Arcade Fire - John Van Sloten

September 26, 2010

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audio mp3 short video excerpt of sermon full video of sermon nhc on you tube nhc on read sermon pdf or blog
Media @ New Hope CalgaryWhat is God saying through this band?

“All the kids have always known that the emperor wears no clothes, but they bow down to him anyway, cause it’s better than being alone”
Arcade Fire, Ready to Start

“People don't necessarily know that they're taking on a worldview, or absorbing ideas [while watching television]. It doesn't necessarily seem like [it's happening], but it definitely does. I find it very easy to get sucked in. It starts to affect the way you see the world.”
Win Butler, 2007, Pitchfork

“I feel like I’ve been living in a city with no children in it, a garden left for ruin by a millionaire inside a private prison”
Arcade Fire, City with no children

“For death has crept in through our windows and has entered our mansions. It has killed off the flower of our youth: Children no longer play in the streets, and young men no longer gather in the squares.”
Jeremiah 9:21, NLT

“This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Once again men and women of ripe old age will sit in the streets of Jerusalem, each of them with cane in hand because of their age. The city streets will be filled with boys and girls playing there."
The Prophet Zechariah 8:4-6

“You never trust a millionaire quoting the sermon on the mount. I used to think I was not like them but I'm beginning to have my doubts, my doubts about it… do you think your righteousness could pay the interest on your debt? I have my doubts about it.”
Arcade Fire, City with no children

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.”
Jesus (author of the Sermon on the Mount) in John 14:1

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Arcade Fire from New Hope Church Calgary on Vimeo.

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Part 2 via "You Tube"


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November 21, 2013
jay, thanks for the comment. I hear you on it being a bit 'crusader' claiming that AF belong to God. And sometimes I do worry about wrecking a good thing with all this theologizing as well. But you have to concede on one point... if there is a God who made all of this, then surely even he loves and could have something to do with the band. And for the record... we're not saying AF is necessarily into the God in music scene, not at all. I guess the belief is that God is anonymously working in the world everywhere. JVS
john van sloten
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November 20, 2013
Bands often use biblical motifs, poets use them too. it is a very useful tool for providing imagery to a populace nearly instinctively wired to pick up on these sorts of codes. using elements of Abrahamic religions to relay a scene will seem poignant to a huge amount of people at once. It does not mean they are a christian band or that god is speaking through them. does that not sound a little grandiose when it rolls off the tongue, folks? Look, i think its cool if your spirituality happens to jive with said motifs. ...and if it's giving you a richer experience, that is great. But can ya'll try not laying claim? "you guys don't get it" and other comments of that nature, along with all of this proselytizing just seems kind of obscene in relation to a band who is really has a beautful, hopeful thing going. can we focus on the unifying things? If i sound too idealistic here, you might want to pick a different artist. friggin crusaders, i can hardly get a good trance going. :)
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October 21, 2013
Thoughtful comment Jordan. thanks for posting.
john van sloten
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October 18, 2013
Lead singer Win Butler did study theology in college, but this seems to be largely an academic and philosophical pursuit rather than one relating to any personal beliefs he might hold himself. Although he is extremely interested and literate in religious texts, and the bible in particular, he does not seem to be a Christian himself. When asked if he believed in a god, he responded simply that he doesn't know.

Jordan Tick (via YouTube)
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December 14, 2012
actually it's you guys that don't get it. Neon Bible talks about finding yourself in Christianity and not letting the crazy-talk religious bogus heads tell you what to do but rather getting to know the christian faith yourself. most members are in fact Christians which is why if you listen to some of their demo-type songs you can hear the calls they've gotten from Christian fans thanking arcade fire for restoring their faith in being Christian, through Neon Bible.
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January 14, 2012
I understand there are some similarities between what is mentioned in the bible and Arcade Fire's lyrics, but why does it matter? Why would God "speak" through them?

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January 14, 2012
I think God will use whatever means possible to communicate to us. In Christian circles the bible is a big part of that. But the bible also teaches that God speaks through creation, nature, non-believers, history, and more. In our church we believe that God made everything (including AF) and mysteriously reveals something of himself to us through it all. For a more comprehensive explanation this might be a good read.
john van sloten
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November 04, 2010
god is a women.
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October 07, 2010
Don't jump on these guys as Christians just yet. Win and William grew up in the Mormon church. William still says he's Mormon. I don't think Win has confirmed either way. Remember, Mormons think they're Christian.

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October 03, 2010
I really liked this video but don't you know Arcade Fire isn't a christian band?

As far as I know they're not 'Christian' but would that stop God from speaking through them (or anything else for that matter?). This book explains the thinking...
Pastor John Van Sloten

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September 30, 2010
Oh , how stupid is this , do you not realize the Arcade Fire have nothing to do with religion ,quite the reverse , the controlling nature attempting to force a certain lifestyle is what most listeners are against.
The reason for using the church is to make rock music , yes the idea behind the music and lyrics is to promote a return to peace and enjoyment of each single life but has nothing at all to do with religion .
It is not a call to god at all.
"Wake up - You'd better look out below"

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September 30, 2010
@MizCinday1 I don't think he said anything about them being a christian band?
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music,Win Butler,Wilderness Downtown,worldview,city,children,garden,millionaire,prison,freedom,Jeremiah 9:21,Zechariah 8:4-6,John 14:1

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