Category Archives: Music

Let’s Sing Megadeth Songs in Church

Who doesn’t love listening to Megadeth? One of the greatest thrash metal bands of all time with good wholesome Christian lyrics to boot. What? You didn’t realize that they were a Christian praise band? Well, that’s because they’re not. They’re a secular in your face thrash metal band with lyrics that often focus on religion and politics. The frontman, Dave Mustaine, however, did convert to Christianity in the early 2000s I believe it was. It didn’t change how they play, what they played (well, there are a few old songs they don’t play anymore because of it), or even the themes that they play. They still heavily focus on religion and politics. But if you listen carefully to the lyrics, you can hear Dave’s theology creep in. The strange thing is, it’s much, much better theology at a Megadeth concert than you can from the praise music sung in many churches.

Let’s do some comparison work, shall we. I’ll start of with some lyrics from This is the Air I Breathe by Michael W. Smith. This is sung in churches. As worship music.

This is the air I breathe
This is the air I breathe
Your holy presence living in me
This is my daily bread
This is my daily bread
Your very word spoken to me
And I I’m desperate for you
And I I’m lost without you

This goes on over and over again. This is your basic seven eleven song. What I mean by that is that there is no substance to the lyrics, it is basically seven words repeated eleven times. I wasn’t joking that it goes on over and over again. Those are the only lyrics in this “praise” song. On the other hand, we have Megadeth’s Never Walk Alone…A Call To Arms. Here’s a sample. By the way, for reference, the song appears to be written from the point of view of Christ.

When you feel that something’s wrong
I’ll shelter you and keep you warm
I’ll never let you walk alone
I loved you when you still hated me
I’m coming and it won’t be long
Time to reap what I have sown
Never ever let you walk alone
I know your enemy, it once was me

Wow. There’s like no comparison. This is just the chorus of the song and in it we have the mercy and compassion of Christ despite our sin and disobedience. We have the second coming. It has our rebellion. It even has salvation. Let’s look at another verse.

Let me wrap my arms all around you
Suffer the trespasses that you’ve made
I will drink your pain away, forever and a day
If you just call out my name – even whisper it

Here we have Christ taking our sins onto himself. Honestly, the only part I really take issue with is that last line, but that’s because it puts our salvation on something we do. My point is not that Megadeth is a great theological powerhouse. I honestly disagree with a lot of Dave Mustaine’s theology. Listening to other songs, it’s very clear that he believes in a lot of what you might find in the Left Behind series. Honestly, if you’re a band as political as Megadeth and your leader suddenly becomes a Christian, it’s not really surprising that he would see a lot of New World Order stuff in Biblical prophecy. No, my point is that how can Christian praise music be almost universally terrible when it comes to actual cross centered theology while a secular band can nail it so much better? No, I don’t want to hear Megadeth in church. The hymns we’ve got in the LCMS are far superior when it comes to sound theology. It’s just a damn shame so much of the praise music that’s out there really has nothing Christian about it.

On an amusing side note, Megadeth’s bassist David Ellefson is a member of the LCMS. To my knowledge he does work in regards to writing hymns for the church as well as is taking part in seminary studying for ministry. Come on Ellefson! Bring Mustaine over to the LCMS. Get him some better theology. Let’s hear a Megadeth rendition of A Mighty Fortress is Our God on an album someday. 😛

For those curious, here is the official video for the song Never Walk Alone…A Call to Arms. Ignore the fact that the video portion is terrible. Metal music videos, like Christian praise bands, are almost universally terrible.

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