ApologetiX Easter Update
Thu., Mar. 28. 2002 2:02pm EST
Happy Resurrection Day!
J. Jackson, lead singer and lyricist for ApologetiX (That Christian Parody Band) here. We purposely didn't schedule any concerts this Easter weekend so we can spend time with our families.
As I type this letter to you, it's late on March 27, 2002 ó the exact 10th anniversary of our first official concert as ApologetiX! God has blessed us abundantly!
Thanks to all of our gracious hosts in Texas last weekend, including but not limited to: Terry, Shane, Mike, Todd, Pastor John, Mike, Linda, Bill, Pastor Richard, Gene and Linda, and everybody I forgot! You guys were AWESOME!
Our Bill and our Karl are currently in the studio laying down drum tracks for our next CD! It's already their third night this week! Please pray for them!
1. What Easter Means to Me
2. Historical Proof for the Resurrection
3. Lyrics to Celebrate the Occasion
4. Next Thursday & Friday: ApologetiX in Cranberry & Mars PA (Pittsburgh Area)
5. That Jewish Parody Band?
6. Upcoming Concerts
1. WHAT EASTER MEANS TO ME
You know, I started writing a big Easter e-mail preamble to you, and then I remembered that I had written something last year in the e-mail newsletter, and I wondered how much I had duplicated ó it turned out I had duplicated a whole lot! So, considering the fact, that we now have about 10,000 subscribers to this newsletter and the overwhelming majority of them weren't around last year, I'd like to share with you my thoughts from last year, because they haven't changed. What a bore I must be! :) I made a few minor edits, but that's all. Here it is:
As I was growing up in grade school, something always made Easter stand out to me. Christmas was cool because of the presents and the tradition and the carols and the snow, but it didn't take long for Easter to become my favorite. I remember very distinctly singing "Jesus Christ is Risen Today" (also known in some circles as "Christ Our Lord is Risen Today") very joyously at the end of church every Easter Sunday. Now, I confess I was always joyous when church was over, but on Easter Sunday, I was especially joyous, because even back then, I knew that Christ's resurrection was something really, really special.
As some of you know, although I now attend a Christian & Missionary Alliance Church, I am a born again Christian, and I believe that you can find Christ in any denomination of Christianity that recognizes the Trinity, the deity of Christ and salvation by grace through faith in Christ. As a wise man once said, "In the essentials, unity; in the non-essentials, liberty; but in all things, charity." Let's face it; you can find both wheat and tares in just about every field (Matt. 13:24-30).
Anyway, with all that having been said, I grew up in a Catholic home, with 12 years of Catholic schooling, so I was a pretty religious little boy, which can have both advantages and disadvantages when one is trying to find God. I was a choirboy (Yep, that's a true story on "Spoofernatural"), a cantor, a eucharistic minister, and a member of the Liturgy committee at my school. I took Lent pretty seriously, although I hated fasting and not getting to eat meat on Fridays. I remember giving up TV for Lent in 1978 ó that's how seriously I took it! It was really hard, but it pretty much cured me from ever really getting too hooked on TV ó although one of the news items in this e-mail is about a worldwide TV broadcast that features ApologetiX, ironically enough! I also remember Easter in fifth grade, when my three older sisters, Jeannine, Kris and Gayle, all got the clear plastic wrap packages of baseball cards in their Easter baskets, and I had to trade them some of my hard-earned candy to get what was rightfully mine! That was the same year we got the "Jesus Christ Superstar" album.
In those grade school, high school and college years, something about Lent always made me long to know God better. I loved watching and listening to "Jesus Christ Superstar," "Godspell," and "Jesus of Nazareth." They were the closest thing I had at the time to the real thing, and I could watch them over and over. I was never quite sure what I believed or what I was supposed to believe back then, but I already realized that if the story of Christ was indeed true, I would have loved to go back in a time machine and be chosen as one of his disciples ó to see His miracles first hand, and more importantly, to have Him look me in the eye, call me by name and choose me to follow Him. Sure, I also realized that I probably would have deserted him at the cross, just like the others, and I worried that I wouldn't have had enough courage to be a martyr. But, as I looked at all situations in human history, both in fact and fantasy, that was the one thing I thought would be the coolest ó to know Jesus and be one of His disciples. Little did I know what God had in store for me.
In the spring of 1985, I got a taste of it, when I played one of Jesus' disciples in our church's production of "Godspell." I don't think any of us cast members were born again Christians (in fact, we had a keg party after the show, although nobody got drunk), but we really were all affected by playing Christ's disciples. But it wasn't until early 1988, when I really finally got my wish ó to become a disciple of Christ ó something more than just somebody who watched Him from afar in the crowd. It was early 1988, when I heard Him call my name, and when I realized that He had chosen me to follow Him. And, I've seen many of His miracles first hand now. As a person who still remembers what it was like to be a shy, tall, skinny kid who got picked last or near the end for games in grade school, I am still in awe that the Captain of our Salvation chose me to be on His team.
I don't know why I felt led to write all this for you at this hour of the night, but I just want to encourage all of you ó whether you have found Christ or whether you're not sure ó He is really there, and He really loves you. And once He gets hold of you, He never lets go. I'm not talking about some warm and fuzzy, hazy feeling. There is a real person named Jesus Christ, God the Son, who came in the flesh and lives eternally, and, because He is God, He is omnipresent, and can indeed come to live inside your heart. My life has a B.C./A.D. line just like the timeline of history. Before Christ actually came, people knew about Him, because He had been prophesied for over a thousand years in the Old Testament, but all they could do was put their hope in Him, because He hadn't yet arrived into their lives, and they weren't really sure what He would be like. Once He came, though, things were very different for people who called themselves believers.
The same thing happened to me. When people saw the change in my life back in 1988, they figured it was another of my phases or fads, because I was a person who was pretty passionate about whatever he got into, whether it was baseball cards, comic books, music, whatever. But now it's over 14 years later, and I believe more strongly than ever. I am more aware of my own weakness and sinfulness than ever ... but I am also more aware of His grace, His strength, His sufficiency and His love than ever. There is no turning back. As another wise person once said, "Once you see truth, you can't un-see it." I love music so much that when I'm immersed in it, whether it be listening to it or performing it, it seems like the most natural thing in the world for me to do. However, I don't know how many years ApologetiX will last. I hope we'll be around for a long time. But I know one thing: whether I'm doing it with ApologetiX or not, I plan to be sharing the message of the Gospel. And I am very, very thankful that God has allowed us to share our faith on those little silver discs ó with our preaching preserved in a way that could last long after we've passed into the next life.
People often ask us if we'll ever write any original songs. Actually, all four members of this band have written their share of original songs. To sum up what I was just saying, I'd like share with you a verse from the second Christian song I ever wrote, way back in the summer of 1988:
"Dear Lord, I'll keep pushing, I'll keep pressing, I'll keep plugging, pleading your case To my enemies, to my family, my friends, myself ó the whole human race Not for power, not for any extra blessing after I've died Just because it's the truth ó couldn't hold it in if I tried ó can't keep it inside."
And that's the way I still feel. He is risen indeed!
2. HISTORICAL PROOF FOR THE RESURRECTION
During my senior year in college, I was a fledging reporter for the school newspaper. My second assignment was to cover a man named Josh McDowell, and expert in Christian apologetics. He was coming for a two-day speaking engagement, and there were all sorts of teaser ads. The night I saw him, his topic was "The Great Resurrection - Hoax?" Josh was certainly no fire-breathing preacher; I described him in my article as a cross between Pat Boone and Dick Van Dyke. He had supposedly written about 30 books by that time - but I'd never heard of them and therefore didn't consider them to be "real" books.
Josh didn't convert me, but he did affect me. He talked about the Biblical account of Jesus as though it were a genuine historical fact, recorded accurately and preserved throughout the ages. He talked about a Bible that had a veracity that was being proven increasingly as archeological evidence was being unearthed in our modern day. Of course, he talked about his changed life and how he started his "pilgrimage", too. How he had been an atheist who set out to disprove the Christians at his college. How he had been converted by the evidence, and how, later, his worst enemy - his alcoholic father - was converted by the change in Josh's life. I had never heard anybody present the Bible as historically verifiable and reliable before. I thought it was thought-provoking, although not life-changing for me at the time. But, all in all, it was indeed another brick in the wall.
In keeping with Josh's topic, here's an excerpt from the Captive Hearts Ministries e-newsletter, edited by our friend and long-time ApologetiX fan (He used to come to our concerts way back in 1992), Frank Queen. If you'd like to be added to Frank's newsletter, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"If Christ is not raised then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain." I Cor. 15:14
That is a big "if." IF Christ is not raised, our faith is vain. Christ indeed is raised. Simon Greenleaf, the greatest legal mind in American history and founder of Harvard's School of law said there is no more verifiable fact of history than the resurrection of Christ! Funny thing a lawyer said that, in the courts lawyers deal with facts, not faith. Yet one of America's greatest law professors tells us that Christ's resurrection is not a matter of faith but a matter of FACT! How so? Consider the following...in a court of law only ONE eyewitness is needed to establish guilt or innocence. How many were there who saw Christ raised?
"He was raised on the third day according to the scriptures and that He appeared to Cephas and then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than FIVE HUNDRED BRETHREN AT ONE TIME, most of whom remain until now.....then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. I Cor. 15:4-8
Let us examine this shall we? He appeared to Cephas (1), the twelve, and then to 500 at once. So far we have 513 EYEWITNESSES to the resurrection. Remember, in a modern court of law only ONE is needed to establish guilt/innocence!! Next consider when tallying a crowd in the first century, only men were counted, no women or kids. It is very likely that women and children were present in the numbered crowd of "500" bringing that number even higher!! What does all this mean? If 513+ people all saw something in today, no one would doubt the truth of the event. Their testimony would most certainly stand in court. Why then do some today choose to reject the testimony of 513+ people who saw Jesus ressurected? It goes against all logic!! People go so far as to entertain the absurd notion that it was just a hallucination. 500+ people shared the SAME hallucination!?!?! Doctors today say that it is IMPOSSIBLE for people to "share" hallucinations. Yet many today believe that somehow 500+ people defied logic and medical science (something unbelievers normally place great trust in over scripture) just so they can avoid believing the truth. Folks who say the Bible is far fetched really haven't done much homework or thinking for that matter. If Christ was not raised, what would be the worst place to start Christianity? Jerusalem, where He was crucified. Where did Christianity begin? Jerusalem. If Jesus did not rise, the authorities, Roman and Jewish would have paraded the body down the street and killed Christianity in the womb!! The movement had enough opposition yet NOT A SINGLE WRITING from that time exists, which denies the resurrection story. Why is that? If it did not happen, why did the Romans and Jews not produce the evidence that would have stopped this troublesome sect? Perhaps the apostles stole the body as some charge. Let me get this straight....
1) Some fisherman came in the night, fought and defeated the Roman guards, the most fierce and elite trained forces in the ancient world.
2) They broke the Roman Governor's seal placed on the tomb (crime punishable by death), and stole the body.
3) They then faked a resurrection with a "lookalike" as some "scholars" (sic) propose.
4) They did all this so they could start a new religion for which they would all suffer and die horrible deaths for believing and proclaiming.
This really is what some skeptics and liberal scholars propose while having the nerve to call the Bible story far fetched. It does not take much to see which story is more easy to be believed- the resurrection! All the facts point to it as the truth, fantastic as that truth may sound. As Sherlock Holmes said in Arthur Conan Doyles books, "When all logical answers are exhausted, than the illogical, no matter how improbable must be true!" Yes, the resurrection is illogical because folks just don't rise from the dead. Yet, all the facts around the situation point to the resurrection being true. If it did not happen, then what did happen that first Easter Sunday? What happened that changed a bunch of fear-filled fisherman who deserted their master, into fearless preachers who would die for the message of the resurrection of Christ? This is a question no skeptic has ever answered because they cannot! Something supernatural happened on that Easter Sunday, something that changed the world FOREVER! God who became man, died and rose from the dead, just as He promised. All the armies in the world have not been able to stop the Easter message. Emperors have come and gone, yet Christ remains.
To see what else Frank had to say and/or to subscribe to his e-mail newsletter, please e-mail him at email@example.com
3. LYRICS TO CELEBRATE THE OCCASION
These lyrics are taken from our "Jesus Christ Morningstar," "Ticked" and "Spoofernatural" CDs. I put them in chronological order. We hope you enjoy them! You eagle-eyed fans will notice there's even a never-before-published parody included in this bunch (No, it's not on the next CD either!)
ONE OF THESE GUYS One of These Guys Parody of "One of These Nights" by the Eagles (Matthew 26:20-35)
One of these guys -- one of these favorites of mine Is gonna turn out to be a traitor -- later on tonight The cock will be crowing while Peter denies And the rest of you head for your homes You don't believe it -- You're my disciples But I've gotta do this alone Ooh, Lord, we'll stand beside you Even if there's trouble in sight Ooh, Lord we won't deny you Swear we're right behind you all of the time One of you schemes -- one of the apostles on my team, now We're gonna found out -- wasn't who he seemed He's a person who's been brought here by the devil himself He's been working for the angel of light He's been waitin' for a moment to deliver me up And I've a feelin' that the moment is ripe Ooh, some of us you'll find true Even if there's one who's a spy (Oh, whoa, whoa) Ooh, Lord we're right behind you Swear we'll stand beside you all of the time LEAD (One of these guys) Ooh later in the garden tonight Someone right beside me, Spirit who's inside me Indicates its one of these guys (One of these guys) Whoo hoo hoo Whoo hoo hoo (One of these guys) And I can feel it, I can feel it Comin' up behind me, they're all gonna find me now (One of these guys) And it's gettin' dark, so dark and lonely now (One of these guys) Someone betrays me, slays me, makes me die (One of these guys) They're all gonna try me, then they'll crucify me (One of these guys) Ooooh Ooooh (One of these guys) He's on his way now
I'LL PREPARE FOR YOU Parody of "I'll Be There for You" performed by the Rembrandts and written by M. J. Skloff, D.L. Crane, M. F. Kauffman, D.C. Wilde, P.R. Solem & A.S. Willis (John 14)
So Jesus told His disciples, "I'm gonna go away "But where I go you know." They all cried, "Please explain." He said, "You've all been stuck in second grade "If you haven't seen the Way, the Truth, the Life is here in your face ... but "I'll prepare for you ... prepare a place up above "I'll prepare for you ... 'cause I've been there before "I'll prepare for you ... and you prepare for me, too." "I'll send another friend to help you on your way "You'll learn from Him, you'll go far. Please don't be afraid "The Father helped me do the things I did "But you even will do greater works than that if you believe -- that CHORUS "The world could never know Him -- The world could not receive Him "So you're the only ones who know what it's like to know Him "There'll come a place and day when He'll come to live inside you "Soon when all of this happens you will know the words I said were true." LEAD "Seems like you've all been stuck in second grade "If you haven't seen the Way, the Truth, the Life is here in your face, but CHORUS
I HAVE TO DIE FIRST Parody of "Eye of the Tiger" performed by Survivor and written by Frankie Sullivan & Jim Peterik (John 12:23-24, Mk. 8:31, 9:31-32, 10:34, Lk. 18:31-33, 1 Cor. 15:26,55)
"I'm risin' up," that's what He said. "It's My time. Let's commence this "In three days I will be back from the dead -- There's a plan to fulfill in My life" So many times, He'd talked in the past -- About His passion and glory "Just like the grain used for wheat has to die, I must die, so the wheat can arise." He said, "I have to die first to fulfill all the signs Risin' up through the power of My Father And at last when the hour has come you'll know I was right And I warned you before this -- that I had to die first" Facin' death, in Gethsemane -- Sweatin' blood, feelin' lonely He prayed to God, "You can take this from Me if You will," but He still had to die He said, "I have to die first in this terrible fight Risin' up through the power of My Father And my last lonely hour I'll be prayin' tonight But I want you to know this -- that I Have to die first" Risin' up, hate filled the mob -- Took the Lord up to Calvary Read the sentence, nailed our Lord to the cross -- Yet the Man that they killed is alive He said, "I have to die first -- it's a strange way to fight Risin' up through the power of My Father And at last I'll arise and put the devil to flight And I warned you before this that I have to die first" That I have to die first REPEAT AND FADE
LAST NIGHT Parody of "Last Kiss" written by Wayne Cochran and performed by Pearl Jam, J. Frank Wilson & the Cavaliers and Wednesday (Matthew 26:33-56, Luke 22:39-62)
Oh where oh where can my Savior be The Lord - they took Him away from me They've gone ahead and nailed Him onto the wood So I can't see my Savior when I need Him most He was down on His knees in an olive gard'n He had been prayin' very hard There in the grove - strangers came A crowd with swords - they mentioned His name I couldn't stop 'em though I certainly tried I went for the head of some bad guy But Jesus Christ - He touched him fast Replaced the ear that I had slashed Oh where oh where can my Savior be The Lord, they took Him away from me They've gone and nailed the Son of God to the wood So I can't see my Savior when I need Him most When I showed up - they had the Lord on trial There were people standin' all around Some men corn'red me so then I denied But somehow Christ found my face with His eyes At dinner last night He'd looked at me and said "You'll deny me in just a little while." I felt so cold to kiss Him off like this I failed the Lord and I knew that I did But now He's gone even though I hope and cry I cost my Lord His life last night Oh where oh where can my Savior be The Lord, they took Him away from me He's gone to Heaven and it's not looking good Cause I can't see my Savior when I need Him most
DIDN'T JUST DIE Parody of "Live and Let Die" performed by Paul McCartney & Wings And written by Paul & Linda McCartney (1 Cor. 15:12-20)
When He was hung on the cross like a common crook His accusers said He was just dead (You know they did, you know they did ...) But it was everlasting life that He was livin' -- And they'd get a surprise He didn't just die! Didn't just die! Didn't just die! Didn't just die! LEAD What He did matters to ya -- Man He did a job for you -- you couldn't do yourself He had to save ya from the pit of Hell LEAD Now you still say He was just dead (You know you did, you know you did ...) But He could never save this world unless He's livin' Don't you give up on Christ -- He didn't just die!
DIED AND ROSE Parody of "China Grove" performed by the Doobie Brothers And written by Tom Johnston (1 Cor. 15:3-5, 1 Thess. 4:14)
When the Son come down He was deep within the ground surrounded by a giant stone And it's no surprise that on the Sabbath day all His pals stayed home But things were all about to change and they never were the same Well, we're talkin' cause He died and rose -- Lord, died and rose! Well, their leader, Simon Peter, and John the Apostle, they took a walk to the tomb And the Gospel came alive when they arrived and they found an empty room But they had forgotten His claim that He'd resurface again Well, we're talkin' 'cause He died and rose -- Lord, died and rose! Then He came when the group met Sunday -- They'd locked the doors and shut the room But standin' right among them was the man they called Lord You just should have seen the look in their eyes! But Thomas would doubt it for eight more days Till Jesus came when he was there -- He just took one look and he believed! LEAD
YOU MAY BE BRIGHT Parody of "You May Be Right" performed and written by Billy Joel (John 3:19-21)
Friday Christ had just departed, Saturday Christ's grave was guarded Sunday came and Christ came out again And the stone they had in front was a sturdy heavy one That they all were much too weak to roll away Now the men they had to guard that stone were top defensive guys from Rome Even though Christ's own disciples were afraid But the stone was knocked aside and He made it out alive So you said they only moved Him from His grave You may be bright -- I say you're crazy Hey, but you just may need illuminated a little more Turn on the light -- it's kinda shady My faith is strong because I know the way He died Remember how they crowned Him there 'cause Rome had no electric chair They slowly tortured folks until they died Yeah, the Romans scourged Him and -- they said "Take this cross and stand Cause we'd like you, Boy, to drag this for a while" Then on top of all the things they'd tried, when Christ was done they crucified Him Someone's spear went straight through at His waist But you say the Man just swooned and they all were just confused And He really was just in a coma state You may be bright -- I say you're crazy Hey, but it just may be excuses that you're lookin' for If you hate the light -- It's too late to save ya My faith is strong because I know the way He died You may be bright -- I say you're crazy Hey, but I just can't be the humanist you're lookin' for Throw out the lies -- don't try to phase me You say we're wrong because I know you hate the light
PEOPLE Parody of "Pepper" by the Buttonhole Surfers (Revelation 6:9-11, Matthew 5:10, 24:9)
James was caught by Herod, Herod captured Peter They were sharin' Herod's outbreak of attacks upon believers James would have to face the sword and Peter would escape it They were not afraid of dyin'; they both knew that they could take it Thomas preached in Babylon and India they claim Then the local folks impaled him with a lance while he was prayin' They were all about to die but they weren't thinking much about it And their story didn't have a chance but none of 'em were doubtin' Why oh why would someone die if it was just a hoax? Why then take the awful risk to tell us Jesus rose? Simple men from Galilee would not have spoken lies To get enrolled in history books as martyrs for Jesus Christ Simon died along with Jude from arrows, spears or crosses Someone gave Bartholomew a skin-removal process Some of them were stoned alive like James the son of Alphaeus And their stories are the evidence that none of them were doubters Why oh why would someone die if it was just a hoax? Why then take the awful risk to tell us Jesus rose? Simple men like you and me would not have spoken lies To get well known in all the books as martyrs for Jesus Christ A lot of guys were crucified for calling Him Messiah Philip died and Andrew did and possibly Matthias Peter's was a most unpleasant death for being Christian They would turn him upside down and then go through with crucifixion Paul he was beheaded probl'y Matthew did the same Well, they threw off of the temple top the other guy named James They were all about to die but they weren't thinking much about it That's a gory bunch of evidence that none of them were doubtin'
4. NEXT THURSDAY & FRIDAY: APOLOGETIX IN CRANBERRY & MARS PA (PITTSBURGH AREA)
Who says Western Pennsylvania doesn't have creative names for its towns? :)
Thursday, April 4, 2002 at 7:30 p.m.
Family Christian Stores
1717 Rt. 228
Not a concert - but the band will be there to meet fans and sign autographs
Friday, April 5, 2002 at 7 p.m.
Mars Alliance Church
997 Route 228
Contact: Mars Alliance Church 724-776-9400
Pastor Dave Havener
5. THAT JEWISH PARODY BAND?
One of our fans just turned me on to Schlock Rock (shlockrock.com), which is basically, "That Jewish Parody Band." I ordered some of their CDs, and there is some amusing, entertaining and enlightening stuff there (for example, "Old Time Torah Scroll"). By the way, we have a number of songs discussing the Jewish roots of Christianity and God's love for the Jews on our next CD (Romans 9:2, 10:1, 11:2), so be ready for them!
6. UPCOMING CONCERTS
There will be more concerts added to this list soon! Stay tuned for details!
Apr 04 - Cranberry PA (in-store) Apr 05 - Mars PA Apr 13 - Fairmont WV Apr 14 - Ashville NY Apr 19 - Monaca PA Apr 20 - Brunswick OH Apr 26 - Hanford CA Apr 27 - Sacramento CA Apr 28 - Twin Falls ID May 04 - Red Wing MN May 11 - Pittsburgh PA Jun 08 - Camdenton MO Jun 21 - AtlantaFest GA Jul 03 - New Philadelphia OH Jul 13 - SonShine Fest MN Jul 1? - LiFest WI Jul 15 - Oklahoma City OK Jul 17 - Brownwood TX Jul 20 - Spirit Fest Midwest MN Jul 27 - Somerdale OH Aug 04 - Inside Out Soul Fest NH Aug 07 - Kingdom Bound NY Aug 10 - Bloomington MN Aug 17 - Clymer PA Aug 24 - Canton OH Aug 25 - Oakdale PA Aug 31 - Tipton PA Sep 01 - Six Flags NJ Sep 07 - Marion OH Sep 11-14 - Honolulu HI
And don't forget our big announcement on April 15!
-- J. Jackson Lead Singer/Lyricist ApologetiX (That Christian Parody Band) www.apologetix.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Then he said to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." Thomas said to him, "My Lord and my God!" Then Jesus told him, "Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."