An Open Letter to Jesse Lacey (Lead Singer of Brand New)

Out Of Tune
Dear Jesse,

I listened to your song “Jesus” today. Actually, I’ve listened to it about twenty times in past few days. You sound sad and I’m sorry you are feeling that way. I’ve had some time to think about what you wrote and that’s why I’m writing you this letter. You see, I don’t know if you know the same Jesus that I know. The Jesus you write about isn’t the same one that I read about in the Bible. You make him out to be a quitter, or a guy who doesn’t care about you, but he does. You make it sound like you’re problems are such that he can’t handle them, but he can. You sound a little scared….

You see, I’m a little like you. I went to a Christian school growing up, just like you. My parents weren’t perfect, but they did their best. They sacrificed to put me into a school like that. Maybe your parents did the same for you, I’ll probably never know. I had, and still have, close friends from those days. These were people I cared about and still do. Some of them sound a little like you do in your song. They are confused about the Jesus they heard about in school. They make the same Jesus they talked about as often in school to be just a man, not a Savior - to be a friendly brother, not a Judger of the heart. What changed your mind about Jesus? Was it because you walked away from graduation and stopped thinking about him, because he wasn’t an assignment anymore? Was it because maybe you didn’t care about him to begin with so he really doesn’t matter now? But you’re thinking about him now, in fact, you wrote a song about what you think about him. You don’t know what to do with him now. You’re confused because you started thinking about death, I believe. You started to ponder what life might be like after death. Maybe your youthful invincibleness has worn off by now and you know you’ll die one day, just like everyone else. It’s not a morbid thought, it’s a fact. Can I encourage you do one thing? Stop thinking and start reading.

The Jesus of the Bible loves you. That’s not a silly saying that Christian people use, it’s an eternal truth. The Jesus of the Bible can and will help you see beyond yourself and see how great he is and how you need him to change your heart. That’s part of the problem - your heart is wicked. It will tell you wicked things and it is prone to sin. What’s sin, you might ask? It’s any act that goes against the nature and will of God. What’s the will of God? It’s what he has written in the Bible. But I think you have already heard all of this before, but let’s review. Jesus cares about you, hence the name Savior. He saves people. He saves people from their wicked hearts and their sin. That’s why God sent him to die on a cross. You talked about the cross in your song. You see, Jesus had to die on that cross to save you from the sins you have committed in the past, present, and future. He died once for all. He finished it all on the cross. Yet, you talk about “nailing him back up”, but that can’t be done. Christ died on that cross, and then rose three days later, thus showing us his power over death. Death of course is the result of our sin. This isn’t just facts from your fourth period theology class, this is what the Bible says he did for you. But I think you forgot about all that. You forgot what your teachers taught you, and maybe even what your parents taught you. Listen, I know no one is perfect, but that’s not the point. The point is that Jesus can and will save you from your sin, and he has all the power and authority to do it.

Jesse, please hear me out. I know you’re life isn’t perfect. I know that you have probably done some things that maybe you think he won’t forgive you for, but he will. He’s a good Savior. He’s a loving Savior. Don’t kid yourself to think you don’t have to work this out before you die. It truly is a matter of eternal life and eternal death. If you die tonight, without believing in your heart that Christ is Lord of your life, you will go to hell, there is no way around it. BUT, know this! If you turn your life over to him, submit your will to his, and trust him as the Lord over your life, he WILL save you. He will take you as his own and care for you. There is nothing in this world like him, and nothing in this world will satisfy you like him. If you don’t believe me, read the Bible. Start in the gospel of John and read about his love. Read about his miracles, his signs, and his life. Read about the God who saves. The Jesus that I know is a good God. The Jesus I know loves me and takes care of me. It’s not the Jesus you wrote about in your song. He’s not a quitter, and he isn’t careless. He’s truly a good God.

I hope this letter finds you well. I’ll probably continue to listen to your song, because honestly, it reminds me of those I know who don’t know the God I do. If you have any thoughts or questions feel free to write back to me. If you haven’t heard what I have said, I hope you at least hear what the Bible says.


By Shay

A little bit, a little bit more.

24 replies on “An Open Letter to Jesse Lacey (Lead Singer of Brand New)”

1.”invisibleness” isnt a word.
2. you completely misinterpreted this song.
3. just because someone is questioning their faith in something or someone does NOT mean that any religious nut can tell them that if they don’t change, they’ll go to hell.

shay, thanks for reading into this song. i have been wondering the same thing for quite some time. this is a question that i really want an answer for. i have a slightly different view on the song, i feel like it is more of a prayer than anything else, but i have no backing for this view. as you said, when Jesus died on the cross, He paid the penalties for our sins: past, present and future. that means that each time we sin, it is just another thing that Jesus paid for on that cross. our salvation is not anything we can do by “turn[ing] your life over to him, submit your will to his, and trust him as the Lord over your life, he WILL save you.” He saved us from eternal damnation by dying for our sins. all we have to do is believe in Him and . this is stated over 90 times in the gospel of John alone. Romans 6-8 make it clear that there is nothing we can do to earn our salvation. this was a free gift.

that is something that might have

sorry, i accidentally hit enter…

“all we have to do is believe in Him and” TRUST Him for our salvation. Trust that He will save us. that is something that was somewhat unclear…

anyway, that is beside the point.

did you ever find out about Jesse? is he saved? i read somewhere that he got saved right after releasing Deja entendu. i dont know if that is true, just wondering if you ever found this out.

find me on facebook or email me b/c idk if ill ever be back to this site.

stefan christensen

umm…I know you’re trying to be understanding and helpful…but it seems more like you’re just judging him. If he grew up in a christian school, don’t you think he’d already know all this? Sometimes people already have the answers to their questions, they just simply don’t want a God.

I think you should let Jesse Lacey work out his own problems, i’m sure he’s heard enough of other people’s opinions by now.

As a christian, a pastors kid, and a current student of a christian high school, and just as a person who has accepted jesus as their own personal savior, your entry has left me with alot to say.

As jesse, and maybe as you, I have been sorrounded by biblical principles like “Jesus will always forgive you” and “jesus loves you” and

But theres something that I think you don’t understand, that makes me relate to the song, and I believe you misinterpret the song. I’ll be quoting the song throughout

It’s not about knowledge, we all know the bible says jesus loves us, but we reach points in our life where are brains simply won’t accept that, we won’t feel his love or see it in our lives, we wonder why he can’t be more obvious, “do you think that we could work out a sign So I’ll know it’s you and that it’s over so I won’t even try”
Sometimes faith feels impossible, and the fact that he could love us, feels impossible to. We are all given this image of god, and because of our finite understand our hearts can’t comprehend how the judge of the old testament could possibly forgive us. Possibly love us. It’s not enough to read it in the bible sometimes, we live on what we feel and what we can understand.especially after repeating the same sins over and over, after our hearts say god I know this is a sin but I’m just gonna do it. How could he forgive us when we are sin, everything about us, how could a god who hates sin so much he can’t be in its presence love me? love you? “If they don’t put me away Well, it’ll be a miracle”

The point I’m trying to make is even for someone who loves jesus and is making sacrafices in their life to make their heavenly father happy, some days I wake up and I just don’t believe it, even if I tell myself I know the bible says this says that, sometime my subconscious won’t except it. Because we model things like love and forgiveness after our own hearts, and my definiton of love and forgiveness can’t come close to god, sometimes it seems TO foreign to me, TO good to be true.
Its not fair to assume he just didnt care anymore about jesus, or that it was cause he isn’t an assignment anymore, Because maybe he cares so much that he can’t see how he could be loved and forgiven. Some of us will always struggle with accepting that, and when people make it seem like thats not a normal struggle to have, or a normal sign of a christian, they give up. they figure they are to flawed and doubted. And that is what I sense for him, and if not, I know it has happened to me. Instead of preaching and judging, pray that jesus will show him, personally, in a way that will really convince him jesus loves him. forgives him. because for some of us its not that easy and it never will be.

Another thing you mentioned was about this part of the song

“I know you think that I’m someone you can trust
But I’m scared I’ll get scared and I swear I’ll try to nail you back up”

This is my favorite part of the song. Because its so true, your not looking at it in the right way. Its about the struggle of sin, hes telling jesus that you may think I wont sin again but I will, and because he hasn’t truely accepted the concept of forgiveness he is probably thinking what is the point if I’m just going to do it all over again,he’ll go back to that place and sin and sin, and put him up on that cross again. I put jesus up on that cross, you put him up on that cross. Because the sin we had and continue to have is what put him on that cross. We all had a part in it.


Agree 100% with the article but also agree that this is something some people need to find on their own. especially being raised in a christian family he knows this and now its about him making a choice. All we can do on the outside is pray for him and others like him. Awesome addition Tina!

Like so many people before me, I will again tell you that you have completely misinterpreted the song. I am a christian, and also probably the biggest brand new fan I know of. This song is not about saying god doesn’t care about him.

Do me a favor, and look for some videos on Jesse’s Interviews, and if you can’t find any, I will be happy to send you some, because you don’t know Jesse like a lot of his fans do.

I like the letter Shay…although we never will know what was going on and the lyrics are still unclear, but regardless, God loves us all and I know He’ll keep shining forth in our struggles, Jesse’s struggles, and your struggles. I encourage Jesse and all of us to wrestle with our faith as Jacob did with God, or to work out our salvation with God/Jesus as Paul states. Everyone’s all at different stages in their relationship with God…but that’s what the journey’s for…let’s see where it all takes us.

Hey Shay, I am not Jesse, but i was feeling the way he was feeling. I say was because after reading that letter, it really has changed the way i think. Thank you for leading me back to my loving father.

I’m usually a pretty easygoing guy until it comes someone trying to correct someone for their due punishment. How can you say your religion is true. You can’t it is all personal opinion. For 1000’s of years the human race has been making up their own religions. How do you know for a fact that Christianity isn’t. I am not against Christianity. I go to a Christian school, but one thing that bugs me is when stuck up Christians think comforting words like “Jesus Loves You” and “He will solve every problem” just to try to please someone temporarily. I try to bring peace but it kind of bugs me when people are trying to share religion over the internet.

Hey Guys I would completely agree with this Carter person. What he just said was amazing. I would be honored if you let me come to a saving knowledge on my own and not try to force it down my throat and make me feel like less of a person because I may or may not believe in the same God as you.

Dear Shay,

You are a product of how you were raised. If you would (could) do any unbiased research, you would find that Jesus never existed. He is nothing but a story ripped off of greek mythology. THe only reason you believe is because you were raised to believe, just as a child born in saudi arabia will most likely be muslim. I realize you will argue back that You have done the research and Jesus did exist and he lives inside of you today. What you do not realize is that science has proven “god” and the feelings you get from prayer or the “holy spirit” as you call it, is part of our evolution and takes place in a very specific part in our brain. Scientist have been able to reproduce this feeling with magnets and electricity for years. I know that you will undermine any information presented to you. People, such as yourself, used to anger me, but now i realize you do what you do out of necessity . It is simply evolution, a defense mechanism set up so that you do not have to deal with the feeling not really knowing what happens when you die. You are a beautiful person and I hope your life is full of joy. Maybe we will meet someday on the other side of this adventure we call earth!

Dear “jesus”

I am not a product of my raising yet I am confident of my belief in Jesus being exactly who he said he was..

Dont blame this on failed research. The majority of todays thinkers, believers and atheists agree on the existence of Jesus. The divide comes between people who believe he was who he claimed to be and those who don’t.

Also. Lets talk research..

Jesus ripped off from greek mythology? riiight. so. What God in Greek mythology is Jesus based on? and why was he talked about long before the greek dynasty came into being?

You can hide behind your keyboard with witty remarks that make you seem distinguished and educated but ultimately you will nee to re evaluate your view point because it is wrong. Wether your re evaluating leads you to God or not, is the not the point. The point is, you are wrong.

Jesus existed, not only in the bible but in historical documents. The argument is over who he claimed to be.

What historical document proves that Jesus existed? Not one! Give me references! The bible does not count. Go through all the famous historians that lived at the same time and geographical area that Jesus supposedly lived and you will not find one mention. That seems kind of fishy that as popular as Jesus is made out to be he would have at least got a mention. As I said in my last post you would argue, just as you did. Watch the movie ” the zeitgeist film”, this, if your faith allows itself to be tested, will show you how Jesus is a copy cat story. I checked the “facts” of this movie, as anyone should before they choose to believe anything, and they are spot on! There are a few issues with comparisons that I feel do not line up and are stretched but the rest is spot on. I am nit out to destroy your Jesus, but if you are so publicly willing to post your assumptions about a person based on a song they wrote, you had better be able to handle your feedback. In the the words of Jesse Lacey ” I can dish it out , but I can’t take it” . Dont be that guy.

One more thing, I have read and researched the bible numerous times, and not just the king James version, I’m talking direct Hebrew translations. In my research I am finding that the English translation has many misrepresented words, hell being the biggest. Do some research and you will find that our modern version of hell is non existent and many Christians are waking up to this fact and the fact that they need to be referencing their reading with the original Hebrew bible. Just a thought.

@ Tina. I don’t even really know what to say… I just feel the need to say something. You have no idea how much your comment hit home for me. You touch on so many issues I am going through in such an honest way. I know I’m a few years late but, if you ever happen to read this, thank you for writing that. At least I know now that I’m not the only one who feels that way.

eh bro. I’m a Christian and I think Jesse is just being open… I’m a pastor and a song writer.. I think the song is more about how we’re the ones who nailed him on the cross… We’re the one’s who put him there… I think if we were all to be honest, we’ve all felt like this song.

I went to see them in Seattle in 2011 and to my suprise, Jesse was a lot more confident in his faith than some of his songs make him sing. I think that by listening ot this song and reading the lyrics, you’re looking at a snapshot of Jesse’s faith at a hard point in his life.

After the show, there were three Mormon girls that he had talked to in previous shows. You could tell the topic of religion really interested him personally, which is why he stood around in a circle to chat for the better part of an hour. He made some very confident statements about *His* faith (strongly referencing Christianity) that i would have never believed unless I heard it with my own ears.

What you are looking at is an amazing songwriter who is brutally honest with his lyrics. After having the pleasure to be a part of the circle conversation outside the Showbox SoDo that night, I think it’s apparent that Jesse has a strong faith in Jesus Christ, who happens to be prone to very realistic doubts when he is depressed. I’d say that’s also quite normal, but the difference is most people wouldn’t bother to admit it let alone write it into a song.

A commenter said: “What historical document proves that Jesus existed?”
There is Josephus and also the Jewish Talmud. Josephus records documents of Jesus and the Talmud calls Jesus a man that lead the Jews into apostasy with sorcery. Calling his miracles sorcery. The Talmud was against Jesus, but documented him as a living man.

You should also read about the shroud of Turin which is a cloth discovered that he was wrapped in.

Commenter said ” Watch the movie ” the zeitgeist film”, this, if your faith allows itself to be tested, will show you how Jesus is a copy cat story. I checked the “facts” of this movie, as anyone should before they choose to believe anything, and they are spot on!”

You seriously put zeitgeist off as credible resource? This is such a silly movie. It mixes truth and lie. Yes there is a global elite. But they really through the story of Jesus way off. Jesus was not born on the 25th. He was born either in the spring or fall as most scholars would agree. They make a claim of Jesus being of sun worship because “sun” and “son” is redundant because that is only a homophone in English. Zeitgeist is a repulsive joke. If you really did you would see that this film was based on such arbitrary claims. The RCC infiltrated Christianity with pagan beliefs. The film also distorts the tales of other religions. You do not know the truth of what Christianity is. Yeshua, Jesus’ Hebrew name, means salvation. Yod Shin Vav Ayin are the letters. Hebrew letters have their own meaning as well. Those four letters mean the hand that destroys the establishment of the eye. Jesus is the destroyer of the global elite that has you deceived with this silly zeitgeist nonsense. You are a product raised by the elite.

“They make the same Jesus they talked about as often in school to be just a man, not a Savior - to be a friendly brother, not a Judger of the heart.”

Way to make an assumption based on some rather obscure lyrics, followed by a wall of text where you talk about Jesus like he’s a man.

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