Legion (The American Exorcism): a rap

About a month ago, I wrote a blog post about a phenomenon I’m witnessing among American evangelicals that seems like a massive reenactment of Jesus’ exorcism of the Gerasene demoniac in which he casts a bunch of demons from a man into a herd of pigs who storm off a cliff and drown. As the tinfoil hat types among us get more and more obviously ridiculous and start racing towards a cliff, many of us are turning back in disgust as Jesus exorcises our demons. So this song is the rap version of that blog post, basically mixing imagery from Mark 5 with the parable of talents.

It names an attitude problem that I see in which people hide their selfishness behind so-called “family values” and resemble the third servant from the parable of the talents who would rather live a safe, comfortable life than live an adventure of imaginative entrepreneurship by listening to and obeying the Holy Spirit (I’m not accusing anyone in particular of doing this; if it convicts you, then let it; if the shoe doesn’t fit; then don’t wear it). Families are important; I love my wife and boys very much and I would give everything to defend them from harm. But unless we start to “seek the kingdom of God first” (Matthew 6:33) before family, career, country, sports, hobbies (and all the other allegiances to which we pledge), then we won’t be able to have a paradigm shift as a society in how we take care of each other. This is not about defending either political party; this is about getting past the selfish attitude that outsourced our responsibility for each other to government agencies and experts in the first place.

I personally think some safety nets require national coordination; others need to be shifted to a grassroots, personal approach. If we get our tax cuts on the backs of the poor and we don’t make new safety nets to replace the ones that get cut down, I’ll guarantee you that God will sic an Assyria or a Babylon on us just like He did to Israel back in the day (that is, if we aren’t ourselves the Babylon from Revelation, and in that case, you can read about our destiny in that book). Think about this verse and be convicted by it: “He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him” (John 1:9). It’s as true today as it was in 1st century Palestine; we crucify our savior every day.

4 thoughts on “Legion (The American Exorcism): a rap

  1. I am the one who needs to apologize for lack of clarification. Absolutely no rebuke. We are on the same page. I am truly frustrated by the people/church/govt. that —suddenly–respond when it benefits them or their stature and situation, making excuses for prior inactivity by throwing money at the problem without addressing the issue and finding a solution. Miracles happen every day—God can do anything! I’ve seen it done. It costs less to address and fix a wrong, than it does to patch and delay a repair..,. or replace. What is so tough about understanding that? How can we expect govt. or churches to respond appropriately when we as a people are so hedonistic and concerned about ourself to the exclusion of others? We all need to be about our Father’s business, not looking back at who did what, who has more, who took more. Life is not a test to fail. Politics are just the excuse we use to justify our individual inability to accept and give Glory to Christ in all things.
    Caught me at a weird time, Morgan, after a lengthy discussion with someone who should know better (obviously not you). Really, really sorry for the non-pithy response to your great rap (not exactly my music style, but I heard you loud and clear).Please forgive me.

    • No apology necessary at all. You were just venting and that’s cool. We’re on the same page. I just wanted to make sure because I can be cocky and cynical in a way that goes beyond being prophetic. I always need help to make sure I’m not creating stumbling blocks. You’ve been very helpful in that regard. Please always speak up. Thanks so much for your dialogue. You are absolutely right to see that we have an epidemic lack of trust in God as a nation. It’s sort of captured by the fact that we write “In God we trust” on our money. Isn’t that crazy? I just thought of that.

  2. Forget the election. Our dependance on the outcome seems to regulate our decisions as to how much individual time and effort we will need to put into making the social paradigm a reality—we get “religion” every four years, before every election, after a mission trip to a third world country or area of strife,following every personal loss or during daily challenges we face in life. Until we open our hearts to be healed and start anew, the issue will always be focused on opening our pocketbooks as the solution, pointing fingers at the haves and have nots, looking to someone else to blame.
    I am obviously being overly dramatic, right? Safety nets are cool, but its like buying the dessert with no money left for the dinner—sweet, quick fixes that make us feel better (about ourselves and our attempts), but don’t solve the underlying cause of our hunger, and actually cause more problems in the long run. WE,everybody, young and old, Protestant, Catholic, Muslin, Jew, should be the major safety nets in our communities, taking responsibility for our own actions, accountable only to God Almighty. We all should be singing versions of “Let it be me” or “Here I am, Lord”, instead of crying, “Why,me?”, or like children, “He hit me first”. Churches used to pick up the slack (and still do, to some extent), but we have allowed our churches to become redundant, demanding the govt. to make unrealistic promises and throw monies we dont have at problems to silence the masses.
    Our ultimate safety net is Christ, and until we accept the fact that our Kingdom is not of this earth and adopt servitude as our reason for being here, whomever gets elected wont matter.

    • Is this an affirmation of what I said in my rap or a rebuke? Because if what it sounds like I’m saying is really different than what you’re saying, then I’ve got a messaging problem. So please help me to make sure I’m not shooting myself in the foot with a few trigger words that make people flinch and not hear what I’m saying. It’s hard to be prophetic and pastoral at the same time, but like Peter said, I don’t want people to be offended for any reason other than the prophetic truth (which is supposed to be offensive) so if there’s unnecessary thorns, help me find them. The attitude I was describing in the rap is the attitude that paradoxically both objects to big government and creates the need for big government. As long as our homes are our castles and the white picket fence is as far as my responsibility extends, then we need big government.

      I don’t know that the word “safety net” needs to be a bad word. Our safety net is Christ who is both a crucified redeemer who saves us individually and a living body that is saves the world collectively. When we enjoy the former without becoming the latter, we’ve got a Matthew 18:23-35 problem. By overemphasizing the first to the exclusion of the latter, we have created churches that spend most of their money on attractiveness (for “evangelism’s” sake which is reinforcing the worldly consumerist paradigm by which church-shoppers make decisions) and relatively little on being a place where “the blind see, the lame walk, and the poor receive good news.” What would it look like if we really did hire social workers, and nurse practitioners on staff at our churches and our facilities included examination rooms and computer labs for GED classes? Some churches do look that way. We forget that so much of the infrastructure we take for granted in our secular world was originally built by the monks in Europe 1000 years ago.

      Thanks for your conversation!

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