Monday, January 29, 2007

An open letter to Depeche' Mode (esp Martin Gore)
One Angry Christian
1-29-07


I've been a fan of Depeche' Mode's for years. In fact, I've been a fan for well over a decade. I own several of your albums, and I've spent more time on the dance floor getting my groove on to your tunes than I care to admit. In short, I really enjoy your music.

I've been listening to your new album, and I've noticed there's a transition in the music. Maybe I missed it in previous albums, but I swear your music was never this negative towards people of a specific religion. I'm sure you know which song I'm talking about. Yes. It's "John the Revelator".

I really enjoy the beats in this tune, and even the music. It occurs to me however, that you've attacked my religion and it's "book of lies" as you call it. I won't riot in the streets, or come to your house and threaten you, or carry out any act of violence. Instead, much like most Christians, I'll write you a letter. It's how those of us who respect the teachings of the Bible (even if we don't continuously follow them perfectly) handle our disagreements.

I'm not going to threaten to boycott you - I'd simply be punishing myself by depriving myself of your music. I'm not going to threaten to harass DJs who spin your music - that'd be pointless, stupid, and frankly imposing my own feelings upon others at the club who also enjoy your music. What I am going to do is ask you a few questions:


"So we're different colours
And we're different creeds
And different people have different needs
It's obvious you hate me
Though I've done nothing wrong
I never even met you
So what could I have done

I can't understand
What makes a man
Hate another man
Help me understand"

I've done nothing to you. I'd appreciate it if you'd leave my religion alone so I can enjoy your music. You want to make fun of televangelists? I really couldn't care less. You want to attack politicians? I don't really care. You attack the religion my entire family practices in general? I care. What happened to live and let live?

If I've missed the point here feel free to correct me, but please don't make any lame excuses about "why" you would go after 80% of the U.S. populace's proclaimed religion. I'd remind you that a large portion of those people who practice this religion, or at least respect it, buy your albums and enjoy your music. So at least in part, those you seem to be attacking are open minded enough to listen to you.

This is my one appeal to you in a peaceable manner, and then I'll drop it regardless of your reaction or lack thereof. It's not really about "putting a stop" to anything. It's your music, and I respect that.

Though, as a fan (and one who comes from a very Christian family who has defended you to the more fundamentalist movement) I simply want to appeal to your reason, and hope that you care about the large number of your fans who don't care for religious attacks, and/or those who consider themselves Christians.

I'm sure I'm not the only one. Thanks.

-One Angry Christian

12 Comments:

Blogger Lamb Chop said...

From one Christian DM fan to another. . . I stumbled across your post. After reading it I want to share with you a snip-it of an article I read on the Christian Music Today site. The writer had this to say about "John the Revelator,"


you might think Depeche Mode is simply offering an electronic cover of the traditional gospel song. But Gore simply kept some melodic elements of the original and rewrote it into what seems like an indictment of the beloved disciple, but perhaps written from the perspective of his enemies—the religious leaders of the day: "John the Revelator, he's a smooth operator / It's time we cut him down to size / …by claiming God as his holy right / He's stealing a God from the Israelites / Stealing a God from the Muslim too / There is only one God through and through."



Hope that gives you a different perspective to consider. =)

10:32 AM  
Blogger manifestomode said...

I think that it is possible that he like many that are still coming to the understanding of the end time events that surround the seven Angels and there trumpets, that they only wish that there was some peaceful way to let the people of the Earth know that God is God and that we must listen to him and do our best to obey y his Spirit without bloodshed and harm to anyone especially even his own people the wretched disciples with the love that they swore with there hearts on the Bible. They are beseeching the honor to sit at your table and feast on your holiness as long as there able,.Love indeed needs its Martyrs and needs its sacrifices.In the end we do need to live for his beauty and try to understand the Idea of Martyrdom..,As hard as the subject is to understand for many of us these matters bring emotions of rage at times,crying out to God in that time of understanding.
It seems thought the artist is always like us constrained to a time and sometime and only sometimes you have to question everything even if your Spirit strives to tell you that it is temporal,and that only time and a deeper understanding at a later time or maybe in the eternal standpoint we can know why the caterpillar had to go threw its larva stage. Maybe so that we can later have a great appreciation for what is yet to be truly known and revealed. I'm sure the artist has many question and goes in and out of levels of faith. He just might have questions that we have yet to have asked the almighty. His message as a whole I believe can be understood if you grasp the matter of time and we all go threw different emotions at different times.Perhaps maybe like the previous writer wrote.For the revealing of perspective, on all parts to be as Paul wrote I become all things to all men for the Gospels sake.

http://www.myspace.com/manifestomode

4:10 PM  
Blogger manifestomode said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

4:22 PM  
Blogger cem said...

Isn't the point of this song that he's talking about someone (by borrowing the name of John the Revelator) who claims to be devout and claims to be holy but is actually anything but? He takes pieces from Judaism, he takes parts from Islam, and claims that he has the secrets of God. Instead, he's out for himself and using it for his own glory.

I don't consider it an indictment of religion but an indictment of those that use religion for their own ends, something I would think that you would actually agree with.

9:31 PM  
Blogger breezybaby said...

80% since when???? get real!!! even the people that say the are christian or whatever religion run around disprooving what they say they are by their actions! this song is awsome!!! and you can interpret it 20 billion ways. just google how many people have discussed this song in blogs and posts and each person had a diffrent view of what it meant. Im agnostic and if the song is actually a a religious song of some sort im not gonna get all huffy and puffy about it cuz in the end they are musical geniuses! the quality of it is amazing!

8:17 PM  
Blogger Ryan said...

Lamb Chop,

Regardless of how you interpreted these lyrics and how accurate your interpretation - your request for Gore to keep silent on the subject of religion is a ridiculous one.

Why is it that we can speak of contrasting views and give criticisms in politics, philosophy or any other topic but when religion is at hand we are to keep silent? I'm telling you that there is no reason religion should be exempt, and here's why:

If religion went no further than religion then I might (if in a really good mood) agree with you. However, religious agencies and institutions and religious individuals are present in various other realms of society: politics, education, government etc.. When religion involves itself in social affairs, when it enters the domain of serious debate, it warrants the criticisms that may come against it. It would be ridiculous to allow that religion has immunity against criticism and is allowed to run rampant in social affairs.

I know, upon your reading, that you will be tempted to automatically respond with something, anything, disagreeing with me because I have disagreed with you. But contrary to what you may think conflict is, it is never productive when there is a "winner" and a "loser". So I'm asking you to think and reflect before you respond. Consider that you are not omniscient, so you could be wrong.

11:49 PM  
Blogger Kendog said...

Well stated, Ryan. The greatest thinkers in history challenged the status quo. Christianity is not static, neither is any living religion, nor even science. If anyone believes there is no evolution in their own faith, they are self-deluded. To squelch doubt and rumination reminds me of Galileo or Luther being brought before the Authority. Even Jesus Christ, ironically, was killed to silence his radical thoughts.

9:29 AM  
Blogger T said...

All I can say is that after reading 'the secret history of the world', Martins lyrics were seen in a whole new light. Some of the songs I always felt were spiritual ( not the obvious ones either) but I think he is much more spiritual and understanding of these things that you or I are. Open your mind, is all I can suggest.

8:22 PM  
Blogger Willie Vaughn said...

Probably no text in the Bible reveals the passion of God for his own glory more clearly and bluntly as Isaiah 48:9-11 where God says,

For my name’s sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off. Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.

I have found that for many people these words come like six hammer blows to a man-centered way of looking at the world:

For my name’s sake!
For the sake of my praise!
For my own sake!
For my own sake!
How should my name be profaned!
My glory I will not give to another!

What this text hammers home to us is the centrality of God in his own affections. The most passionate heart for the glorification of God is God’s heart. God’s ultimate goal is to uphold and display the glory of his name.

God chose his people for his glory:

He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace. (Ephesians 1:4-6, cf. vv. 12, 14, NASB)

God created us for his glory:

Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, every one who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory. (Isaiah 43:6-7)

God called Israel for his glory:

You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified (Isaiah 49:3).

I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, declares the Lord, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory. (Jeremiah 13:11)

God rescued Israel from Egypt for his glory:

Our fathers, when they were in Egypt, did not consider your wondrous works . . . but rebelled by the Sea, at the Red Sea. Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make known his mighty power. (Psalm 106:7-8)

God raised Pharaoh up to show his power and glorify his name:

For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.” (Romans 9:17)

God defeated Pharaoh at the Red Sea to show his glory:

And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host; and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord . . . And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen. (Exodus 14:4, 18; cf. v. 17)

God spared Israel in the wilderness for the glory of his name:

I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out. (Ezekiel 20:l4) YOU ALL HAVE IT TWISTED, PRAISING A SINNER

12:48 AM  
Blogger Willie Vaughn said...

Probably no text in the Bible reveals the passion of God for his own glory more clearly and bluntly as Isaiah 48:9-11 where God says,

For my name’s sake I defer my anger, for the sake of my praise I restrain it for you, that I may not cut you off. Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another.

I have found that for many people these words come like six hammer blows to a man-centered way of looking at the world:

For my name’s sake!
For the sake of my praise!
For my own sake!
For my own sake!
How should my name be profaned!
My glory I will not give to another!

What this text hammers home to us is the centrality of God in his own affections. The most passionate heart for the glorification of God is God’s heart. God’s ultimate goal is to uphold and display the glory of his name.

God chose his people for his glory:

He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace. (Ephesians 1:4-6, cf. vv. 12, 14, NASB)

God created us for his glory:

Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the end of the earth, every one who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory. (Isaiah 43:6-7)

God called Israel for his glory:

You are my servant, Israel, in whom I will be glorified (Isaiah 49:3).

I made the whole house of Israel and the whole house of Judah cling to me, declares the Lord, that they might be for me a people, a name, a praise, and a glory. (Jeremiah 13:11)

God rescued Israel from Egypt for his glory:

Our fathers, when they were in Egypt, did not consider your wondrous works . . . but rebelled by the Sea, at the Red Sea. Yet he saved them for his name’s sake, that he might make known his mighty power. (Psalm 106:7-8)

God raised Pharaoh up to show his power and glorify his name:

For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name may be proclaimed in all the earth.” (Romans 9:17)

God defeated Pharaoh at the Red Sea to show his glory:

And I will harden Pharaoh’s heart, and he will pursue them and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host; and the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord . . . And the Egyptians shall know that I am the Lord, when I have gotten glory over Pharaoh, his chariots, and his horsemen. (Exodus 14:4, 18; cf. v. 17)

God spared Israel in the wilderness for the glory of his name:

I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations, in whose sight I had brought them out. (Ezekiel 20:l4) YOU ALL HAVE IT TWISTED, PRAISING A SINNER

12:50 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Brother Willie Amen

8:46 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Thank you for your heart for God and speaking boldly for our Lord and God for His sake and for His glory, may he continue to set you apart to be salt of the earth. May God be glorified more and more through you my brother in Christ until the long awaited day we long for arrives when we Jesus just as He is for His sake!

“"Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord God, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes. I will take you from the nations and gather you from all the countries and bring you into your own land. I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God. And I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses. And I will summon the grain and make it abundant and lay no famine upon you. I will make the fruit of the tree and the increase of the field abundant, that you may never again suffer the disgrace of famine among the nations. Then you will remember your evil ways, and your deeds that were not good, and you will loathe yourselves for your iniquities and your abominations. It is not for your sake that I will act, declares the Lord God; let that be known to you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel. "Thus says the Lord God: On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will cause the cities to be inhabited, and the waste places shall be rebuilt. And the land that was desolate shall be tilled, instead of being the desolation that it was in the sight of all who passed by. And they will say, 'This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden, and the waste and desolate and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.' Then the nations that are left all around you shall know that I am the Lord; I have rebuilt the ruined places and replanted that which was desolate. I am the Lord; I have spoken, and I will do it. "Thus says the Lord God: This also I will let the house of Israel ask me to do for them: to increase their people like a flock. Like the flock for sacrifices, like the flock at Jerusalem during her appointed feasts, so shall the waste cities be filled with flocks of people. Then they will know that I am the Lord."”
‭‭Ezekiel‬ ‭36:22-38‬ ‭ESV‬‬


8:58 AM  

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