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Rock, Theology Through Music

Melodious Theology: When Freedom Sounds Like Babbling Noise

TV static

Illustrating the truths of Christianity through the power of music. 

One night I was listening to a local rock station who allows their listeners to come up with their seven song perfect playlist. I caught the tail end of one woman’s playlist and noticed an interesting trend through the last three songs—noise, chaotic and furious noise. Fun.’s “Be Calm”, Muse’s “New Born” and Last Tuesday’s “Become What You Believe” were brash, in your face, cacophonous songs that were unapologetic in producing noisy rock (listen below).

 

 

 

Like the Second Viennese School, Free Jazz and the “make music out of anything” composers of the mid-20th century, these songs put aside the tyranny of tonality and opened up their musical framework to pure musical freedom. The boundaries of culturally acceptable sound were eclipsed in order to allow freedom to reign supreme. But isn’t that what our prayer life is like, noisy requests of our will, ignoring God’s will for us? Which is one of the reasons Jesus had these harsh words for our prayers, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.” (Matt. 6:7) Our freedom in prayer does not lie in our many cacophonous words, but in the quiet, secret places where we offer our praise and seek out God’s will. Let us not be noise in our God’s ear but harmoniously pray his will for our lives.

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Songs we listened to this week and our brief thoughts on them.

“Lead Me Home” – Jamie N. Commons

An original song written for the AMC series The Walking Dead but unabashedly religious:

Oh lord live inside me, lead me on my way
Oh lord live inside me, lead me on my way
Lead me home
Lead me home

Oh lord in the darkness, lead me on my way
Oh lord in the darkness, lead me on my way
Lead me home
Lead me home

Hmmmmm
Hmmmmm

Oh lord heaven’s waiting, open up your door
Oh lord heaven’s waiting, open up your door
Lead me home
Lead me home

Lead me home
Lead me home

Lead me home
Lead me home

“Self-Existent” – Becoming the Archetype

A fantastic metal song on the hope of Easter:

Into the darkened tomb
I walked but only found it empty

My mind is tormented
My soul is shaken

As a flame is tormented by the wind and rain
As the earth is shaken by an earthquake

My heart has accepted
What my eyes could never have believed:
I watched Him die
I watched Him die

In the silence death is defeated
In my spirit the battle rages on

And then I stepped into the light
I heard His voice, I saw His face
And then He stood there before me
A man buried but never dead

My heart has accepted
What my eyes could never have believed
I saw Him rise
I saw Him rise

HE IS ALIVE! and reigns forever
HE IS ALIVE! He’ll reign forever

“Demons” – Imagine Dragons

Explicating our on total depraved selfs and what kingdom we belong to apart from God:

When the days are cold
And the cards all fold
And the saints we see
Are all made of gold
When your dreams all fail
And the ones we hail
Are the worst of all
And the blood’s run stale
I want to hide the truth
I want to shelter you
But with the beast inside
There’s nowhere we can hide
No matter what we breed
We still are made of greed
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

When the curtain’s call
Is the last of all
When the lights fade out
All the sinners crawl

So they dug your grave
And the masquerade
Will come calling out
At the mess you made

Don’t want to let you down
But I am hell bound
Though this is all for you
Don’t want to hide the truth

No matter what we breed
We still are made of greed
This is my kingdom come
This is my kingdom come

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

They say it’s what you make
I say it’s up to fate
It’s woven in my soul
I need to let you go

Your eyes, they shine so bright
I want to save their light
I can’t escape this now
Unless you show me how

When you feel my heat
Look into my eyes
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide
Don’t get too close
It’s dark inside
It’s where my demons hide
It’s where my demons hide

“Thoughts of a Dying Atheist” – Muse

What atheist are scared of when they fall asleep at night:

Eerie whispers
trapped beneath my pillow
won’t let me sleep
your memories

and I know you’re in this room
I’m sure I heard you sigh
Floating in between 
where our worlds collide

scares the hell out of me
and the end is all I can see
and it scares the hell out of me
and the end is all I can see

and I know the moment’s near
and there’s nothing you can do
look through a faithless eye
are you afraid to die?

it scares the hell out of me
and the end is all I can see
and it scares the hell out of me
and the end is all I can see

It scares the hell out of me
and the end is all I can see
and it scares the hell out of me
and the end is all I can see

“Ex resurrexit” from B Minor Mass – J.S. Bach

The triumphant proclamation that Jesus is Alive!

Et resurrexit tertia die secundum Scripturas, et ascendit in coelum, sedet ad dexteram Patris, et iterum venturus est cum gloria, judicare vivos et mortuos, cujus regni non erit finis. On the third day He rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of the Father; He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom will have no end.