Out of the Corner of My Eye

By | October 25, 2014

2014-10-25 A Farewell to Mars

Out Of The Corner Of My Eye
by Blind Man At The Gate

I think I caught a glimpse of truth out of the corner of my eye
A ghost, a whisper, a suspicion, a subtle and subversive rumor
So dangerous that every army would be commanded to march against it
So beautiful that it would drive those who see it to madness
Or sanity
Does the whole of my kind suffer from mental and moral vertigo?
As Melville said of cabin boy Pip
He saw the foot of God upon the treadle of the loom
And dared to speak it
Henceforth his shipmates called him mad
As Vladimir said when they came to bury Fyodor
The spiritual leader must feel the falsehood prevailing in society
The prophet must struggle against it, never tolerate it, never submit to it
I think I caught a glimpse of truth out of the corner of my eye
Have we been so blinded by the bright lights of advertisers lies
That the only true vision is peripheral vision?
In the age of constant commercialization and overblown hype
Does truth shout with a whisper and stand out with subtlety?
I think I caught a glimpse of truth out of the corner of my eye
It terrified me as I fell in love with it
I said,
This explains everything
This changes everything
This challenges everything
This threatens everything
This transforms everything
Dare I speak it?
The truth I caught out of the corner of my eye?
EVERY EMPIRE OF MEN IS BUILT UPON A LIE
They come to kill, steal and destroy
EVERY EMPIRE OF MEN IS BUILT UPON A LIE
All virtue is subject to sacrifice upon the altar of imperial expediency
EVERY EMPIRE OF MEN IS BUILT UPON A LIE
God or gods exist only to serve its cause
EVERY EMPIRE OF MEN IS BUILT UPON A LIE
Religion takes off its mask when it says—
“We have no king but Caesar”
The ultimate betrayal
The final apostasy
EVERY EMPIRE OF MEN IS BUILT UPON A LIE
Marx was more than half right when he said—
Religion is the opiate of the masses
EVERY EMPIRE OF MEN IS BUILT UPON A LIE
Self-promotion and Self-preservation
Greed and Lust
Industry and War
The industry of war
Long live the Empire!
Keep the Empire alive
And to keep the Empire alive
Many will be made to die
Because the Empire lives by the sword
And dies by the same
EVERY EMPIRE OF MEN IS BUILT UPON A LIE
From Aztec to Zulu
Egyptian and Ottoman
Persia and Babylon
Greece and Rome
England and—
Now I’m too close to home
A kinder, gentler Babylon to be sure
But a Babylon for sure
EVERY EMPIRE OF MEN IS BUILT UPON A LIE
So when Christ came
He did not bring
Another empire of men
Built upon a lie
As the liar in the desert tempted
Instead he brought
THE EMPIRE OF GOD
GOOD NEWS!
The government of justice and mercy, grace and truth
And the truth is
EVERY EMPIRE OF MEN IS BUILT UPON A LIE
Though every empire says
“We have God on our side”
So you will have to decide
How patriotic a Byzantine believer can be?
May we be salt and light
A prophetic voice
A Christian conscience
May we preserve and illuminate
Cry aloud and convict
But never forget
EVERY EMPIRE OF MEN IS BUILT UPON A LIE
And to stand for truth
And to stand for God
Is to stand against the lie the empire is built upon
And in the midst of imperial self-justification pray—
Thy Empire come
There, I’ve said it
The truth I glimpsed out of the corner of my eye
And when push comes to shove
As it always does
The Empire of Men will oppose the Empire of God
To know this is dangerous
To say it can be deadly
Do you think I’m kidding?
What crucified Jesus?
Self-righteous religion?
No, not religion alone
Religion as the whore of Empire
This is what killed Jesus
And Paul
And Peter
And Polycarp
And Huss
And Bonhoeffer
Because this is what empires do
Silence the prophets who will not prostitute the truth
Religion is tolerated
Imperial religion is promoted
But the prophetic hope of ANOTHER WAY
Must be censored
Even by the sword
This is the way of empire
Because
EVERY EMPIRE OF MEN IS BUILT UPON A LIE
Constantine can become a Christian
But Constantine cannot Christianize the Empire
The Empire of God converts the hearts of men one at a time
Christ the King must himself sponsor each one into his Kingdom
But when the Empire sanctions religion for its own purposes
The whore of Babylon rides the back of the beast
Giddy-up and God bless the Empire!
EVERY EMPIRE OF MEN IS BUILT UPON A LIE
I glimpsed this truth out of the corner of my eye
To believe it will set you free
And you thought it was just Sunday School banality
Or empty religious sentimentality
To pray
Thy Empire come
Thy Policy be done
You had no idea it was dissident and subversive
Because every empire of men is built upon a lie
The lie that the empire has God on its side
I glimpsed this truth out of the corner of my eye
And if you ask me my politics I will say
JESUS IS LORD!
JESUS IS LORD!
JESUS IS LORD!
This is more political than it is religious
I glimpsed this truth out of the corner of my eye

-Brian Zahnd
“A Farewell To Mars: An Evangelical Pastor’s Journey Toward the Biblical Gospel of Peace,” location 313

Brian Zahnd’s website.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zxhu9sjiRdk&w=853&h=480]

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