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Category Archives: Things about God

Hozier’s “Take me to Church”: my analysis

“Take Me to Church” by Hozier, an infectious gospel infused blues track, has definitely made waves in the current music scene. It was nominated for Song of the Year at the 2015 Grammy Awards. Additionally it was nominated for 5 awards at the 2015 Billboard music awards: Top New Artist; Top Rock Artist/ Song/ Album, Top Streaming Song (Audio). The title is a sentiment that we as believers can affirm. However, this is not Hozier’s intention at all. As one reads through the lyrics and perhaps watches the video there is another message entirely. The underlying message seems to be contra-church.

My lover’s got humour
She’s the giggle at a funeral Knows everybody’s disapproval

The “lover” is
disrespectful and light-hearted, she simply doesn’t care what anyone thinks.

I should’ve worshipped her sooner
If the Heavens ever did speak
She is the last true mouthpiece
Reversal of the
paradigm, the lover is the object of worship. She is the metatron, the voice of
“god;” if there is even such a thing as god.

Every Sunday’s getting more bleak
A fresh poison each week ‘We were born sick,’ you heard them say it

The church tells us we
are broken and sick. We go every week and it just gets worse. (Objective
morality)

The only heaven I’ll be sent to

My church offers no absolutes
She tells me ‘worship in the bedroom’

Is when I’m alone with you
I was born sick, but I love it Command me to be well
Amen. Amen. Amen
The “lover” is the
acceptable church. She offers no judgment, just sexual pleasure. I was made for
hell, I am broken and I don’t care, the “lover” is the only heaven I can depend
on.  (Subjective morality)

Take me to church
I’ll worship like a dog at the shrine of your lies I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife
Offer me that deathless death Good God, let me give you my life

At first glance, this

chorus appears to be saying that lyricist wants to be saved. On further
investigation, he is mocking the church. The lover makes him free, you offer
only bondage and judgment.

If I’m a pagan of the good times
My lover’s the sunlight
To keep the Goddess on my side She demands a sacrifice
To drain the whole sea Get something shiny
Something meaty for the main course That’s a fine looking high horse
What you got in the stable?We’ve a lot of starving faithful
That looks tasty That looks plenty
This is hungry work
The second verse starts

out as a sort of invocation, a prayer to the lover. I will give her anything; do anything she asks of me so that she, my “Goddess,” will sustain me.

The church, high-handedly takes everything and gives nothing but judgment in return. The masses are left hungry in the mud by it, when there is plenty, those below are expected to hold it up and support it on broken backs and starving stomachs.

No masters or kings when the ritual begins
There is no sweeter innocence than our gentle sin In the madness and soil of that sad earthly scene
Only then I am human Only then I am clean
Amen. Amen. Amen
The last verse defines
the sex act, the worship of his lover’s “church.” There is no one
metaphorically over the other. The “sin” is its own absolution. It is only then
that he/they are complete, it is only then that they are not longer judged.  

 While this song is clever, it is also disturbing. It quite popular and further evidence that we must be vigilant and watchful over our children’s and our own input.

Until next time, Fight the Good Fight…Fairly
T.

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Posted by on April 24, 2015 in church, Things about God

 

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Have you Pi, it’s irrational.

Today, 3.14, is Pi Day. Pi is a mathmatical constant and an irrational number. In the first case it is necessary for geometry and trigonometry and much of our understanding of the physical world would have not been possible without it. In the later it is difficult to express exactly as a common fraction and it is a transcendental number, meaning it is a non-algeabraic.

  Jesus’ sacrifice for humanity is much like Pi. Jesus’ sacrifice prima fascia seems irrational, yet it was/is necessary for the possibility of humanity’s justification. Likewise, Jesus is transcendent in His divinity. For a time he “poured out” out that divinity so that we might have an acceptable “constant” as a sacrifice. 

 
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Posted by on March 14, 2014 in Jesus, Things about God

 

What Do You Look Like?

What Do You Look Like?

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When people see you, what do they see? Life is about image and perception. Gene Simmons of the band KISS made this statement, “ Sweden has a king…do you know what he looks like? No? But all of Sweden knows what KISS looks like. 

The members of KISS developed 4 larger than life personas, and figuratively took over the world. They proclaimed themselves as the “World’s Biggest Rock Band” and then they became  the embodiment of that idea. Was it hard? Absolutely! Was it worth it? No doubt.

Image is important. Who do people see when they look at you? Do they see a broken, helpless person; or do they see a son or daughter of the King? In medieval times warriors were associated with personal or household armorial pictograms. The idea of uniforms as identification is still  strong in the militaries of the world today. One can fairly easily identify country of origin and branch just by the clothes of the soldier.

So, arguably we are who people perceive us to be. Often outside perception is what makes or breaks us as individuals. First, in Christ, we are never individuals, we are always part of a unit. When we identify with Christ, our reflection and actions are judged as His. Just like when a Marine does wrong the Corps is seen in that light as well and its reputation is injured by the association.

Our actions matter. Christ’s reputations matters. We might not know what the king of Sweden looks like, but the World should know what Christ,the King of Glory, looks like. Jesus isn’t  the artist representation European representation. Rather, the world should see Christ proclaimed and embodied in you and me. We may be the only representative of Christ that a person sees. 

Do they see just you in a shirt with Christ’s emblem on it , or do they see Christ? 

Until next time; 

Fight the Good Fight….Fairly

T.

 
 

Book Review: The War on Christmas – Battles of Faith, Tradition, and Religious Expression. Edited by Bodie Hodge

I did not really like this book. In fairness though, I don’t think it was written for the serious scholar.

This book is intended to drive home one single point; “No Christ, no Christmas.” In so doing this book is extremely repetitive, to the point of making it difficult to read through the 144 pages of text and illustrations.

A variety of issues contained within the Christmas stable are addressed: Christmas star, Wise Men, and Christmas tree. The thread of the argument is that these things are not essential to Christ, but are part of the Christmas celebration. I was interested to see the unusual opinion that the Magi were most likely not believers, but rather astrologers who had seen signs and portents in the sky.

The one serious bone I have to pick is the explanation of pagan religion’s development in Chapter 4. While the explanation is somewhat possible, it seems to me to be largely untenable. It is certainly true that some pagan religion is based on ancestor worship, but there is little evidence to indicate that such practice is the root of all pagan religion and practice. Helen of Troy is connected to Elishah, and regional syntax is given as the reason. The idea that all the personages of pagan religion are descended from the children and grandchildren of Noah is a little far-fetched.

In conclusion, there is certainly a war of thought in play today. Christmas is part of that war. A good deal of this book seems to be well researched and its message is certainly laudable. However, I would be careful whom one recommends this book to. It functions as a decent overview of the salient issues. It does get preachy at times, and sometimes the claims are simply the stuff of fantasy. Even for that the core message is the same; No Christ, No Christmas.

Disclaimer: This review was written as a member of the War on Christmas launch team.

 

Chart: Jesus in other religions

I found this chart at http://www.religionfacts.com/jesus/religious_views.htm.

I thought I would share it here to start out a proposed series on Jesus’ identity in other world religions. Sometimes the best approach is to know what the people in our lives think about the person, Jesus, we hold most dear. In this way we can better show them the truth of Christ, and help them through the falsehood they believe as gospel.

 

God or Man?

Who Jesus Was

Jesus’ Purpose

Resurrection
Happened?

Traditional (Nicene) Christianity Both: “fully God and fully man.” Second person of the Trinity, incarnation of God, Son of God, Savior. Die for the sins of humanity. Yes
Arianism A created divine being. A divine being, but created by God and inferior to Father. Son of God. Savior. To save humanity from sin. Yes
Baha’i Faith Man A “manifestation of God” and prophet. Since superseded by Muhammad and Baha’u’llah. To reveal God’s will as part of progressive revelation to humanity. Only spiritually.
Buddhism Man Wise and enlightened man who taught similar things to the Buddha. To teach humanity wisdom and the way to enlightenment. Not addressed
Christian Science Man Wise man especially attuned to the divine Christ. To teach humanity, heal, and overcome death. Yes
Christadelphians Man (or half-man, half-God). Son of God but human, because mother was human Mary. Lived a sinless life and died sacrificial death. To show God’s love for humanity and redeem humanity from sin. Yes
Gnosticism God Divine being sent from the supreme God. To rescue humanity from the material world by revealing true knowledge. Most Gnostics reject that Christ died at all. The human Jesus was ordinary and did not resurrect.
Hinduism Views vary Incarnation of God akin to Krishna, or wise man. Not addressed Not addressed
Islam Man True prophet sent by God, but superseded by Muhammad. To reveal God’s will in a progressive revelation that ended with Muhammad. No
Jehovah’s Witnesses An archangel Son of God, Word of God, God’s first creation, Archangel Michael. Teach about God, provide a model for right living, die sacrificially for human sin. Yes
Mormonism (LDS) Man Son of God, Savior, originally one of the spirit beings that all humans used to be. Has a physical body. To teach about God, provide a model for living, die sacrificially for sin. Yes
Theosophy Man Great teacher.   No
Unitarian Universalism Man Great teacher, faith-healer, “incarnation of God’s love.” To demonstrate God’s love for humanity and teach about justice and compassion. No official teaching; most do not believe physical resurrection.
 
 

Adoption: Are we a mirror?

The idea of adoption has a sort of stigma. One feels less for being adopted. It seems that a person must be unwanted, and discarded to be eligible for adoption. This is not necessarily a bad thing. If one is unwanted and discarded, then it is quite possible that rebirth and reshaping is possible. This is especially true of the Christian life.

    I was reminded of this by a passage in Magician’s End by Raymond E. Feist. A child born from a soldier taking advantage of a character’s soon to be wife is adopted by him. This child goes onto be characterized as resembling him, taking on his mannerisms and expressions; to the point that it was often almost impossible to remember that they are not biological sire and son. Rather, this child has become a scion, an implant, a figure that is spliced into the family. So close as to be mistaken for the biological child of this man.

    We, as followers of Christ, are likewise scion. We are grafted into the tree of life, and should appear to belong. It goes far beyond appearance into every aspect of being. We need to become like Him; Jesus was and is the exemplar for our daily behavior. As disciples we need to strive to have behavior that is indistinguishable from His.

    As I trained in martial arts, I often used a mirror to see if I was doing the motions correctly. Also, I often mirrored the motions of those more advanced than me. Both these practices are important. In the Christian life it often comes down to the failure of the disciple maker and often that of the disciple as well in mimic the demonstrated behavior. It is very easy to get lost in the shuffle of belonging without belief. It is the belief that makes one want to mirror the action of Jesus and the Father.

    Just like the warriors, we need to learn how to mirror. We need to become so close to the action of Jesus that we cannot be told apart from Him. We need to resemble Him. We need to take on the mannerism, expressions, and habits he set forth or would approve of. In so doing we will become so like him that adoption is a non-issue; that belonging and belief are intertwined. Only then will we as warriors be in tune enough to lock shields and support each other in a phalanx of belief. It is this behavior and lifestyle that allows for battlefield brothers and sisters to be a family of protection.

Until next time…

Fight the good fight, fairly…T.


    

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2013 in Chivalry, Things about God

 

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Martial Arts and Sanctification

Martial Arts and Sanctification, one might think the two are wholly separated, that they live in diametrically opposed worlds. This is not the case. You ask how? Over the course of the next paragraphs I will answer just this question.

The key to their union is simple: Intentionality. In both realms one must mean to do the deed. Sanctification is powered by the Spirit of God, while Martial Arts are powered by the spirit of will. Both are realized by intentional actions on the part of the individual. Both require a fight of sorts, and both require time.

In the case of martial arts, one enters a fight. This fight may seem to be spontaneous, but is often a cap to years of preparation. The martial artist, whether eastern or western, has spent much time, sweat and blood preparing for this moment. They have honed their craft to the pinnacle of ability, at least one hopes. In that moment of conflict it is that training that will sustain or destroy the warrior. It is that training that allows one to face death and destruction without fear. It is all in the preparation, the intentionality of the warrior.

On the other hand, Sanctification is a multi-stage process. It begins at the profession of faith in Christ, and is continued in partnership with the Spirit. It as well requires participation. The Spirit does the drawing, but the believer must assist as well. It can be likened to a shower after a mud football game. You return and find yourself covered from head to toe in the detritus of the field; it is attached to you like an extra skin. You enter the shower, and the steam feels great. The hot water softens the skin, but cannot wholly remove it. You have to reach up and loosen the mud from yourself, you have let it go. The steaming shower of the Spirit will soften it, help detach it, and wash it away. But, you have to help. Sanctification is an intentional act.

War and Sanctification are very much the same, and they are also quite different. In either case, it is all about intentionality and desire. We as warriors for Christ must be intentional in everything we do. There is no throw-away action in the life of the gentry of God.

Next time we will start to go through the various tenets from the Song of Roland, and perhaps start with a little of history of who Roland was.

Until then.

Fight the Good Fight…Fairly

 
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Posted by on March 25, 2011 in Chivalry, Things about God

 

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