Christian hip-hop: “Jesus, save the world from me”

I’m pushing the envelope regarding my Lenten blog fast, but I’m going to cheat and call this a sermon-related podcast (which I had decided to make exceptions for) because it’s a song that might be connected to a future sermon series. God has given me this word: we should not be asking Jesus to save us from the world, but rather to save the world from us. Hence this song is called “Jesus, save the world from me.” Lyrics are below. Are you subscribed to the podcast?

Jesus save the world from me
From all my false humility
Self-disavowing piety
Put on display for all to see.
Jesus save the world from me
On behalf of all humanity
I turned into the enemy
And only you can set me free.

Verse 1:
When you made the world; you called it good;
We have not talked of things the way we should
On every soapbox where we stood with stones in our pockets,
Our egos soaring higher than rockets;
more raucous than the Bacchae of Euripedes’ cage fight;
more zealous than Hera thinking of rivals to smite;
we spite your cross; delight in our sword.
Your word is a good word but we wanted a hard one.
You gave us Zion; we wanted Babylon
You gave us a garden; we made a plantation
You gave us a planet; we wanted our nation to be first;
We want to own the patent on your living water so we can profit from the world’s thirst.
And now the well is cursed with blood that we shed, thinking it wasn’t yours;
We call it predestination manifested in our bestness.
It’s clear we’re the most blessed here;
But why are we so infatuated with fear?
Why is our money what’s dear to us
The irony lost in writing on our idol “In God we trust”?
Can we trust you enough to speak to people other than us?
Are we the gate they must pass through?
Can Jesus do what He wants to do
Or does he have to live up to the standards of our marketing campaign
Making him Rocky Balboa so men will go to church again?
But this isn’t a sad song ‘cause the Spirit’s not done yet
Don’t throw in the towel or call the seventh trumpet;
My savior is coming ‘cause You can’t keep him down;
He rises again like the sun no matter how far His people bury Him under the ground
Of our systematic theology – the modern idolatry;
And I’ve just got my own ideology;
Not immune to the insanity;
But I’ve got good news in the calamity: Jesus is saving the world from me.

Verse 2:
Jesus didn’t come to save us from them;
how do we know that the people we call “them”
aren’t the ones who were always with him
while we’re the Sanhedrin persecution
The Inquisition who missed the point
Whom Jesus had to kiss like Judas
For using His gift to give ourselves a reward;
Because We couldn’t worship a Lord who was also a lamb;
So we took the sword from His mouth and put it in our hands
Like He’s a doll for us to dress, an Italian model for us to paint
A proof-text to project the image of myself as a saint.
Don’t you see how the fountain has gotten so tainted?
Boil living water down to its fundamentals, only the salt remains;
And Satan could tell you that we are the stains on Joshua’s clothes.
But God would rebuke Him; we’re the stains that He chose
Even though too much leaven has puffed up the dough
We aren’t the beauty He wanted to show;
Our trees are enormous, but the figs won’t grow;
Our roots in acidic clay where the water won’t flow
‘Cause we’ve packed our dirt so tight with all the answers we know.
And He just wanted us to dance when He played the flute
And mourn when He sang a dirge, not entertaining the urge to argue
Just letting the power of His song be our truth;
Enter His kingdom the way that only youth can
Not try to command,
Letting the hand with nail holes hold the baton.

Verse 3:
This can’t be a lesson
Without my confession;
I preach to the choir of my own dark obsessions
I constantly question are my words just cover
When I say “me” and “us,” do I really judge others
I don’t claim as sisters or brothers in Christ?
Is it prophetic virtue or ungracious vice
Do I say it for You or to self-aggrandize?
And self-deprecation will never suffice for me
I don’t think twice till after I speak;
It’s hard to be meek when You won’t let me rest
You’re the reason I have so much to get off my chest
Like a fire in my bones
You won’t leave me alone
But I still don’t trust my own schemes
I need to be saved from my need to be seen
A mind that still rings with the screaming no-thank-yous of poetry magazines
The shame of prostituting myself in the indie rock scene,
At half empty bars, a wannabe rock star
Is that all that these songs are?
I’ve gone back and forth: are these your words or mine?
The spirit and flesh so impossibly intertwined
Kill whatever you find that isn’t your will;
Take it and put it on Golgotha hill.
I don’t want to be a hypocrite;
You’ve got to save me and make me legit.

2 thoughts on “Christian hip-hop: “Jesus, save the world from me”

  1. Pingback: Breathing kingdom on airplanes and elsewhere | Mercy not Sacrifice

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