“Satan, savior, father
Lord, constructor of my world
Master, destroyer, redeemer
Guide me, I am the open wound
Lord, have mercy upon me
Guilt has ravaged this my flesh
Lord, have mercy upon me
Thine shall be this mortal soul”
Songwriter: Tom Gabriel Warrior
Goetia lyrics © Rolf Budde Musikverlag Gmbh, Diktatur Des Kapitals Edition
“Goetia” is one of my favorite songs, I listen to it almost every time I have religious needs. Usually on a Saturday evening after a beer or two. To me a religious need is a need of confirmation that I’m on the right path, that my emotions are valid and that there is God, that Jesus watches me on my earthly journey – and hopefully is not too disappointed in me. I have always felt like an outsider, and have kept making decisions further cementing this feeling, but I do not want to be alone. I want someone to be proud of me and to care about my thoughts and reasons.
Since I was a child I have attended to my religious and spiritual needs with music. No one in Finland was ever able to offer me any kind of religious experience, the churches in Finland are lame and the priests even lamer, and the ceremonies unbearably boring. Most of the things people do on this planet are not interesting to me, my threshold of interest seems flawed compared to the average person – who to me seems flawed, and way too easily amused. Lame people anger me, a weak priest mumbling about some nonsense with her unimpressive voice makes me zone out immediately.
“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction”
Am I a fool for not listening to the knowledge the priests have tried to give me? Yes, probably. But what knowledge are the priests giving? I have never heard them say anything. All I heard was unmanly voices repeating words from a book without a hint of passion. Since I was a child I have been given knowledge from other sources, with passion and beauty. Terminator 2 is superior to the Bible stories we were forced to memorize in school. I remember looking at the chalkboard in despair caused by boredom. The stories were completely useless, I still remember how much I didn’t want to spend any second of my time with them. The stories sucked. The colors sucked, I hate the desert and that sand color. Jerusalem or Betlehem mean nothing to me, I have never seen those places and don’t really give a fuck about them. None of the teachers ever explained to me what those stories meant. At the age of eight I called bullshit. They were telling us all the most nonsensical stories about Jesus, the glory bits supposedly proofing that he was a real miracle. Walking on water, healing the sick, turning water into wine – these are all really bad stories. The teacher's only job was to force us to surrender and to believe what we were told, I refused because no one told me what all that nonsense meant. I knew that no one can walk on water, and I knew people lie, so I felt highly suspicious of these stories, and because they at the same time were so boring and inferior to all the other stories I was enjoying in the form of movies, I just hated the whole thing. I was told I have to believe, never why to believe. Fuck all of you for that, teachers.
I need religious experiences so I listen to metal music. Good death metal is more christian than anything I’ve experienced in the Finnish Lutheran church. It’s more intense, more passionate and honest. The lyrics might be childish sometimes, but the intensity and acknowledgment of my human emotions: frustration, fear, anger and love make up for the lack of intellectual depth. I have never felt any connection to a priest or a church worker, they always seem like weak people, with their wide eyes and weird mentally ill sounding voice. But when Thomas Gabriel Warrior (yeah, not the most mature stage name), sings with his stern voice, backed up by the floating guitar sound and great drumming, I feel a connection.
The strongest connection though, I feel in the Orthodox churches in Russia and Ukraine. My coming to Christianity started 2016 in the Kazan Cathedral in Saint Petersburg, Russia. I got the connection, it was given to me I reckon, even when I still was in hatred against Christianity. And then I was given the explanation about the religion and the meaning of the stories through Youtube, watching Jordan Peterson’s Biblical lecture series. Now I have the connection, I feel it, and yet in Finland I feel nothing in the churches. I guess most likely my anger still activates when I enter a Lutheran church, and clouds my mind. Speaking of anger and hatred: if God made us in his image, doesn’t it mean he has anger? And a sense of humor? In the Old Testament God is loving and hateful, He hates the wicked and aims an arrow at them. Why would we not have anger or hatred? I do because I have love in me. I cannot see how love could ever exist without hatred. Psychopaths don’t hate. We have a huge problem in the world: all the bad people. I hate them and the effect they are able to inflict on the world. I cannot trust you because you might be one of the deceitful ones. Even bigger problem is that Satan lives in all of us. He’s in me, I feel his presence. I hate the enemy who has penetrated my walls. I have seen the Devil two times I think, once in a train from Budapest to Debrecen, and once in some Russian city – I don’t remember which one. Some people I think are so thoroughly penetrated by him that they are him, their eyes are the eyes of Satan. This terrifies me and I wish Jesus is on my side and protects me.
All this stuff, Biblical things, things of fate and horror are so intense, so meaningful and deep, and yet in Finland at least, the priests cannot come up with one interesting speech to give to the people attending the ceremony. How can this be? Maybe it’s the same phenomenon that destroys everything interesting: first there is a band, inventing a whole new genre of music, then their music comes popular enough that other people start to take their influence and become popular too – and then all the mediocre copycats come to the scene and rape the whole genre to death with their dull, tasteless minds. Or maybe the intensity was lost when the priests lost their authority over people – in which case, good. But, even without legal authority, how can anyone make a boring speech about Hellfire and eternal damnation? About Son of God being tortured to death? This is the starting point of our whole culture, of 2000 years of progress, the creation of the greatest civilization in the human history, wisdom that is most likely tens of thousands years old, written by great geniuses – how in the fuck can anyone make it so boring that it becomes unbearable to listen to? Why do I have to listen to people sing about Satan to get my religious fix? How come Triptykon is the best Christian band in the world? Howcome the only religious experiences I’ve had in the West all happened in metal concerts? Maybe for me it would work best if the churches were mostly empty and the whole priesthood would end – because it has already ended.
There is no way I’m alone with my need for religion. Kids all around the West are yearning for it, but it is not given to them in the church. The kids are covering themselves in cow blood and singing about Satan to feel the connection. The church has failed. Maybe it’s time to write the Third Testament? I think otherwise Christianity will fade away. I think it has already lost its energizing power. The original Christian lands are not doing that well, and the same fate awaits the later adopters of the Christian order if they fail to shed their skin and re-vitalize themselves. In the meantime, I will cry drunk while listening to religious music which makes me feel re-connected, re-vitalized and less alone.