Monday, May 30, 2005

February 1995

You know, I'm sitting here watching TV and all of a sudden I start thinking about Steven Shipley. The idea of starting a church in a house because you want to has a certain appeal. Bible studies, man! I miss serious Bible study in a group. I miss Mike McDermott, I miss Johnny, I miss the "hidden, secret" meetings in Marie's apartment, I miss Toledo Home Fellowship, I miss Solid Rock II, I miss Christian Assembly, I miss FCS (well...), I miss... I miss that sense of immediacy, of spontaneity, of closeness to God... the idea that you can crack open the Bible and that's all you need. The experience. Something tangible that you can grab ahold of and know that God is there. The correctness, the (seeming) sterility of having all your doctrines in a row isn't as important as the fellowship of believers with JESUS CHRIST!!! at the center of the conversation. I fear that I have lost something that will be well nigh impossible to regain.

But that kind of feeling is not impossible to capture and live within the Catholic Church! John Michael Talbot, man! Thomas Merton. Scott Hahn. Gerry Matatics. The list could go on forever of people who live a vibrant Catholicism. Then why can't I meet these people and go to Mass with them? Where is the vibrant Catholicism lived out on a parish level?
---journal, February 15, 1995

I was at work today and all of a sudden I started to think about Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker. Jimmy Swaggart and Jim Bakker, man. Heaven's hustler and God's Tom Vu. When I first got saved they were all I had. For the longest time Jimmy Swaggart was doing a study on the life of Christ (gospel of Mark) on his daily TV show, on the old channel 61. And I used to just watch this show, and the Sunday show which showed his crusades, and I soaked this stuff up. But Jim Bakker was my favorite. He could preach, he was funny.... The show was just entertaining. I can't really put my finger on what made his show attractive. But in my first days as a Christian I jumped on anything that looked good. Now, as a cynical and jaded old man, I don't put blind faith in anything.

But I miss those days....
---journal, February 16, 1995


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