Is The Rock Band Style Of Church Worship Music Bad Rob Beckley of Pillar – Love Not Judgment

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Rob Beckley of Pillar – Love Not Judgment

In 1998, the Christian rock band Pillar was formed in Oklahoma. They were widely accepted by both Christian and non-Christian media. They released four major records. The fifth titled “For the Love of the Game” will be released on February 26, 2008.

Pillar frontman Rob Beckley formed the band after serving in the US Army. “I grew up in Hays, Kansas my whole life.” Rob explains. “When I was twenty-one, I joined the army and went to Virginia for a year. I came home when I was twenty-two. I’ve always been a small-town kid all my life.”

As a small town in the Midwest, Hays was also a religious community where church and Jesus were a way of life. “Everybody went to church in my hometown, even if they didn’t want to, because there was nothing else to do. It was something social.” – adds Rob. “Sometimes in church not everyone listens, and I was one of those kids who didn’t necessarily listen, but I was there.”

“It wasn’t until after I joined the army and came back from basic training that I met the Holy Spirit.” – recalls Rob. “Someone asked me where I stand before God. I had never really thought about it until then, but later, when I was all alone, I began to think about it. When I thought about it, I started to feel really guilty. I was all alone, so no one told me what to say or pray, but I felt it in my heart and knew what I had to do, so I began to ask God to forgive me.”

Soon after that, Rob became interested in music. He was going to create new relationships that God would use to change their lives and use them for His purpose and glory. “A few weeks after I gave my heart to Christ, I got together with some guys from college at Fort Hays State University who were musicians and we started a band.” – recalls Rob. “After we jammed a few times, we decided since we’re all Christians that we could do it more spiritually than just music. That’s where Pillar started.”

“When we first started in 1998, we played in the Hays, Kansas area.” Rob explains. “After each concert, we instantly booked another one. People came up to us at concerts and asked to give more concerts for them. We asked them to give us a date and we planned them. Eventually we played everywhere. the state was doing eight to twelve concerts a month while we were trying to get into college. We realized that we were doing a better show than working part-time. We quit our part-time jobs and started playing shows for money like we were in college. Eventually, in May of 2000, at the end of the semester, we actually signed a record deal. That’s when we made the decision to drop out of college and work full-time.”

After signing a record deal in 2000, Pillar has achieved success and gained widespread recognition in the Christian music market as well as in the more secular mainstream markets. Over the past eight years, Pillar has toured with just about everyone at one time or another. They even played a music festival where Slipknot were the headliners, but today they decided to play to a more predominantly Christian audience. “We really don’t want to be there anymore.” Rob explains the noisier places. “We all have families. My wife and child travel with me most of the time and I don’t even want to bring them into that environment.”

Pillar’s music has also come full circle with a reimagined focus. “We have a desire again to write music for the church and more hymns for children.” Rob states with conviction. “People who are involved in music can encourage and hopefully bring people to the Lord who have never done it before. We just finished a new record called ‘For the Love of the Game’ and here’s what we’ve achieved with it.”

Overcoming the exhausting road, Rob finds time to be spiritually fed and worship the Lord. Modern technologies make this possible. It also brings his home church anywhere in the world. “My church has an online community, so if I’m not at home, I can watch my church live.” Rob explains. “You can watch everything from the service to the sermon. They also have an internet campus pastor who sees everything. It’s very cool!”

One of Robs’ desires is to introduce non-believers to Jesus through his music. Since Pillar is a popular group among both Christians and non-Christians, Rob is in a unique opportunity to share this. Rob tries to encourage people to experience Christ, but worries that the views of some Christians may discourage non-believers. “From an outside perspective, it’s very easy for a non-believer to want nothing to do with the church because of the way we Christians treat each other and the way we as Christians judge those who don’t call themselves Christians.” Rob explains. “We in the church sometimes have a judgmental attitude, but no matter what, there are some sincere people in the church who have such loving hearts who serve and love others in ways we will never know.”

Judgment is false and discourages unbelievers. Use the advice of the apostles in this matter. Paul wrote in Romans 2:1 “Therefore, you who judge another have no excuse, for whenever you judge another, you judge yourselves, because you who pass judgment do the same thing.”

Peter wrote in 1 Peter 4:8 “Above all, love one another deeply, for love covers a multitude of sins.” Peter just hit the spot. What is his message? Love, not judgment!

Non-Christians sometimes reject the message of Jesus because of what they see in Christians, just because they are not perfect. For example, if a powerful man of God, known to many, falls into sin or falls into one or another scandal, unbelievers see Christianity as a hypocritical religion and depart from Christ. The truth is that we all sin and are prone to stumble; but when we call ourselves Christians, the world begins to analyze our lifestyle and actions. We are living witnesses, and when we fail to live up to the demands of our faith, the cause of Christ suffers.

“I just want to encourage people not to judge God on the basis of those who call themselves believers.” Rob calls out. “Just because we call ourselves Christians doesn’t mean we don’t have faults and failings. The only thing that separates a non-Christian from a Christian is that we accept Jesus as our Savior and choose to follow him. Christians and non-Christians may have many of the same flaws, but we choose to acknowledge them and draw closer to Christ and seek atonement for those flaws so that they can be cleansed and eventually disappear. There is nothing wrong with realizing that you are a work in progress.”

During the summer of 2007 Pillar headlined Shoutfest and were preparing for the release of their new CD “For the Love of the Game”. They will no doubt take their musical message of hope on the road again when the CD is released.

Rob Beckley’s music is tough and bold, but more than that, his message is that Jesus Christ is his savior, and he’s not afraid to come out and confess Christ to people.

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