Tag Archives: Breaking Benjamin

The Fakes We Make

Anyone that has read my blog in the past knows I love me some Breaking Benjamin.  What can I say?  Ben can scream with the best of them, and they’re simply my favorite band, as such I listen to them a lot, and as I’ve blogged in the past, Ben wrestles with a lot of issues in his songs, as in his life, so you can get a lot of fodder for contemplation from their lyrics (no, they aren’t a Christian band, listen at thy own risk).  On their latest album, Ember, there is a song (my favorite of the album) called “Psycho” which contains:

In the cold eternal light
I am the ember fading
Every scar we try to hide
I am the fake you made me

When I heard this I was instantly reminded of conversations that I had with a good friend of mine about the Church, about Christians, and how we treat one another and the expectations we hold.  Have you noticed people in our society abandoning the gathering together of believers, even abandoning the faith?  Perhaps that’s you (I hope you stick around til the end of this article and leave me a comment, BTW.)  Recently there have been some pretty recognizable names in Christian circles that have either renounced the faith, or even committed suicide.  Kids aren’t staying in the congregations they were raised in… why?

I think Ben’s lyrics touch upon something for me, and others I know, that partially explains it… the Church has been making fakes for a long time. (Disclaimer: this is not Ben’s meaning or interpretation, it’s all mine as he doesn’t like explaining the meaning he had in his head when writing/singing any particular song so who knows what he would think of all this.)  Now, the thing is here, I’m not blaming the fake, I’m “blaming” the environment and other people responsible for creating the fakes.  What has made our churches into fake factories?

One explanation comes in the song in the line just prior; “Every scar we try to hide.”  Scars are there from battles we’ve fought; grief and loss, addiction, betrayal, idolatry, greed, gluttony, dishonesty, sin of all shapes and sizes that are either a current fight, or one in the past, sins we’ve committed or sins committed against us.  Scars can also be from hard times in life; when there’s not enough money, when we fall flat on our faces, when we get sick or hurt.  What has happened is that the feeling many people have is they are not allowed to have scars, and if they do have them, they are supposed to hide them, act as though nothing has or is happening, OR that they’ve been handled in a perfectly cherry pie way.  We certainly can’t have the truth coming out, the doubts, the fears, the struggles… Lord help the parishioner who has real questions.

There is now an almost palpable feeling of fakeness in many sermons and songs, a weird kind of whistling past the graveyard.  So, everyone must march in a quiet lockstep and put on the fake face or else others get uncomfortable really quick.  If you sing the right songs with the right kind of lyrics, if you smile and nod at all the right places, you’re assured of salvation, right?  If you say the right things and follow along and don’t ask questions, everything in your life will be peachy keen, right?  No, it just produces fakes, but they’ve had to fake it to make it, right?  Well, that works as long as everything is chugging away, but what happens when a wrench gets thrown in to the works?  What happens when the husband leaves, the baby dies, another war starts, you lose your job, the doctor says “you’ve got cancer?”  Yes, if the faith was real and true and strong in you in a real way, and you are surrounded by real, true, strong believers, God does indeed become a fortress and a safe place… but what happens to all those faking it in order to appease the crowd?  They rightfully break and when they break… they are abandoned.

Please understand, I’m not talking about every church congregation, I’ve been part of a church where I truly believe those people would’ve died for me, warts and all, and I’d like to think I’d have died for them.  However, I am talking about something going on in our churches at large, and in general.  I used to think stronger apologetics would stop the problem, and I still think it would help, but now I understand; it’s not just the words that are lacking, it’s the actions that are missing.  We can defend the faith in word all day long, but if we don’t defend it in deed, we are going to keep losing people.  We are going to keep producing fakes.

A church under physical persecution doesn’t produce fakes.  Why?  Because your conversion and sharing the faith is a matter of literal life and death.  We don’t have that here in the West.  If we don’t have that, do we show forth the faith in deed in other actions in our lives, or do we live and talk just like everyone else, and then for an hour or two on Sunday slap on the fakeness?  In some respects I think it’s harder to be genuine when you are a part of a congregation.  What do you guys think?  I’ve been a part of a fantastic congregation, I’ve been a part of some not so fantastic congregations, and I’ve been outside of a congregation, which is where I’m at now.  I think that is one reason we see people disavowing Christian affiliation more and more; at least when you label yourself a “none” you don’t have to fake it in a sea of people every Sunday.  It would be hilarious, if it weren’t true.  It’s kinda sad that I feel I can be more Christian in word and deed outside of a congregation than in one.  What’s happened to us?

My last post was on The Good, The True, and The Beautiful, and I do think some of the answer is there, but those things have to include not hiding scars, not trying to fake it til you make it, not just living like the world while preaching something totally different.  We have to actually love everyone… somehow we’ve failed in that.  We don’t have to love like the world tells us to love, we have to love dangerously… we have to love in truth and in deed, but we can’t do that if we only accept someone when they are faking it.  And, we have to take responsibility for making fakes in the first place.  I don’t have all the answers, I don’t think any one person does.  What are your thoughts?  I’d especially love to hear stories from those who have indeed left either the faith, or the church.  Have you been “the ember fading?”  Did something happen to quench that ember? What hurt?  How about stories from people who have felt like an ember fading, but you were renewed? What helped?

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Filed under Apologetics, Atheism, Christianity, Conversion, Musings, Theology

Breaking Benjamin is back… and so am I.

I’ve posted several times about Breaking Benjamin, but it has been a while.  They were, and are, a favorite band of mine, though the current members are not the same as when they first arrived on the scene.  They have an all-new lineup except for Ben Burnley of course.  He finally won the court case enabling him to keep the name “Breaking Benjamin” and the rights to the songs.

The new boyz in the band; Jasen Rauch on guitar, and if you recognize the name he was indeed from Red, Keith Wallen also on guitar,  Aaron Bruch on bass, and Shaun Foist on drums.  Some of the guys sing backing vocals, which is unusual as Ben used to sing alone and do all his own backing vocals on albums.

It took me a long while to buy and listen to the album, Dark Before Dawn, I suppose I didn’t want to be disappointed, but also my musical tastes have changed over time, and I was strangely nervous I’d hear them and hate them.  I shouldn’t have worried, their style both remains completely recognizable as Breaking Benjamin, but allows Ben to showcase his journey and his maturing through an unexplained illness that causes him daily suffering.  I like the album a lot, and it is definitely worth the cost of a download.

If you don’t like alternative rock, this isn’t for you and they aren’t a Christian band… though if Ben’s not a believer by this point, I’ll eat my hat.

Here are my earlier articles about BB:

Breaking Benjamin Interview

Jesus; The Lamb and The Lion via Breaking Benjamin

And, yes, I hope this marks my return to blogging.  Honestly there is so much to say about world events, these times we live in, and how biblical wisdom is indeed that answer, that it is sometimes hard to know where to start.

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Filed under Musings, Of Interest, Reviews, Sacred Secular

Breaking Benjamin interview…

For those of my readers interested in delving into the minds of Ben and Chad of Breaking Benjamin a bit more, there’s a good interview to listen to.  It is broken down into parts, so you can pick and choose topics if you don’t want to listen to the whole thing.  They both talk about spiritual stuff, Chad more than Ben, no surprise as Chad is really open about his beliefs. Click here for the link. *ETA: Listen in, the site that had the interview has now taken down all their archives so this interview is no longer available.  However, go to youtube and do a search for their stuff and you will find it in small video chunks; for example: Ben Burnley speaks about how obvious it is that God is out there

Interesting bits; Chad backs up the fact that he’s a Christian, and his feelings about following God…also his feelings about how abused drummers are (lol).  He also makes an interesting comment about not really knowing Ben’s faith either, because it is a private thing.  For Ben’s part, the interview focuses on his fight with alcoholism, but he talks (briefly) in general about God, and won’t come out and talk about songs like “Without You,” again, perhaps he feels it is a private thing, as well as his rule about not telling what a song is about so that fans can read into it what they like.

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Dear Agony…

Yes, it’s been awhile; major internet issues for months.  Anywho, Breaking Benjamin’s new album is out in stores and on itunes; Dear Agony is the title.  I’ll have a longer review later, but will just say that the sound is definitely different.  Not really better, nor worse, just different.  Some of the differences in sound could be due to the way it was recorded or edited or enhanced, but some come from Ben changing up his vocals.

It’s definitely worth the money, though I do have to be honest and say it isn’t my favorite album, and I will probably enjoy the songs more when they are mixed in with their other songs in my playlists.  There are several really good tracts, to mention two;  my favorite “Give Me a Sign,” gave me (the good kind of) chills the first time I heard it (I do like to hear Ben playing around vocally with the various notes), and the title track is definitely worth listening to several times.  Here is a link to an interview with Ben; if you are getting the album listen to it before reading this, then listen again afterward, it changes how you listen, and what you take away from the songs, IMO: Ben Burnley Interview

Chad, Mark, and Aaron do an amazing job on here as well, though I do have to say I would have liked to hear Aaron’s guitar a bit more, and a bit heavier in places.

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Breaking Benjamin’s new song and video…

Here’s BB’s first single off their new album Dear Agony (yet to be released, I believe it’ll be out on Sept. 29th).  The title is I Will Not Bow and it will be included in the movie Surrogates which is why there are movie clips in their vid.  The link is to myspace, which is where their single and the video was released:  Breaking Benjamin video: I Will Not Bow.

I like the song better than the video.  Ben seems to be cleaning up his vocals for this one, it’ll be interesting to hear the rest of the album…I’m sure he’ll throw in some heavier vocals with a bit more growl, at least I hope so, though he does sound good either way.  Loved the guitars in this one (go Aaron and Ben!…I like to hear Mark and Chad too, don’t get me wrong, but now that I’m attempting to play the guitar, that’s what I listen for the most) and just flat out love Ben’s new(?) guitar.

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Breaking Benjamin back in the studio…

Yes, my favorite band (secular alternative rock band Breaking Benjamin)  is back in the studio working on their next album.  The updates aren’t all that regular, but their first new single “I Will Not Bow,” which is said to be in the movie Surrogates, staring Bruce Willis, will be released on the radio  sometime around August 10th.  It should be available on itunes close to September 1st.  As far as the album itself goes, a set date hasn’t been announced but is tentatively (probably really tentatively) scheduled to come out around Sept. 29th.

My regular readers my not care, but I can’t help it…I’m excited!

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Ben Burnley’s Collaboration with Red…

Since I write about Breaking Benjamin a bit on here, and am a fan of the band, I thought I’d remind everyone that Ben collaborated recently with Red on the song “Shadows” for Red’s new album Innocence & Instinct released in Feb.  For those of you who don’t know, Red is a Christian alternative rock band, and yes, I really like this song and I plan to check out the rest of the album soon.

I’ll list the lyrics, and post a YouTube vid, but as always, if you like the song, go out and buy/download it to support the band…

Shadows by Red

Sunset, I close my eyes
I pretend everything’s alright
Drowning in anger from all these lies
I can’t pretend everything’s alright
Please don’t let me fall forever
Can you tell me it’s over?

There’s a hate inside of me like some kind of master
I tried to save you, but I can’t find the answer
I’m holding onto you, I’ll never let go
I need you with me as I enter the shadows

Caught in the darkness, I go blind
But can you help me find my way out?
Nobody hears me, I suffer the silence
Can you tell me it’s over now?

There’s a hate inside of me like some kind of master
I tried to save you, but I can’t find the answer
I’m holding onto you, I’ll never let go
I need you with me as I enter the shadows

I’m holding onto you [x2]
There’s a hate inside of me like some kind of master
I tried to save you, but I can’t find the answer
I’m holding onto you, I’ll never let go
I need you with me as I enter the shadows

posted by Wickedsin69 over at youtube

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