One thing you have to say about the Metal genre in general is that it is honest. Brutal? Yep. Misguided? Often. Vulgar? You betcha. But it is full of musicians that scream what they really think and feel about the world around them so we can share their experiences through our earbuds, headphones, various stereos, and the occasional neck brace.
Here’s what our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ has to say on the subject on honesty, shamelessly mooched from Bible Gateway… https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%205:33%E2%80%9337:33&version=nkjv:
Matthew 5:33–28:20 New King James Version (NKJV)
Jesus Forbids Oaths
33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.”
Now, those in the knowledge of the basics of the Bible will see that this is from what is known in common Christian parlance as The Sermon on the Mount. As my good friend and mentor Rob Sparks puts it, “Christianity 101”. The bedrock that a Christian builds their life upon as mentioned at the end of the sermon.
I can already hear your legalist gears grinding behind your eyes as you say to yourself, “Self, what has not taking oaths got to do with overall Christian honesty?” In a word, “Everything”.
You see, Jesus’ language was very prone to hyperbole, much like the languages of the region today. Those of us born before the internet remember an Iraqi general on CNN saying that the pending Iraqi invasion, “Will be the mother of all battles!” when it was basically a turkey shoot…and his side were the turkeys. American English, on the other hand, is a very understated language as it came from the kings of understatement, the British (they make up for their extreme tendency for understatement by throwing extra “U”s all over the place to make their understated articles and books seem longer).
With this in mind, we come upon the realization that if just about everything was hyperbole in Jesus’ language, then going from swearing upon Heaven itself or until the world ends to a simple “Yes” or “No” has a pretty good chance of cutting out some serious epic-level horseshit and general semantic wankery.
If you ask a few Christians at your next church visit what is important to being a Christian, I bet they’ll get to “Honesty” pretty damn quick. I find this ironic as hell because we are collectively the most lyin’-ass motherfuckers on the planet outside of politics and the people that determine college graduation credit requirements so you have a “well-rounded education”. At least with politicians and those bastards in the curriculum dept you know you’re going to get lied to, Christians are supposed to be the go-to guys for truth. It’s in Christianity 101, after all.
“What? You just called us all a bunch of lying bastards?” you silently scream at your screen in dismay. That’s right, bitch, I said it…and meant it.
When was the last time you were really honest at church? You lost your job, your kid woke up squirting out both ends, your car is about dead and you have no money to pay for repairs since you just lost your job, and your answer to everyone asking how you’re doing is “Blessed” or “Fine” when you really think you just got nut punched by life. To make it worse, just about every single other person in the church is doing the exact same damn thing, knees protectively squeezed together and all. There is a reason why “Fine” is short for “Fucked up, Insecure, Neurotic, and Emotional” in recovery programs, after all, and it’s not because we’re all really doing A-Ok double thumbs-up when we say it.
If we can’t even be honest enough with our fellow Christians to tell them what a goat rodeo our life is, how can the world count on us to be honest when something major comes along (Yes, helping your friend move sucks, but I’m going way beyond that, homie)? How about when the world of Fear and Power(tm) says something is right and Jesus says it’s wrong? What if somebody not like us, or even worse, somebody we hold in contempt needs us to be salt and light? Can we honestly say we will follow Jesus in those moments if we can’t even cowboy up enough to be honest about our day?
Just some thoughts from an overbearing, opinionated wanker.