Renowned Christian singer Michael Tait recently talked about the Newsboys' latest album, "STAND," his experiences with racism in the Church and music business, and his views on people abandoning their faith.
Because Christians have a propensity to "deconstruct" their faith, Newsboys' lead singer says being the only black member of a mainly white band may be tough.
Tait, an African American, says he grew up in Washington, D.C.'s "hood," which some have dubbed "Chocolate City," with "black culture."
His father made it a point to introduce him and his siblings to individuals of many races when they were young.
"My dad was very quick to make sure as kids we met white people, Hispanic people, Asian people, Iranian people," he told The Christian Post's Jeannie Law. "He went down the list because he knew that we are all human. We all bleed red blood. This hate stuff is for freakin birds. We don't have time for that."
But on the topic of divisive issues in churches, he said:
"I find it increasingly frustrating to me that the most segregated day of the week is Sunday in a lot of our American Churches."
Tait said that racial reconciliation in the American Church is possible but difficult.
"We have to visibly leave that," he maintained. "But, it's not going to happen through osmosis. We got to submerge ourselves in that culture, in that different experience and allow our norms to be shaken up a little bit."
As for his personal experience of subtle discrimination, he shared that even with his musical experience in Christian rock and contemporary Christian music (CCM), Tait claims he is often overlooked as a black musician in both fields.
"I wasn't successful in black gospel because I can't sing black gospel. [And] the fact that my style sort of pushed into the CCM white market, it's kinda funny because I don't think people see me as a color," he said.
"It's kind of a big deal to have a black lead singer of an all-white band. But, for some reason, we don't have that splash in Christian music. People say, 'Oh, it's Michael Tait, he's the honorary negro.'"
About the trend of people abandoning faith, Tait stated that despite the criticism that Christians may face in today's society, Christians must love their neighbors, speak up for what they believe, and hold fast to their faith.
Tait also remembered the wisdom in his father's words, which he continues to teach them as children.
"My dad would always say when we were kids, 'If we don't stand for something, we will fall for anything,'" Tait said. "And it's true. Whenever our faith is being questioned, people want to say, 'What's your stance on that?' And we cower away or be bold about it. Morality issues, life issues, you should stand on a certain point, and if you question that, [you] are deconstructing the faith."
During the coronavirus outbreak, many people reportedly became disillusioned with their spiritual faith as worship services were shifted online and there was less chance for in-person interaction and mentoring.
Tait admitted that he first felt as though God was "receding" or "pulling away" from him.
"Then it hit me in the same moment. He is not receding but reseeding in this period," explained the singer. "Don't think He is pulling away."
The Newsboys' new song "Magnetic," according to Tait, explores this idea. He said that the name "Magnetic" originated from the idea that God is pulling towards man.
"God pulls at man. He's not going to bum-rush His way into our lives. He is going to make it known that, with His Hand on us, He's going to chase you down relentlessly," Tait elaborated. "Your arms are too short to box with God. You want to surrender and say, 'Lord, I'm not sure what's going on, I'm not sure what tomorrow holds, I'm not sure if I'm going to make it through. But, I know one thing that is sure and constant and that's You because You're the same every day, yesterday and tomorrow.'"
Tait believes God wants to be present for people in their times of need.
"When the times get tough and rough, ... it's not a matter of trying to run around it," he said. "Just go through it. God will walk you through it because through that, you're going to gain strength, you're going to gain power, you're going to gain joy because the joy of the Lord is your strength."
Tait aspires to develop a mindset similar to that of Apostle Paul, who, in Tait's words, "never gave up in the faith."
"When we are kids, we learn 'God is great' and 'God is good.' That's great and adorable but is God still great and good when your sister dies from AIDS, or your son dies of a drug overdose, or a friend dies from COVID?" he inquired.
"Of course, we know He's still good, but it's hard in those moments to say 'He is good.' We have to trust the God we put all our faith in, that He can carry us through the cray-cray times and the good times," he maintained.