Tuesday, August 14, 2007

year zero

on the surface, year zero is the newest album from one-man-artistic-and-musical-genius trent reznor under his nomenclature nine inch nails. what the album is is a collection of songs looking fifteen years into the future in which the religious right has completely taken over the united states of america and has the country on lockdown for security reasons to keep us all "safe". freedom of thought and speech and action are a thing of the past as technology has grown to the point of being able to have round the clock surveillence on each individual who now have computerized identification and location software inserted at birth. each song is from the perspective of a different person living in this era. the poilitical and social climate having changed so much to the point that the totalitarian government decides to start a new calander. but, for the sake of this post, all of that is neither here nor there.

often times what i get out of a piece of work and what the artist intends are often two completely different things. no disrespect to the artists, but hopefully they enjoy the fact that they changed my life. what appeals to me here is simply the phrase "year zero." the thought of a new beginning. a true new beginning. a complete severing of what has come before and not looking back. i think this is a concept that the original church had that has somehow become watered down and almost lost as far as the mainstream (society as well as church) has become concerned.

in my mind, to think in terms of "year zero" is to think, act, and live in completely subversive and couter-cultural ways. but to the extent that it is no longer a rebellion against the establishment because you no longer even recognize the establishment (be it religious, political, or economical) as having any genuine authority or bearing on yourself as an individual. rather you recognize your ability and responsibility as a free being to make your own decisions about morality and conduct and community. one of the reasons, i believe, that the early church was so persecuted by the roman state.

on the surface, they were "rebelling" against caeser by calling jesus their king. but underneath, in 'year zero' terms, i think the real problem was that these people no longer even recognized caeser or the roman government as being real things. they had already turned their backs on the goverment and now believed themselves to be TRUE citizens of another kingdom. and they acted in like manner. they acted as those who were no longer under any human authority. and when you refuse to give a human their authoritative due, they don't take too kindly to it.

enough people still believe in our human governments as to give them power to operate and convict you and destroy you if they so desire. yet, i think we need to know where that line is drawn for each one of us by god. some, i think, god would prefer to use wisdom and prudence in decisions and NOT rebel so openly against the authority for protection and perseverances sake. others, i believe are called to manifest "year zero" much more openly in the here and now. to live according to their convictions no matter the cost.

and i believe the call is the same today as it was then. the call to year zero. the call to start over again. the call to make the break in your mind and set yourself free from the chains of the past. to free yourself to dream up a new world and live in it now amidst the current world people are too afraid to let go.


Dena G said...

Okay, so NOW who's the torturer?!!! ;-)

Sleepless here in the cornfields...waiting...waiting...WAITING.

jON said...

in case anyone's interested, there is still conversation still going on under "summer of love."

Valorosa said...

Could the fall of Rome hit home?

Lastly, in a sad commentary about where we are as a country, U.S. Comptroller General David Walker was quoted Tuesday (also in the Financial Times), as follows:
"Drawing parallels with the end of the Roman empire, Mr. Walker warned there were 'striking similarities' between America's current situation and the factors that brought down Rome, including 'declining moral values and political civility at home, an overconfident and overextended military in foreign lands, and fiscal irresponsibility by the central government.'

Bill Fleckenstein


jON said...

absolutely. it also reminds me of revelation 18. if you have the time, give it a read. not saying that i KNOW that this is what the passage is definitely talking about, it just hits home for what i see in our near future.

yet what troubles me is the question, "does it have to be like this? or can we change?"

Valorosa said...

According to scripture and the history of the Israeli people he has turned His hand of wrath away when most of a nation repents and turns back to him. He has shown mercy ... and returned His blessings ... there have been instances where He was slow to return His mercy ... it is really up to Him.

If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray ... then He will hear us ...

Our church leaders are not calling for our nations to bow down with repentant and malleable hearts ... I really don't know what they are all doing with their time .... they are sending a lot of guilt messages... LOL
As if Christ never came to save us...
If ever there was a time to holler from the rooftops that a nation needs to turn their hearts to the King of Kings it is now.

Self righteousness has had a stranglehold on us for too long ... it's time for men and women of pure hearts to arise and give themselves for the kingdom of God instead of trading a zealous and single eye for the comforts of our increasingly sinful and affluent nations ...

Have you ever seen a pastor and his family that wasn't "kept" in the lap of luxury? How can they break free from these
"things" provided to them by the money people who, in turn, control what the pastor does.
We don't have a lot of men of God with the backbone it takes to wage a spiritual war for our countries. They've mostly been bought. I pray that they see the error and turn back ... and I pray that those who have not been bought pray for wisdom and wage a battle in the heavenly realms ... not the earthly ... We don't do battle with flesh and blood ...

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Ephesians 6

Prayer is our ammunition and the heavens our battle ground and there is simply no other ... if we don't pray for our nations and leaders and start NOW we are going to lose this particular battle against evil which will change all of our lives and our children's lives.

Let's battle where it counts ... let's get into the heavens and subdue the rulers, authorites and powers of this dark world.

Nate said...

Hey, There is a good conversation going at Blooming Most Recklessly.