The Cyanide Christ

“I’ll fly away, oh glory, I’ll fly away…”

More evil words never came out of a church hymn! Why should we celebrate death? Christianity is a celebration of life. Death is a reminder that life is broken and in need of redemption. If we should wish to celebrate death, then let’s be honest and sing a new hymn praising our savior.

Experimental metal band Meshuggah has just such a hymn. Their New Millenium Cyanide Christ maps out our path of salvation if our death is our goal:

I tear my worldly useless skin
Staples to pin it over my ears
Non-receptive of ungodly sounds
I disable the audio generators of fear

Hexagonal bolts to fill my mouth
Sharpened to deplete
The creator of all violence
Without speech there will be no deceit

And ultimately…

Behold a sacrificial erase
A cleansing worshiping of pain
The new millennium Christ
Here to redeem all from lies

Is this what we worship with regard to this life? Or do we want to have what the Bible calls “abundant life”? We should object to death powerfully, but yet I find Christians have instead embraced it. Yes, we die to ourselves, but if we praise that death instead of the life that follows, then we have made for ourselves an idol and a corruption of the truth. Imagine: Christians bowing at the altar of death! Yet one does not have to imagine. The Cyanide Christ hangs on the walls of our churches.

If we are Christians, then move past the death into the new life which Christ offers. Christ died “for the joy set before him,” not because death itself is something which we praise. We live life because life is worth living, even when it is hard. Our hardship should remind us of that life which could be, and it gives us hope for what God will work in each of us.

Don’t just “die to yourself.” Live the life which Christ offers us in resurrection. That life starts now and will come to ultimate fruition when God restores all things. And that life which he offers us is a life of love for God and for all mankind. We cannot live that life if we are so concerned with our sin and the pain that this world brings that we make our lives into lives of death.


About Chris Attaway

Raised in the digital wilderness of the pre-Internet 2.0 era, Chris Attaway is a true gamer and Internet citizen. After a stint studying computer science, his life got flipped turned upside down, and he ended up studying philosophy to help him sort out his life. Now the black sheep in a family of engineers, he has set out to get his footing in the world of freelance journalism. With interests ranging from gaming and technology to LGBT rights, race and politics, Chris is a diverse and skilled writer who always tries to give a fair shake to his subjects.
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3 Responses to The Cyanide Christ

  1. You make some good points here. Augustine of Hippo claimed that the martyrs embraced death because they loved life so much.

    • Martyrdom is an interesting phenomenon. Today’s Muslim martyrs would seem to fall victim to the present critique, glorifying death instead of life. You know a lot more about Christian martyrdom than I do, though, so I really don’t know what I would say to them. I’m certainly not advocating that we preserve our lives by any means necessary.

      Christian martyrdom, from my unprofessional opinion, seems to embrace life. It says, “I affirm that I am this way, and I reject your violent attempt to make me into something else.” It strongly affirms their life, even as they die. If they died singing “I’ll Fly Away,” their martyrdom would mean nothing but cowardice and the inability to face the here-and-now. In their defiance and recognition of injustice in death, the martyrs transcend death and actually become icons of life.

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