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The Crossover Connection Week 14: The Kings of Punk Rock

When I was in eighth grade, certain rock bands possessed a cult following. Tee shirts from the most recent concerts were worn as a badge of honor, an allegiance to their fandom. Debates broke out daily about which band was the G.O.A.T., greatest of all time. As an entry level novice of music at this time, die hearts tried to persuade me with certain songs and classic albums to join their side. Unfortunately, I never really got excited about music until high school, using lyrics, rhythms and tunes to run faster as a cross country runner.

Now there was a certain man among the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler (a leader, an authority) among the Jews,Who came to Jesus at night and said to Him, Rabbi, we know and are certain that You have come from God [as] a Teacher; for no one can do these signs (these wonderworks, these miracles—and produce the proofs) that You do unless God is with him, John 3:1-2.

During college, one Christian band spoke to my heart like Jesus spoke to Nicodemus. When one of my college roommates introduced me to the Altar Boys, I was immediately drawn to their Punk Rock. The Altar Boys is like a combination of the Clash and David Bowe with their own unique style. The Altar Boys’ Gut Level Music album made me a fan for life. The attached You Tube provides a good mix of original, classic and hardcore songs from the Altar Boys. As you listen to their music this week, I pray that the lyrics will speak to your heart like Life Begins at the Cross. Enjoy this hang banging band.

by Jay Mankus


Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?

The lyrics of Should I Stay or Should I Go was written in 1981. However, this Clash hit song was released on a 45 record a year later with Should I Stay or Should I Go on Side A. Meanwhile, side B wasn’t as memorable: Straight to Hell. Co-founder of the Clash and co-writer of Should I Stay or Should I Go, Mick Jones was forced to leave this band in 1983. Subsequently, there is speculation that Mick may have been contemplating this for a while.

But [Rebekah’s] brother and mother said, Let the girl stay with us a few days—at least ten; then she may go. 56 But [the servant] said to them, Do not hinder and delay me, seeing that the Lord has caused me to go prosperously on my way. Send me away, that I may go to my master, Genesis 24:55-56.

From a spiritual perspective, one young woman of the Bible was forced to choose between her family or her future. Abraham is the first recorded father in the Bible to play an active role in selecting his son’s future wife. Abraham entrusted the manager of his estate, Eliezer, to fulfill this mission. After praying for God’s blessing on his search, Rebekah walks out toward him immediately following the conclusion of his prayer.

And they said, We will call the girl and ask her [what is] her desire. 58 So they called Rebekah and said to her, Will you go with this man? And she said, I will go, Genesis 24:57-58.

The context of today’s passage is just before a family feast. Eliezer shares his encounter with Rebekah as well as the events leading up to this God instance. After Rebekah’s family grants Eliezer’s requests for her to become Isaac’s husband, she must choose between her family and her future. Rather than deciding for her, Rebekah is asked to decide if she wants to stay a few days to be with her girlfriends or leave immediately. Rebekah chooses the future, eager to begin a new life with a man she’s never met of seen before. This is true faith.

by Jay Mankus

Should I Stay or Should I Go?

In 1982, the Clash released their album Combat Rock. While the song Should I Stay or Should I Go never cracked the top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 Charts at this time, a commercial a decade later struck a cord with music lovers. Following a Levi Jeans ad campaign featuring this song, Should I Stay or Should I Go was re-released in 1991. Subsequently, this song reached number one on the United Kingdom’s Singles Chart. This success led Rolling Stones Magazine to rate this Clash hit as one of the top 500 Greatest Songs of all time in 2004.

When the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were going from Gilgal. And Elijah said to Elisha, Tarry here, I pray you, for the Lord has sent me to Bethel. But Elisha replied, As the Lord lives and as your soul lives, I will not leave you. So they went down to Bethel. The prophets’ sons who were at Bethel came to Elisha and said, Do you know that the Lord will take your master away from you today? He said, Yes, I know it; hold your peace, 2 Kings 2:1-3.

In the Old Testament, one man was chosen to be the successor of Elijah. Prior to the mantle from being passed on, God tests Elisha to see if he is up to the challenge. Beginning in 2 Kings 2, Elijah visits four cities, asking Elisha to stay behind. Eager to spend ever last minute with Elijah, Elisha refuses to take no for an answer. Each time Elisha replies, “As the Lord lives and as your soul lives, I will not leave you.” One of the reasons for this resolve is that Elisha’s request for a double portion of Elijah was dependent of witnessing Elijah being taken up to heaven. Thus, Elisha is determined to go wherever God leads Elijah.

Elijah said to him, Tarry here, I pray you, for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan. But he said, As the Lord lives and as your soul lives, I will not leave you. And the two of them went on. Fifty men of the sons of the prophets also went and stood [to watch] afar off; and the two of them stood by the Jordan. And Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up and struck the waters, and they divided this way and that, so that the two of them went over on dry ground. And when they had gone over, Elijah said to Elisha, Ask what I shall do for you before I am taken from you. And Elisha said, I pray you, let a double portion of your spirit be upon me, 2 Kings 2:6-9.

Upon being freed from a legion of demons, a man begs Jesus to become one of his disciples, Mark 5:17-20. However, Jesus convinced this man to go home to his family and share how God has healed him. To those with broken, dysfunctional or unloving families, this call is difficult. The question you have to ask yourself, “should I stay where I am in a comfortable spot in life or leave my comfort zone to share my faith with others?” Although you still may be stuck at home due to the Coronavirus, when America reopens for good, God is looking for the next Elisha, eager to receive a double portion of the Holy Spirit by going where God leaves.

by Jay Mankus

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