Some Songs Matter – ‘Hymn for the 81%’ : Duane W.H. Arnold, PhD

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46 Responses

  1. Michael says:

    So… I debated posting this for a long time, right up to hitting the “publish” button.
    There are a few reasons for this, the primary one being that I’m a coward and have already decimated my donor base.
    The second is my daily increasing contempt for both sides of the political game in this country.
    I see the coercion that’s already taken place where I have to accept or “affirm” things that I can’t accept or affirm and still be faithful to my faith tradition…or face the consequences.
    The third reason is that I know Trump supporters who are the salt of the earth and I haven’t been able to wrap my arms around both of those facts at the same time.
    In the end, Jesus and the ghost of Charles Bowden said post it.
    The lie of binary choices is that you have to support every thing one side or the other of our political split does.
    Both parties have some valid points, both have points where the Gospel is discarded and the anti-Christ spirit reigns.
    The only real option in my mind is to endorse neither and be the alien that Scripture calls me to be.
    On the issue of migrants and families, I have to stand…knowing full well if the other side wins they will do little or nothing to alleviate the suffering.
    I’ll stand then as well.
    Let the church be the church without compromise.

  2. Duane Arnold says:


    I hate to get my friends in trouble… but I’m glad you chose to post this…

    “May love overcome, and justice roll down.”

  3. Michael says:

    I’m always in trouble…might as well try to do the right thing anyway… 🙂

  4. bob1 says:

    Thanks for posting. Good on you.

  5. Kevin H says:

    Duane & Michael,

    Thank you so much for posting this. Although some will intensely balk at it, it is much appreciated by others. Most especially the least of these.

  6. Kevin H says:

    Now I’m just waiting to hear the song on K-LOVE. 😉

  7. Duane Arnold says:


    Many thanks…

  8. Duane Arnold says:

    Kevin H

    Many thanks… Let me know when it comes up on the K-LOVE playlist, so I can report that the age of miracles has returned…?

  9. Jon Bartlett says:

    Glad you posted it….

  10. Bob Sweat says:


    Don’t hold your breath about K-love. 🙂

  11. Em says:

    Saw this on a news web site – didn’t listen to it as i have limited internet service…. the man was using the talent God gave him to state his views and i guess that is acceptable….
    Yes, i voted for Trump and as things stand today, i will again in November…. and i do believe that our leaders do reflect our social structure, even the dictators are “allowed” by God.
    That said, Christians have no understanding of God’s plan IF they think that they can equate an earthly kingdom with God’s kingdom – the one to which we owe our allegiance…
    “Just sayin”. … again. ?

  12. Kevin H says:


    That would have been helpful information to give before I had passed out. 🙂

  13. Duane Arnold says:


    I understand your point of view, although I cannot agree. When it comes to the “social structure”, I tend to agree with Bonhoeffer…

    “Christianity stands or falls with its revolutionary protest against violence, arbitrariness, and pride of power, and with its plea for the weak. Christians are doing too little to make these points clear … Christendom adjusts itself far too easily to the worship of power…”

  14. bob1 says:

    Jesus is Lord.

    Caesar is not.

    When the church loses its focus, it can have life-or-death consequences.

  15. Xenia says:

    “Christianity stands,” period. It will not fall.

  16. Duane Arnold says:


    I hope and pray that you are right…

  17. I dunno…it just doesn’t resonate with me. To me it just sounds so gripey and blamey. I know some people will love it and great for them. I have to admit, I get turned off by most activism. I’m much more moved by example than lecturing. (Or worse, activism involving vandalism and destruction.) That’s just me though. This guy felt moved to write a song. Good on him.

    Interesting I mentioned David Bowie in a comment a day or so ago. I thought he did a masterful job of speaking into the issue of gun violence with his 2013 song “Valentine’s Day.” It was a song that made you think. A piece of art that didn’t poke fingers or claim higher ground. It just told a story and painted a picture.

  18. Xenia says:

    Christianity cannot fall.

    + Some fake Christians will drop the pretense
    + Some nominals will have to decide Whose side they are really on.
    + Some believers will have to go underground.
    + Some believers will be martyred.

    The Church of Christ will not fail. Christianity will not fall.

  19. Em says:

    Dr. Duane, i suspect we are talking past each other. ?
    Maybe not, but is Bonhoeffer correct? In some ways yes, but i cannot agree that the Church is here to protest the the world’s commerce… Our task is to promote the Kingdom of our Lord, the message of the need for repentance and the offer of redemption. If we do our job, the contrast to evil will bring us animosity and, at times, real persecution – death even.
    But right now we have too many power lusting, self promoting personality types in leadership roles resulting in ignorant or worse false members of the Body…. A mirror image of the way of the world, so….
    We could be near the end of the Church era or, as Xenia stated, we may have a remnant that stands… As do the folks who post here… Yes, i, too pray she is correct

  20. Xenia says:

    Does anyone here really believe Christianity can fall? That Christianity is a failed religion, as some atheists claim?

    I reject this idea with all my being.

  21. Duane Arnold says:


    I don’t think anyone is saying that…

  22. Xenia says:

    If you are hoping and praying that Christianity does not fall, then you are suggesting it’s a possibility.

    It is not a possibility.

  23. Duane Arnold says:

    “When the Son of Man returns will he find faith on the earth?”

  24. pstrmike says:

    There is no right side of the wall. The entire church, liberal, conservative, and moderates, are severely conflicted as seen in the issues they have chosen to advocate for, and those areas they have chosen not to. Immigration reform, but no concern for the unborn. Advocating for the unborn, but no care for the strangers. It’s horribly inconsistent. We have granted our culture too much influence on our hermeneutic No one can seem to get right….. some times I wonder if we all have gotten it wrong……

  25. Em says:

    Regarding the Faith falling… Those of us who think the rapturing out of the Church is valid would say, no it doesn’t “fall,” it rises. ?
    Much of the views held regarding the times we are in are colored by the two views of the end of God’s plan for the earth… If we focus on God’s kingdom, shouldn’t we all get along together as we wait to see who had it right?

  26. Xenia says:

    “And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.”

  27. Duane Arnold says:

    There will always be a faithful remnant…

  28. Duane Arnold says:


    “We have granted our culture too much influence on our hermeneutic No one can seem to get right….. some times I wonder if we all have gotten it wrong…”

    Highly likely, and it’s a tragedy.

  29. filbertz says:

    Michael, thanks for posting the song–I probably wouldn’t have heard it otherwise and I’m the richer for it.

  30. Michael says:

    Author Alan Cross wrote this thread on Twitter that sums up my feelings…

    “To see some evangelicals who supposedly believed in TRUTH as transcendent reality jettison conservatism & run after a type of populism rooted in relativistic self-preservation that’s perpetually angry should no longer surprise. They’re just saying the quiet parts out loud again.

    But, it does demonstrate how all earthly political ideologies are useless when it comes to Christians living faithfully in the public sphere. These ideologies shift and are subverted according to winds of the moment. We must be grounded in who Jesus is and what Scripture says.

    To say “I’m a Conservative Christian” or “I’m a Progressive Christian” means nothing when the modifier is the rudder that steers the ship. You’re saying you’ve submitted your faith in God to outside forces & ideologies that know nothing of it except how to control/manipulate.

    · To be a Christian, to say “Jesus Is Lord,” to live by the Theology of the Cross and the Better Way of Jesus IS to take a political stance in the world that isn’t modified, steered, controlled, or manipulated by worldly political philosophies so you become their constituency.

    If we can’t speak prophetically as ambassadors of Christ free from Left/Right partisan entanglements to represent Truth that transcends the political moment, then it’s better not to speak at all. And if we can’t speak prophetically clinging to Truth, how can we vote? For what?

    Seeing evangelical ldrs I used to trust abandon pretense that there is Truth higher than the battle for power this moment, seeing an ends justify the means mentality be celebrated and baptized as God’s will, seeing things like human slavery defended as God’s hierarchy…

    … so other points about roles of women can be made – or, on Left seeing personal autonomy trump responsibility to unborn. It causes one to wonder if modifier wasn’t primarily subject all along. Like, being a Christian was seen as a good way to be Conservative or Progressive?

    Now that Christian ldrs are promoting “populism,” they’re giving up the appearance that transcendent truth drives us – or even ideological truth. The rudder has been replaced by the river and we’re headed out to sea, flowing where the mob – or those who control it – take us.

    Some are prideful enough to think they can control the River, but it’s a like a Fire-Breathing Dragon. Unfettered from objective truth transcending human passion that could corral us into a channel of charity, justice, humility, the Dragon consumes all in its path. Us too.

    Fortunately, there’s a Crucified King who slays the Dragon, who Captains the Ship, who replaces faulty rudders with Himself as our Guide. Seed of the Woman who crushes the Serpent’s Head. But, we must die to self and find our life hidden with Christ in God (Col. 3:3).

    Way through this is Way of the Cross, of sacrificial love, of Jesus: Way, Truth, & Life. HOW we follow Jesus matters. We need Philippians 2:1-11 to remember that this King who took on nature of a slave didn’t die to establish earthly ldrs to save, but to set captives free.

  31. Michael says:

    I have no doubt that the “church” will survive in some fashion because Jesus will make it so.

    However… “Christendom” has failed all over the world and is in steep decline here.

  32. Duane Arnold says:


    I remember the JFK metaphor from his first inaugural, “Those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside”. Many mainstream denominations thought by “riding the tiger” of progressive issues they would have visibility and relevance. Well, we saw how that turned out. The same is now being done on the other side, “riding the tiger” of populism in a bid for power and a seat at the table. The backlash when it comes, either a year from now or five years from now, will be virulent – all the more so as it will be generational. We’ve seen it happen before…

    Looking at the Facebook wall of the gentleman who wrote and performed this song, I was appalled and amazed by what I can only call, “hatred in the name of Christ”. It is rapidly becoming the public face of populist evangelicalism… and it won’t be forgotten.

  33. Em says:

    This thread raises a question, are there things (people?) that an honest Christian can legitimately hate?

  34. Duane Arnold says:

    “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven.”

  35. Em says:

    Yes, i know, Dr. Duane, that answers te people side, but are there things we can and should hate? ?

  36. MM says:


    I get your feelings and the reasoning behind the song, but I believe the real issue are these:

    1. The church has fed people popcorn, politics and in my opinion a message designed to keep power amongst a few for much of its history.

    2. People really don’t want to hear from God about what is required of them. Violence, hatred and self interest is in our hearts and there is a never ending stream of men and women who either consciously or not take advantage of that.

    3. The real problem isn’t pointing this out, it’s trying doing something that doesn’t eventually lead back to #1.

    The only solution I have is to keep teaching the Bible, God’s love and salvation in Jesus even if no one ever listens to Father McKenzie and his sermon.

  37. MM says:


    “This thread raises a question, are there things (people?) that an honest Christian can legitimately hate?”


    We are called to do justice, kindness/mercy and to walk with God. Yes we can hate the actions, however justly prosecuting those is a commandment of God. And lest we forget He also brought us out of the land of slavery and injustice.

  38. Em says:

    MM, we have a list of things God hates in Proverbs 6… Is it above our pay grade to hate them also?

  39. MM says:


    You asked about hating people. To hate them is to hate what God created.

    Now I hate murder, but God has instructions about justly dealing with murders. You get it.

  40. Pineapple Head says:

    Our church ranges from people who identify as never Trumpers to those who are “forever Trumpers.” And we seem to get along because, I believe, we focus on Kingdom, not political sides. We have several people who serve the community through mercy ministries such as senior care, recovery ministry, pregnancy center, food bank, jail mentoring and refugee ministry. If the focus is on Jesus we much better unify, in spite of our differences. But if we start pointing fingers and calling each other out on political stuff, we’ll likely fall like a house of cards.

  41. bob1 says:


    My church is like that, too. Trump supporters and anti-Trumpers. I think that’s really
    the ideal. To have all on one side or the other — what a drag! You’ll learn nothing
    and you won’t learn empathy if everyone’s from the same tribe. IMHO.

  42. Duane Arnold says:


    This is the sort of discussion that builds, rather than destroys….

  43. Pineapple Head says:

    I think what helps us is we seek to be a church of multiple kingdom values that are complimentary, not competing: truth, grace, compassion, joy, love, peace and unity. All wrapped up in a spirit of redemption. We’re far from perfect, but striving to simply fulfill a threefold mission: love God, love others, make disciples.

  44. Duane Arnold says:


    God grant that we can put that threefold mission into practice… it’s going to be a bit of a bumpy ride this year…

  45. brian says:

    My experience after I “got saved” (which did not really happen because I had emotion), I was a walking wallet nothing more. My value was measured in one currency, currency. I mean I actually had women in the single group ask to see my 1040 and what kind of car I drove. I usually had a car/van that I could carry a wheelchair in. I made people want to puke their guts out, which was made clear when I was in the industry. I do miss fellowship, but it was also made clear we should not need fellowship, of any kind for any reason. We are individuals, Islands unto ourselves, overcomers, efficient, effective, successful, independent and we get over it.

  46. pstrmike says:

    That sounds toxic to me. There actually are churches that understand and respect the value of people, although I think they may be fewer these days and may be hard to find.

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