Legal Kill – King’s X (1990, Faith Hope Love)

click on image to listen to song for free.

Part Two of “Hot Topic Songs” addresses the issue of abortion.  If homosexuality is a polarizing topic, then this might be the only issue even more divisive in our culture today.  Imagine, then, the idea of writing an artistically crafted, beautiful song about it.  At first, it sounds like a terrible pairing; but then, after some good thought we realize that maybe there is power in the idea of sending the right message at the right time for the right reasons.  A song carries a weight that few other forms of communication possess.

The crux of the debate surrounding abortion is that it is ultimately an argument over life and death – even for the pro-choice person.  No matter when you or I believe life truly begins our society must decided and regulate exactly when we go from right to murder and from choice to child.  Today, an American court/jury decided that one abortion doctor (Dr. Kermit Gosnell) was guilty of murder because of his handling of certain late-term abortion botches.  So, clearly no matter where you land on this issue, we cannot deny the fact that we are governing the sanctity of human life in our opinions and laws.

The truth in this matter is simply this: according to the Bible, God created each human life/essence/person-hood/being even before any one of us were conceived.  He knew us and formed us before egg and sperm ever existed.  Who are we to challenge that authority?  Who are we are to toy with the idea that a life in the womb is somehow less valuable than any other life?

If biblical standards are indeed the absolute truth on this matter, then it is indeed a modern day holocaust that we have on our bloody hands.  It is never easy to digest this reality.  But I propose a song here that has struck a cord with my heart on the matter of abortion in the strongest way possible.

King’s X is a longstanding hard rock group with great acclaim and who have shown Christian values in their music, particularly in the early years.  I cannot speak positively about all of their convictions.  Whatever the case may be, this ballad stands alone as one of the best songs ever written about the atrocity that is abortion, listen:

I only know what I believe
The rest is so absurd to me
I close my eyes so I cant see
But the picture just gets clearer everyday

I read somewhere to learn is to remember
And I’ve learned we all forgot
There was peace in her before
But that was yesterday

But I can see the beauty that is here for me
The chance to live and walk free
From a legal kill

I know your side so very well
It makes no sense that I can tell
The smell of hell is what I smell
And you hand it out with handshakes everyday

I have trouble with the persons with the signs
But I feel the need to make my own
Yes there are two ways to be
And truth does not depend on me
But I can feel the fight for life is always real
I can’t believe its no big deal
Its a legal kill

I appreciate so many things from this song that I will simply list them:

1. Despite how angry abortion can make us feel (really on both sides of the issue) this song achieves a sense of calm beauty, clear reflection and poignant logic.  There are too many mad, sign-carrying vigilantes out there who really aren’t helping their cause.

2. The singer realizes how blessed he is to have the gift of life.  Like me and many of you, these guys were born in a world where most places have legalized abortion.  I survived Roe vs. Wade because I was lucky enough to be born by a mother who wanted to keep me around (Happy Mother’s Day, mom!).  There are millions of people (yes, people) who have not been so fortunate.

3. The singer remembers the forgotten player in all our bickering over abortion: the women who have been through it.  There is sympathy and concern for how these women have had to deal with the reality of their decisions.  It is incredibly difficult to be a woman with a pregnancy that she is not prepared for.  Most of us never see how much hurt and shame they have to deal with for the rest of their lives.

4. The singer finally reminds us all that truth depends on someone other than us.  Implying God and His sovereignty and justice; and how one day He will make things right for the innocent who cannot even speak for themselves or cry for help.  If you listen carefully, at the end of the song the tune for “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” is played briefly – highlighting the lyrics: glory to the newborn.  What an amazing, yet subtle reminder that Christ can redeem all of our murder and ignorance and that even He came to Earth as a fragile baby in order to save us!  Powerful use of medley.

There is so much to be done on this matter: standing up for truth, trying to change our laws, helping troubled, pregnant women, etc. No matter who you are, you can make a difference!

This truth and this tune reminds us that we cannot stay numb and we cannot stand still and allow this legal kill.  Enough is enough!

Stand/Great Love – Flyleaf (2012, New Horizons)

Click on the image to listen to the song for free.

Yes, this is a politically charged blog entry, but not quite like what you and I have been used to hearing lately (I hope).  Today I intend to literally “Rock the Vote” in a very unusual way and I am calling on the help of the Christian electric-guitar-style megaphone that is Flyleaf.

Flyleaf is not a “Christian band”, but a hard rock/metal band who are all Christians and their faith comes out clearly and honestly in their songs (As leader singer, Lacey Sturm, famously clarified in 2010).  They have done well over the last twelve years or so in terms of grabbing a lot of public attention while trumpeting a very Christian message in their music (i.e., POD, etc.).  They just released a brand new album last week that we are showcasing today.

But what does all of this have to do with politics and voting this week?  And how is this a double feature blog entry?  Well, because we are going to talk about TWO songs from the new album that both have bearing on the election tomorrow.  First up is a song that highlights one of the most important issues of this election season: life.  “Stand” (song # 9 on the album when you click the link) delivers a clear and powerful reminder that we need to fight for the rights of the unborn:

Find there’s no need to hide
the time has come to stand and fight, save the world
and save that girl from enemies unseen
our hands will bleed for children unborn
the mornings come and rumors are
the hope that lasts within our grasp
if we muster up the strength to grab it…                                                                          Stand
face the world with open hands and tears
and these tired body’s spirit perseveres
remembering these wounds will heal
you are not alone in this
how long did You bleed for us

A strong, but sensitive battle cry to come alongside both the children lost as well as the mothers who live in regret and fear from what they have had to endure through their choices.  That last line I quoted hits hard, reminding us that Jesus suffered on our behalf and stood in the gap for us when our lives were hanging in the balance.

Let this message be an impactful factor on our voting choices on Tuesday.  Remember as you look down your ballot that only God is the true Author of life.  We should never put that decision or “choice” in another person’s hands – especially when the millions of little lives at stake are helpless to defend themselves.  Voting pro-life is infinitely more important than border policies and tax breaks.  Stand up for life this Tuesday!

And now our bonus feature of the day!  “Great Love” (song # 5 on the album when you click the same link as above)  would have been my song of the day even if this was not an election week.  However, it all ties together in a very important way that we all need to hear.  First the song, then I’ll explain it’s connection to politics.

Great love setting the world on fire
I am in awe of who You are
And it’s Your love I’m living for

Can’t you feel I’m drawing near the place that broke your heart
Cut up and scarred the dawn is breaking My body’s shaking
Oh, the secret memories you keep, ignoring the soul that you can sleep
I’m facing what you won’t tonight, the dawn is breaking, My body’s shaking

Great love setting the world on fire
I am in awe of who You are
And it’s Your love I’m living for
Great love filling me up inside
You are the one I’m looking for
And I am Yours forevermore

There I was awaiting death for you, and all I did was love you too
I’m facing what you won’t tonight, the dawn is breaking, My body’s shaking
There I was awaiting death for you, and all I did was love you too

This song is primarily about Christ’s sacrificial love for us on the cross.  The lyrics beautifully alternate between a worship chorus of declaring His great love for us and Christ’s own words of describing what it might have been like for Him to hang on that cross – thinking of you and me.  Very few voices cry out with as much volume and emotion adoringly declaring such a central and powerful truth for the believer in the one true Gospel song: “Great Love!”  Read John 15:12-17 as a great reminder of His love for us and His commandment to us to love others like He does.

Now, politically speaking, I am greatly ministered to by this song today for a very important reason – election season tempts me to lose my “be Christ’s love to others” attitude.  Over the last several weeks and months, we have been barraged by spite-filled media: yard signs, bumper stickers, tv ads, robot phone calls, flyers in our mail, news media, debates, and on and on the list goes.  The air is thick with bickering, malice, accusations, slandering, falsehoods, childish posturing, and undignified verbal attacks.  What we ingest from the media is spewed back out into our relationships with family, coworkers, neighbors, etc.  Relationships that will continue after Tuesday’s voting, no matter what the outcome.

What we all need is to be reminded of the great love that Christ offers to us at the highest price, so that we are now able to cross EVERY political boundary and offer that same love to our fellow countrymen and women.  Vote your biblical morals tomorrow, then go extend your hand to the people on the other side of the issues that need to see Christ in us.  Crucify the immature, outlandish way that we have been speaking to each other over politicians and propositions without disregarding a stand for truth and God’s Word.  Let us cleanse ourselves of the shame of human politics, while we perform our civic and Christian duties as voters.

So remember this tomorrow: “Stand” for life and the issues that matter most to God; then offer “Great Love” to the people around you – especially thinking of how Christ suffered greatly in His love offer to you and me.  There is truth in tunes my friends.  Lets listen up and live it out this week!