Out of the Corner of My Eye

I think I caught a glimpse of truth out of the corner of my eye

A ghost, a whisper, a suspicion, a subtle and subversive rumor

So dangerous that every army would be commanded to march against it

So beautiful that it would drive those who see it to madness

Or sanity

Does the whole of my kind suffer from mental and moral vertigo?

As Melville said of cabin boy Pip

He saw the foot of God upon the treadle of the loom

And dared to speak it

Henceforth his shipmates called him mad

As Vladimir said when they came to bury Fyodor

The spiritual leader must feel the falsehood prevailing in society

The prophet must struggle against it, never tolerate it, never submit to it

I think I caught a glimpse of truth out of the corner of my eye

Have we been so blinded by the bright lights of advertisers lies

That the only true vision is peripheral vision?

In the age of constant commercialization and overblown hype

Does truth shout with a whisper and stand out with subtlety?

I think I caught a glimpse of truth out of the corner of my eye

It terrified me as I fell in love with it

I said,

This explains everything

This changes everything

This challenges everything

This threatens everything

This transforms everything

Dare I speak it?

The truth I caught out of the corner of my eye?

EVERY EMPIRE OF MEN IS BUILT UPON A LIE

They come to kill, steal and destroy

EVERY EMPIRE OF MEN IS BUILT UPON A LIE

All virtue is subject to sacrifice upon the altar of imperial expediency

EVERY EMPIRE OF MEN IS BUILT UPON A LIE

God or gods exist only to serve its cause

EVERY EMPIRE OF MEN IS BUILT UPON A LIE

Religion takes off its mask when it says—

“We have no king but Caesar”

The ultimate betrayal

The final apostasy

EVERY EMPIRE OF MEN IS BUILT UPON A LIE

Marx was more than half right when he said—

Religion is the opiate of the masses

EVERY EMPIRE OF MEN IS BUILT UPON A LIE

Self-promotion and Self-preservation

Greed and Lust

Industry and War

The industry of war

Long live the Empire!

Keep the Empire alive

And to keep the Empire alive

Many will be made to die

Because the Empire lives by the sword

And dies by the same

EVERY EMPIRE OF MEN IS BUILT UPON A LIE

From Aztec to Zulu

Egyptian and Ottoman

Persia and Babylon

Greece and Rome

England and—

Now I’m too close to home

A kinder, gentler Babylon to be sure

But a Babylon for sure

EVERY EMPIRE OF MEN IS BUILT UPON A LIE

So when Christ came

He did not bring

Another empire of men

Built upon a lie

As the liar in the desert tempted

Instead he brought

THE EMPIRE OF GOD

GOOD NEWS!

The government of justice and mercy, grace and truth

And the truth is

EVERY EMPIRE OF MEN IS BUILT UPON A LIE

Though every empire says

“We have God on our side”

So you will have to decide

How patriotic a Byzantine believer can be?

May we be salt and light

A prophetic voice

A Christian conscience

May we preserve and illuminate

Cry aloud and convict

But never forget

EVERY EMPIRE OF MEN IS BUILT UPON A LIE

And to stand for truth

And to stand for God

Is to stand against the lie the empire is built upon

And in the midst of imperial self-justification pray—

Thy Empire come

There, I’ve said it

The truth I glimpsed out of the corner of my eye

And when push comes to shove

As it always does

The Empire of Men will oppose the Empire of God

To know this is dangerous

To say it can be deadly

Do you think I’m kidding?

What crucified Jesus?

Self-righteous religion?

No, not religion alone

Religion as the whore of Empire

This is what killed Jesus

And Paul

And Peter

And Polycarp

And Huss

And Bonhoeffer

Because this is what empires do

Silence the prophets who will not prostitute the truth

Religion is tolerated

Imperial religion is promoted

But the prophetic hope of ANOTHER WAY

Must be censored

Even by the sword

This is the way of empire

Because

EVERY EMPIRE OF MEN IS BUILT UPON A LIE

Constantine can become a Christian

But Constantine cannot Christianize the Empire

The Empire of God converts the hearts of men one at a time

Christ the King must himself sponsor each one into his Kingdom

But when the Empire sanctions religion for its own purposes

The whore of Babylon rides the back of the beast

Giddy-up and God bless the Empire!

EVERY EMPIRE OF MEN IS BUILT UPON A LIE

I glimpsed this truth out of the corner of my eye

To believe it will set you free

And you thought it was just Sunday School banality

Or empty religious sentimentality

To pray

Thy Empire come

Thy Policy be done

You had no idea it was dissident and subversive

Because every empire of men is built upon a lie

The lie that the empire has God on its side

I glimpsed this truth out of the corner of my eye

And if you ask me my politics I will say

JESUS IS LORD!

JESUS IS LORD!

JESUS IS LORD!

This is more political than it is religious

I glimpsed this truth out of the corner of my eye

Source: Brian Zahnd

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Jeremy Jernigan

Speaker | Author | Founder of Communion Wine Co. https://linktr.ee/JeremyJernigan