Prior to becoming a Christian in 2005, Brian Welch, 48, was a member of the mega grunge metal band Korn, that he helped co-found.
After his dramatic conversion to Christ that resulted in him getting baptized in the Jordan River along with a group of Christians from the church he attended in Bakersfield, California, Brian realized that he needed to leave the band to break free from his alcohol and drug addictions. He also didn’t want to raise his daughter in a drug and sex fueled environment.
But when he left the band, Brian did not change his appearance. He still had his tattoos but kept his dreadlocks and rock star appearance and then began to produce Christian music with a similar sound. Then he sparked additional controversy in 2012, when Brian returned as Korn’s lead guitarist.
Of course, it is easy for Christians, including myself, to question all this, but recently at the premier of Tim Tebow’s Christian movie, Run the Race, Welch shared what Jesus told him about his appearance.
He said that nowhere in the Bible does it say that we all have to dress the same:
“Suits are awesome. I’m not getting down [on that] but I want to be me now. Jesus always led me and said, ‘You be yourself’ and you don’t have to change into anything except how He leads me to change, not how man does.”
It is a form of “religion” where we add rules that Christians must abide by that are not found in the Bible and this can include outward appearance.
Brian also added:
“We just got to step back out of the religious things and just think about who Jesus hung out with — the fisherman, the prostitute, all kinds of people and I fit right in that little group. That is who he goes after and saves. He loves everybody. We’re a story, but the thing is, He cleans us on the inside.”
But it is so easy for Christians to question his look and decision to return to Korn. We all judge and probably do it more often in a day than we dare to admit. There are the big judgments but also dozens of smaller ones like briefly judging coworkers who take a few extra minutes at coffee break.
But one of the best statements I read is that judging says more about you than the person you are judging. Others have said it defines who you are not the person you are judging.
And this is exactly the point that Jesus was making when he warned us not to judge:
2 For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. 3 Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:2-5 NASV)
Jesus said that when we judge a speck in another person’s eye, we miss the log that is in ours. In other words, judging says more about us than those we are judging.
Jesus goes on to describe people who judge as hypocrites, which is the Greek word “hupokrites” and aside from meaning hypocrite, the word can also be translated “actor” or “stage player,” someone who is pretending to play another role, to be someone who they really aren’t.
Jesus used this same word to describe the pharisees:
25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. (Matthew 23:25 NASV)
When we judge that is exactly what we are doing. We are actors because Jesus says we do exactly the same thing, but are acting like we don’t and that is because judging is often a subconscious reflection of our own failures.