RUSH: Humanist philosophers & God's prophets - John Van Sloten

September 23, 2012

View Related

audio mp3 mobile video of sermon full video of sermon nhc on you tube nhc on read sermon pdf or blog
Media @ New Hope CalgaryThis message is going to look at God’s down to earth goodness, and wholly authentic truth in the iconic Canadian band; Rush.

“Lean not upon your own understanding…”
Clockwork Angels, RUSH

“Lean not upon your own understanding…”
Proverbs 3:5, The Bible

"It seems to me I could live my life, a lot better than I think I am."
Working Man, RUSH

“Rush lyrics communicate to [their fans],make them feel like their experience is heard.”
CLEVELAND DJ LADY, Beyond the Lighted Stage

“Rush is an ‘outsider’ kind of band (never really accepted by the mainstream), made up of three self-confessed ‘outsider’ musicians (Geddy Lee says they’re “terminally unhip”), who speak to and for the outsider fan (the guy who was never cool, never really accepted in high school).”
Pastor John to CJAY’s Gerry Forbes on Thursday’s morning show

“You just perfectly described my (Rush loving) friend!”
Gerry Forbes, CJAY

“The Life-Light was the real thing:
Every person entering Life, he brings into Light.
He was in the world, the world was there through him, and yet the world didn’t even notice.
He came to his own people, but they didn’t want him.
But whoever did want him, who believed he was who he claimed and would do what he said, He made to be their true selves, their child-of-God selves.
John 1:9-13a. The Bible, MSG

The song, "Closer to the Heart" is a single by Rush, released in 1977, from the album "A Farewell to Kings". It was the first Rush song to have an external co-writer, namely Peter Talbot.

Excerpts from the documentary film ,"Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage", Alliance Films 2010

Full version via Vimeo

Full version via YouTube


submitreply/new comment

December 01, 2016
Neil Peart and probably the other two, are Atheist. Not sure why a church is making such a false correlation as this, and without the band's approval.
system says (via Vimeo)
Link to original

November 24, 2015
John van sloten 7 hours ago
+Tim FromLA Hey Tim... thanks for your backstory. Tragic. Some times I think that the biggest 'problem' with the Christian faith is its practitioners. Not all of them of course, but too many. A few years back I heard the story of a Christian pastor who set up a confessional booth on a college campus somewhere - one that allowed the CHURCH to confess and apologize to whoever would listen! Perhaps the best way the church can reach out is by saying sorry.

Tim FromLA 6 hours ago
+John van sloten

Thank you for the response. But not just saying sorry, but to stand up when their small but loud practitioners decide that Black Lives does not matter and take things into their own hands by:

5 Black Lives Matter protesters shot in Minneapolis

Though not a major issue in Canada as Canadians, as Geddy Lee would say, are a lot nicer, the repercussion tend to cross all borders and barriers when there is silence from the larger flock. You pastor, are not silent and I appreciate that a lot. My pastor and denomination are not either, as well as UCC, Presbyterians, AME, Episcopalians and so on...but the rest of the folks who claim to hate racism do not protest or use YouTube to spread love and peace like you.

Right now, I'm setting up a protest for the shooting while living in Los Angeles for Minneapolis, as well as the denomination I mentioned above, but I do it not to please God or to say that I will go to heaven because of...but I do it because I have to and will use all the resources I can, without the fear of heading all honesty? This is why I became an atheist, but you are the reason why I still respect Christians.

Tim FromLA (via YouTube)
Link to original

November 23, 2015
Hey pastor (?) John, as I said, I was never the loner-type, I guess I became a loner (spiritually) after I became an atheist, but no longer. My disbelief was not based upon logic or rationality of an invisible person or persons, but institutionalized racism within the church. Being a Rush fan yourself, you know the song Manhattan Project. I did not know what it was, let alone the Pilot of Enola Gay: This song was not about Freewill or a subdivided life, it's about the destruction of two cities by two deadly bombs on that August Day.

The song was not about self-indulgence or selfishness (Anthem) but something that would change my life forever more. Yet I knew nothing about this even though my aunt survived the bomb only to die six months after 9/11. Even more hurtful, a group of Christians and still to this day, believe that the bomb was justifiable because them white folks did not know if my people could be trusted (forgetting Psalms 23 v. 4's rod and staff) so the concentration camps and the bombing were fine.

Even in you country, the west coast in B.C. forced Japanese and Japanese Americans (yes Canadians are Americans too) into U.S. concentration camps. So to answer your question:

//How amazing that a band's music could have this kind of unimaginable impact? Quite profound actually.\\

Yes very much so, as it made me into an atheist.

Tim FromLA (via YouTube)
Link to original

November 17, 2015
Thanks for the comment Tim. How amazing that a band's music could have this kind of unimaginable impact? Quite profound actually.


Link to original

November 14, 2015
Props and respect to you pastor. I am an atheist, a member of the Unitarian Universalist and a person of color...I used to be a protestant, but not anymore. Still, I respect your comments as I am a listener of Rush (the band people). Yet unlike most of the fans who are loners, I never really felt that way. At first it was the rocking tunes as I used to play piano and I loved their complex time signatures and yes, I enjoyed their lyrics too. It was not about F-ing chicks or getting stoned, no.

Yet my life changed when Rush performed the Manhattan Project: You see, my aunt was a victim of the Manhattan Project and though my parents and adult knew about this, my parents kept my sister, brother and me in the dark. Being the curious person I was, I did research and I learned from Rush what the Manhattan Project was. Being a survivor of the Manhattan Project would mean shame in the Japanese culture, so we were kept in the dark. Rush managed to pry the door open in my family's life and since 1985 or their Power Windows album, I've been fighting against nuclear war and weapons.

So not fans of Rush are loners but activists inspired by their music to make a difference

Tim FromLA (via YouTube)
Link to original

February 20, 2015
"This is a beautiful message. It is wonderful to discover fellow devout Christian brethren who are also fellow devout Rush fans. Rush music is of an higher order, it is for the enlightened, it is about real issues of the human condition, not
superficial topics so common with those musicians who chose to bow to the demands of the priests of the temples of the music industry, for acceptance, five minutes of fame and a quick buck. Indeed, they chose the right path, and as we see history play out we see that they are being justly rewarded more and more, for the daring chance they took; the Order of Canada, Honorary Doctorates, a dedicated fan base mourning the possibility that R40 may be their last tour, myself included. The legacy and music of Rush will endure like that of Beethoven and Bach and Mozart well after 2112
has come and gone."

Randy Whitehead (via Vimeo)
Link to original

April 23, 2014
Obviously Rush nor any of its members are Christians. They most identify themselves as atheist or at best agnostic. While many of us can identify with being a misfit (Even those who ran with the in crowd can relate to not feeling like they fit) and the call to nonconformity resonates this can be taken in the wrong direction. We are called to nonconformity to the world but we are also called to a renewing of our mind and a transformation. In other words we are to conform to the image of Christ. So nonconformity to the world is only half way there. If we exchange the worlds ways or the mainstreams way in order to take hold of our way we are equally lost. But only when we embrace Christ and His way do we find a love that saves us. Doing life our way is rebellion to God and is a sin being stubborn or set in our own way is idolatry according to 1 Samuel. It is setting ourselves up as god. Not any different than Satan himself. I appreciate the talent of the band and can relate to much of the emotion they reflect however to call them "God's prophets" seems a stretch. They are lost and anyone who embraces their religious view of atheism or agnosticism are being lead astray just in a less obvious way than Black Sabbath. But deception is deception.

Kevin Boulis (via YouTube)
Link to original

December 08, 2013
It's good to know that not all churches are finding the bad in music but the good in music.
Wesley Gaines (via YouTube)
Link to original

Copyright Info:

All about the band - RUSH
more info...


music,gJohn 1:9-13,Proverbs 3:5,cj92,forbes,Geddy Lee,Alex Lifeson,Neil Peart,Peter Talbot

Length: 24:13     Rating: GA     Video Downloads: 6,738    Audio Downloads: 926