|Works||Series 1-Quest To Be Whole||Album 7-Stranger|
Now free, it is time to help as I was helped. This album is to help "explain the root causes of the troubles that are chewing them up." Of course, since we are a band, talking about the media on a rock album is more than a bit recursive.
It is not until Personal God that we become dangerous to hate-God (Satan). Until we lay down our power, submit ourselves to Jesus and His authority, and take up our commission as ambassadors to this world, hate-God has nothing to worry from us. But once we pass from death to life, hate-God will see if he can buy us off as he has so many before us. For the difficult he keeps the special temptation. Power. Use it for good. But like Sauron's ring in, The Lord of the Rings, some power cannot be so used. Power from any source but God is treacherous.
Your natural desire for accomplishment will be used against you, will be used to entice you to think more highly of yourself than is proper. This is a severe temptation for the gifted especially. This is what brought Lucifer down. hate-God has henceforth been looking for his anti-Christ, a man who will worship himself.
Once we pass through the temptation to be powerful, we will be ready to step into Compatriot and the fellowship among equals central to the Body of Christ.
The mouth of Sauron. The false prophet causing small and great to worship the Beast. Speaking great swelling words. "Still are fools" ties to Give Yourself, and that there is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof is death. This song ties to Art of Pantomime and Asylumthink because it takes the reification one step further. Now the relationship with appearances is itself vicarious. Further, even the vicarious communication is slanted, manipulated, disingenuous. So you have, at best, people responding to an agenda-based remote communication of the superficial appearances of a given situation. And we wonder why things get so twisted around. Without the mass media there is no mass culture, no fame, no star maker machinery as Joni called it. Also impossible without this mass media is the strange notion that somehow we know people we have never met. Sometimes we even call them by their first name. This song sets me up with the big question. Why not me?
Back Room Invitation
A shadow of the selection seen in Personal God. Not all recognition is beneficial. It is especially dangerous when its main appeal is to my ego. I have a chance to join the special group of people who run the world. This should remind the wise of the temptation to bow down and worship Satan.
"Again, the devil took him up into an exceeding high mountain, and showed
him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and said to him,
All these things will I give you, if you will fall down and worship me. Then said
Jesus to him, Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, You will worship the Lord
your God, and Him only shall you serve."
Imagine I bought into the Back Room Invitation, and now I am one of the elite. That authority comes with a price. How has it come to this? Why do these people treat me like something special? All I need do is keep my image and discard myself, and the audience will love me.
"Today after today" is living for the moment.
"Roadies" is that other people now help me appear to be respectable.
"Share" in the wealth and power and fame.
"Anywhere" is that since I am myself the show, there cannot be an offstage.
"Exposure" is that I suddenly realize all my social supports have been severed. Destruction is one misstep away. The society to which I belonged as a 'normal' person has cast me out. At the same time, strangers are screaming for a piece of me. When I was 'normal' they ignored me.
If at all special, I am not sufficiently so as to justify all this.
I now find the standards in which I grew up so distorted as to be unrecognizable. People will do things to me, and ask things of me, which they would never direct at a 'normal' person. I must protect myself, I must put up barriers against normal human contact.
Then I realize these people were calling for my blood simply to provide them a moment's entertainment.
We Like Our Heroes Dead
I realize that had I died the fame machine would have been free to use me as it would. I would have been more beloved dead with my troublesome humanity out of the way.
Ghost of Rome
We have seen this vicarious society before. We have seen the cult of personality squeezing out lives. A culture that loved its entertainment to death. Rome. Where did the republic of Rome lead? To a series of bloodstained tyrants.
If we are willing to throw such adulation on any human being, why not on the Great Tyrant? In fact, now the tables turn, and our hero likes US dead. For we are only starter food, puppy chow for the Great Media Star. In the long run, fame is really only population training.
Small issues accumulate into sudden massive change. If you fail to pay attention to that accumulation, the change will catch you by surprise. This is all closer than I would have thought possible.
On that mountaintop will soon come a man who will bow and worship Satan in exchange for power. That act will trigger an avalanche that will sweep down the mountain and bury many peoples and nations, that will sweep down the mountain and carry the world down into the valley of Armageddon.
Volcano and the Sea
Though that avalanche sweeps to Armageddon, it will not triumph. The volcano represents the Beast's mountain of temptation, where in exchange for the kingdoms of the world he eagerly worships hate-God. Though the mountain of fire shakes the earth and sets all the land ablaze, the congregation of the Sea of Glass, representing the Bride of Christ, form a line he cannot cross. Though he arrays the kingdoms of the world against God, the very kingdoms Jesus rejected on His mountain of temptation, the Beast will fail.
He is anti-Christ. Where Jesus kept faith, this man will turn traitor. Where Jesus first came meekly and will come again in power, this man will come in power but end helpless as he is cast alive into the Lake of Fire. His return to the volcano so to speak. Where Jesus' victory is complete, the anti-Christ's defeat is as certain as that of a volcano in battle with the sea.
At the album level the volcano represents the tyrant arisen from the Babel Mark II pit, and how his short term power will meet inexorable defeat. This sets up a type of Tolkien "Two Towers" with Sinai's Mountain.
"And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought
and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was
their place found any more in heaven.
And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the
Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out
into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.
And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come
salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of
his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which
accused them before our God day and night.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word
of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to
the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down
unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a
I recoil in horror at the vision of a world set ablaze. Though I refuse to join the herd, I do not want to be exaulted by people. I take a deep breath and look across the crowd. I meet a person's eyes, and can tell instantly they know what I have just experienced. I can see they are glad I was not fooled into thinking myself someone special. Sam was the true hero of, The Lord of the Rings.
I see in your eyes that we are not strangers, that we can actually see and communicate. And what could be more revolutionary? By God's grace and mercy we have passed through the wilderness, we have thrown the Ring into the flame from which it came. This shared sense of undeserved rescue means we are under obligation due to our selection. He who would be great in the Kingdom of Heaven must become the servant of all.
Back Room Invitation and Pardon both recognize distinction. They both recognize the bulk of people sleepwalk through their lives. But Back Room Invitation is the view of an elite that considers the sleepwalkers cattle to be herded. Pardon is an individual excited to see in your eyes that you already knew what I have just realized. That invitation was to erase rather than fulfill myself. This song is from a true friend.
My new friend, my compatriot met in Pardon essentially says to me,
"Come here, I will show you the Bride, the Lamb's wife." He carried me away in
the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy
Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God."
This is the stark contrast to Jesus being carried to the mountain by Satan and tempted. And in fact, a portion of this very contrast is made explict.
"And I John saw these things, and heard them. And when I had heard and seen, I fell
down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things. Then he
said to me, See you do it not: for I am your fellowservant, and of your brethren the
prophets, and of them which keep the sayings of this book - Worship God.
While Satan tempted Jesus to worship him, the angel rebuked John when he tried that, and told him to worship God.
The remaining albums are the journey to "that great city". But you will not forget the view, for that is how you will keep to the path that leads there.
The encounter with Power, with the desire to rule, to be accountable to no one, leaves scars that never really go away. Like Frodo, we learn the vast worth of not trying to make the journey alone. We need someone to lash us to the mast, someone to help save us from ourselves.
It is interesting that in a way this entire album leads to the last two words of the angel. Worship God. Neither you or I are fit to be king. Worship God.
|Works||Series 1-Quest To Be Whole||Album 7-Stranger|