Thursday, September 11, 2008

David Bazan [a new song]- "When We Fell"

With the threat of hell hanging over my head like a halo

I was made to believe in a couple of beautiful truths
That eventually had the effect of completely unravelling
The powerful curse put on me by you

When you set the table
When you chose the scale
Did you write a riddle
That you knew they would fail
Did you make them tremble
So they would tell the tale
Did you push us when we fell

If my mother cries when I tell her what I have discovered
Then I hope she remembers she taught me to follow my heart
And if you bully her like you’ve done me with fear of damnation
Then I hope she can see you for what you are

What am I afraid of
Whom did I betray
In what medieval kingdom does justice work that way
If you knew what would happen
And you made us just the same
Then you my Lord can take the blame

David Bazan- When We Fell (Live) mp3


T. Nathaniel said...

Good lyrics, but also sad.

The part that I find insightful is when he talks about the justice of medieval kingdoms. It is no coincidence that penal-substitutionary or satisfaction atonement was first articulated by Anselm in the 1200s. His view of God was directly informed by medieval justice and the worldly lords and lieges who took offense at people's actions and demanded satisfaction for these offenses. Needless to say, this is a less than flattering view of God.

This is one of the reasons I have found Orthodox theology to be such a breath of fresh air. For the Orthodox, the Fall, as well as Redemption and the Atonement are not primarily juridical but are ontological. We sinned by turning away from God, and trying to exist on our own and for ourselves. But since God is life itself, our turning away could only mean decay and death. God does not threaten us with death and hell. He does not hold these things over our heads as punishment. Rather, they are the natural and inevitable results of our own decisions, and are precisely what God desires to rescue us from.

Bad theology very much gets in the way of our progressing into a full relationship with God. And I can't think of any worse theology than the one that reduces God to a petty medieval sovereign. If God really were like this, he would deserve the blame.

Swift said...

Hear! Hear!

It is sad to see him so disillusioned and bitter - not as much at the people who taught him such a vindictive theology (though there is that) but instead its largely directed at God Himself. I understand the first disillusionment and inevitable anger but I sure whish he could find hope again. He's been wallowing in this sty for a long time and seems to be heading further in.

bryan said...

bazan does it once again. perhaps he is not disillusioned as much as he hopes to create disillusionment?

i know that for me it has taken a healthy dose of disillusionment for me to be able to "rid myself of god for the sake of god," and have a much richer sense of awe and wonder about who god might actually be. i find that for me, when i am illusioned, if you will, i have less reason to ask questions.

of course, i'm not bazan and really have no idea where he is at with all of this.

and todd, i greatly appreciate your words here. thank you.

elnellis said...

that is how i experience his music as well bryan. i don't know where mr. bazan is at, but know that the way he asks questions of God compels me to rich and thoughtful conversation with myself, others and God.

as todd mentioned, the historical-theological categories we inherit, as well as the family context through which we receive these categories deeply shape our view of God.

part of me hopes he continues to write music like this. and it was easier for me to appreciate that song alongside this one... which will also be on the new record coming out in 09... (aaaaaaaa!!!)

HARD TO BE by David Bazan

you've heard the Story
you know how it goes.
once upon a garden
we were lovers with no clothes

fresh from the soil
we were beautiful and true
in control of our emotions
till we ate the poised fruit

and now its hard to be
hard to be
hard to be
a decent human being

wait just a minute
you expect me to believe
that all this miss behaving
grew from one enchanted tree

and helpless to fight it
we should all be satisfied
with this magical explanation
for why the living die

and for why its hard to be
hard to be
hard to be
hard to be decent human being

child birth is painful
we toil to grow our food
because ignorance makes us hungry
and wisdom makes us no good

just like they said it would
and now it's hard to be
hard to be
hard to be
a decent human being...

Chris Merritt said...

hey guys

Christianity is false. It's actually completely flawed logically and doesn't make any sense. It's believing in ghosts and superstition. Religion in general is a way for humans to explain the bigger purposes of life, a near, if not completely, impossible task, in a self-contained way. We evolved for it. It's done us organizes people, it helps them work together towards common goals, it generally promotes peace and healthy living. It's no wonder we evolved the phenomenon as a species. It's a way to organize and cope with our massive intellect.

But if you want truth, you've got to stop believing in ghosts and magical powers and heaven. Humans are an important part of the universe - the consciousness of the universe - and we'll see amazing things in our lifetimes. But there isn't a God and Noah's Ark never happened. There's just no way physically you could ever prove it.

This is all coming from a born-and-raised Christian, by the way. I used to wake up at 7 every morning and read my bible and pray over it and tell everyone how much I believed it.

What you'll realize when you come to your senses is that you never really believed it.