Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Everybody Loves a Holy War

The musical voice of Mark Heard was silenced on August 16, 1992, but what he created lives to touch hearts today.  Mark Heard, from Macon Georgia Graduated from the University of Georgia in 1974 with an ABJ (bachelor of arts in journalism) degree in television.  He was discovered by a few of my heros, Larry Norman and Randy Stonehill and soon launched an intense but short musical career. Over the last 24 years I cannot count how many times the lyrics of one particular Mark Heard song have raced back into my mind upon observing another self righteous moron wagging a finger of condemnation.  The song – Everybody Loves a Holy War.  The lyrics are presented below along with a link to a YouTube of the song.  But here is the burn, when someone says “God told me . . . . “, watch out, because that is the stirring up of a holy war.  You see, the important thing is GOD TOLD YOU.  Did he tell you to tell me as well?  Like specifically, did he say “Oh, and tell this to Billy Hill also, because he ain’t here”?  If He did not, then my suggestion is you should keep your God Told Me’s to yourself.  Or express it as, this is how I am responding to what I believe was a word from God.  Now, I am not saying that God does not prophesy through his people or anything, ain’t got no God box here.  I am just saying that you are just as messed up as anyone else on this planet and you have just as much fallibility as any (including the Pope by the way, yes, he is just a man as well).  So, when you start mixing up messed up and God Told Me’s, you may as well be a radical Islamic Muslim.  And sometimes, it isn't even a God Told Me, but rather a verse of scripture that neatly folds into the stance you are getting ready to make . . . for Christ of course.  So it is here where the Holy War begins, a person armed with a little bit of truth, and a justification of righteousness, and then you find that “righteousness and truth, can be weapons in the hands of fools”. 

Yes, I understand that Paul instituted church disciplines and all but, you have to remember he was dealing with particular people in particular situations - and you and I were not there to observe it.  You may THINK that you are standing on a battle field with God, and he is adorned in the colors of your army, waving your flag and waging war with you against the bad guys, but you're probably wrong.  He is probably in the middle of the battle field, kneeling down, drawing in the dirt with a stick and saying “let he that is without sin, cast the first stone”. 

I have seen it happen over and over and over again.  Right there in the middle of the church.  Someone finds another person’s sin leaks out into the open, then the feeding frenzy of gossip and dissension begins, and before long, the Jesus posse is riding into town ready to tar and feather the sinner and make an example of them.  But you know what, as they are riding into town, I bet they are thinking things like “dang, did I clear my browsing history before I left the house”, or “God, are you really real”, or “I can’t believe this person is so foul and offensive rather than perfect and righteous like I am” or "man, I hope that no one ever finds out that I. . . ".  Get the point you posse rider, F you and the horse you rode in on.  Get off the horse and if you are without sin, pick up a stone and make it personal.  Look eye to eye with the person you are about to condemn to death with the stone in your hand. Otherwise, go home and get on your knees until you really hear the Father really whisper and you have confessed and dealt with every dark sin in every nook and cranny of your heart.  And while your at it, why don’t you take a moment to sit down and think about all the hurting, confused or dissident cries that you met with cold eyes, and go ask them to forgive you and do what Christ told us all to do, love each other, yes, even the ones that have committed adultery or fornication, the ones whose lives are so painful they have found themselves addicted to alcohol or drugs to simply numb the pain, the ones that are just drawn to people of the same sex, the ones who can't silence the critical voices of a mean ass father, the ones that talk funny, smell bad and say the wrong things all the time. 

And try to read these lyrics while you examine your soul:

Some say that God has approved of their mob
Esteeming their purposes alone
Choosing sides with a definite pride
And taking their cause for His own
Everybody loves a holy war
Draw the line and claim divine assistance
Slay the ones who show the most resistance
Everybody loves a holy war
Many’s the man with the iron hand
Supposing his own thoughts to be Divine
He will break any bond-
’cause the other man’s always wrong
It’s a handy excuse for his crimes
Everybody loves a holy war
Draw the line and claim divine protection
Kill the ones who show the most objection
Everybody loves a holy war
Dissident cries are met with cold eyes
And treatment that the devil would get
Righteousness and truth
can be weapons in the hands of fools

While innocents go to their deaths
Everybody loves a holy war
Draw the line and claim divine assistance
Slay the ones who show the most resistance
Everybody loves a holy war



Billy Hill here, I like it neat