MEGADETH bassist David Ellefson last fall became one of 100 students in the distance education program at the Concordia Seminary in Clayton, Missouri. Classes include “Lutheran Distinctions,” “Preaching I & II,” “Introduction to Worship” and “Scripture and Faith.”
Gordon Duncan of the Raleigh Evangelical Examiner recently conducted an interview with Ellefson. Check out the interview below.
You said you don’t see yourself as standing up and handing out the sacraments, so what are some of your goals surrounding a seminary education?
Ellefson: I’m enjoying the educational aspect of this. Learning what I can about the history of the church and Martin Luther’s discoveries of both the Old Testament law and New Testament gospel of Christ. I think my generation just gave up on church…much the same way Martin Luther questioned the church of his day. I think we are all drawn to the word of God but not sure about the church of our youth as it was antiquated and seemed culturally irrelevant to us. So, my hope is that with a modern day discovery we can apply God’s word more universally to all of us, even us in rock n’ roll!
How do you integrate taking virtual classes and life on the road?
Ellefson: I like it. I did my four year bachelor’s degree online and as a traveling entertainer/musician, it is really the only way to continue higher academic learning.
Do you and Dave Mustaine ever debate points of theology? If so, could you give me some examples? How do you handle any disagreements?
Ellefson: Dave and I never dispute scripture but rather we study it together. Dave is actually very well versed and read on scripture, especially the Old Testament. I’ve learned quite a bit from him over the years. I think his understanding of Moses is superior to what mine used to be. I can’t say we disagree. It’s just that we each bring something different to our discussions. I think that is the beauty of scripture it is irrefutable if you really study it as it is written and don’t try to scramble it to fit your life. We are to fit it, not the other way around.
Do you desire to see your Christian faith more overtly evident in Megadeth lyrics?
Ellefson: I don’t see Megadeth being a quote/unquote “Christian Band” but rather a band that has Christians in it. We’ve used concepts and scripture in our songs for years. One example is in “Ashes in Your Mouth” where we say, “Turning plowshares into swords.”
How have Chris and Shawn interacted with you about your faith and your taking of seminary classes?
Ellefson: Yes, we chat about it. I think we are on the same page which is live your faith rather than go out and try to convert everyone.