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For Today Fire Guitarist Over Family Duties, Disagreements About Jesus


Metalcore moshers-for-Christ For Today have kicked out yet another member after a fallout of Biblical proportions. This morning, now-former guitarist Samuel Penner released a lengthy statement detailing the circumstances around his firing and the reasons given to him by the band, which appear to be a strange cross between the “You need to be with your family” and “My Jesus is better than your Jesus”.

In his statement (which you can read in full if you have time to get through something as long as the Old Testament) Penner explains that after hearing that his mother-in-law had been hospitalised with a brain haemorrhage, he flew home to be with his family, whereupon he received a phone call from the band explaining that “it would be beneficial for (him) to no longer be a part of For Today”. The (seemingly contradictory) reasons given by the band, according to Penner, were:

  • “The beliefs that I hold on ‘how I should live my life after salvation are contradictory to the Gospel’.  It was expressed by one member that ‘I don’t believe in the same Jesus or gospel’ as the members of the band.”
  • “‘It is not at all about my beliefs, but rather my recent detachment and inability to focus during bible study along with the lack of ‘fruit’ in my life’.”
  • “It was more important for me to be home with my wife (this I don’t disagree with and neither should any husband, but a decision that affects my wife and I in a such a significant way, should be left to my wife and I, and my wife and I alone).”

The firing comes roughly two years after the band made headlines several times over a slew of homophobic comments that led to the departure of guitarist Mike Reynolds: First, when Reynolds publicly declared on Twitter in January 2013 that there is “no such thing as a gay Christian”, leading to widespread backlash and the decision for Reynolds to step down from the band to “enrol in Bible college, and to begin working toward full-time missions work in the Middle East”; second, when vocalist Mattie Montgomery tried to make amends by issuing a video apology on behalf of the band for Reynolds’ words, and posted his phone number online for anyone wishing to speak to him personally about the comments; and third, when, mere months later, Montgomery went back on all that good apologising work by penning a blog in which he condemned homosexuality as a form of “self-worship” and stated: “I cannot support the homosexual agenda in our nation”. As one of the most outspokenly dogmatic bands in the Heavenly Hardcore scene, we never exactly expected For Today to be For The Gays, but who would have thought they’d manage to make Memphis May Fire’s Matty Mullins look sane?

On the plus side, the band now joins a prestigious list of Bands Who Have More Ex-Members Than Current Members. And that’s all our news for today about For Today.


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