I am a Christian. ……I give pause to let you sift through the images that are flooding your mind right now. I am sure there are both positive and negative connotations that each person associates with that phrase. I am not going to defend or deny disparaging remarks. I am not going to apologize for my faith, nor will I boast in arrogance because of it. I can not boast in what Given to me, for that which I did nothing to garner or gain. I am simply stating a fact.
I am a Christian. I mean that to the fullest extent of that word: Christ-like, a follower of Christ, a disciple of Christ, a bother to Jesus, an adopted son of God, and mostly a man redeemed from his sin. I accept that I can do nothing good on my own. I accept that my good deeds and actions will not nor can they be a propitiation for my sin. I accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ to pay that debt. My life is not my own, but it is bought with a price; I offer my life to Jesus, He laid down his for me.
I am a Christian. I am not weak-minded, brain washed, or stupidly superstitious. I don’t need a crutch. I didn’t choose to be a Christian to finally find my fit in society. It was a my choice, and it was the most logical choice I have ever made.
Take a ride with me on the violent breakers and journey to the brink of despair, if you have the courage.
The Rooster’s Cry
I became a Christian at the age of 11. I later become a Lay Minister at the age of 13. By the time I was 17 or 18 years old, I preached regularly in my home church and around the Tri-State area. I have been given a gift. I have the ability to rip open my heart, dump it on a page or pour it through a microphone. Speaking in public was easy, once I allowed God to speak through me. I studied His Word daily and devoted my life to His Service. (I can hear the atheist scoffing at this, but please read further).
There was a true transformation when I took the platform and it was like I was plugged in to a power source. Things would come to my mind that I did not prepare and I would begin to speak on topics that were much needed by the audience. Things I did not prepare, nor was I given previous knowledge. I would speak to intimate details in people lives and help bind up deep and grievous wounds.
I was a lay minister until I was 23; it was at this point that I choose to walk a different path. Years of theological disparity and unanswered questions left me with a very bitter taste in my mouth. I felt that there were too many hypocrites and too many double standards in the Organizational Church Body. I simply stopping going to church. I was a musician, minister, and right hand man for a Church, and one day I just stopped going.
I remember the day it happened. I was driving on the Circle around the City of Lexington and I told God, “I am going down this other path, you want to change me…then change me, (but I am going this way).” Walking away had become my M.O.. I remember a girl breaking up with me, and it was 15 years before I looked at or even talked to her again. I saw here at least three times a week for about 5 years after we broke up. I was a hard individual.
I was so resolute in my positions that I let pain and grief build up until there wasn’t any place left in my heart or mind to store it. I had reached my capacity. This was my final act of sedition against anyone or anything that ever hurt me.
This was my first act of Denying Christ. (If you listen really close you can hear the lonely cock-a-doodle doo of the early morning harbinger)
My mission now was to find Truth, real truth, to crush this aching in my heart, this grief for God. Diving deep into my own mind to try to unravel the knots that bound me so tight proved to be exhausting and daunting, so I did what I do best…I cut the rope. I severed almost all ties with my past that was attached to Christianity, God, or Church family. My Genius would be revealed. This act of Self-Reliance was my first step toward Enlightened Freedom.
At this point, I had enrolled in College and was just being introduced to Thomas Paine, Emerson, Thoreau, and others who spoke out against the Religious machination called Christianity. I devoured and sucked these books clean down to the marrow; I was insatiable. The Christian friends with whom I still had contact with started receiving sarcastic and biting remarks about the idiocy of Faith and the juvenile behavior of worshipping an indifferent deity. Christians reminded me of uneducated natives dancing around fires gussied up in war paint. I thought, ‘How sad these little people are.’
During this period I would still occasionally attended a church service, to mock and jeer but to also make sure I kept one foot on base. If my new Enlightened Path was wrong, I didn’t want to have to go very far to be back in the Church.
That fear didn’t last too long, as I was becoming popular. There was an intoxicating power in being Self-Reliant. I exuded confidence, a confidence that Christianity held me back from, my true self. My knack for talking to the ladies increased drastically as did my tolerance for hard liquor. But those two rarely flowed well together.
My new friends and I would build up this Hollywood-esque fantasy about getting wasted and taking women home with us, but this almost never happened, for any of us. It was a waste of money. I drank way too much to actually enjoy it and the hangovers are just a lesson in lunacy. It wasn’t until I got alcohol poisoning and missed 3 days of work that I decided that life-style wasn’t my bag. So I cut back on drinking but continued to woo the ladies. I also began to impress my professors with my writing ability. My life was looking good, and I decided to wade a bit farther into the dark water.
I arrived at my next Enlightened Stage an auspicious night, just sitting in the living room with my roommate. The conversation had breached the subject of my rebellion and sedition.
My roommate said, “You really screwed God.”
I replied in earnest and arrogance, “No. He screwed me.”
————————-Stay Tuned for the Next Installment of “Rooster’s Cry”————————-