Sunday, December 20, 2015

Them Lyrics Though

I was part of a very Pentecostal youth group in my younger years and was exposed to many of the popular Christian bands of the 90s as a natural result. The thing was, for us youth group kids, it was never really about the lyrics or the theology of the bands. All that mattered was that they were Christian, so we could justify listening to a more contemporary sound.

One band I enjoyed very much was The O.C. Supertones. They were a ska band and they hit their prime in the late 90s. Again, I was Pentecostal, Arminian by default, and was not exactly sheltered from the occasional prosperity gospel sermon. I had absolutely no clue that one of my favorite bands was in pretty strong opposition to some of my denominational distinctives (not so much the Pentecostal part, but definitely the other two quirks I mentioned). I never could have guessed that this just might be a foreshadowing of some of the theological shifts that were on my horizon.

The crazy thing is, the Calvinist resurgence (of which I'm happy to call myself a part) has only been going on for the past ten years or so, at least on such a large scale. Joining this movement has elevated my love for the Protestant reformation, the sovereignty of God in salvation aka the doctrines of grace, and my hatred for a God minimizing, man exalting, prosperity gospel. Because of this, I had something of an unexpected surprise today as I drove to the Buffalo area and back and randomly decided to go through some of my old Supertones albums from the 90s. I was shocked to realize that these guys were nearly a decade ahead of their time. I figured I would just cut and paste some song lyrics so you could enjoy a little of this rather pleasant experience with me. I'll include some YouTube audio links so you can listen as you read along.

As a result of becoming more theologically reformed, I've become much more passionate about sound doctrine. as a more recent result, I've picked up an interest in reformed/presuppositional apologetics and have been exposed to names like Bahnsen. Who would have thought that I'd completely missed these ideas being thrown at me in a song like "Grounded" all the way back in 1999.

I strike back like the empire
and we'll televise the revolution.
What will save you
From divine retribution?
Do our part, try to make a contribution
Playin' at 11, givin' OC noise pollution.
Think long and hard
about our world today...
what needs to be said,
and what I need to say.
We're a tower of Babel
built on anti-philosophy,
Neitzche in the west
and Krishna in the east.

War rages on through generations.
All of these Christians
abandoned their stations.
A whole world around us,
and we've ceased to reach.
An army of soldiers,
we've neglected to teach.
But, it's dim and not pitch black.
The truth will prevail.
If our God is for us, how can we fail?
No surer hope has ever been rested.
But for our adversary's worthy,
prepare to be tested.

Hoo, Hah.
How will you stand
if you don't understand?

Hoo, Hah.
Fight like a man, scriptures in hand.

And here we stand
naked, barehanded futily prepared
for the blows to be landed.
Presuppositions is all you can stand on.
Can you twist their wrist
when they lay a hand on?
Learn how to fight
from words on a paper.
learn from the shoguns,
Bahnsen and Schaeffer.
Invincible army,
Holy Spirit our general.
Weapons are formed
form most precious of minerals.

Kids in universities,
drowning in an ocean
of apostate philosophy.
We need apologetic instruction...
mental reconstruction.
Ignorance reduction,
to halt the mass abduction.
Evangelical mind
has been scandalized.
Wisdom and truth
have been vandalized,
by the unevangelized.
No truth in a world
that is randomized.
Expose the lies
no matter how they're disguised.


Or how about my more foundational discoveries of the many theological truths that were recovered in the Protestant Reformation by men like Luther? Truths carried on by men like Jonathan Edwards? Who would have thought that the Supertones were singing about this one album later in "Return of the Revolution"

There ain't no stopping us now
I'd like to say that from the outset
Not up in this business just to get what we can get
But bet that
We gonna bring it to you loud and clear
How loud I gotta say it 'fore you people start to hear
I can name our problems
But I know a solution
Bring back the revolution.
The revolution comes and we all stand as one
Rises from the darkness and shines like the sun
As the sun gets higher, our church catches fire
Down from our pride and up from the mire.
It's a dream that I've had and I hope it comes true
I forgot to say the revolution starts with you.

See wisdom and knowledge is one thing that we lack
You've been a Christian how long and you're still on Similac
So I call on Martin Luther and all the reformation back
Then the common people couldn't read God's revelation
You had to be a monk or a priest or read Latin
That was all before the revolution happened
But the fire cooled down ever since that generation
We put down the Bible and pick up the Playstation
And we can't defend our faith 'cause we don't even know it
We say we love his word but pick a funny way to show it.
The world walks by and we don't have a thing to say
I call 'em as I see 'em
And that's what I see today

Chorus:
The revolution returns
The reformation lives on
The great awakening is now
Sleepers open your eyes
A war is on, our rally cry is no compromise
No compromise, yeah, no compromise
A war is on, our battle cry is no compromise
So throw your fist up and pray the revolution rise
A war is on, our rally cry is no compromise

Our hearts have grown so cold
And we've such numb souls
But shirts and bumper stickers
Man we got 'em by the truckload
Is true religion what you have around your wrist
What does the scripture say of this
"They honor me with words
But their hearts are far away"
I call 'em like I see 'em
And that's what I see today

So I call on Jon Edwards
Who preached us all awake
We try to be emotional but here is our mistake
As a church we lack repentance and we lack true affection
Not only in our minds but our hearts need correction
And man that's true religion, resignation and contrition
To love each other so much that we'd die before division

So what about you
Will you join us
Will you admit that the waters around us have grown
You better start swimming or you'll sink like a stone
Do you stand with us or do we stand alone
It's time that we stand up, enlist for the war
I've tasted battle and now I want more
I've known the truth and been cut to the core
But I'm back in the game to even the score
And I mean to go out with both my guns blazing
Amazed at a God who's so truly amazing
To triumph in battle as the spirit enables
Can't turn back the clock but we can turn the tables


As one more example, what about the issue of our necessary battle against the prosperity gospel? Yeah, they tackled that too in "Health and Wealth"

Poor men bound in persecution,
God's their portion everyday.
But we don't know anybody who lives that way.
There the church grows stronger, under politics and chains and whips.
They can't explain how they slipped right through their grip.
A purifying persecution in the politics of Mao Tse-Tung.
I think they got it right, so maybe we got it wrong.

Health and wealth, we help ourselves, and let them play the hand that they've been dealt.
Health and wealth, indulge ourselves, a big fat belly underneath our belts.
Health and wealth we help ourselves, and let them play the hand that they've been dealt.
We'll never understand the Christ they're felt, if we keep on chasing health and wealth.

Here we sit so comfy, rich us, me and you, the USA...so far away from C-h-i-n-a.
We think they need freedom.
We're the ones in prison.
We don't have the time to change the world.
It doesn't take long to figure it out, where all our money goes.
We're the poorest billionaires
Jesus knows.

Health and wealth, we help ourselves, and let them play the hand that they've been dealt.
Health and wealth, indulge ourselves, a big fat belly underneath our belts.
Health and wealth we help ourselves, and let them play the hand that they've been dealt.
We'll never understand the Christ they're felt, if we keep on chasing health and wealth.

And we ask God to refine us and pray that we would be freed from all our comfortable gods our straining and striving and chasing the wind.

Health and wealth, we help ourselves, and let them play the hand that they've been dealt.
Health and wealth, indulge ourselves, a big fat belly underneath our belts.
Health and wealth we help ourselves, and let them play the hand that they've been dealt.
We'll never understand the Christ they're felt, if we keep on chasing health and wealth.

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