In this thing for real?

Sleeping Giant – Army of the Chosen One
An army composed, of walking dead, of willing hearts, in this our day of struggle
We speak with fire, we break all chains, the foolish bonds of carnal minds far beneath us
We see the leader transfigured light, he calls us forward in that moment receive
Gives us a new name, on stones of white, and then we stand commissioned searching for the valiant more to come
Chosen Ones!
Oh were rising, calling out your name
And you will hear our anthem raise
So answer us in truth
Answer me!
I know their faces
I hear their names, reveal their future, warriors of regeneration
I’ve seen their journey
I’ve felt their pain
I’ve reached into each shame filled, dark and failed existence
I see them rising my crest in heart, sealed to my vision anchored deep within each man
The day approaches, each life will close
The awesome day we see the Lion and the Lamb
Father where is the army I’ve seen in my visions
It’s the generation the dragon has feared in his dreams
Father where is the army I’ve seen in my visions
We are the generation the dragon has feared in his dreams, His Nightmares!
GLORIA!
Soon we will find out who are the real revolutionaries
Someday we will see who’s in this thing for real!
“The message in the song is essentially that it’s a callout to all of the people that are part of our generation, young and old, not to be lulled to sleep by sort of the circumstances and disappointments and business and all of the cares and worries that surround our life.

“There’s a higher calling and a better reality for all of us — that reality is the relationship with God and heaven. There’s something bigger for all of us. We’ve been praying for years and years that people would not fall into the same cycle over and over again. It’s an anthem and a callout to my generation that they understand there’s something bigger going on. They’re meant to be a part of it. It’s eternal and it’s really important. The irony is we want to show everyone in the generation of people who have given themselves completely and totally to their relationship with God, but not in a foolish and showy way. It’s supposed to be authentic and real, a real relationship, where you would die for your friend. We’re hoping people would actually hear that message.”

Cycles of Church History

Those of you who follow my blog relatively closely know that I’ve been reading (for close to a year now) a book called Christianity’s Dangerous Idea which is an account of the history of the Protestant branch of the church history. As I have read, I have at times found it encouraging and at other times found it painting a bleak picture of the history of this movement and wonder how much of it is completely tainted by that effect that humans have on everything we do.

Tonight, I found it amusing.

I am reading the section where the author (Alister McGrath) is walking through some of the major developments of worship style in the different branches of the Protestant Church – specifically music. To fill in some gaps, my first real contact with music related to worship that I have any real recollection of was within the (Plymouth) Brethren assemblies – almost always hymns with no instrumental accompaniment (other than at summer camp where we sang choruses and “contemporary” praise songs set to keyboard); I still love to sing those hymns (but I prefer them with some instrumentation). Now, I attend a church that does full on rock-styled “praise & worship” in the services and I love that too.

Over the past decade or so, I have had numerous conversations with people from a lot of different denominational family backgrounds who hold an issue with “Christian rock” music. They seem to think that because rock essentially stems from music that is steeped in rebellion and closely associated with certain lifestyles that it is inherently tainted, which is where the humor comes in; apparently, when hymns first started to come on the scene of worship just a few years after Luther there were similar concerns.

A brief synopsis of how it went down… before the Reformation the Catholics didn’t sing a lot, they might read a Psalm and reflect on it (or, more correctly, have it read to them, in a language they probably didn’t know and reflect on their guilt for not knowing it). In the early stages of the Reformation different branches started to set some Psalms word-for-word to chant-style music while others paraphrased it to make it more singable. Johann Christian Bach actually played a significant role in this by writing songs known as cantatas that were relatively close in musical form to Opera… *gasp!*

Pietism emphasized musical simplicity and had no place for anything other than unadorned motets and musically simple hymns… in particular, Pietist were implacably opposed to the cantata, which they regarded as modeled after opera, the most secular of all secular models. For the Pietists, the cantata represented the secularization, even desecration, of sacred music.

Holy crap! This is the same argument that I’ve heard from modern day legalists and tradition-ist Christians. That they are “implacable opposed to ‘praise & worship’ music, which is modeled after rock-and-roll, the most secular of all secular models; it is a secularization and a desecration of sacred music!”

We’ve come so far.

This is why I am glad that the Epistle to the Hebrews (New Testament) says this:

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

He never prescribed what kind of musical worship we should use… neither did Paul other than the list of “Psalms [check], hymns [check] and spiritual songs [praise & worship – check].”

Playlist(s)

Yesterday a friend posted his playlists and asked others to do the same. I ran into a problem.

I like too many songs and my playlists have a lot of overlap. I feel like I have a pretty wide range of styles, a lot of hardcore, punk and metal – and I love cover songs.

Anyway, here’s the whole list (after the jump), it’s all of my favs (4 and 5 stars in iTunes):
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