Lead singer and founder of the Christian band, As I Lay Dying, said he is an atheist who continued professing Christianity so he could keep making money. Tim Lambesis said other members of his band also became atheists but were undercover so they could keep making music and selling records to Christians. Tim explained he was afraid of exposing his true feelings about God because he thought it would affect the record sales of his band. Instead he simply chose to say, “I’m not a Satanist” as a cover whenever he was questioned.
Tim explained he was not the first member of his band to give up on Christianity, he believes he was the third.
We talked about whether to keep taking money from the Christian market. We had this bizarrely noble thing going on and kept saying, ‘Well, we’re not passing along any bad ideas. We’re just singing about real life stuff. Those kids need to hear about real life, because they live in a bubble.’
According to Tim, he and the few band members who shared his view were not alone. The majority of the “supposed” Christian bands he encountered while on tour had taken the same approach. They were simply working for a paycheck. According to Tim, in 12 years of touring with his band, As I Lay Dying, maybe one in 10 of the other “Christian” bands also on tour were actually Christian.
The singer said his fans started saying he had become a Satanist. In response to his fans doubt about his spiritual allegiance Tim posted a YouTube video. In the video he did not answer whether he was nor was not a Christian. Essentially Tim responded by saying, “They are just lyrics, who cares.” He explained to his fans the lyrics were just darker and about a character he created, which means he’s doing his job as a lyricist.
Later when questioned about his response the former leader said he was only trying to put out a fire. He did not want to hurt the sales of his band which would ultimately affect his overall income. At that time, Tim said, his strategy was cowardly; he was indeed an atheist.
Over time living a double life had become awkward, said Tim. He referenced a particular Christian festival where an interviewer requested one of his band members to share their testimony. The singer said he just froze up and let one of the other guys who was still a Christian answer. Afterward they all laughed about it, not because it was funny, because it was so awkward.
Other moments which were awkward for the leader were after shows when kids would ask to pray with the band. Tim would usually say “Go ahead and pray” and just let them pray; then he would add “Amen” at the end. Sometimes they would feel better if he put his hand on their shoulder and if so, he would do it. When someone would have a specific prayer request he would respond, “I don’t really like to pray out loud, but I will take that with me to the bus.”
As Tim’s life continued on a downward spiral he was later arrested in California for attempting to hire a hit man to kill his estranged wife, Meggan Murphy Lambesis. As a result, on May 16, 2014, the former Christian band leader was sentenced to six years in prison.
As he sat in jail reminiscing the singer confessed he had a lot of personal issues going on such as his descent into atheism, the breakdown of his marriage, steroid use and the abandonment of his band mates when they learned of his arrest.
The former leader said it seemed as if they all decided collectively not to communicate with him anymore. Tim said,
They made it very clear that we were business partners and nothing more. It’s heartbreaking on a personal level, but there’s nothing wrong with doing that. I have to respect it. It’s their choice.
In an extensive Facebook post shortly after Tim’s conviction Nick Hipa, former As I Lay Dying guitarist, explained why he chose not to offer any support to his previous leader in court during his trial but chose instead to support Lambesis’ wife.
Behind the facade of a penitent man with renewed outlook, restored faith, and apparent remorse is a fairly appalling agenda to further damage the lives and reputations of his non-supporters. It is the continued defense of behavior that leveled every facet of an innocent woman’s being and traumatized children who have already persevered through the actual pain of an orphan’s life. He is a sociopathic narcissist who deserves prison.
As an atheist Tim Lambesis continued singing with his Christian band in order to make money. The founder and lead singer said he was afraid of revealing his true thoughts about God because he knew it would adversely affect the record sales of his band.
By: Cherese Jackson (Virginia)