August Burns Red starts their fall tour on August 31 hitting several cities across the U.S. Matt Greiner shares on the latest Voices videos which is number 10 if you are counting. Matt and Jake from ABR are both a huge part of our sister ministry Heart Support.
Temptations on the road.
Matt Greiner: Some of the biggest temptations on tour for me have to do with my purity. I don’t think that it differs that much from being at home. There’s the expression that “idle hands are the devil’s playground” and I think that has a lot validity in my life. Tour can be boring if you let it be. I’ve kept myself really busy on the Vans Warped Tour which is what we’re on right now and honestly it’s been the best thing. Temptations are all around us and it says in the Bible that there’s never going to be more temptation that we can handle and I believe that. But to put ourselves in a position where we’re more susceptible to it be it idle time or the wrong group of people is just stupid. My biggest temptation has been lust and pornography. To maintain my purity is an every day battle. It takes having the right people like Jake, my singer, in my life, Craig from xxxchurch and the accountability software. It’s really important to me to be a man of integrity, to be consistent with what I say and my actions. It’s tough on tour but it’s not that much different from being at home and having those temptations.
Band dudes on porn.
Matt Greiner: I know a lot of people on tour that don’t have a problem with pornography or promiscuity. I know a lot more people that don’t have a problem with pornography than do have a problem with it on tour which is really sad. I have three sisters, 19, 17, and 15 years old and to think about looking at a girl and objectifying her and not having a problem with that is sad to me because you look at what that means to that person. If they’re okay with then there’s this weird disconnect for like good eyesight for what a girl looks like and who she is and true beauty. If you’re looking at a girl and she’s just what you can get out of her, satisfying yourself with her body, I feel sad for you because that’s not the full essence of what God intended a girl to be. When you watch porn and you condone and agree with the porn industry and stand beside it, you’re supporting people that have that mentality and you’re assuming that mentality yourself. I hear the argument a lot “It’s their decision, its good money. It doesn’t mean that they are slutty or they’re in brothels all the time, they go home a nice house and they pay the bills with their job”. Yeah, that’s probably true but to me its like wouldn’t it be awesome if they didn’t have to pay the bills with this thing that is so much less than what they were designed to do and be. For my sisters, if I knew they were gravitating toward something like that, I would do everything I in my power to steer them away from it because I know what God has for them in life-the talents and the passions He’s given them and to settle for this is just really sad. Honestly, its tough hearing from people on tour that pornography is cool, its okay, it’s your own thing, do what you want. Having someone like Craig from XXXchurch who makes a stand by going in to the porn conventions and loving on these people and showing them Jesus is so encouraging to me because that’s where I’m at a lot of times but its not a porn convention, its just life, it’s a tour or a venue or a stage.
I’ve really tried to model what I say and view the whole subject matter of pornography. The way Craig deals with it and his passion for hanging around this kind of place where there’s pornography…he loves it, that’s why he’s there, he loves it. He feels alive, he feels like that’s real and that’s the true grit, I’m so there with him. I don’t want to be in a nice white room with a bunch of pews and Bibles. I know Jesus is true in my life; I don’t need to be all clean. Ministry is dirty, it’s challenging, its exhausting but it’s the calling on my heart and I can’t ignore that.
Matt Greiner: In my struggle with pornography and purity, I’ve realized that I’m not strong enough on my own to stay pure. I can have an awesome prayer time any night of the week or morning and feel super strong and on fire. I walk away from that thinking nothing can touch me but then I’m just not strong enough. There’s accountability in my life that’s my strength when I can’t do it by myself. My singer, Jake, he’s my best friend, I tell him everything. When I screw up I tell him, when something crazy awesome happens I tell him. It’s important to have that kind of relationship with someone. It’s also important to have accountability in the digital world. There’s awesome software called X3 Watch from XXXchurch where basically you look at something you shouldn’t be looking at and there’s something in the world of emails that gets triggered and the person you designate to be on the receiving end of that humiliating email sees what you’ve been looking at. What should happen is they pick up their phone and regardless of what it is, they say “Dude, I just saw that you’ve been looking at this stuff, what’s up? What have you been looking at? What’s going on, talk to me.” This is it, not just for pornography but for everything, we need each other. The human race was designed to be in a community and we need each other to survive. I really endorse the accountability software from XXXchurch, I seriously can’t endorse it more. I have it on my computer, I have it on my phone and it’s like I need it. It sucks that I need it, but I need it and that’s just what it is. I totally recommend it to anyone who is struggling like that or anyone who has a phone, computer, internet access and or is a dude.
Advice to girls.
Matt Greiner: My message to girls would be you’re beautiful. Guys that tell you you’re beautiful then take advantage of you don’t think you’re beautiful, they’re just selfish. Respect yourself. It’s hard for me to say this without getting very emotional because once again I have sisters but when I see girls walking around with tons of skin showing, its really I guess confusing to me why parents aren’t intervening saying “Hey, you’re not going out looking like that” because that’s the kind of message my dad sends to my sisters. I know the way guys think and I’m just telling you girls, my message would be to respect yourself, you deserve the best. Looking for that attention and respect and love from a guy’s touch and his eyes following you and his comments, I get it, that’s attention and what you desire and what you think is it for you but that’s just settling. Your worth is found in your identity in Christ, a daughter of a living loving God. Looking for that love and affection and attention in anyone really is going to let you down. At the end of the day all we have to completely depend on his Christ. That’s kind of disappointing for some people to hear but having that relationship with Christ, it all makes sense, that’s really it. When you find your identity in Christ as a son or daughter, it changes the way you think and the way you look and the way you dress. As a girl, my message would be just to respect yourself. My message to guys is pornography is wrong every single time, it’s a horrible way to treat your mind, to treat your heart, and to treat girls. You might think it just affects yourself, no one else, but I promise you it’s bigger than that, bigger than just you. Be it your future wife, your current wife, your parents, your children, your siblings, it affects other people. The quicker you can get your head around that and realize that pornography is taking away from you and confusing your mind and just dirtying up your heart, then the quicker you can have that freedom and joy and purity and really experience passion and pleasure the way God intended it to be. Get with a friend and tell him what you’re struggling with. Tell your dude friends what you’re struggling with, talk about it. If you’re a girl, do you respect the girl who’s not wearing much? If you do, maybe look a little harder, treat yourself with respect and you’ll get respect.