Brokenhearted Theology, Ramblings, Relational

This Christ you preach I know, but who are you?

For the last 6 years, one of my closest friend and I have been sharing music back and forth with each other, always seeking to outdo the other by finding the latest and greatest band.  We’ve always had our differences – he always enjoyed punk a bit more, and I always enjoyed jazz a bit more.  But we’d always cross over.  And if he loved a band, he would explain it to me and I couldn’t help but growing to love that band.  Whether it be the vocals, the chord structures, the improvs, the live performance, the lyrics, whatever. 

He’s always been into stuff that’s a bit harder than I prefer…but lately he’s been feeding me some of the most hardcore/metalcore music that I think is around.  One of the things that has most impressed me is that within this sub-genre of music, many of these bands that are kind of setting the bar for hardcore music have been called “Christian bands.”  Now, I’ve always kind of detested the idea of a Christian band, or Christian music….music is music, and I don’t think slapping a Christian label on it can do anything to make it more holy than the myriad of secular music that seeks to ask honest and authentic questions about life, god, the spiritual, the holy, etc.  But these bands (Norma Jean, Zao, Underoath, mewithoutyou, the Chariot, etc.) are bands with Christ following members, and from what I’ve seen they are writing some of the most honest and gut wrenching lyrics out there.  They’re just amazing…they remind me of Psalmist laments or Joban songs of sorrow.  Many of them often use Biblical texts directly, or metaphorically speak of Biblical allusions in a way that I don’t find cheesy…but honest attempts at figuring out the hardest questions – how can God be loving?  How can we live in this hurting world?  How can we help it if we are the problem? 

Below I’ve included some of my favorite hardcore lyrics…you may not want to check out some of the music….it’s very heavy…often very loud…and may be a huge turn off.  But I think some of the poetry found in the lyrics is just beautiful.  And that helps me to better appreciate the musicality of what’s going on.  Even behind all the distortion and screaming…I think you may be able to pick up a reflection of the mystic…the holy.

By Norma Jean…

Staring at the world through the whole you put in my
hand. That was caused by a blade you gently inserted.
I did this for you, not for your religon, not for your
patterns. I did this for you. I did this for a man
like you. Stop searching and find Me. I am stabbed by grace
and slinging blood.

From mewithoutyou…

On a bus ride into town, I wondered out loud, “Why am I going to town?”
As I looked around at the billboards and the stores I thought, “Why do I look around?”
And I kissed the filthy ground… the first dry spot I found…
I didn’t have to wonder why I was laying down.
Before long I was too cold… took a bus back to the station,
I found a letter left by a pay phone with no return contact
And it read like a horn blown by some sad angel,
“Bunny, it was me… it was me who let you down”
It was the shyest attempt I’d ever seen at conversation.

But if I didn’t have You as my guide, I’d still wander lost in Sinai,
Counting the plates of cars from out-of-state,
How I could jump in their path as they hurry along!
And You surround me, You’re pretty but You’re all I can see
Like a thick fog…
If there was no way into God,
I would never have laid in this grave of a body for so long.

And St. Cyril’s fair always came through the first week of September
But it’s already the 19th… and there’s no sign of it…
Yet I have a hard time remembering all the things I should remember
And a hard time forgetting all the things that I was supposed to forget.
And, Christ, when You’re ready to come back,
Then I think I’m ready for You to come back;
But if You want to stay wherever exactly it is You are,
That’s okay, too… it’s, it’s really none of my business.

And if I didn’t have You as my guide, I’d still wander lost in Sinai
Or down by the tracks watching trains go by
To remind me: there are places that aren’t here.
And I had a well but all the water left,
So I’ll go ask Your forgiveness with every breath,
And if there was no way into God,
I would never have laid in this grave of a body… so long, dear.
 

From The Chariot…

Walk backwards and say goodbye to what is right.
Understanding what makes this, what makes it,
what makes us right.
God save this gunslinging generation.
“Tell God I will return in the morning.”
This Christ you preach I know, but who are you?
Your hands are tied to blind men, whose hands are tied to blind men.
Figure Eights.
“This pistol is my ministry”

From underoath…

I heard a voice through the dischord
Of a deluge of passers-by.
I saw one gaze frozen in time
Watching me passing by.
I swear I’ll know your face in the crowd,
And I’ll hear your voice so loud
When you’re whispering…
Hey unfaithful I will teach you
To be stronger, to be stronger.
Hey ungraceful I will teach you
To forgive one another.

Here’s my kiss to betray
Desperate to brush the lips of grace.
Do you feel hollow when you think of how I’ve lied?

Oh sweet angel of mercy with your grace like the morning
Wrap your loving arms around me.
Oh sweet angel of mercy with your grace like the morning
Wrap your loving arms around me.

Hey unfaithful I will teach you
To be stronger, to be stronger.
Hey ungraceful I will teach you
To forgive one another.
Hey unfaithful I will teach you
To be stronger, to be stronger.

Hey unloving

I will love you
I will love you
I will love you.

Jesus I’m ready to come home

 

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One thought on “This Christ you preach I know, but who are you?

  1. That’s a catchy title. It’s interesting how this nugget of truth comes from an evil spirit in the scriptures.

    It’s amazing how much can be conveyed in music and art than through mere words dispite seeming more garbled and distorted upfront.

    Like

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