Creed's "With Arms Wide Open" video

Written: 13 July, 2000

I've seen this video a few times on VH-1 and I have to say that it's the first Creed song & video that I've really enjoyed.

Creed is not "Christian rock," but this video and song is about as Christian as your typical Christian rock song, moreso in some cases! The reference to someone "with arms wide open" for the whole world is obviously a reference to Christ on the cross.

We see the lead singer in the countryside and meteors start falling down from the sky, and he has to run for cover. (This reminded me of Chevelle's "Mia" video, where the character is constantly running from things that threaten to fall down and crush him.) He comes upon a structure that appears to be a church or temple of some kind, with a sculpture of a strange head above the door. The lead singer falls through a hole in the floor of the church, where there is a cave and a pool of water. Perhaps this is saying that beneath the fancy or off-putting outside structure of the church, it is built upon something that can cleanse, refresh, and reward the seeker.

The lead singer looks at us and sings that if he has just one wish, he hopes "he's not like me, I hope he understands." It is clear that the singer is referring to God here. Then the singer jumps into the pool, which is like a baptism for him. He then walks through a hole to the outside world where now an amazing vista greets him as he stands on a cliff before the ocean. He has found safety and salvation here in paradise and his arms are outstretched like Christ on the cross. This exactly matches Christian theology which says that by accepting Christ, a person gets into Heaven because when God sees us, he will see His Son in us. So, the singer's stance with arms wide open resembles Christ, and then as the video ends his hands move to his head, as if he has at last found peace of mind.

OK, am I reading too much into this video or what? What do ya think?


[After I wrote the above post, the poster named Jam provided a different interpretation, and his comments are as follows]:

Actually, since I own the record and read a couple interviews, this song's about and for the singer's son. He's the one with his arms wide open, for his son. Any religious reference is inferred.

He's hoping his son can learn from his mistakes. The 'he' being his son. "I hope he's not like me, I hope he understand" meaning he doesn't want his son to have the life he had. I've read interviews with the guy, he grew up in a strict Christian home, he had to hand write whole sections of the Bible, he ran away because his parents were so strict, and he wanted to rock, and rock's the devil's music.:D

I think they rely on religious symbols and ideas, that doesn't make them religious. It's obviously an influence, but there's ample evidence that the lyrics aren't meant to be religous.

I saw a snippet of something on VH1 where the preacher from Survivor mentioned Creed's "Higher" as being something he beleived spoke for him, me, I always read it as a tip to the psychadellic lyrics of the Doors, if anything it could be read as a pro-drug anthem. I never saw any of it as religous, if anything it was non-religious psychedelia.