This video only has some 30,000 views on YouTube. I’m certain a couple thousand are my own. It’s just so good, so very good. Mumford and Sons are at the center of my musical world. I don’t know with any certainty they are Christians, but I assume they are and don’t care if they aren’t. Every song has a underlying message of grace, suffering, forgiveness, and love that are undeniable. And not a romantic love; it’s love of a Christ-like nature. Love that is immeasurable and unconditional. I often view their music through the lens of my Christian heart and it’s something that produces hope in me.
Most of their songs are easy to see with a Christian viewpoint, but this one poses a challenge. The Dust Bowl Dance is the song, and it’s a favorite of mine. The core of the lyrics are in reference to the Grapes of Wrath, but it goes further than that, and I’ve had fun thinking over the possibilities. The song is full of passion, incite, and justifiable anger. This part always stands out to me:
Well you are my accuser, now look in my face,
Your oppression reeks of your greed and disgrace,
So one man has and another has not,
How can you love what it is you have got,
When you took it all from the weak hands of the poor?
Liars and thieves you know not what is in store.
There will come a time I will look in your eye,
You will pray to the God that you always denied,
The I’ll go out back and I’ll get my gun,
I’ll say, “You haven’t met me, I am the only son”.
Now, just to be clear, I have no factual reason to believe the only son is a figure of Christ. But I like the picture it paints when you place Jesus into the end of the song as the only son (and yes, some lady in the audience is holding a song with incorrect lyrics). But picture it … it’s judgment day. There are people lined up to face Christ, realizing what they thought to be untrue is actually true, knowing they fell short (the same way we all have), hoping for redemption, and what does Christ do? He goes out back and gets his gun.
Through the lens of a conservative Christian idea of judgment, Jesus pegging off non-believers with a gun could be the compassionate choice. And yet, when I imagine judgment I don’t picture Jesus with a gun shooting people down, I don’t imagine him physically picking people up and throwing them into a fiery hell to burn in conscious never ending torture for all eternity.
How can there be a promise of an eternal kingdom that is free from pain, suffering, and tears (Rev 21:4) when eternal torture will still be present in that place after d-day? I’m not staking any claims on my beliefs here, but it’s the thoughts that I thought today … and I thought I would share.