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February 29, 2008


Lesley Piersall

I went to college and worked with Ryan Tedder. We spent a great deal of time together. He even was on "Frontline," which led chapel worship. He's a great guy - committed to his family and friends, and recognizes his talents as God-Given. He's a musician and a christian, but from day 1 he wanted a different target audience. He has lots of really close friends who are very involved in all kids of ministry. I can honestly say, his roots in Jesus run deep :)

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I'm not concerned about all hell breaking loose, but that a PART of hell will break loose... it'll be much harder to detect.

Michael Slayne

Ryan Tedder is a great guy despite all the criticism he receives...and the music he and his bands make is too underrated in my opinion.


ryan and zach r both christian s and he doesnt have a bone 2 pick with c radio he just wasnt feelin the christian vibe cu z these so called christians were miserable.they cuss in there new album but album and i dont agree with taht but he stl is keepinh is fairh in jesus christ so ha.

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Anyways.. good lesson here, I guess. It's been a tough past year, times when I've questioned certain bands that are praised a lot because of things that I shouldn't and don't want to talk about.

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Kasey Harris

I can appreciate that when you enter the entertainment business and choose to brand yourselves as a Christian artist, that it lends itself to certain expectations that are sometimes difficult to uphold.
I think about a time when my daughter and I shared a hotel with several Christian groups that were performing at a two day Christian event in our area. We stumbled upon them hanging out on the rooftop pool area, and they were drinking beer and basically relaxing after the show. And I'll admit that I even thought to myself "Please don't let me witness this group doing anything amoral...I would be so disappointed."
I mean, it's one thing to agree that as a Christian we're held to a higher standard, but when I sin--it's not public and I get the difficulty that a band faces if they are constantly screwtinized through that microscope.

I am actually just quite surprised when an artist publicly thanks Jesus Christ as their savior, the way One Republic all did on their CD sleeve.

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Tenth Avenue North is an awesome Christian band everyone should hear. I believe there song "By Your Side" would hit the charts in mainstream if any secular DJ would ever play their music.

jane harper

well the most important thing is that he at least represents god.....and shows the love!
for it is foolish to act like you do not know christ instead of being a true disciple


What I have to say about this article I'm so happy. I have been a #1 OneRepublic fan for so long and I can't believe it. Ryan Tedder a christian. I am a christian, too. I saw it coming, though. I have listened to all their songs and kept on hearing God in almost all the song's lyrics. I just had to know if they were christian.
Now I know. Thanks from your #1 OneRepublic fan.


I like your article and agree with you 100%. Blessings!


I like your article and agree with you 100%. Blessings!


Afetr i read all these comment, i just feel wow. Is he (Ryan Tedder) really against Christian music? I agree nobody perfect, and its not easy to become christian (in real meaning). We can said we christian to ourself, but in our life we never do something that show our behaviour as christian. And for me to become as christian artist more difficult tha become secular artist like Ryan Tedder. Not because money or popularity, but about faith to christ, and give our talented to christ. We have nice voice, nice face, nice life, money, popularity i guess not only because ourself. So, for christian artist who already give all his/her talented to christ, keep moving


I totally agree with this post. My prayer for celebrities that associate themselves with Christianity is that we would transform people not through our words, but through action and love evident in our lives. There's a bunch of artists and celebrities out there that call themselves Christians but when it comes to everything else that the public sees of their life, they seem no different. I don't say that as a judgment upon them, but a call that all of us as Christians live lives worthy of the calling. And that we've all been given gifts to further declare His Kingdom...I think one example of such a gift is the popularity of certain celebrities and I hope that they use it for HIS glory. Because what else is there to live for?


Wow..well I for one am absolute Christian, too..but can't rly sing. Either way, Ryan Tedder is like, my idol.
And I love One Republic <3


Oh yeah- one more note:

Taking labels aside, what really defines a song or band as christian or religious? Describe artists such as Lifehouse and OneRepublic however you'd like, but that doesn't keep them from exploring their faith and writing fantastic songs about them (Lifehouse's "Storm", OneRepublic's "Mercy"). The way I see it, I support a band that both writes music without compromising their faith, and lives their faith without compromising their music talents, meaning keeping out of the "safe" zone in both areas and challenge themselves.

Anyways.. good lesson here, I guess. It's been a tough past year, times when I've questioned certain bands that are praised a lot because of things that I shouldn't and don't want to talk about, times when I wanted to quit this completely- but there's been great life-changing moments as well. My mind seems to always be going back and forth, as if I know what's true and right but hard to believe it sometimes. But yeah- no worries about the future and will just try my best.


I definitely agree with you there, Jeremy. Talking about the "Christian" and "mainstream" markets is a tough subject because there isn't really any place to draw a line. Becoming "mainstream" can often lead people to confusion and exaggeration sometimes, but still, being under a religious title or label doesn't make up for everything either.
I've worked mostly at Christian concerts and events for almost the past 3 years, but last summer, toured with a secular band. On one hand, it surprised me that these guys I toured with were very humble, nice, and a lot of fun to be around in contrast to some people I've met working at Christian concerts who were judgmental, bitter, and patronizing. But I know that it doesn't speak for everyone and every band is for themselves, and there are fantastic Christian artists out there that still try their faith out the best they can while not compromising their musical talents, so it also surprises me when Christians of the "mainstream" market, such as the lead of Thrice, really believe that there is no good at all in the Christian market.
But you're right: why take sides? Just as we shouldn't in denominations/non-denominations, it's true, Christ isn't divided and we all should be wherever we're called to be and support each other in that.


Sounds like somebody needs to read Roaring Lambs! One song by a Christian on mainstream radio means one less un-Christian song on mainstream radio. That's ministering to the world that would not tune into Christian radio. But it sounds like the guy has major hard feelings, and if that's the case, it's something that he'd have to deal with himself with God.

Stephen H.

really interesting article and post. There are so many different ways to look at this:
1) is he a "Christian" or a "Follower of Jesus"
2) what context was it really taken in? Seems like the answer didn't quite fit the question.
3) who in his past burned him?
etc, etc etc.

I've seen Christian artists act on both sides of the spectrum...I remember being a counselor at a HUGE christian sports camp in Missouri and having Smitty stop in the middle of his song intro to wait until he had the attention of all the 13 - 18 year old kids...for pete's sake, they're 13 and girl/guy crazy. They don't want to listen to Smitty, they want to get Jiggy. That was forever ago though.

It just seems like any time you mix being a "christian" with business (music, books, etc) there's an element where that "Christians" are going to be seen as arrogant, judgemental, etc. But as my non-Christian boss says "it's not's show business". :)


Great comments, all! Keith - I think if you read everyone's comments here you would discover that "judgmental" would not be the proper descriptor - rather, "empathizing" would be more appropriate.

JVo - I would be honored to be interviewed for your blog. Email me your questions!


Interesting, I know these same people - they are on staff with churches and are missionaries.


I agree with your comments, Jeremy. Christians are to be known by their love. How much ground do we lose by criticizing each other and speculating on the parameters of someone else's calling? speculating on the condition of someone else's heart? I believe if we'll remember how up and down our own walks have been, how very much on a journey each of us still are, we would realize we have no stone to throw on either side. we are all saved by grace. and any ministry, to those in the church or to those in the world, is just another opportunity afforded to us by the grace of an incredible savior...not by our own talents or arrivals.


Guys.. nobody is perfect.. and the pressure to deliver that the industry puts on artists can be immense. We need to stop bashing the CCM industry and support it. Its not easy being a musician who believes and dedicates their talent to serving people.

Being a secular artist is much easier. You just do whatever you want and people serve you.

Lets keep these folks in our prayers and not be so judgmental.


pretentious, insecure, miserable people are all around us. in the church. out of the church. in the ministry. out of the ministry. in ccm. out of ccm. i think sometimes we bring unfair presuppositions to artists who are "supposed" to have it together. sad.

p.s. dude, can i interview you for my blog? i will send you a list of easy questions (fun ones--not too scholarly. although, they may be pretentious and insecure).

Vicky Beeching

Thanks Jeremy!

I have put you on my Blog Roll...keep in touch!


Lindsay Scranton

I agree with you too, Jeremy. It is sad that so many public and "civilian" Christians don't act Christ-like. I really like your perception/opinion of support for the members of the Body and the members of the team. I love it that you see Christians (whether in the mainstream or Christian industry) as people you're working with, rather than working against. That's awesome. In fact, your team player perception has affected me and will forever change my perception of people in the Christian and mainstream industry. Thank you!


I like what you (Jeremy) said about all of us Christians being part of the same body, yet also being called to differant areas of ministry. Yes some are called to the church and others to the world.I completely agree!! The problem that i have with the artists that "cross over" to mainstream is that i do not see any evidence of Jesus in their music. and if i do see some.. its hidden allot!! Take Switchfoot for not bashing them at all i just miss the times in the past where they wrote about Jesus and actually wrote things of great signifigance..something that Jesus could be clearly seen in.

Brody Harper

I agree with a lot of what he said, but I don't really see a reason publishing something that doesn't offer a positive solution.


I agree that many people have thrown the CCM baby out with the bathwater. I know a lot of people who have heard CCM music that is not the best get overplayed on the CCM stations, and they think "This is all they have to offer." So they won't even check out someone if they are in any way labeled a Christian artist. That's really a shame, because I know a ton of really good CCM that never gets airplay on the biggest Christian radio stations. (Sorry to say, but despite KSBJ here in Houston having downhere for a Brown Bag concert, and you're playing other venues here, they still never play your songs. They don't play Sara Groves, either, and I think she's one of the best in the biz at the moment.)

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