Tag Archives: Tonex

Somebody had to talk about it!

Lexi interviews Tonex about his Gospel music career and sexuality.

A few days ago I got a phone call from a friend insisting that I dropped whatever I was doing to jump on YouTube to see this interview.  As a little background to this story, I’ve been a fan of Tonex (pronounced Toe-nay) for about 10 years now.  Tonex’s music – both vocally and instrumentally is unique and raw in many ways.  He is a Christian, but his creations often ruffled the feathers of ‘traditional’ believers.  His music has a strong ‘cross-over’ appeal and often would be found in stores outside of the Christian music section.  Tonex often writes songs in first-hand perspective of a person struggling with addiction, sexuality, mourning, or other topics that are part of life, but not often part of ‘church talk’.  I was draw to this music because I felt “finally, another believer who is using this struggles of his past to bring glory to God and expose the darkness of these situations”.

Tonex has been a magnet for controversy not just because of his writing, but also his physical appearance.  He’s been known to wear hair and clothes in range from a suit and tie, to hip-hop street culture, to goth (including long purple bangs and black painted nails).  The latter often has called his sexuality into question.  In addition to all this, in recent years he ‘retired’ from the music industry citing the unfairness of how he was financially struggling yet his music was selling well.  He also was hit with the difficult transitions of being divorced, his Father and Pastor suddenly dieing, and having to assume his father’s position as Pastor of their church.

Tonex has been out of the spotlight for some months, other than releasing the occasional ‘underground’ music release online.  This interview was the first major news about Tonex in a while.  If there’s one thing Tonex has always done well it’s address topics that too often go unmentioned in the church.  While the theological views expressed in this interview may not be agreeable to everyone – I think it’s important that we all really hear what his thoughts and perspectives are.  Check out the interview (3 parts) below. Continue reading Somebody had to talk about it!

Say it ain’t so Tonex! Is this good bye?

TonexWow… I know this will work together for Good in the end… but it doesn’t stop me from feeling the pain that he must be going through right now!

Quoted from Tonex’s blog at MySpace.com

After long contemplation and much financial & emotional hardship I have decided that Tonex needs go on hiatus from the music industry. I have tried very hard to endure all that I can from being misunderstood to being down right lied on and I don’t physically or emotionally have the capacity to continue on anymore under the current circumstances.

note: to hear the live interview on this topic go to http://www.kjlhradio.com/tonex.htm

I’m really overwhelmed. In Tonex’s blog, he goes through his personal list of woes and hardships that he’s endured recently.  I really encourage you to go read the whole thing for yourself here .  What disturbs me most is that he’s had to face such hardship in the hands of the “Church Folk”!  Now I’ll put my personal bias out here and I’ll make it clear… I love what I know of Tonex and his ministry.  But even if you are totally opposed to everything he does, does that exclude him from being another brother in the Lord… for whom Christ died?  Do we forget that artists and entertainers are people too… need Jesus too… need to be loved and cared for too- right or wrong?

This is a sensitive subject for me because of the difficulties I have faced in the pursuit of my faith.  I’ve become especially sensitive to those who the church frequently mistreats.  The church in the US has such an institutionalized culture and can be so exclusive of those who culturally don’t fit in. This isn’t to say that Christians should continue in any-old way of living… but we bar people from coming in the door based on the way people look or the way they might make us look. So many times we push ‘sinners’ away because we just can’t stomach who they are right now. I personally have been pushed away, forgotten, and ignored because the sins I struggle with are too uncomfortable for those in my leadership.

Again, I’m not in a place to make a judgment call about anything going on in Tonex’s life because I’m not in his life nor am I his spiritual covering. But it truly pains me to hear his struggle with LIFE.

One friend I talked to about this commented: “we put our grown up spirituality on other people and leave them no room to grow and mature into their faith. Then what we get is ‘burned-out’ Christians who shut down for years before returning to ministry—after they have matured”. I’ve always seen Tonex simply as one who’s maturing in his faith yet who’s bold enough to be himself in the process. We always praise the ones who “act just like so-and-so”, or who are “going to be the next so-and-so” but what about the one that leaves you blessed and scratching your head at the same time? Kirk Franklin falls into this same category in my book… a brother in Christ who just like all of us is growing and maturing, but who’s transparent enough to let us SEE God at work in his life.

I could go on for a while about this (and maybe there will be a part two) but I just want to leave on this note. JESUS was transparent about his life too. Have you ever looked at the temptation of Jesus in the Wilderness?

You can Read it HERE Mathew 4:1-11.

Think about when the devil comes to tempt you… when was the last time he showed up in red tights, sporting a big red cape, horns, and a pitch fork? Did he announce: “I’m the devil here to test you… please disobey God and do what I say.”? I don’t think so, when WE are tempted, he comes through subtle suggestions in our minds… suggestions that have just enough truth to make sense to us. He doesn’t sound like SATAN… he sounds a lot like YOU.

The Bible tells us that Jesus was TEMPTED in the same ways that we are. Now the other part for us to wrap our minds around is this: nobody had to know that Jesus ever felt tempted. Think about it… no body was there with him in the desert. Here he is, all alone, with little thoughts coming to his mind that might make sense—especially after the heaven’s just opened up and announced “This is my son in whom I’m well pleased… listen to him”. So why in the world would he come back and tell anyone that the DEVIL was able to bring a thought to his HOLY mind? Because Jesus wants us to know that yeah, temptation has knocked on his door too. But we can overcome it just like He did. He set a president… not to keep everything hush-hush but to say—look at my life… I was tempted by the devil to bow down to him, I cried and agonized in the garden about following through with the Will of God for my life, I experienced pain, rejection, humiliation, and suffering… and I’m THE son of God. He opened up the not so glorious parts of His life so that we can be free and have no need to hide the not so glorious parts of our own lives.

Anybody wanna be just like Jesus!?

It’s my prayer that as with all test and storms in life, this too work together for Tonex’s good… that on the other side of the tears and the pain, a glorious ministry of healing and hope spring forth for everyone who can identify with what he’s going through right now.

In the mean time, keep us honest and transparent folks up in prayer yall! It ain’t easy being on the front line being shot in the back by Christians who aren’t comfortable with you on the SAME team with them.

In the words of that infamous man of God: ToNeX

“2 each His own”,

–Darren

Wednesday January 25, 2006 – 01:52am (CST)