Have you ever had one of those moments where you find out something really awesome that never knew about something you have known for a long time? Like maybe you realize your best friend's dad wrestled bears in Siberia in college, or you find a fifty dollar bill in a pocket of your wallet you swore was empty. Well I just had a similar experience this week regarding a band I have liked for a long time. I found out that this band's lyrics are all pretty much straight Scripture, and they have been giving me a lot of much-needed encouragement this week.
The band I'm referring to is Killswitch Engage, a pretty heavy metalcore that is also quite popular and widely known. They have had music featured in places such as the video game God of War 3, I saw them live several years ago playing with some very well-known metal bands like Trivium, All That Remains, Alice Cooper, and Slayer. And to see that some of the members of this band are strong followers of Christ, and that this is extremely evident in their lyrics gives me so much more hope for this world, to know that the light is shining in some of the darkest places.
So here are just some of my favorite lyrics from them, and the Scripture that inspired it:
Now choose this day
Who you will serve
To be the light
In the darkened world.
~ A Light In A Darkened World by Killswitch Engage
I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.
~ John 8:12
You are the light of the world...let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.
~ Matthew 5:14, 16
The cost of one life
The price of ones soul
Is too much to lose
No more broken promises
The shattered hearts will heal
No more broken promises
No more (no more)
~ As Daylight Dies by Killswitch Engage
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one's life for one's friends.
~ John 15:13
He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.
~ Psalm 147:3
We must kill the idols
Don't fall prey to seduction
With single-mindedness We must pursue the truth
Nevermore the victim
Let them say that we are not of their world
With the promise of life
We are strong
We will carry on
~ Be One by Killswitch Engage
Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil, cling to what is good.
~ Romans 12:9
I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father expect through me.
~ John 14:6
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
~ Romans 12:2
We will not die this way, in unification
They cannot break these chains of faith
We will not die this way (this is absolution)
Death claims us no more (no more)
Do not grieve, end the suffering
We will live, were eternal
Will take the stand among the dead?
Bury your fear, and hold fast to life
Anchor yourself to the foundation of everything you love
Believe you have just become to live
Don't let the world deceive you
Don't let their words betray you
Don't let their lies deceive you
Lead them to their graves
~ This is Absolution by Killswitch Engage
...I am in chains for Christ. And because of my chains, most of the brothers and sisters have becomes confident in the Lord...
~ Philippians 1:13-14
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.
~ Revelation 21:4
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because such things God's wrath comes on those who are disobedient.
~ Ephesians 5:6
I gotta say, I have been getting so much joy looking through their lyrics these last few days, and even more now finding verses that line up with them. It has been seriously so encouraging to see Jesus so strongly proclaimed in such a band as KSE. Honestly, much of this past year I had no idea they were Christian (or at least some of them), and so I assumed they were very much NOT Christian, and thus I didn't listen to them much. I have a shirt I got when i saw them live that I never wore because I didn't want something I wore to ruin my witness. And yesterday I was coming back from physics when God revealed to me something about all this, and showed me WHY I never understood their lyrics before.
The disciples came to him and asked, “Why do you speak to the people in parables?”
He replied, “Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. This is why I speak to them in parables:
“Though seeing, they do not see;
though hearing, they do not hear or understand."
In them is fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah:
“‘You will be ever hearing but never understanding;
you will be ever seeing but never perceiving.
For this people’s heart has become calloused;
they hardly hear with their ears,
and they have closed their eyes.
Otherwise they might see with their eyes,
hear with their ears,
understand with their hearts
and turn, and I would heal them.’
But blessed are your eyes because they see, and your ears because they hear. For truly I tell you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see but did not see it, and to hear what you hear but did not hear it.
The reason I never understood their lyrics before I found Jesus was the very same reason why most people never understood Jesus' parables as he preached: I was not looking for Jesus, and so when I listened to Killswitch Engage, I was unable to hear. The words were empty to me because I was not passionately seeking out the Lord, I was ignorant of the Word, and so all the references to it were lost on me. But now that I have the Holy Spirit in me, God opened me up to let me hear. The only reason I ever knew it was because I was singing along with a lyric I had sung many times before, but this time one phrase stuck out:
When darkness falls
We are reborn
A dream since the fall of man
We are reborn
~ When Darkness Falls by Killswitch Engage
Specifically, the line "the fall of man" stuck in my mind, and I immediately went and searched as many of their songs as I could. And EVERY SINGLE ONE of them is super incredible, and has brought me so much joy. Today I began to listen to "Times of Grace," a band formed by the guitarist and former singer for KSE, and they are a band that is fully Christian, not just in lyrics but in everything. On their webpage they talk about how the album was really great for them in their time of need, a great spiritual journey. And there are other bands like them too, As I Lay Dying being an example, that are strongly influenced by Jesus, and it just given me so much encouragement to see that there literally isn't a single thing in this world that is a boundary for the light of Jesus to shine in.
I am reminded of the book of Acts, which is an incredible testament to how pervasive the Truth of Jesus is and how nothing can stop the spread of the Gospel, even the threat of death and torture in the old Church. Or in the metal community, where the majority of metal-heads more than don't follow Jesus but hate him, there is the threat of never having anyone really hear their music. But to see Killswitch Engage get so popular AND have lyrics that proclaim the name of Jesus, just waiting for people like me to seek out Him and find encouragement in them, is so amazing. And for me personally, this really has been a tough week, one where I need all the encouragement I can get, and I don't feel like it was any accident that I happened to listen to them for the first time in forever right now. I know God has only good things planned for those who follow Him, and right now he is raining just a little bit of His grace down on me and helping me to be content with Him alone. And it really is the most beautiful thing in the world.