Listen to “Enforcers” by The Midnight Wedding (featuring Kevin Young of Disciple) exclusively right here on Rock On Purpose. Then read lead singer Brandon Trlak’s thoughts on the powerful message behind the song.
“Enforcers” for me is an outpouring from a time when I saw myself fall by my own choices and mistakes. I fell hard from grace, and when I tried to find my way back and seek out forgiveness and redemption, it was met with shaming, rejection, and hatred. I looked to humans for forgiveness, humans who claimed to follow Christ, and I found only the judges, the jury, and the executioners.
This song came from a place where not only was I dealing with my own shame and guilt for my faults, but the shame and hopelessness that was being dumped on me by those who said they believed in the cross. There were full blown campaigns to go to my church to tear down my name and make sure I knew my shame and sin. There were campaigns to even go to my family and tell them how much of a failure I was, and all it did was cause divide. Even now, those people still push and try with everything to tear down my name, even though I have made many faults and mistakes right, and I’m still trying to remedy my failings.
In the church and religion, I found nothing but hatred. I have never been more hurt and rejected than I have been by the religious people who stand in a building and proclaim Jesus with their lips but deny Him with their judgement of others.
I’m thankful for this time because it led me to Jesus, the real Jesus, and in His mercy and grace I found new life, new hope, and freedom. I found a new beginning and new wholeness. I found real truth in my despair. I realized the religious elite hated Jesus too, and He was and is perfect. And if they rejected Him, the Holy One, then why would I expect anything different? I was and am an outcast.
This rejection put me into a horrible depression from which I thought there was no escape. The church I thought was supposed to be my hope in being restored became the chains around my neck, pulling me under the sea of shame and sealing my fate. I came so close to giving up the fight. I almost lost my life because of my shame.
Through this, I did find real followers of Christ– those who would hold me accountable for my faults, but would also show me the love of Jesus, show me that through Him I have a second chance, a new start, a beginning of hope, and most of all that I am worthy of love, HIS LOVE.
That’s the biggest thing that the enforcers stripped away. They took my worth, cast me out as if I was trash, divided family and friends, and then used Jesus as the reason to justify their actions.
This song is an outcry against those who claim Jesus but feel it is their place to tear down, condemn, and create smear campaigns to rip apart a person’s life. To the outcast, I say this THAT. IS. NOT. JESUS. Period.
Yes, there is place for sound judgement and calling out when we make mistakes and sin. But the line between judgement and condemnation has become blurred. They take on self-righteousness, thinking that they can judge people for the sins they themselves haven’t committed, ignoring the fact that the sins they do commit are no different. Jesus said it Himself, that no sin is greater than any other. And that if we are truly His followers, then we will love like He did. He loved us and died for us knowing every single one of our faults. Because nothing occurs to God– He didn’t wake up one day and say “oh I didn’t know Joe Smith would sin or fall, or that Suzy Q would fail in this way.” Know He knew, and that’s why He died for us.
Yes, there must be correcting and reproof, and yes, there must be repentance, but there also must be love, mercy, grace, and hope. To the outcast who has fallen and sinned, been a hypocrite and made mistakes they never saw coming: God saw this! There is hope! There is grace! There is mercy! Grace forgives our sin and mercy washes it away from our past! Turn to Jesus, and He is faithful to forgive and will restore you!
Don’t look to men, but to Jesus. He loves you, and He will NEVER forsake you. He knows each and every time you will fail, and if you run to Him, His blood will cover you!
For the outcast, find Him in prayer and His word:
“Enforcers” is the latest release from The Midnight Wedding’s debut album Anthem for the Outcast. The album was cowritten and produced by Josiah Prince of Disciple. You can find them on Spotify and Apple Music to hear more, as well as following them on Facebook and Instagram.