"I never meant to run when you came for me/I just got scared because I didn't believe/So catch me if you can/I've been needing you to"
—from the song "Time Marches On"
Letter Kills is one of those groups that probably don't like to be called a "Christian band," but they wear their faith on their sleeve every time you mention them. Their name comes from 2 Corinthians 3:5-6: "Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God, who also made us sufficient as ministers of the new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life" (NKJV). As with bands like Jars of Clay and Sixpence None the Richer, it gives them an open door to talk about their faith with a mainstream audience anytime someone asks about their name.
The primary difference between Letter Kills and other Christian acts is that they've chosen not to write their songs with an evangelistic intent. "We believe that if you put too much emphasis on [our faith], it alienates the kids who don't really care," says lead singer Matt Shelton. "Our big thing is to unite people, not push them away with the music we play."
Nevertheless, the band's Christian beliefs are the reason they formed in the first place, and it gives them a sense of mission. According to guitarist Timothy Cordova, "God put us together and has given us talents and opportunities. That gives us no choice but to do our best at annihilating every stage and showing our fans kindness and sincerity. Our common faith helps us be united as a band because regardless of our individualities, we believe in the same absolutes."
The five members of Letter Kills got together in 2002 and recorded an EP in early ...1
Already a CT subscriber? Log in for full digital access.
Subscribe to Christianity Today and get access to this article plus 65+ years of archives.
- Home delivery of CT magazine
- Complete access to articles on ChristianityToday.com
- Over 120 years of magazine archives plus full access to all of CT’s online archives
- Learn more