Thank you, Dear Friend, for Exposing My Manifold Sins

My Dear —————,

I was recently made aware of your letter of complaint submitted to my supervisors regarding my participation in a rock band called Foreplay. Of course, I did not see this letter before its submission, but I’m sure that was a mere oversight on your part, considering that my best interests are always closest to your heart.

I must say, my friend, that when I became aware of your letter and the nature of your complaint, I wept. I cried bitter tears. I did not mourn the harshness of the accusation. Certainly not! No, I mourned my own spiritual blindness and hardness of heart that led to this latest deviation from the straight and narrow road of good Christian values and morals. How could I have ever thought to dishonor Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, by playing rock music in a band with such a horrid, filthy name? How could I have dared to transgress the Word of God by deciding to go the way of Sodom and Gomorrah, taking part in this band called… “Foreplay”?
No ForeplaySo, my friend, I am eternally and gratefully indebted to you. It is always gracious friends like you, folks who persistently point out my sins, faults, foibles, oversights, and transgressions, who make the most profound difference in my life. After all, where would I be without you? I suppose I’d be on the wide road to death and destruction every single time, were it not for your close scrutiny and righteous outrage over a fallen Christian like me- and a pastor, no less!– playing secular music in a band called “F*r3pl@y” (just the sound of the name is now bitter gall in my mouth). What a lewd and vile word that is!

And yes, I can now see how the mere appearance of a Christian and Man of God in a rock band called “Foreplay” would only send the worst of messages within the highly impressionable minds and hearts of those poor, witless souls around me, especially our youth and children. Why, they might walk away with the impression that “foreplay” is something other than the disgusting, sexually impure and filthy act it is. After all, we want people to enter into good, holy, wholesome Christian marriages, free from even the slightest hint of any base, sexual deviancy of which “foreplay” is a prime example. Oh how I mourn the irreversible damage I have done to these poor souls who now fully embrace… shall I say it… “foreplay”. God forbid it!

My friend, as always, your assumptions about my motives and behavior are, of course, flawlessly accurate. While I play all of this secular trash we dare to call music, I have fully succumbed to every evil influence around me. I have made a mockery of Christ! There is no possibility that I could have ever been the light of God, the grace of God, and an example of Jesus Christ to those around me who would ordinarily flee from righteous saints such as you.

No, I confess that I have sunken into the most miry pits of sin and thrown myself into dens of iniquity filled with sinners destined for the very fires of Hell. I have drunk the unholy, ungodly wine of debauchery and have drowned myself into an orgy of lust, filth, and sexual perversion to the point that I fully resemble a very child of the devil. But now, because of your stern, most godly of criticisms, there still may be hope for me, the chiefest of sinners.

So now, I begin my season of repentance. In sackcloth and ashes, I wail over my manifold sins.

Once I have spent an adequate amount of time fully steeped in the guilt and shame I so fully deserve, I will take action. It will be the necessary course of action which surely you would expect. I will immediately resign from “F*r3pl@y”.

I will individually call my band mates to inform them of my decision. Furthermore, I will follow your most godly example, and roundly condemn the depravity of their wantonly foul, sexually lewd, corrupted hearts. I will plea with them to run from the blazing hot grip of Satan and become like us- upright, godly folks who shun and roundly condemn even the mere appearance of anything we perceive to be sinful in other people.

Alas, however, they are probably reprobate, Hell-bound, souls created for destruction. But at least they would have heard the righteous decree of God- Good News for us, but a deserved pronouncement of condemnation to everlasting death for them. Hallelujah!!

Yours in Christ,

Rev. Chris Owens, former bassist/vocalist of the evil group known as “F*r3pl@y”



P.P.S. Read Matthew 7:1-6. If you’re still reading, you might also want to ponder Mark 2:13-17.


Filed under Church Culture and Leadership, Music

23 Responses to Thank you, Dear Friend, for Exposing My Manifold Sins

  1. Chris, love your response. Keep agitating Pharisees.

  2. Katie

    I admit, I was surprised at the name of your band initially, I didn’t really care though. And then you offered a perfectly normal explanation for the name. I think it’s really great (and cool) that you play in a band. People need hobbies (especially hard working pastors) that bring them joy.
    Rock on!

  3. Nicely done … why do people get so hung up about words?

    • Thank you! It’s because people are people. I see this in the church and I see it in other places in the form of “political correctness”, lest we do or say anything that gives cause for filing a grievance.

  4. anonymous

    I do not think that the person writing this meant to say that you and the band are condemned to hell, even though we are all worthy of that. Having not read the original complaint I am not a hundred percent sure how much has been dramaticized. However if you are in the band titled foreplay you may in truth be sending the wrong message as a leader among christians. In human sexual behavior, foreplay is a set of emotionally and physically intimate acts between two or more people meant to create sexual arousal and desire for sexual activity. This can be done between spouses but that is not always the case in this day and age. I can understand how this might have gotten the attention of your “friend”, prompting a letter to you. It is unfortunate that they however did not actually send it to you. In all I don’t have a problem if you are in any kind of band but would like to just say that foreplay might cause controversy as the name of the band that you play in. I love music, of all kinds, but as a leader you are supposed to set an example for those around you not only your peers but also for your children. If I were you I would simply change the name of the band to something that cannot be misinterpreted. This is not a judgement or a proclamation that I know more than you, but just a fellow christian trying to see things from another perspective. In the end it is your life, so you get to make your own decisions .

    • Thank you for your thoughtful reply. I admit that playing in a band called Foreplay raises eyebrows among some. The question is what to do beyond that initial response. Those of this person’s judgment jump to conclusions and make assumptions which often turn out to be unfounded. Too often we Christians get hung up on appearances without delving too much more deeply into the truth before making rash conclusions. Then we tell one another to do nothing that might rouse suspicion in anyone else, lest the appearance seems dubious within anyone else’s eyes. As a pastor I tried living that way, and it was maddening. Instead, I am who I am as a disciple of Jesus, and if someone takes offense to that- and it’s usually someone who has been in the pews for a long while- then so be it. Get to know me and my spirit, and one sees what I am, not mearly what I appear to be… to them.
      And yes, knowing who this person is, the spirit behind their accusation was undoubtedly harsh without having bothered to gather all the facts. And biblically speaking, this person disobeyed Jesus’ teachings in Matthew 18:15-17 by not attempting to resolve his issue with me first. It’s doubtless, however, that there will ever be any repercussions for that.

      • anonymous

        My only response to this is that first impressions, or judgments, are not only a trait to those that sit in the pew but also those that are not christians. We as christians should strive to not only be good on the inside once we know you but also in appearance (actions, first views, etc.). And yes I completely see where this person points out your flaws while making no mention of their own(not going to you first among many others most likely), however we also see in the bible forgiveness. While you feel they may have judged you wrongly, and are rightly flustered over this, please keep it in your heart to forgive and work with them to maybe even clear up this large misunderstanding. Hopefully if they are truly a christian they can also listen to what you have to say. Stay faithful when others don’t, you have my best regards.

    • Oooh, an anonymous response. Always so… persuasively Christian.

  5. markwalt

    Well, you could change the name of the band to Foreskin. It’s a bit Old Testament, but certainly more in keeping with Judeo-Christian values.

  6. Pastor Owens, you are awesome. I wish I had your bravery and wit. Or, maybe I don’t, I’m not sure. Sometimes cowardliness is is the easier, softer, way, if not the less righteous way. May God grant me a share of your boldness and wit in witness to a loving God who rejoices as we live full lives in the abundance Christ promises to those who follow him.

    • Thank you, Terry! That is so kind of you… I’ve never considered myself brave or bold. Sometimes I get a conviction of something and can’t hold back. In that way, I think we all have a song to sing or a story to tell, something unique to express and give that God has trusted to us. When we get in touch with that, very few things will contain us. If that’s bravery or boldness, I’ll go with that. 🙂 Living that out with Jesus is truly the abundance of life he has promised us.

  7. Edmund Metheny

    “If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake, rattle and roll the dust off your feet.”
    – Turner 10:14

  8. Carol

    There are three basic reasons why the institutional churches are hemorrhaging members:
    1. Dogmatic absolutism
    2. Self-righteous judgementalism
    3. Sectarian triumphalism
    Of the three, the second is perhaps the most serious. It usually brings with it the mention of “hypocrisy” as the reason for rejecting the formalized “Christian” faith of immature church members who have had insufficient or heretical theological and spiritual formation.
    Fundamentalism is the antithesis of any religion’s orthodoxy thus not even a property of Christianity. There is a fundamentalist version of every religion.
    Christian fundamentalism is gnostic and narcissistic, and thus not orthodox. It’s heretical. A heresy is by definition not a property of orthodoxy. –Rev. Ken Collins
    “Christian fundamentalism: the doctrine that there is an absolutely powerful, infinitely knowledgeable, universe spanning entity that is deeply and personally concerned about my sex life.” ~Andrew Lias
    There are three religious truths: 1) Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah. 2) Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of the Christian faith. 3) Christian fundamentalists do not recognize each other in the liquor store or at Hooters. ~Author Unknown

  9. Nikki Horner

    Song of Solomon? There’s God shedding a positive light on foreplay (within marriage, of course 🙂 ).

    • Nikki Horner

      I think it’s great that you’re playing and singing again.

      • Thank you, Nikki! When I started seminary, I stopped the bulk of my playing. And then about 5 years ago, I got invited by Jeremy to start a trio with him for a private gig. I realized then how much I missed playing and the gift from God that had been neglected. So I began to look for more opportunities to play. Jeremy and I started playing more regularly. But I also wanted to be a part of a regular playing, really good band. After several trials and errors, through Jeremy I met a few of the members of Foreplay. They happened to be looking to replace their bassist, saw me and liked my vocals and playing, and within a few months asked me to audition. They are wonderful people, like family really, hard-working, dedicated, excellent musicians, and play the music I like, too. Not only that, but it’s opened up my ministry to a whole population of people. What’s not to like??

    • Do you remember the Boston song Foreplay? It’s the instrumental prelude to the song Longtime. That’s what the band is named after, and when I first saw the name of the band, that’s what I thought of. I guess other people don’t know the son, or their head is in the gutter. 🙂 Nice reference to Song of Solomon, too!!

      • Nikki Horner

        Thanks and, after listening to about 20 seconds of it on Youtube, I did remember the instrumental prelude. Good music to name the band after. Actually, I thought of “Coldplay” at first. Hey, if you need even more people to vouch for your integrity on the stage then gather your groupies from your high school rock band days and we’ll tell them about how you used to change the lyrics when the lyrics weren’t exactly God-honoring. Sting’s “If I Ever Lose My Faith in You” comes to mind. I imagine if you didn’t let it slide back then you’re not going to start now.

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