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Carolling in the Name of…

Finally.  The success they deserve -  Rage Against the Machine have the UK's Christmas number 1.

And for those who have been following the exploits of this feisty four-piece, it's more apt than you know.

It all began when Zachary Ragg formed his little beat-combo Ragg and the Be Cleans.  They hit the road, playing the usual tent crusades and church picnics.  But while their lyrics were outstanding, soaked as they were in the best of Patristic and Reformation theology, their rap / heavy metal fusion (birthed in the Anfechtung of their Lutheran heritage) was often lost on the good church folk.

Their career took a decisive turn when Sony snapped up the talented young boys and re-branded them as Rage Against the Machine.

From that point onwards, young Zachary's profoundly Christian lyrics were altered by cynical producers riding the wave of 90s angst.  But Christ the Truth can now reveal the original words to 'Killing in the Name.'  We reproduce them here with comments in the hope that its Christmas wonder can be reclaimed.

The song is introduced with its own title:

Carolling in the Name of...

So sacred is the divine Name the Be Cleans dare not speak it.  And yet they unfold His majesty with a moving ode to His divine kenosis:

Now the One who works forces

Is the same who bears crosses

So taken is Zachary with this Christmas meditation that he dwells on the theme at length.  Then, with a discernably Lutheran slant, he launches into a stunning exegesis of Galatians 3.  He addresses Israel under the law, hammering down upon them the slavery in which they are bound:

And now you do what they told you

And now you do what they told you

And now you do what they told you

And now you do what they told you

Soon the antiphonal response will be added, pronouncing the divine judgement:

And now you're under a curse

And now you're under a curse

And now you're under a curse

And now you're under a curse

The tension builds until we find release in Christ's marvellous exchange:

He Who dies - He justifies

He wears your bad - now the chosen: white

He justifies - He Who dies

He wears your bad - now the chosen: white

After this chorus of exultation in Christ's substitutionary work, the Be Cleans recapitulate their meditations on Galatians 3.  Soon all is resolved as they turn to Galatians 4:4.  With ever increasing certitude, Zachary takes on the role of the incarnate Christ, born of a woman, born under law.  Now, from within our humanity He fulfils the law and reverses the curse.  He pronounces His benediction in words reminiscent of Hebrews 10:7 -

Bless you, I now do what I told you

Bless you, I now do what I told you

Bless you, I now do what I told you

Bless you, I now do what I told you

The excitement of the Be Cleans reaches fever pitch and who can blame them?  Christ has come, He now shoulders the burden, the curse is reversed, slaves are turned to sons.  The final line from Zachary proves le mot juste - what else can we do but adore the condescension of this Great Shepherd of the brethren!

Brother-Flocker!

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3 thoughts on “Carolling in the Name of…

  1. Hiram

    "Brother Flocker!"

    Awesome :)

    This entry reminded me why I frequently visit here, Glen.
    Now you've got me imagining what this would sound like...

    -h.

  2. Glen

    :) Thought you'd appreciate this one Hiram.

    Not sure too many of my readers know Rage Against the Machine - but Killing in the Name was huge in Australia. And I was 14 when it came out - ripe for the angst-ing.

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