At the premier of Tim Tebow’s new film, Run the Race, Korn member Brian “Head” Welch critiqued the idea that there is a certain “look” all Christians need to have.
Nowhere in the Bible does it say you gotta start looking like everybody else… 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.
Welch has had quite an unusual journey toward meeting and walking with Jesus. As a founding member and guitarist for the successful nu metal band Korn, he experienced all the excesses of the rockstar life, including sex, drugs and being treated like he was superhuman. However, eventually his life spiraled out of control, and he became addicted to meth. Welch describes his addiction as “crippling” and says his lifestyle was destroying both him and his daughter. At some point during that period, his realtor shared a Bible verse with him and invited him to church. The verse was Matthew 11:28, which says, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
The verse resonated with Welch, and he went to church and accepted Christ there, but ended up taking meth again when he got home. He then prayed to Jesus to take away his addiction. When he prayed that prayer, he had a deep sense of God’s love for him. Following that experience, he got rid of all his drugs and quit playing in Korn.
Welch left the band in 2005 and struggled in his career for the next few years. He ended up rejoining Korn in 2012, something he believes God led him to do. He sees the time he was away from the band as a time of growth so he could be strong enough to return and share Christ in that environment. As Welch pointed out at the Run the Race premier, “Jesus hung out with—the fisherman, the prostitute, all kinds of people, and I fit right in that little group. That’s who He goes after and saves, He loves everybody. We’re a story but the thing is, He cleans us on the inside.”
While Welch doesn’t fit the mold of a what some might think a Christian looks like, he is honest about who he is. Welch believes authenticity is important, particularly to young people: “You gotta be real in this generation…this generation can smell a phony a mile away and so we got to be real and raw.”
‘The Beautiful Mystery of Christ’
“Real” and “raw” are qualities Welch aimed for in his documentary set to come out in June. The film tells his story, focusing on his relationship with his daughter. Welch describes the documentary as “a little edgy, just because we want the people that don’t know Christ to see a real story from the messy beginnings to what it is now.”
Christians might look very different from one another, says Welch, but Jesus is the one who unites us all. He says, “The beautiful mystery of Christ in you, that’s our identity, and so I can look like this…and all these nice guys in suits…it’s Christ in you, the hope of glory, and that’s what we all have in common.”