Tim Lambesis Trial
There are some moments that get imprinted on your mind. _____. My hair was shaggy and I wore a baggy black (of course) hoodie with an emblazed* rock band logo. I strutted through the sketchy under-CD store clearly thinking I was much cooler than I was. The album The Shadows Are Security by the metal band As I Lay Dying. That was the day I became a metal-head.
For the uninitiated, As I Lay Dying is one of the most accomplished metal outfits in the industry. Their music has earned them a Grammy nomination, MTV’s ‘Artist of the Year’, top-bill status at the biggest festivals, and peaked as high as No. 8 on the Billboard 200, uncharted territory for the genre. Furthermore, the California based rockers are professed born-again Christians. On the band’s website, lead vocalist Tim Lambesis stated:
“If you truly believe something, then it should affect every area of your life. All five of us are Christians. I believe that change should start with me first, and as a result, our lyrics do not come across very ‘preachy.’ Many of our songs are about life, struggles, mistakes, relationships and other issues that don’t fit entirely in the spiritual category. However, all of these topics are written about through my perspective as a Christian.”
The band’s mainstream success and open faith led to them being anointed as champions of Christianity. Their infiltration of secular venues and shared billing with a genre usually associated with Satanism was cheered on by the Christian community as a missional victory. The ripples of the band’s positive impact for the Kingdom spread beyond their fan base. Doc Coyle, fellow metal vocalist and committed atheist commented that the band had the reputation as “the nicest band in metal” and that Tim Lambesis would often engage in friendly debates about his faith. Several concerts were postponed to allow Lambesis and his wife to complete the adoption process of their three children from Ethiopia. Then came the shocking news break: “Christian metal band vocalist Tim Lambesis charged in murder-for-hire plot.”
Over the next few days more news trickled in. Tim Lambesis’ wife of eight-years had filed for divorce and the couple was in a messy custody battle. Then on May 7th,2013 Lambesis was arrested for attempting to hire a hitman to murder his wife. The hitman had been a undercover agent. Lambesis initially plead “not-guilty” and his use of steroids were given as *excuse. During this time Lambesis penned a message on his Facebook admitting that with the aim of being better equipped to defend his faith he had undergone a degree. However, by the end he had *been persuaded and renounced his Christian beliefs. On February 25th, 2014 Tim Lambesis changed his plea to “guilty,” facing up to nine-years in prison and leaving a Christian community in a state of shock, confusion, and anger.
- Let’s Not Be Too Hasty to Judge
- Popularity Doesn’t Blot Out Sin
- Avoid Stereotyping
- Danger of “Christian Champions”