Kill ’em, Jesus…Kill ’em!

Ok, so I think this video was designed to “inspire” right wing evangelicals.

But mostly it just scares the holy @#$#@ out of me. Is this REALLY the kind of religion we belong to? If it is, then see ya. Think maybe I’ll try one without swords…

Oh, and WTF is God-Tube????

UPDATE (9/10/07): Ok, ok, ok! Yes, I’m a hopeless hypocrite. I’ve been convicted. The truth is (as will be only too apparent in my next post) I love swords: medieval dragon-slaying knights, swashbuckling pirates, light-saber wielding Jedi, blue-faced-kilt-wearing Scottish warriors, you name it. And I’ve passed this sword-blood-lust on to my son, too. And I don’t quite know how to reconcile all of this with the liberal, pacifist, turn-the-other-cheek, Jesus-following part of me. Maybe I just need to be a two-faced hypocrite for awhile. I want to repent, but I can’t. I still don’t like this video. Even though the music (and the swords) are cool.


Comments

Kill ’em, Jesus…Kill ’em! — 16 Comments

  1. I’m surprised that you don’t know what God Tube is. Think of it as YouTube, but for Christians. After all, one who believes in the One True God TM must separate themselves from the heathens.

    I got to say, as a sword enthusiast, I am quite unhappy that my art is being bastardized so.

  2. Nazir, I guess you’re not that familiar with usage of the term “WTF” (although I suspect you know what the acronymn is). Of course I know what God-Tube is. I even know what it is trying to be, what it really is, and what I think of it. But I still don’t know WTF it is. Do you get the difference?

    If not, maybe Wikipedia can help: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WTF

    By the way, nice “TM” (trademark, for those who missed it) on the “One True God.” Now that’s a subject worth discussing…

  3. Ok, but what does World Taekwondo Federation has to do with the video?

    And yes, talking about the increased worship of Mammon would be interesting.

  4. Spiritual Warfare is what that CNN special is all about. I think my friend, Christine, is making a copy for you to watch. She’s nice like that.
    I’m with you. This sort of stuff scares be so much that it makes me want to move out of the states and live in a Buddhist monastery.

    God is powerful, but not in a “vanquish the enemy” sort of way. I think this type of religion makes her very sad.

  5. neal,

    Wow. that video inspires me! WHOO! Thats how the holy spirit rolls. Take out the evil doers. Shake and bake!! Turn or burn!!! HA-HA-HA-halelujah!!!

    anyway, it was a splendid weekend getting to know you. I’ll try and peep you out a floor (or something better) to sleep on here in Armpittsburgh for when you come up.

    shalom
    jonathan

  6. Interesting. For some reason, that reminds me of the opening sequence of Lord of the Rings, in which the One Ring is forged. I’m honestly fuddled as to the point of the video…outside of the opening quotation, it’s pretty devoid of Christian content. Odd, odd, odd.

  7. But common, Rev. David. This type of ‘extreme’ Christianity which may or may not be a response to Islamic terrorism or secularism (which ironically, Islamic terrorism is also a response to secularism and loss of cultural identity)is on the rise! Maybe the point is to ask people to put their faith on the line – in how you vote. Maybe it’s to put people on a team – us against them. People think this is the end times (which is hilarious since people started looking for signs as soon as the resurrection happened), but especially with the Middle East mess. Whatever the point is, it’s devisive. And maybe that’s the point. But regardless, people are blindy following (See any Six Flags Over Jesus church or the film, Jesus Camp).

    I think Jesus would be horrified.

  8. uhh……well…….hmmm……..nobody gave me my sword! I feel ripped off! Are churches going to start giving these out? Cause if they are, I can now show up to medieval gaming days in style. Or get some good cash for it at a pawn shop to help with another guitar.

    Speaking of guitars, post a pic of your new one.

    John

  9. Ok, confession time. I think Rev. David and John W. have caught me in a little of my own hypocrisy. Because the truth is (as most of you already know) I’m a Lord of the Rings fanatic. And I love swords. I did my Senior Thesis on the Arthurian Legend. And my two-year-old son has already followed in my footsteps there (he turns everything into a sword). And I do see the parallels between this video and Lord of the Rings. Especially the music.

    BUT…

    I think it’s the juxtaposition of what’s *supposed* to be a peaceful, even sacrificial religion with the swords. When Jesus says “I come not do bring peace, but a sword” I don’t think it was in the “I’ll chop your head off” literal sense any more than his comment about plucking eyeballs out was.

    So this poses an interesting dilemma for me — how do I reconcile my love for medieval, sword wielding, chivalraic fantasy with a faith that calls me to turn the other cheek? Is it right for me to share that childhood literary and film genre with my son, at the same time that I’m teaching him about non-violence and passive resistance?

    What to do.

    Oh, and John — do you seriously go to medieval gaming days??? Because if so, bring me! bring me!

  10. Well, thats easy. You simply don’t go crazy about both or either one. Passive resistance and elements of chivalric have their purpose. Going with one over another isn’t the answer. You have to balance these kinds of thing. Kinda like how you are a pro-gun Democrat. It doesn’t mean that you are going against Democratic principles, you just don’t agree with the stances that Democrats have over guns.

    That’s something to consider, but I have to hear more in order to understand your feelings about your dilemma to say more about it.

  11. As an LotR fan (the book first, then the movies), I take exception to the so-called similiarities between this video piffle and the high art of Tolkien, Jackson, Shore, et al.

    As a Christian, I take exception to the aforementioned video piffle. Ghastly. Supremely disturbing. Ditto on the “if this is Christianity, count me out” comment.

    Neal, I’ve got you beat on the geek front. I was actually listening to the LotR soundtrack (TT to be exact) only minutes before checking out your blog…while I was putting together liturgy for Sunday. After I eat dinner, I’ll return to reading LotR (RotK to be exact), the chapter titled “The Black Gate Opens”. Hold on, Frodo; the armies of the West are doing their best to provide diversion!

    A major difference between Tolkien and these purveyors of piffle is that Tolkien never relished violence, nor sought it, nor glorified it. He wrote, instead, of the deep sadness that surrounds violence, and the hope that carries us through and beyond it.

    As for the production quality, Peter Jackson never had actors stand in fields, bowing with swords, while people screamed redundant voice overs. Likewise, Howard Shore’s music was creative and evocative, not derivative piffle.

    Piffle, I say, piffle!

  12. I like the usage of the word, piffle. If it is a word, or not, I shall use it. I like to use “poppycock.” I think I may have got that fabulous word from the script of “Arsenic and Old Lace” but, I cant back that up.

    After watching the video again, I think it is sorta directly reflective of the religious right, psycho political “america=where God lives” kick some A, take some names kinda thing that is going on. A decision was made at some point in the church that the kingdom of heaven should take a back seat to the kingdom of america. I pray that that can be changed. Im proud to be an american, and glad that I have the freedoms that I do to write the things I am right now and think and do the things I do, but my priority “citizenship” is to the Kingdom of Heaven. Anyway, somehow, I can see this video being played, and then flags being waved, and then somebody saying the pledge of allegiance…..in church…….

  13. Hey Neal —

    Ginger directed me to this video today as part of a conversation about religion, politics, and all that fun stuff. She told me what it was about (okay, she told me the content — I have no idea what it’s really about even after watching it three times), but I’m still gaping-mouth shocked. Feeling a bit of inability to respond, I’ll give my initial impressions: “holy shit. literally.” “I’ve seen this image before… and it involved someone losing his head in the middle of a street.” “purposefully seeking martyrdom is scary.” “I don’t remember Jesus having an army.”

    I echo your sentiment that if this is Christianity, I want no part of it, as well as Ginger’s assertion that Jesus would be horrified. I wonder how someone gets to the point in their faith journey where they watch this (or God forbid make it) feeling certain it is sending a good message. Is it, as I think Ginger would assert, linked to the political? Or to feeling threatened in some way? How does violent fundamentalism become attractive to a faithful person?

  14. Hi Christine,

    My first instinct is to tell you that this video doesn’t reflect Christianity — at least not as I understand it from the teachings of Christ. But after chewing on this one for awhile, I’ve cooled down from my initial steamy reaction a bit. Let me explain:

    Jesus was an excellent teacher. Like any skillful teacher, he used a combination of stories, analogies, metaphors, striking visual images, and even a very few “lectures” to get his point across. (hmmm…”point” might not be the best choice of words considering the subject of this post).

    So when Jesus said (as quoted in the beginning of this video) “I come not to bring peace but a sword” I take this as a colorful metaphor, not as a literal statement of position from the “Prince of Peace.” In fact, the one time when someone (his disciple Peter) actually whips out a sword to attack someone — presumably in Jesus’ defense — Jesus publicly condemns him for it. (By the way, this blows a hole in the view of many Christians that violence is ok as long as it’s self-defense, or “homeland” defense).

    Jesus’ words are often metaphors. His actions rarely are.

    So what did the metaphor quoted in the video mean? When Jesus said it, he was talking about the friction that anyone who wanted to follow him would encounter. Kind of like: “If you want to follow me, it might cause more division (sword) in your family than unity (peace), especially if you’re family is headed in a different direction than I am.” It’s a warning — and one Christians largely ignore today (i.e. “I’ll follow Jesus, but only if it makes me and my family happy, meets my spiritual needs, and gives us money and success and good hair and better status in society).

    Is that what the makers of the video intended when they used this quote? Probably not. I get the sense that it was made by white, middle class, evangelical Christians who are overwhelmed and afraid of the growing shifts in culture and society. They sense that they no longer enjoy the “favored status” that they did in the ’50s, and that makes them feel marginalized, backed into a corner (which is ironic considering that’s what we have done so well to others…). From this frustration comes the rage of “I will not be stepped on!” and “I will stand and fight!” Indeed, I think Evangelical Christianity is making it’s “last stand.” I just don’t think they’ll win much of anything worth winning.

    But the sword stuff of the video, I think, is still a metaphor. Not the same one Jesus was using, but a metaphor nonetheless. Sure, if it were a group of Muslims making the exact same video, our right-wing evangelicals would be the first ones to “throw the stone.” Still, I don’t think they intended for it to inspire fellow Christians to grab their broadswords and start hacking up atheists, liberals, Muslims, and vegans. But I also feel the same way about the Dallas Mosque that’s on trial this week for donating money that allegedly went to finance “terrorist” organizations.

    In the end, I do not like the condemnation that some of my brothers-and-sisters-in-Christ have brought into the world, so I will not condemn them for something that was born of a sincere (though misguided and ill-thought out) sense of frustration and commitment to their beliefs. Perhaps there is a time and a place to call people on the carpet, but I don’t think this is it. There’s a difference between “you did something evil” and “you did something not too smart.” In my opinion and after having processed it some, this video falls into the latter category.

    I don’t think Jesus would be horrified. I think he would look on the makers of the video (as he often looks upon me) with sorrow and pity in his eyes, saying, “You still don’t get it, do you?” But there would be love and forgiveness in his eyes as well. Which is a better way to change the world than through violence and/or condemnation.

  15. Thanks for the considered response, Neal. I really learn from you, and I appreciate that! I especially like your last paragraph; you’re right about that being a much better way to change the world. I’ll keep trying. 🙂

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