God Uses Parody to Restore Lives
Fri., Aug. 15. 2014 12:05pm EDT
In 2001, we released "Life Restored," a parody of the song "Last Resort" by Papa Roach. ApologetiX lead singer J. Jackson says he wrote the parody only because our bass player and resident metal-head, Keith Haynie, liked the sound. "I hated the original," said J., "but then God gave me an idea for it while I was mowing my lawn."
From such inauspicious beginnings, God has done wondrous things. We got this message via Facebook a few days ago:
I first heard of you guys in my local newspaper. Bands that were like my taste were never mentioned, so I decided to go to a 5th quarter (concert after the football game) that night. Unfortunately, I unable to get a ride, so I was stuck at home. That night I got on YouTube and heard "Life Restored," and it changed my life. I was a punk kid whose favorite band at that time was Papa Roach and I felt like I was unloved and that song helped me see otherwise.Brian's stories is the latest in a chain of great testimonies associated with that particular song. Here's the backstory:
The original advocated suicide ("cut my life into pieces -- this is my last resort -- and I'm contemplating suicide") and ours advocates eternal life ("plug my life into Jesus -- this gets my life restored -- and I'm confident I'm doing fine") and focuses on Romans 10:9, which says, "That if you confess with your mouth, 'Jesus is Lord,' and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved."
In 2002, we met a young Jewish man in Philadelphia who told us he became a Christian as result of God working through that song. He told us he is actually teased on the job for being such a big ApologetiX fan (they're not snobs; they just make fun of Christian music), and he eventually confessed his faith to his very Jewish mother.
In 2003, another young lady came to a concert we did in Tennessee because her Christian boss at Chick-Fil-A boss asked her to. That night, we opened with "Life Restored," which may be the first (and possibly only) time we've ever done that. Her boss called us the next day in tears, saying she'd given her life to Christ and said it was "Life Restored" that did it for her.
She emailed us herself and later spoke to us on the phone via her boss, telling us how she was from a Christian home but had always wanted nothing to do with Christianity before the concert. Here's an except from her original email:
Hey, I wanted to write to you guys to let you know what an awesome show you played Friday night. The first song that you played was "Life Restored." From that point forward I was had. There has been many nights when I have sat in my room, listening to Papa Roach's "Last Resort" with suicide on my mind. I had no reason to live, at least in my eyes there wasn't one. In 2009, we received the following email from a 16-year-old student in North Carolina:
"Life Restored" showed me that there is another ways to fill that emptiness inside of me. God spoke to me through your music Friday night. I wasn't concered about who was around me, or trying to impress anyone. I was focused on the music, and the words that were being said in your songs.
Before you did that last song, J. spoke to the audience and said a prayer. I have heard that prayer all of my life, but usually sleep through it, or ignore it. God had a hold of me Friday night, and for the first time I said that prayer. I accepted Jesus Christ into my heart right then. God spoke to me through you guys, and I am amazed at that.
I didn't mention anything to anyone that night. I waited until I got to work the next morning and talked to one of my managers, who has been a great spiritual leader to me, and told him what happened. After that, I was running around, telling everyone. I can't remember the last time that I have been this happy in my life. I have been changed.
Your new sister in Christ,
Just wanted to thank y'all and let you guys know: you saved my life. Let me explain myself: I grew up in church, but wasn't really a Christian, just 'playing the game', you know, and living outwardly, but not truly converted. We're both honored and humbled by these testimonies and God choosing to use one of our parodies. We're well aware that God can choose to use whatever and whomever He wants, and we're immensely blessed when He chooses to use us.
Needless to say, my life looked something like a complete failure. At that point in my life my favorite song was 'Last Resort' by Papa Roach. Well, I had heard you guys before and loved the music, but then I started really closely listening to 'Life Restored.'
For many weeks I struggled with wondering whether I was really saved. then one week when I was praying really hard during Sunday morning worship, I noticed a small child in front of me wearing a shirt that had Romans 10:9 printed on the back. That Sunday, I committed my life to Christ, and I must say that God really did restore my life through you guys. Again, thanks a ton.