Thursday, July 15, 2010

Avenged Sevenfold (2007) "A Little Piece Of Heaven" Part 1

[reprinted as written by Avenged Sevenfold]
A7X official video [Be careful with this one; the content is disturbing. Here's an alternate link without the graphics, but with the uncensored lyrics]

Before the story begins, is it such a sin,
for me to take what's mine, until the end of time
We were more than friends, before the story ends,
And I will take what's mine, create what
God would never design

Our love had been so strong for far too long,
I was weak with fear that
something would go wrong,
before the possibilities came true,
I took all possibility from you
Almost laughed myself to tears,
conjuring her deepest fears

Must have stabbed her fifty f***ing times,
I can't believe it,
Ripped her heart out right before her eyes,
Eyes over easy, eat it eat it eat it

She was never this good in bed
even when she was sleepin'
now she's just so perfect I've
never been quite so f***ing deep in
it goes on and on and on,
I can keep you lookin' young and preserved forever,
with a fountain to spray on your youth whenever

'Cause I really always knew that my little crime
would be cold that's why I got a heater for your thighs
and I know, I know it's not your time
but bye, bye
and a word to the wise when the fire dies
you think it's over but it's just begun
but baby don't cry

You had my heart, at least for the most part
'cause everybody's gotta die sometime, we fell apart
let's make a new start
'cause everybody's gotta die sometime yeah
but baby don't cry

Now possibilities I'd never considered,
are occurring the likes of which I'd never heard,
Now an angry soul comes back from beyond the grave,
to repossess a body with which I'd misbehaved

Smiling right from ear to ear
Almost laughed herself to tears

Must have stabbed him fifty f***ing times
I can't believe it
Ripped his heart out right before his eyes
Eyes over easy
Eat it eat it eat it

Now that it's done I realize the error of my ways
I must venture back to apologize from somewhere far beyond the grave

I gotta make up for what I've done
'Cause I was all up in a piece of heaven
while you burned in hell, no peace forever

'Cause I really always knew that my little crime
would be cold that's why I got a heater for your thighs
and I know, I know it's not your time
but bye, bye
and a word to the wise when the fire dies
you think it's over but it's just begun
but baby don't cry

You had my heart, at least for the most part
'Cause everybody's gotta die sometime, we fell apart
Let's make a new start
'Cause everybody's gotta die sometime yeah
But baby don't cry

I will suffer for so long
(What will you do, not long enough)
To make it up to you
(I pray to God that you do)
I'll do whatever you want me to do
(Well then I'll break you unchained)
And if it's not enough
(If it's not enough, If it's not enough)
If it's not enough
(Not enough)
Try again
(Try again)
And again
(And again)
Over and over again

We're coming back, coming back
We'll live forever, live forever
Let's have wedding, have a wedding
Let's start the killing, start the killing

'Cause I really always knew that my little crime
would be cold that's why I got a heater for your thighs
and I know, I know it's not your time
but bye, bye
And a word to the wise when the fire dies
you think it's over but it's just begun
but baby don't cry

You had my heart, at least for the most part
'Cause everybody's gotta die sometime, we fell apart
Let's make a new start
'Cause everybody's gotta die sometime yeah
But baby don't cry

In keeping with my commitment to blog on every song in A7X's repertoire, I am including this song; though it pains me to do it, I won't lie.

Written by The Rev, "'It’s basically a story about a man murdering his significant other and preserving her to do whatever he pleases with her. And the story takes a twist,' Zacky Vengeance explains, with M. Shadows adding, 'She comes back from the grave and kills him.' Zacky mentions they then, 'go on this murderous rampage.'

'They’re both dead souls together and get married and terrorize everyone else,' Shadows concludes."

At first pass this is simply a gothic horror piece, a sort of gruesome tongue-in-cheek gallows humor aimed at love and marriage with a twist of zombie. I think, honestly, A7X wasn't intending on going much deeper than that - they know their fan base.

But in order to parody love and fidelity one needs to know what the real thing is, otherwise the humor is lost. What are the elements? A desire for exclusivity in the relationship, for love to match love, for desire to be satisfied again and again. But there's the sordid underside: The man wants to own the woman and do what he pleases with her mute surrender. The woman's revenge is to make the man like herself and to, in a sense, master him.

Together, undead, they decide to slaughter the world, one big, bloody soiree.

To explore the truths that make the gothic horror resonate you and I need to revisit the first man and the first woman, and what went wrong in their relationship. Then we need to study one of the more famous pasages in the new testament, the one that addresses the ideal marriage and what that represents.

So first to Genesis. In the second chapter of that book the author focuses in on what God did when He formed humanity

God formed Man out of dirt from the ground and blew into his nostrils the breath of life. The Man came alive—a living soul!

The word translated “man” here is actually the word “adam,” meaning “earth being” and is taken from the word “adamah” the word for the red colored earth common in the Fertile Crescent, the cradle of civilization. After making adam, God placed this creature in the Garden of Eden.

[Maybe you've wondered if Adam was a real person or just a legend, a myth meant to communicate a lesson. In the gospel of Luke Adam is listed in the genealogy of Jesus Christ, as real as everyone else on the list. In the Gospel of Mark Jesus talked about the union of the first man and woman and in the epistles Paul referred to Adam several times, as the first man.]

"Eden" means bliss or delight, virtually a symbol of heaven. For people familiar with the desert, as the ancient Hebrews were, this lush, well-watered Garden would have sounded exquisite. It didn’t just have the usual desert shrubs and cacti, it had pleasing trees of every kind, rich with fruit. It didn’t have the usual oases dotted here and there, or the seasonal brook, it contained the headwaters for four mighty rivers -- living water, or rushing water, was often a symbol of blessing in the Old Testament, so Eden was overflowing with blessing.

Eden was abounding in delicious food, in physical beauty, in acres of space, plentiful in resources like gold, precious gems and aromatic resins; Eden was pristine, and full of variety, it was Paradise, the environment you and I were meant to enjoy, a place where God would meet humankind’s every need, and where people would worship the One Who blessed them.

Some people have wondered if the Garden was written simply as a metaphor, or a legend. But the geographical landmarks given concerning Eden make it clear that Moses intended for people to know that Eden was an actual location, somewhere in the area where Iraq now exists. As he wrote this from Mt. Sinai, for example, “to the east” would have put Eden somewhere across the Arabian desert, toward the area between the Tigris and Euphrates. He mentioned two other, now unknown, rivers, but one of them might be a dried river bed discovered a number of years ago by satellite imagery underneath the sands of the Arabian desert.

Eden was luscious because God had carefully designed and planted it Himself. Now God gave adam, the living "earth being," this exquisite Garden, along with a purpose and responsibility: the creature was to continue in the work of God, cultivating and sustaining the beauty of Eden. Part of humankind’s ruling the earth would involve caring for it, serving and nurturing the garden. By this action, God declared that working to the glory of God is the right setting for humankind.

You and I were created to find our fulfillment in the work we do as to the Lord, working always for the glory of God. God could have decreed that the Garden would be self-keeping, but He determined that it would be better for people to serve Him through our labor. Work is good and was part of humankind’s perfect existence before the fall. Work would develop adam’s character and personality.

Through his husbandry, adam could cause the Garden to bring forth new fruit, expressing his ingenuity, his creative energy. Adam’s work was a delight, nothing frustrated his effort...the ground readily produced for him. Every good thing that humanity could desire, and that would satisfy them, was provided in Eden.

Though Adam was perfect, the human being was inexperienced and as yet undeveloped. Along with meaningful work, he needed instruction...God teaching him and guiding him along in his work. Adam's education extended beyond gardening: He learned about two important trees, the one of life, the other of the knowledge of good and evil, and what to do about them, and he was given the task of studying and identifying all the creatures of uearth (something scientists continue in with great gusto to this very day).

[he was invited to eat of the tree of life, something he never chose to do; he was also instructed to not eat of the tree of knowledge as it would kill him. This he did choose to do, and it did bring death in dimensions he had little planned on.]

THough everything was very good, not all was complete in the Garden of Eden. The man, in his studies, was learning that he had no partner, and it made him feel lonely.

Loneliness is one of the most crushing of human emotions, some consider it to be worse even than any physical suffering. Every one of us has felt lonely and alone, it is a deeply human experience, the need for companionship. There is nothing wrong with that; God made us that way. You and I need one another. We were not made to exist in loneliness.

You might ask why adam would be lonely when he was a perfect being in a perfect setting in perfect fellowship with God. Because God is three-in-one, the trinity, a community, if you will. It was God's intention from the very beginning to make male and female in the making of humankind, a community, as a more complete expression of God’s image, the community of the trinity. As the man and the woman become one flesh in marriage, and bring forth children from the union of their love, God’s love and fellowship is vibrantly illustrated.

So God took a significant portion of the man’s body to form the woman. In a sense God divided the one human being into two people with a longing to be joined back together.

The Hebrew word God used to describe the woman was “ezer.” “Ezer” in scripture usually refers to God in His relationship to His people and means far more than the word “helper” (English translation of "ezer") might imply. God’s plan was that woman should correspond to man, as someone to share not only his life as a companion but his work and responsibilities as well.

Woman was to be “a helper comparable” to the man, an equally valued human being and an equal partner in God's grace. God created woman to be the counterpart of man in life. It was God's stated plan in the beginning (the first chapter of Genesis) that man and woman should be together working with a common purpose in life, woman would be a real partner, a “companion just like the man,” only....she would be a woman.

With God there is no ranking of people, as though some would be more special than others, or more important than others. In God's eyes men and women are completely equal, equally loved, equally endowed with spiritual gifts, having equal potential for maturity in faith. God's original plan for woman was to co-rule with man. Woman was to share with man a mutual concern and responsibility, though necessarily they might have different assignments because of the nature of their work. She was to be suitable for him, someone who would correspond to him, to be in partnership with him.

When adam was alone, studying the animals, he might have learned that woman was not to be a mere beast of burden. Adam was ruler over the animals, having been given authority over them by God, and the right to name them, claiming his ownership. He did not name any other animal after himself, calling any other animal "man" or "human." He understood that he was essentially different from all the animals. They were not made in the image of God. No animal would co-rule with man, co-subdue the earth with him.

Maybe the next thing adam learned in his search was that woman was not to be like the animals which bear and rear young as almost their sole reason for existence. Read the Song of Songs (tucked next to Proverbs int he Bible) sometime and you will see that the Bible describes sex in marriage as first an expression of profound and intimate love.

Third, Adam might have learned that woman was not going to be a creature outside himself to be used as he saw fit and then dispensed with, as people will often use animals, even pets. The one who corresponded to him would be of his same essence as man, part of him, someone necessary for living life successfully.

After creating woman God brought her to Adam, and Adam instantly recognized her, instantly knew who she was, the perfect one for him, exclaiming in Hebrew, "ishshah." "Ish", is Hebrew for man, because he could see that she was made from the same substance as himself, made to fit who he was in a perfect way, filled with the same breath as his breath. The second part of the word "shah" can refer to being soft to the touch, denoting woman as more delicate and having a special "feminine" nature different from man; and he loved her deeply from his heart, uttering the second love poem in the Bible (the first is in Genesis 1, when God exclaimed over the creation of human beings),

The Man said,
"Finally! Bone of my bone,
flesh of my flesh!
Name her Woman
for she was made from Man."
Therefore a man leaves his father and mother and embraces his wife. They become one flesh.
The two of them, the Man and his Wife, were naked, but they felt no shame.

Marriage is to involve a complete identity. The two are to be one. Adam's first reaction when he saw his wife was: she is of the same body as me. This is strengthened when you read, "and they become one flesh." In his letter to the Ephesians, Paul the apostle pointed out that the man who hurts his wife is hurting himself. He may not feel it directly, but down the line the result of it will show in his life, because she is really, genuinely, and factually sharing one life with him. They become one flesh. This is not poetry; it is reality.

Another characteristic of true marriage is permanence. "Therefore a man leaves his father and mother and embraces his wife." This is a strong word. In the Hebrew text it is the word “dabag,” which means "to adhere firmly, as if with glue." God designed marriage to be a permanent thing.

Think about the last phrase, “they shall become one flesh.” The fullness of what God wants to do in the one flesh relationship takes time. It has to become. It will take all your lives together.

God had specially designed the woman to complete the man in deep fellowship and love, like no other creature on earth, to be made one with him emotionally, spiritually and even physically, a profound “one flesh” intimacy. They were completely vulnerable with each other, there was nothing to hide, no condemnation, no judging, no critical spirit, but only complete trust and mutual humility. This oneness was to be an illustration of the kind of relationship God Himself has within the trinity and what He offers to every person through belief and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

But then the awful events of the next chapter unfold - the forbidden fruit and the "price of evil," the consequences that rolled down,

God told the Woman:
"I'll multiply your pains in childbirth; you'll give birth to your babies in pain. But you will still desire your husband, and he will rule over you."

God was simply revealing the self-centered core that was beginning to motivate each of them: To the woman "your DESIRE will be for your husband." Sin's desire is destructive, dominating, and usurping. And the man would tend to be hard and tyrannical, seeking to rule over and dominate the woman.

The woman's consequences would primarily affect her relationships. It's an interesting that God said her pain would be increased - apparently pain would have existed in the perfect Eden, a good thing that would have also strengthened and deepened the man and the woman. But now that pain would be greatly increased.

The word desire, here, means the desire to master or control. The woman was going to desire to control her husband and chafe under his rule, chafe at having to be number two. Being an ezer would not always feel like a blessing, or a calling, or a worthy destiny to the woman. And the man’s tendency to want to rule her and have dominion over her, like he did over the animals, and not accept her as his co-ruler would only make the power struggle more acute. You and I feel it to this day.

The consequences for the man: work would now include painful, sweaty toil with stress and frustration as much of his work would produce unacceptable results.

Can you begin to see, now, why the Gothic horror resonates with us?

We'll tackle the Paul's advice on marriage tomorrow.

If this post got you to thinking, please leave a comment and join the conversation

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