Screaming the Gospel–Metal Style

This post is loosely based on the Youtube video i posted about six months ago.

The conversations that happen between myself and the students whose teachers i sub for are never dull. Often, the most random, interesting, and memorable ones are those i overhear and decide to insert my own two cents in (there was an abortion debate in a class on Thursday last week). This is not the time for an expanse of that topic, but if you so desire, comment and i’ll share that conversation and my reflections because of it (it was definitely an interesting time).

On Friday–9/28/2018–a student asked me what kind of music i listen to. I answered by saying my primary is rap, but i also enjoy rock. The student shook her head disappointedly when i said rock, but i don’t just like any old rock music. It needs to either be rap-like (think: Linkin Park’s first few albums) or heavy, metal-ish rock.

One band i have thoroughly enjoyed listening to in the metal genre is Bullet For My Valentine (BFMV). I originally discovered them in high school when i went through a very short emo phase (skinny jeans and everything). They are by no means a positive influence, and my parents’ confiscating of their music from me my sophomore year of high school was warranted, so this post is not a hands-down approval of their music. But as an adult, and as a Spotify prime user, i can be discerning:

As believers, we are called to be “in the world but not of the world” (see John 17:13-19). A part of this is using what the world loves to point them back to Jesus. As such, i’d merely like to argue that when comparing and thinking about two songs from BFMV’s album Hand of Blood, it becomes clear that they inadvertently preach the gospel.

The first song to bring into the discussion is the opening track, titled “4 Words (To Choke Upon).” The song in its entirety is here:

Whether or not you listened to the track, the four words the song is about are as follows:

“Look at me now!”

The singer goes on to state,

“Too many times I’ve seen it,
Rip a hole into our friendship.”

The it that rips holes in friendships is the four words (“look at me now”). This is because comparison games are dangerous, and ultimately divisive, even amongst those in the world. No one wants to be told/reminded that someone else is better than them.

And for Christians, it is even more valid. It doesn’t matter whether you are a janitor no one notices or a pastor of thousands. It doesn’t matter whether you are too poor to afford your next meal or rich enough to own two houses. As Christians, we should never compare ourselves to each other, and we should never brag about our status either. There’s only one person we should compare ourselves too, and when we compare ourselves to Him, bragging will cease from our lips.

This leads me to the second BFMV song from the album mentioned above, titled “Just Another Star.” (This track contains expletives; just a warning.)

If you decided not to listen to the song (which is fine), i transcribed (and edited) the lyrics that are my focus below. The singer sings:

“I’m just another guy that’s [messed] up immensely
But you still love me
Why? I don’t know.”

This is precisely why we shouldn’t brag about our status if we are Christians. All of us have messed up immensely. Another word for this messing up is sin. We are all guilty of sinning against a holy and perfect God. And the fact of the matter is we will never know why God chose to love us, but praise HIM: He did love us!

Paul describes the situation beautifully in Ephesians 2:1-5,

And you were dead in your trespasses and sins in which you previously walked according to the ways of this world, according to the ruler who exercises authority over the lower heavens, the spirit now working in the disobedient. We too all previously lived among them in our fleshly desires, carrying out the inclinations of our flesh and thoughts, and we were by nature children under wrath as the others were also. But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love that He had for us, made us alive with the Messiah even though we were dead in trespasses. You are saved by grace!”

If we were all spiritually dead before Christ saved us, then what right do we have to say, “Look at me now”?

Exactly. None. We have no right.

Unless of course, those four words are followed by five more: “It’s all because of Him!”

I pray that you believe in Christ if you never have before. He loved me, and He snatched me out of a garbage pile of sin. I don’t know why, but i know my life is different as a result. I still mess up daily, but still, He loves me.

He wants to save you too! Surrender your life. He died on the cross to take the punishment you deserved. Spiritually dead people deserve to remain spiritually dead; Christ died to give you eternal life!

Trust Him today, and praise Him for His grace, and refuse to treat others like you’re better than them!

In this with you.

Soli Deo Gloria
Solus Christus
Sola Gratia
Pro Ecclesia

Thanks for reading.

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