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How can Christians avoid becoming acculturated and complacent to the violence of imperialism? The history of Christianity was framed with a lineage of martyrs in the Martyr’s Mirror, a book by Thieleman J. van Braght created to keep the Mennonites from becoming part of the ever expanding Dutch empire. The Martyr’s Mirror was unusually artistic effort of devotion by the author to remind the Dutch Mennonites of their persecuted Anabaptist roots as a lineage of Jesus’ first apostles by virtue of being victims of violence for their steadfast faith in God. The newly developed high seas of Dutch global capitalism and colonialism was quickly making the Dutch Mennonites extremely wealthy and complacent. 200 years later, only a small minority of German Christians living under Nazi government stood up to the empire and refused to fight in Hitler’s armies.

It is not surprising that German Mennonites of those days did not assume a stronger critique of National Socialism [Hitler’s Nazi Party]….They had long since lost any connection to the critical stance of the first Anabaptists, and their understanding of their own history was revisionist. (John Lapp & Arnold Synder. Testing Faith and Tradition. 176)

Only by forgetting and re-constructing history can the once persecuted minority enjoy the privileges of imperialism without remorse and justify their own complacency to evil.

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She looks just like a priestess with her dress of fire on. Upon the pulpit of a pyre, her body singing soft and loud. A Piercing Light. The hands that built and lit the fire are searching for control. She is building peace on earth not opium for her soul. A Piercing Light. She knows that Jesus suffered and died so violence can't control. Or own all of our convictions or purify what's cultural A Piercing Light
Every end is just a beginning, you want change or do you just want to fit in?
Every end is just a beginning, sacrificed, burned and turned to light. Baptized with fire, baptize me Holy Spirit, baptize everything that is simply self-perpetual A Piercing Light.

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from The Rise and Fall of Christendom, released October 23, 2014

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the Gospel of Barn Owl Hamilton, Ontario

Since releasing three albums as the Toronto band Barn Owl, songwriter Jared Both has regrouped in Hamilton as a electro garage rock project. Now the Gospel of Barn Owl, the band continues its critique of Constantinianism with experiments combining electronics and dub effects with fuzz guitars and analog synthesizers. ... more

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