In a move that shocked the Christian music community, Dan Haseltine, lead singer of award-winning band Jars of Clay, recently announced his support for same sex marriage via twitter.
"Not meaning to stir things up BUT... is there a non-speculative or non 'slippery slope' reason why gays shouldn't marry? I don't hear one," he tweeted.
Haseltine went on to argue, "I'm trying to make sense of the conservative argument. But it doesn't hold up to basic scrutiny. Feels akin to women's suffrage. I just don't see a negative effect to allowing gay marriage. No societal breakdown, no war on traditional marriage. ?? Anyone?"
The singer later posted, ""I don't particularly care about Scriptures stance on what is 'wrong,' I care more about how it says we should treat people."
This news has rocked the contemporary Christian music world, as Jars of Clay known for its overtly biblical lyrics and has a strong fan base among Christians.
"After listening to this group for the majority of my life, I must now turn away and turn my children away because of the very unbiblical stance of the lead singer," a user named Jennifer posted on the Jars of Clay Facebook page.
Another user named Carlos posted the Bible verse Matthew 19:4-5, in which Jesus defines marriage in referring back to Genesis 2:24, "...Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?'"
Haseltine argued in one post, however: "I think the vast interpretation [of Scripture] has left room for people to deal inhumanly and unlovingly toward others that don't fit their guidelines."
Since its formation in the early 90's, Jars of Clay has been considered one of the leaders in contemporary Christian music. Their self-titled debut album in 1995 was a massive success on both Christian and secular radio, paving the way for multiple awards, including three Grammys.
Following Haseltine's tweets, however, some Christian music stations have stopped playing his music, and others have gone as far as erasing all Jars of Clay from their music library.
In response, Haseltine tweeted, "Caught wind that some radio stations have pulled my music and people are deleting my music from their playlists, Why?"
"Because you have decided to support a lifestyle God calls an abomination," one follower responded.
The group's single Flood reached #12 on the Billboard Modern Rock chart and #37 on the Hot 100 pop chart, and has been featured in many popular shows. The group has also scored 20 top 10 singles on the contemporary Christian singles charts.