Tag Archives: Salvation

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‚Äôre 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. ūüėõ

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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God Doesn’t Play Fetch

Our God has been so wild lately. He doesn’t seem to listen, he doesn’t obey my commands, and we can’t even bribe him with treats. He’s gotten so out of hand, he may even have to be put down.

You ever notice how we often treat God as some sort of pet, perhaps a dog or a horse? Barking orders at him, offering bribes and compromises, and then getting upset when our pathetic efforts fail to achieve their desired effect? What? You don’t do that? Oh, my bad. Or maybe you have. I know I have. In fact, I probably still do it on occasion. That old Adam likes to butt in whenever he can. I’m willing to bet you’ve probably done the same at some point too, perhaps without realizing it. I believe we often do it in our prayers during out time of need. Now, this is not to say we are mistaken when do these things. In fact, scripture tells us cast our burdens upon the Lord. I think the problem is when we expect him to answer us the way we want him to.

For example, imagine one who is going through a rough time. So they pray, “God, grant me X so that I may be well.” This person is asking for something from God. This is what he wants and it is a perfectly reasonable thing to pray for. But let’s say in his heart he is expecting God to do this, it’s not so much a begging but a command. Who is he to order around God? Then again, we have such a forgiving God that it’s easy for us to attempt to take advantage of him even without our realizing it. Of course we can’t take advantage of him, but that’s not the point.

So this prayer goes seemingly unanswered and the man decides may he have done wrong by not offering something in return. “God, grant me X and I shall give you Y.” It seems like such a reasonable thing. Surely if he is offering something it must be for the greater good. Perhaps he will give up pornography or become a missionary or slaughter a lamb on the altar. Except his sacrifices do no good because God doesn’t want them.

As time passes, the man see’s those whom he deems vile and wicked enjoying life and gaining all they desire while his own life crumbles before his eyes. Dejected, he’s had enough of God. He kills him in his heart and finds a new one.

What the poor man doesn’t see is that God has already answered his prayers roughly two thousand years ago on a cross with his own son. A sacrifice that no other can compare to.

This fictional man I told you of is just one of many thousands of examples. Whatever your prayer, God has already answered it with the death of his son, Jesus Christ. Whatever your trial, cast it upon the Lord, but don’t be upset if you don’t get the answer you want. Whether you do or don’t get it delivered in your preferred method doesn’t matter because God has answered it how he sees fit. Honestly, any prayer that is answered as we want is simply just icing on the cake. Perhaps‚Ķ

God is not the problem. The problem is the people who want to be the leader of the pack. We reintroduce God. We retrain people.

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Stop talking about God!

I had been considering doing my own post on this topic for sometime now. Perhaps this great video from the Eiler’s Pizza blog will give me the kick in the butt I need. Until then, this is a great watch with some very valid points.

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The cure is worse than the disease

A few days ago, I sliced my foot open¬†pretty bad at the beach. I slipped on a rock and left a gash that was probably slightly over two inches long. I bled for about two hours, got light-headed, shaky, and uncontrollable giggles. As I understand, those are side effects of blood loss, so it makes sense. Anyhow, the whole experience didn’t really hurt, but it was severe enough that I needed to go to the emergency room to get stitches. That was fine, they gave me some kind of numbing agent so I wouldn’t feel them go in. Then I went home, watched a show and went to bed. Everything was great. Or so I thought.

I woke up in the middle of the night with an unbearable pain in my foot. It was the stitches. The numbing agent had finally worn off and I felt the full pain of the threads that were holding my flesh together. Receiving the gash was nothing, but these little stitches were awful. I pretty much didn’t walk the next day. And for a few days after that, if I needed to move far, I needed crutches. I still have a few more days before I can have the stitches removed and they’re still painful, but I’m walking unassisted with only a slight gimp. Stitches are awful, but necessary if I didn’t want to be walking around with duct tape on my foot. When it’s done healing, everything will great and certainly much better off than if I had chose to not go to the emergency room.

So, the cure is worse than the disease, or in my case, the bandage is worse than the wound. And as I think about it, that in a sense describes the Christian life. Through receiving saving faith in Jesus Christ, we open ourselves to ridicule, hate, persecution, violence, suffering, and even death. It can be quite a miserable life if you are a Christian. These are all possible side effects of salvation. Both mentally and physically, the cure (faith in Jesus Christ) is often worse than the disease (sin). And yet any doctor will tell you that you need to be cured because the consequences of the disease, as painless as living with it may be, are far worse that the pain the of being cured.

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It comes anytime

I just read that Rowdy Roddy Piper died today. As a big wresting fan, I’ve watched a lot of my childhood heroes die over the past fifteen years. At times, it seems I can’t turn log onto the internet without seeing someone I admired growing dying.

Roddy Piper – Heart attack

Chris Benoit – Double homicide/suicide

Sean O’Haire – Suicide

Paul Bearer – Heart attack

Captain Lou Albano – Natural causes

Crash Holly – Suicide

Mr. Perfect – Cocaine overdose

Eddie Guerrero – Heart Failure

Chris Kanyon – Suicide

Macho Man Randy Savage – Heart attack

That’s just a small list. I don’t intend to list everyone who inspired me at some point in life macho-man-ascending-into-heavendied. I don’t know if any of them were Christians except for Paul Bearer. Their religious faith or lack thereof is not the point (though I like to imagine that they’re all together having some big wrestling match in the sky).¬†My point is simply this; death can occur at any moment. It doesn’t matter how much we plan for the future. All the amount of planning we do is all for naught if we should up and kick the bucket. As Luke 12:19-20 says, “And I will say to my soul, ‚ÄúSoul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.‚ÄĚ‚Äô But God said to him, ‚ÄėFool! This night your soul is required of you, and the things you have prepared, whose will they be?‚Äô”

Even the mighty fall. Often tragically. If that is the case, what then, is there any value in what we do? Only that we believe, believe that Jesus Christ the son of God incarnate came down Earth as man and died on the cross for our sins. I know that I am a wretched sinner and even if I were to build up the most amazing legacy and change the world for the better forever, it would still be for nothing without Jesus Christ.

I pray you’re resting in peace, Hot Rod.

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You can’t give your life to Jesus

You’ve probably heard someone say it before. ¬†Perhaps it was at an altar call with, “If you’re ready to give your life to Jesus, then I want you to come up here and pray…” ¬†Maybe it was a tract you found, “If you want to become a Christian, then pray this little prayer, ‘Lord Jesus Christ, forgive me for my sins. ¬†I give my life to you that…'” ¬†It may have even been a well-meaning friend, “If you would just give your life to Jesus…”

It sounds so right, doesn’t it. ¬†I mean, clearly, I’m the only one holding me back from being saved. ¬†But the thing is, that line of thinking has a major problem. ¬†You see, it takes salvation away from Christ and puts it on something that you do. ¬†It takes Christ’s gift and turns a work of your own doing into something that saves. ¬†This line of thinking is in direct contradiction with scripture. ¬†Ephesians 2:8-9 clearly spells this out for us.

8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 

If we had to give our life to Jesus, then it would be a work that we had to do, a work that we could boast of. ¬†The good news is that you can’t give your life to Jesus and you can’t do it because he gave his life for you. ¬†He did all the work for you, the only work that can save. ¬†The work of living a perfectly sinless life and he still took the punishment you deserve. ¬†Don’t try to find salvation by giving your life to Jesus; it’ll only lead to despair. Just know that Christ gives salvation and there is nothing you have to do.

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Death on a cross

Crucifixion is a horrible way to go.¬† It doesn’t look as bad as other deaths but when you get into the details it’s really quite horrific.¬† The victim is held to a cross as nails are driven through his body.¬† History shows us that the nails to hold the upper body are pounded through the hands or wrists.¬† Then, through the lower body by hammering them through the feet or heels.¬† The through the heel part really makes me cringe because the nails not only have to go through solid bone, but they also rub against a nerve anytime the victim moved making the suffering that much more excruciating.

Now imagine these nails are holding up your body with maybe a little rope to help so you don’t fall off and prematurely get a break from suffering.¬† Your own body weight is pulling you down making it difficult to breathe.¬† You need to pull yourself up just a little bit so you can have some easy breath, but the only thing with any kind of hold are your hands and feet.¬† Struggling, you muster your strength and raise your body.¬† You can breathe but the pain is now far more intense.¬† So you let go.¬† The pain subsides but now you’re having trouble breathing again.

Imagine all of that.¬† If you’re having trouble, just do a search for ISIS crucifixion. ¬†Then you won’t have to imagine that.¬† You’ll see it exactly as it is.

Now imagine that Christ got it worse and you’ll have an idea of what he suffered for you.¬† I say idea because hopefully you’ll never experience what Christ suffered for you, that is the punishment for all of mans sins for all of time all at once.¬† If you ever get more than just an idea of what he suffered, then it means you’re dead and have been to where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth.

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“But God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

This is a great thing to read. In light of everything going on in Iraq, this is extremely comforting.

The Old Adam Lives!

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‚Äď Romans 5:8

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Years ago I sat with a couple who were preparing for marriage. The young woman ran through a lengthy list of all the reasons she could think of as to why she loved her fiance‚Äô. He was generous, hard-working, handsome, thoughtful, funny, and so forth. When it was time for the young man to speak he said,‚ÄĚ I don‚Äôt need a reason to love her. I just love her.‚ÄĚ He was not far from the Kingdom!

When we examine the Bible it does not provide us with God’s reasons for loving. Nowhere is there an assessment of humanity from God’s vantage point where He lists our numerous virtues as reason for loving us. If anything, the Bible is a collection of evidence that suggests there is not much lovable about us. Our generous self-assessments are not reflected in the mirror of heaven. This is…

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Honest Rejection?

I want to let every single individual know that the link posted below is extremely graphic and may very well be something you never want to see. It is absolutely not safe for work, children, or the faint of heart.  However, I feel it is critical that the matter in the video be discussed.  Let me preface the situation for you.  ISIS (a Muslim terrorist group) soldiers have been taking over portions of Iraq.  Christians have been being raped and murdered.  Children and adults alike are being beheaded.  Some children as young as six years old from what I have seen have even been forced into marriage. The people are being told that if they want to live that they must renounce their Christian faith and convert to Islam.  And then, they are sometimes killed anyways.

In the linked video, a Christian man is converted at gun point. ¬†He says, “There is no God but God and I testify that Mohammad is his messenger.” What follows is the horrific scene of the Muslims cutting his head off anyways.

So I ask, what is the eternal fate of this man?  What if he was sincerely rejecting God and Jesus Christ in light of the circumstances and actually converting to Islam?  What if he was not sincere and merely said what he did to save his own skin?  Does it even matter?  Can your final actions alive seal your eternal fate?

I think this one warrants some discussion. ¬†In my personal opinion, I think he was simply lying in an attempt to save his life, but his words were still blasphemous. ¬†I ask the above questions because I honestly don’t know his eternal fate. ¬†I don’t think anyone does. ¬†But it’s important to know exactly what scripture says on these matters. ¬†So I’d like to hear what everyone has to say and specifically what scripture says.

WARNING, THIS LINK LEADS TO AN EXTREMELY GRAPHIC YOUTUBE VIDEO OF THE BEHEADING OF A CHRISTIAN MAN WHO CONVERTS TO ISLAM.  THIS IS ABSOLUTELY NOT SAFE FOR WORK, CHILDREN, OR ANYONE FAINT OF HEART.  WHAT TAKES PLACE IS TRULY HORRIFIC. THIS VIDEO IS LINKED ONLY TO HELP PEOPLE FULLY GRASP WHAT IS HAPPENING.  YOU HAVE BEEN STRONGLY CAUTIONED.

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An unnatural death

What if I told you that no one has ever died of natural causes?¬† Would you be a little skeptical?¬† What if I told you that everyone has been killed by the exact same thing?¬† You’d probably think me to be a liar or a maniac.¬† Yet, if I told you these things, I would correct.¬† And I can prove it to you.¬† The key is in Genesis 2:17.¬† That passage in reference discusses the consequences of eating from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, the consequences being death.¬† Now, the passage doesn’t say they will immediately die or die that instant, it just says that they will surely die.¬† That passage is key because it implies that there was no death.¬† It just didn’t happen. ¬†Death is not something that naturally occurs in the world. ¬†So then, what causes death?

There is only one thing causes death and that is sin. ¬†While things like illness, murder, natural disaster, accidents, etc. can all result in death, the only reason someone dies is because of sin. ¬†Romans 5:12 spells this out to us clearly when it tells us that death comes from sin. ¬†So from these two passages we see two things. ¬†Death is completely unnatural AND the reason we die is because of sin. ¬†Without sin, there is no death. ¬†Grandma didn’t die of old age. ¬†She was killed by sin. ¬†Cancer didn’t take your father’s life. ¬†Sin took it. ¬†The bullet didn’t kill your friend. ¬†The sin killed your friend. ¬†Those people didn’t die¬†in a flood. ¬†They died because of sin. All death is the result of sin. ¬†You will die because of sin. ¬†You cannot stop it. ¬†There is nothing you can do.

Thankfully, there is one who did not sin. ¬†Jesus Christ. ¬†He lived completely sinless. ¬†By all logic, he could not die. ¬†There was no sin in him. ¬†And yet, he died on the cross. ¬†But how? ¬†He died because he took all your sins upon and into himself. ¬†He died because of you. ¬†And because your sin has been taken from you and placed into the body of Jesus Christ, God does not see your sin. ¬†When you die, though Jesus’ shed blood on the cross, your sin will not be seen. ¬†Oh, sin will still kill you, but upon death, instead of being dragged to where sin is sent to be extinguished, you will be taken to where sin does not exist. ¬†You will never see the second death because you will have no sin because the one who was sinless took your sin and had it nailed to a Roman cross.

Though you die an unnatural death, be blessed in knowing that it is not counted against you as it should.

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