Chris Martin of Coldplay unknowingly lives out his childhood Christian beliefs (Part 3 of notes from June 23, 2012 Dallas Coldplay Concert, Martin left Christianity because of teaching on hell then he writes bestselling song that teaches hell exists)

Viva La Vida

Published on Jun 23, 2012 by

Coldplay’s Viva La Vida at American Airlines Center in Dallas on June 22, 2012

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Coldplay brought confetti, lights and thousands of fans to the American Airlines Center; see photos from their colorful show

 

5/11

Chris Martin was brought up as an evangelical Christian but he left the faith once he left his childhood home. However, there are been some actions in his life in the last few years that demonstrate that he still is grappling with his childhood Chistian beliefs. This is the third part of a series I am starting on this subject. Today we will look at how the Bible has influenced the lyrics of Viva La Vida. (There are many interpretations of this song on the web.)

On June 23, 2012 my son Wilson and I got to attend a Coldplay Concert in Dallas. It was great. We drove down from our home in Little Rock, Arkansas earlier in the day. Viva La Vida was one of our favorite songs that did that night.

Here is an article I wrote a couple of years ago about Chris Martin’s view of hell. He says he does not believe in it but for some reason he writes a song that teaches that it exists:
Belief of Eternal Punishment in Grammy Winning Song
By Everette Hatcher
Chris Martin of the rock group Coldplay wrote the song Viva La Vida, and the song just won both the grammy for the “Song of the Year” and “Best Pop Performance by a duo or Group with Vocals.”
In this song, Martin is discussing an evil king that has been disposed. “I used to rule the world…Feel the fear in my enemy’s eyes…there was never an honest word and that was when I ruled the world, It was the wicked and wild wind, Blew down the doors to let me in, Shattered windows and the sound of drums, People couldn’t believe what I’d become…For some reason I can’t explain, I know Saint Peter won’t call my name,  Never an honest word, But that was when I ruled the world.”
Q Magazine asked Chris Martin about the lyric in this song “I know Saint Peter won’t call my name.” Martin replied, “It’s about…You’re not on the list. I was a naughty boy. Its always fascinated me that idea of finishing your life and then being analyzed on it…That is the most frightening thing you could possibly say to somebody. Eternal damnation. I know about this stuff because I studied it. I was into it all. I know it. It’s mildly terrifying to me. And this is serious.”
I have been following the career of Chris Martin for the last decade. He grew up in a Christian home that believed in Heaven and Hell, but made it clear several years ago that he actually resents those who hold to those same religious dogmatic views he did as a youth. Yet it seems his view on the possibility of an afterlife has changed again.
Chris Martin is a big Woody Allen movie fan like I am and no other movie better demonstrates the need for an afterlife than Allen’s 1989 film  Crimes and Misdemeanors.  It is  about a eye doctor who hires a killer to murder his mistress because she continually threatens to blow the whistle on his past questionable, probably illegal, business activities. Afterward he is haunted by guilt. His Jewish father had taught him that God sees all and will surely punish the evildoer.

But the doctor’s crime is never discovered. Later in the film, Judah reflects on the conversation his father had with Judah’s unbelieving Aunt May during a Jewish Sedar dinner  many years ago:

“Come on Sol, open your eyes. Six million Jews burned to death by the Nazi’s, and they got away with it because might makes right,” says Aunt May.

Sol replies, “May, how did they get away with it?”

Judah asks, “If a man kills, then what?”

Sol responds to his son, “Then in one way or another he will be punished.”

Aunt May comments, “I say if he can do it and get away with it and he chooses not to be bothered by the ethics, then he is home free.”

Judah’s final conclusion was that might did make right. He observed that one day, because of this conclusion, he woke up and the cloud of guilt was gone. He was, as his aunt said, “home free.”

The basic question Woody Allen is presenting to his own agnostic humanistic worldview is: If you really believe there is no God there to punish you in an afterlife, then why not murder if you can get away with it?  The secular humanist worldview that modern man has adopted does not work in the real world that God has created. God “has planted eternity in the human heart…” (Ecclesiastes 3:11). This is a direct result of our God-given conscience. The apostle Paul said it best in Romans 1:19, “For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God  has shown it to them” (Amplified Version).

It’s no wonder, then, that one of Allen’s fellow humanists would comment, “Certain moral truths — such as do not kill, do not steal, and do not lie — do have a special status of being not just ‘mere opinion’ but bulwarks of humanitarian action. I have no intention of saying, ‘I think Hitler was wrong.’ Hitler WAS wrong.” (Gloria Leitner, “A Perspective on Belief,” The Humanist, May/June 1997, pp.38-39). Here Leitner is reasoning from her God-givne conscience and not from humanist philosophy. It wasn’t long before she received criticism. Humanist Abigail Ann Martin responded, “Neither am I an advocate of Hitler; however, by whose criteria is he evil?” (The Humanist, September/October 1997, p. 2.). Humanists don’t really have an intellectual basis for saying that Hitler was wrong, but their God-given conscience tells them that they are wrong on this issue.

Evidently  Chris Martin who said he resented dogmatic religious views a few years ago, has now written a grammy winning song that pictures an evil king being punished in an afterlife. Could it be that his God-given conscience prompted him to put that line in? Or do men like Hitler get off home free as Woody Allen suggested in Crimes and Misdemeanors?

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Even though Chris Martin says he does not believe in hell in this discussion below with Howard Stern he writes Viva La Vida (seen in clip at beginning of this post) where the bad king goes to hell. Again his childhood biblical views are coming out again.

On the Howard Stern Show Chris Martin was questioned about his religious beliefs on November 9, 2011:

CM: I was raised very religious.

HS: I know that. What religion?

CM: I am not really sure. People kept asking me that.

HS: You were studying religion but you don’t know what it was.

CM: It was Christian, but there are so many branches of that now. I don’t know which branch we were on.

HS: Are you a religious man?

CM: Not any more religious. I believe I am a spiritual guy I guess.

HS: Do you believe there is a heaven and a hell.

CM:There definately is not a hell. That is what made me stop being religious.

HS: Would you take your children to church or do you want them to get religious training?

CM: No. I think it is important to show that there is all these kinds of religions and this person believes that and you can believe whatever you want.

HS: What do you do if you want your children to get religious training and you want them to embrace all religions and get the concept of God? Where would take your kids to learn that?

CM:That is a good question. I have been doing it in the nihilist approach and I haven’t been taking them anywhere.

HS: So they are not going to be raised in any religious way.

CM: Not in any strict religious way, no…. Religion is not the same as having faith is it. Faith is different right. I am not saying I don’t believe in anything. I not saying that it has to be this and if you believe something else then the other person is going to hell and all that crap.

HS: I am with you on that.

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Comments

  • Ibarrow  On September 10, 2017 at 3:21 pm

    The king is Jesus, if you pay any attention to the lyrics its painfully obvious that a king who is followed by missionaries in jerusalem and hated by the roman revolutionaries and who is coming to the realization that HE himself will be called by St. Peter (on the final verse Martin changes “won’t” to “will”) is “Jesus of Nazarene, KING of the Judeans”. The whole point of the song is that in a universe where Hell existed, Jesus himself would be judged for all of the atrocities commited in his name; Hence why Martin rejects it.

    • Everette Hatcher III  On September 12, 2017 at 7:03 am

      Bob Dylan tried to stay away from interpreting his own songs because he wanted others to have the freedom to do that and if he came out and commented then it would limit his fans. It is my view that Viva La Vida is Coldplay’s most spiritual album and it looks at the issue of eternal life and death over and over in the songs. Chris Martin is looking long and hard at many of the Christian views that he grew up believing. There is a deep seeded belief in Chris Martin that he just can’t escape and I think the key to that can be seen in the song “Cemeteries of London.”

      God reveals Himself in two Ways 

      Lets take a look at the lyrics from the song “Cemeteries of London:”

      God is in the houses
      And God is in my head
      And all the cemeteries of London
      I see God come in my garden
      But I don’t know what He said
      For my heart, it wasn’t open
      Not open

      Romans chapter one clearly points out that God has revealed Himself through both the created world around us  and also in a God-given conscience that testifies to each person that God exists.
      Notice in this song that the song writer notes, “I see God come in my garden” and “God is in my head.” These are the exact two places mentioned by the scripture.  Romans 1:18-20 (Amplified version)

      18For God’s [holy] wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth and make it inoperative.

      19For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them.

      20For ever since the creation of the world His invisible nature and attributes, that is, His eternal power and divinity, have been made intelligible and clearly discernible in and through the things that have been made (His handiworks). So [men] are without excuse [altogether without any defense or justification],(B)

      Concerning these verses Francis Schaeffer said:

      The world is guilty of suppressing God’s truth and living accordingly. The universe and its form and the mannishness of Man speak the same truth that the Bible gives in greater detail.

      This is what Chris Martin is having to deal with and he  is clearly searching for spiritual answers but it seems he have not found them quite yet. The song “42“: “Time is so short and I’m sure, There must be something more.” Then in the song “Lost” Martin sings these words: “Every river that I tried to cross, Every door I ever tried was locked..”
      Solomon went to the extreme in his searching in the Book of Ecclesiastes for this “something more” that Coldplay is talking about, but he found riches (2:8-11), pleasure (2:1), education (2:3), fame (2:9) and his work (2:4) all “meaningless” and “vanity” and “a chasing of the wind.” Every door he tried was locked.
      I wrote about this at this link below and told what Solomon’s final conclusion was.
      https://thedailyhatch.org/2012/06/28/chris-martin-of-coldplay-unknowingly-lives-out-his-childhood-christian-beliefs-part-4-of-notes-from-june-23-2012-dallas-coldplay-concert/

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      I have looked through a lot of interviews with Chris Martin and also many other comments made by other Coldplay fans and this is the first I have heard of your possible interpretation. I think that you have to take into account Chris Martin’s Christian upbringing and the fact that many of his songs reflect that. For instance, take a look at this fan’s interpretation below:
      General Comment
      There is a TON of spiritual imagery in this song. One that particularly caught my eye was when he refers to his castles standing “upon pillars of salt and pillars of sand”. I think this possibly is a reference to the sermon on the mount where Jesus speaks of a wise man building is house on a rock while the foolish man builds his house on the sand, only to be washed away. I am not sure on most of the meaning of this song but I do think that there is a link between total power and foolishness, contrasted with the loss of power (dependence on something else?) and gaining wisdom of your situation.
      tgbeinlichon May 10, 2008
      _______________

      Here is another Coldplay fan’s interpretation:

      General Comment
      When I first heard this song, I thought of Napoleon. “I used to rule the world” could be referring to the fact that Napoleon did, in fact, eventually conquer most of Europe. “Now in the morning I sleep alone” could be about his exile on Saint Helena after his reign as Emperor. The part about feeling “the fear in my enemies’ eyes” could be about how he was so powerful and everyone in Europe feared him, especially those under his rule. “Now the old king is dead! Long live the king!” could be a reference to the death of Louis XVI and the French monarchy and the subsequent rise to power of Napoleon. “One minute I held the key, next the doors were closed on me” could be about how he essentially ruled most of the civilized world, then met his defeat at Waterloo. The part about the castles standing “upon pillars of salt, and pillars of sand” could be about how he thought he was unstoppable, but then everything fell to pieces around him. The “wicked and wild wind” could be a reference to the French Revolution, which “blew down the doors to let me in” (basically giving Napoleon the chance to seize power.) The Jerusalem bells and Roman cavalry choirs could be an indirect, religious reference to Napoleon’s feud with and then capture of Pope Pius VII. “People couldn’t believe what I’d become” could be about how Napoleon rose from being a soldier all the way up to Emperor and arguably the most powerful person in Europe at the time. The part about “revolutionaries wait for my head on a silver plate” could be about the continuing political turbulence in France throughout Napoleon’s reign, and how many were unhappy with the way he ruled.
      However, I have also heard people say it’s about Louis XVI, which I could understand. I would have to say whoever it is about would most likely be French, as referenced by the French flag on the album cover. But I don’t know. Even if it isn’t about anyone in specific, it’s still an excellent song about power and the rise and fall of a leader.
      Thank you, babibabi, for being the first person I’ve seen to agree with me! (Forgive me if I missed anyone else!)
      rainingloveon September 17, 2008

      __
      Let’s look at what Martin has said.
      Q magazine asked Chris Martin about the lyric on this song “I know Saint Peter won’t call my name.” The Coldplay lead singer replied: “It’s about… You’re not on the list. I was a naughty boy. It’s always fascinated me that idea of finishing your life and then being analyzed on it. And it’s that runs through most religions. That’s why people blow up buildings. Because they think they’re going to get lots of virgins. I always feel like saying, Just join a band (cackles head off). That is the most frightening thing you could possibly say to somebody. Eternal damnation. I know about this stuff because I studied it. I was into it all. I know it. It’s still mildly terrifying to me. And this is serious.”

      With this quote in mind from Martin, it is more likely that Martin intended the King to be evil and that the King would have to face judgment. There are many evil kings through history and many of them have ruled over nations filled with Christians. I appreciate your insight but I don’t think that Chris has made the radical step that you imply.

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