Vipers, Snakes, and Actors

One of my many holdups from my former faith, is that I still really like alot of the old Christian bands I used to listen to. Underoath, Norma Jean, Demon Hunter (cheezy I know), Living Sacrifice, and mewithoutYou—the list goes on and on. These bands always spoke to me, most of them have a lyrical content that shows frustration with the Church, like I always did and speaks to the hardships of attempting to live a lifestyle that is pleasing to God. One such band is Norma Jean, and they just put out a new album titled Vs. The Anti-Mother.
I just wanted to share with you some of the lyrics from one of the songs on the Anti-Mother, that I feel can speak volumes. The song is titled Vipers, Snakes, and Actors:

Carry your flags, march into that fictional cause and show off that medal
Just don’t reach for that gun
Reach for that gun
Carry that banner, build that heart out of stone
Just don’t reach for that gun
You scaled the high horse and I felt the change
I know the difference between you and me
You cleaned the outside of your chalice but it’s filled with robbery
And self indulgence…Just like the rest of us
You wear that cross like a crown. You wear that cross like a dagger
Come down from that tower,
Nothing will be the outcome.
Nothing is the outcome

Thanks to for the lyrics btw

So these lyrics really bring me back to the way i felt about the church while I was still a Christian…and don’t get me wrong here, though my desire to please God was nearly beyond comprehension, I too was a part of the problem. I am not just pointing fingers here. They talk about the boastful and prideful Christian here; with a stone cold heart, a polished exterior but an interior full of deceit (the Chalice), boasting about his ministry and accomplishments (the medal) and missionary works (often missions are “fictional causes”). My favorite part is, “You wear that cross like a crown. You wear that cross like a dagger.” I know alot of those Christians, I’m sure you do too…if you don’t you might be it. I think the Crown represents that boastfulness, the dagger–I think that represents the common theme among some Christians, that they are persecuted for the hypothetical cross they bear. I know alot of that persecution was all in my head.

Do I really have a concrete point here? I’m not sure…I just think that anyone who reads this should think about it. I guess if there is a statement I want to get across here it is this; That I am not claiming to be perfect here, I don’t believe I have all the answers, but I do know that Religion has nearly none of them. As you can tell, I am still sorting alot of things out…so don’t take my posts or comments as attacks on your person or good intentions, just attacks on the logic of religion.

If you are interested in buying the album, or any of the bands that i like, check out the store link at the top of the page, or just click on the album cover to be directed to Amazon where you can buy it.

  • My love was always country gospel or southern gospel. I still love all of that music. I love singing the old hymns I grew up on.

    Let’s face it, while there’s some good pagan music out there, it just not the stuff I grew up on, and I really miss it.

    Not enough to be Baptist again *laughs*. But I really do miss the music.

  • The problem with religion is it is all caught up in suffering and fear while God is nothing but peace, love, and bliss. Religion is supposed to be a culture or path to God but suffering and fear are never, ever, ever found on the path to God.

  • Matt

    we have different understandings of god and religion dhanamjaya…

  • @ Maritzia, thanks for the comment. I get reminiscent about old black slave songs, like “Go Down Moses”, and “Swing Low Sweet Chariot”. I like those songs alot even though we didn’t sing em in church…so much soul in it.

    @ Baptist—lol ,yea its not enough to get me back @ the baptist church

  • Never struck you as a Norma Jean man….You get more respect from me in my book!!! 🙂


  • you better believe it Tony….you ever hear of a band called Zao? greatest of all time

  • Martina

    OMG! am i allowed to say that here? lol, um Matt Oxley, you have suprised me big time! Lawd ham mercy!

  • look who it is….Martina

    how is that crappy bank treating you?

  • BJ

    Music can bring out some powerful emotions, both good and bad. As a Christian, there are still many secular bands that I listen to. Aerosmith’s song “Blind Man” still to this day holds a special meaning for me.

    As to what you said about not having all the answers. Sometimes I don’t think it’s about having the answers or even finding them. It’s about listening to the answers that are already there.

    Peace out,

  • I’ll have to take a listen to Zao. Not familiar with them at all.

  • hi,
    havin studied in a christian school and being a hindu myself .. i have felt a bit of those bad things bout both religions. religion is a fad … but no religion is inherently screwed up … its the followers and the priests who twist and bend doctrines into whatever suits them the best … i believe in god …. i guess thats religion enough … everything else is just superficial !

  • It’s not about having all the answers, or being perfect. NO one was perfect, save Jesus Himself. We strive for perfection THROUGH Him but can’t attain it here on earth.
    Religion is NOT the way to go-Christianity is. There is a HUGE difference. I’m afraid I’m unfamiliar with the bands you’ve listed, but I do like Christian contempo or rock. I think we must all just do the best we can, as we can, and not judge one another in the process, only honor God the best we can as we do this journey here on earth.

  • Matt

    Hi Pam, Thanks for the comment.

    I don’t know what exactly you are referring to with the perfect thing—but I am curious, what makes Christianity more the answer than Islam, Buddhism, or Non-theism?

  • I haven’t heard of any of these bands and I thought I was quite with it in terms of Christian music. I’ll check them out. I find a lot of Christian music very insipid/samey.


  • Matt

    Hi robert, thanks for the comment.

    These bands are pretty hardcore, you might not like it if it isnt your style of music ie: Death metal, hardcore, screamo, etc….but if you do like it, prepare for a melted face.

    thanks for stopping by

  • Ah, the heaviest I get is Queen, so perhaps not my cup of tea. 😀

  • much love for queen…no big deal

  • francis

    Hey I love Norma Jean a lot, and all those hardcore Christian Metal bands. I think the beauty of it all is that they touch beauty, strength, and growth found in brokeness and pain. ‘Jesus’ didn’t ride up gracefully, free of pain, hurt, or uncomfort but instead the road to the cross was difficult. Life isn’t easy in any religion or cause but i suppose all of them call us to better ourselves, not just for others or just for God or a god(s). I believe we are all called for something better in life, just because we might be upset at a Higher Source, or religion, for not delivering to our needs and wants…doesn’t necessarily make us forsaken or faithless…it makes us stronger in faith. Non believers or believers, we are all human….with real situations, sufferings, hurts, pains, sins, but if we just live to just see that, and that alone….then we are dead and blind to life.