QUINCY, Ca. — The owner of a “Christian rock” festival is asserting that his staff members “need more Jesus” after they threatened a walkout if the homosexual frontman of the band Everyday Sunday wasn’t scrubbed from the event lineup.
“They’ve been really good to us over the years, and I’m not going to call them haters. They’re good guys that need more Jesus,” Aaron Diello of California’s Joshua Fest told Billboard this week.
As previously reported, this past May, lead singer Trey Pearson, known for the hit songs “Find Me Tonight,” “Wake Up! Wake Up!” and “Best Night of Our Lives,” wrote in a public letter to his fans that he has come to believe that he has been wrong for subduing his feelings toward the same sex.
“I have been suppressing these attractions and feelings since adolescence,” he said. “Trying not to be gay has only led to a desire for intimacy in friendships which pushed friends away, and it has resulted in a marriage where I couldn’t love or satisfy my wife in a way that she needed.”
Pearson, a professing Christian, said that he doesn’t believe that change is possible, and was trying to figure out how to only be friends with his wife instead of her spouse.
“I am never going to be able to change how I am, and no matter how healthy our relationship becomes, it’s never going to change what I know deep down: that I am gay,” he stated.
The following week, Pearson suggested on ABC’s “The View” that he divorced his wife and moved out, as he referred to his wife of seven years as his “ex-wife,” and said that he meets with her and his two children once a week.
He also said he wants the Church to accept homosexuality.
“I want to see my church change. I want to see our denomination change,” Pearson said. “I want to see people to be willing to have the conversation in an open way where they are willing to listen to people’s stories.”
Pearson’s band Everyday Sunday had been scheduled to appear at the Quincy, California festival Joshua Fest over the Labor Day weekend, and in August, Pearson published a status touting that he would be the “first openly gay artist to ever play a major Christian music festival.”
“I am overwhelmed, and honored, to announce that I will be the FIRST OPENLY GAY ARTIST TO EVER PLAY A MAJOR CHRISTIAN MUSIC FESTIVAL!!!” he wrote (caps in original). “Joshua Fest happens Labor Day weekend, and I will be there with Skillet, Switchfoot, Relient K, Crowder Music, NF, Five Iron Frenzy and more!”
But nearly a dozen of the 14 members of the Joshua Fest production team expressed concern that a Christian festival would put a homosexual artist on stage, thus seemingly giving approval to homosexuality, which is a violation of the Law of God.
According to Billboard Magazine, Diello reluctantly dropped Pearson from the lineup due to word that most of the volunteer production team had advised of their intent to back out of the festival.
“I was hurt. I felt like I was powerless in the situation—like I was just punched in the gut,” he said. “I was forced to let down a friend, someone that I really wanted to just love and support, the way Jesus tells us to. I was being denied that opportunity, at my own festival. It was a horrible situation.”
Pearson ended up performing onstage anyway as members of the ska-punk band Five Iron Frenzy, whose drummer is an atheist, invited him to sing a song with them during their set. Lead singer Reese Roper said that the band had considered dropping out of the festival since Pearson was dropped from the lineup.
“[W]e had all talked as a band about just dropping off of [the festival], just to make a statement—like if you’re not gonna let him play, then we’re not gonna play,” he stated. “We don’t like to deal with that kind of intolerance.”
Roper told the outlet that he doesn’t believe the Bible is “clear enough” on the issue of homosexuality.
Diello now claims that because Five Iron Frenzy found a way to work around the situation, God was glorified.
“God took a bad situation and made it glorify him,” he told Billboard. “We really got to see something raw and unique happen to the core of people’s souls. … People were in tears, and not in a crazy Pentecostal way. Something bigger than us and our issues happened at that show.”
Diello did not return Christian News Network’s call for comment.
Christians believe that homosexuality a part of the Adamic sin nature that must be regenerated by the second birth, as Jesus outlined in John 3:5-7, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.”
2 Corinthians 5:14-17 also reads, “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead. And that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again. … Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”