to stop playing the band’s music due to his statements, and some fans have erased Jars of Clay from their music library.

“Caught wind that some radio stations have pulled my music and people are deleting my music from their playlists,” he Tweeted on Thursday. “Why?”

But Haseltine acknowledges that he has felt out of place with evangelical Christianity for some time. In 2012, while working on Jars of Clay’s latest album Inland, which is largely secular in nature, the singer poured out his thoughts about his struggle in a blog post on his personal website.

“[S]ince the themes of the record are very far from evangelical Christianity, the church community will most likely not embrace this record,” Haseltine admitted. “Which, on one hand, is a relief. I am pretty weary from years of pretending to be more of something than I am. I am tired of carrying evangelical expectations on my shoulders.”

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Haseltine was referring to the expectation that music be overtly Christian and gospel-centered, remarking that evangelicalism  is “such a tiny sliver of the entire pie” of life.

“God gave us a story, and a space to fill. And it isn’t really in the same neighborhood as the evangelical church. And so our music will be disappointing to many,” he stated forthrightly. “People will inevitably engage us with the question, ‘Are you going secular?’ or, ‘Why don’t you sing about Jesus?’ or, ‘How come you don’t share the gospel?’ And some of those people will be angry. … Some will categorize us as ‘back-sliders.’ I wish I had more patience and time for those people.”

“The touch of lips, the close of eyes/They matter more than you surmise,” Dan sings on the band’s song I Don’t Want You to Forget. “I hide it all in secret boxes/Until tomorrow when we first meet.”

However, Haseltine had incorporated mainstream lyrics in the band’s albums for years.

“Cause the rockets we’re in get so cold and I miss your skin,” he sang in the song Closer in 2009. “I want your kite strings tangled in my trees, all wrapped up … I don’t understand why we can’t get close enough/I miss the shivers in my spine every time that we touch.”

In a recent blog post about Haseltine’s remarks in support of same-sex “marriage,” writer James Knight of Classicalite noted that weeks before Haseltine made the Tweet, he also shared a fan-made video of the song Freaks, which he sings with his other band, The Hawk in Paris. The video features clips from the UK television show Skins–namely footage of a drunken orgy that includes a pair of lesbians french kissing.

“Fan videos have definitely upped their game,” Haseltine wrote in sharing the video. “Dark … super freaky, sexy… Crazy.”

But it wasn’t until he posted about homosexuality on Twitter last week that many suddenly began to chastise Haseltine for his statements. He responded by again asserting that he had not disavowed Christianity.

“Fascinated by the comments saying I have abandoned Christ and faith,” he wrote. “Get off your ‘jump to conclusions’ mat.”

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  • Bob

    This just shows some entertainers will indulge in anything and promote anything to be popular and sell. My family and I have spent the last dollar on this guy, or group. To portray himself as a Christ-follower and then push an orgy vid… unreal! The guy must enjoy controversy, spite and quicksand.

  • alicen holmes

    Because God said so. Quit try’n 2 ride the fence!!

  • Kimberly

    I personally don’t know anything about this group or their music. What I will say is… Why are you so called “Christians” judging him? Everyone is entitled to their feelings! I grew up in a Christian home and went to a private Christian school so i know all about the “Bible” and what it says. I must say from what I’ve read in his statement, I totally agree with him! It shocks me that Christians think their way is the only way! I have been through a lot where religion and Christians are concerned and I would much rather stay away from both! If any of you “Judge” me for my comment, I will assume you are a Christian because that’s what they do! That’s all I have to say about that.

    • Do you realize you just judged all Christians in your comments, Kimberly? Let me point out a wicked strategy Satan utilizes to keep people away from Christ Jesus. He always points to hypocrites, and he knows people hate feeling judged/condemn. However, he’s just doing his job as a thief, a liar and a murderer from the beginning. He will never let you know or accept if you have read the Bible that, “There is NO CONDEMNATION (not yelling but emphasizing) for all those who are IN Christ Jesus…” He never tells people Jesus said, “He that believes not IS already condemned.” It’s what Jesus says that matters and how we BELIEVE in what he says that matters; the latter determines if we are counted amongst his friends or his enemies.

      No doubt you’ve witness some not so Christian things in church; me too, but that’s nothing new. We can’t use others’ faults and sins as an excuse when God calls us to judgment. Every man MUST give an account to God for themselves. It’s up to each person to allow Jesus to be Jesus in them. Satan points to the fakers in Christendom to dissuade you from the truth (Jesus), but do you understand that there can be NO phonies without the genuine article to compare it to? The genuine by which all others born again, by His Holy Spirit, are authenticated as true followers is in Jesus. He transforms our lives from what we formerly were: liars, murderers, adulterers, fornicators, drunkards, abusers… He cause us to do what is right, not only by teaching us what is against his love but by planting the seed of righteousness in our hearts. It’s a farming process; the ground of the heart must be fertile, plowed, sowed with good seed, watered, cared for and then comes harvest.

      Why do we preach and not keep silent on sin? Jesus said, “Let you light shine before men”. He did not redeem us just to sit idle, dumb and blind before a lost and dying world; he left us here with the commission to preach the gospel in all the world. He gave us the cure for sin and death (while science is still seeking it) Himself. When you have good news, you share it at least with those in your world if not the entire world.

      God’s way IS the Only Way; that is what Jesus declared, and even Christians in their walk are confronted with this truth when The Lord shows us something in us unlike him that he has to deal with in order to purify our hearts. It’s not all roses and no fertilizer. It’s not all rain and no sun, but in the end how we respond means eternal life or eternal condemnation hereafter. My prayer and hope is that YOU will turn to Jesus. Tell him all your problems; including the ones you may have with him, and ask him for his truth. I hope you are not going to give up on seeking him out. Don’t: I hope you are in God’s harvest soon to be reaped.

    • Mark

      I totally agree with him! It shocks me that Christians think their way is the only way!

      Because Jesus said in John, I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. The ONLY Way one can see the Father is through Me – http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+14:5-7&version=NIV.

      JESUS is the ONLY WAY, not Christianity. JESUS, Kimberly, only JESUS IS THE WAY.

  • Carla

    God is a God of grace. But if He said same sex marriage is wrong it is. Sodom was destroyed because of same sex marriages. That shows how God feels about it. God says in Genesis that a HUSBAND will join his WIFE as one. Not husband-husband or wife-wife. We can’t always play the grace card because that’s what the Bible says without sticking with God’s other commands as well. God’s word is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow. He said its wrong. The time we are in now won’t change His rules. Hell is for real. Take God seriously! No playing church. Obey His Word!

  • Ben L

    God said OBEY and I am obeying. As for me and my house we WILL worship the LORD and him ONLY…… I can’t understand anyone who claims to be born-again to be at odds with God’s word its just IMPOSSIBLE.

    What was that old saying something about a wolf in sheep’s clothing, Yeah that’s it Pun intended.

  • Mark

    “I am tired of carrying evangelical expectations on my shoulders.”

    I can only imagine how ‘tired’ Jesus must have felt carrying that Cross that he would soon be crucified on for Dan’s and humanity’s sins.

    To even make that comment I think has sealed the fate of Jars of Clay, the band will no longer exist in a few years, maybe sooner.

  • amy

    I have a great concern for anyone who leads one of His little ones astray…..God’s word says it is better that a mill stone be put around his neck …… As for me and my house we will serve the Lord! Praying for Jars of Clay…………..

  • Cars of Jay

    Jars of Clay haven’t been relevant or cool in decades. Guess they needed some attention.

  • Chad McNeese

    The only Christian music comes from the hymnals in the church pews. This is what worldliness like “Christian Rockers” leads to.

  • Abi

    This upsets me because I really do like some of Jars of Clay’s music. But I will NOT buy any of their music or listen to them on Spotify. I’m done.

  • Ken

    “By their fruits you shall know them” the Bible says. It doesn’t take a genius to see that Haseltine has never been born again. Jesus said, “Don’t cast your pearls before swine…” That takes judgement of fruit, discernment. Not judgment like God. There is a epidemic of “fake” Christians who have never repented and have never been born again. There are so many bands that think by being “less religious” they will reach more people. No! Jesus never did that! Paul the Apostle never did that! These people merely want what the world wants, power, fame, money, etc.