God is Love and Love is Real But the Dead are Dancing With the Dead

Yesterday I took you up to my 16th year. This post will deal with my from 16 to about 19 ending up at the beginning of summer So I jumped into the youth group at the Lutheran church that had the day school I had attended for JR. High. I also started to attend Christian punk and alternative music shows. I did a lot in the name of the lord. I was doing a lot of stuff in the name of Jesus but didn’t know him; I was going to and promoting Christian punk and hardcore shows and was publishing a magazine out of my bedroom, all the while leaving a double life, helpless to sin.

I also began to off and on read and study the bible. I read the bible so I could apply it to YOUR life. All that catechizing came in handy as I was able to find the texts I needed to make myself look better than you. In a biblically illiterate church it wasn’t all that hard. We used to have this bible study were we would read a portion of scripture and then go around and say what we though it meant to us. No one every stopped us and said, “I don’t care what it means to you I want to know what god meant it to mean.”

All of this allowed me to point out who I was not this but that and what YOU should be. I didn’t listen to secular music or smoke or have sex (unless you were willing to). I was right in my own I eyes. Jesus was just what I was trying to be like under my own power. And no one in my faith community was going to tell me otherwise. I was out of control.

Fast forward to December of 2000. I was single which was not rare by any stretch (I wouldn’t let my daughter date me back then.). I attended a regional Lutheran gathering and meet Sara. Sara was cute and more importantly malleable; you see for those of you who don’t know me personally, I have a really strong personality and lots of opinions and like to argue and convince you of all the reasons I’m right and you should side with me. For those of you who do know me think of me with less constraint, more youthful angst and an uncheck sin nature. Anyhow me and this girl hit it off and start to date. She becomes God. I spend the next year trying to mold her to my desires, making her and myself miserable in the process (side note: ladies, if ALL of your friends and family have trouble with the guy there is probably something wrong with him…and you.).

This all came to head in December of 2001. Sara took a trip to Colorado over winter break and so enjoyed not being around me she decided to continue it when so got home. The only problem is she didn’t really. We were just friends but every day after she got out of school she was at my house, laying on my bed with me for hours. I spent that entire spring trying to get back together with her. I was on my best behavior. Sorta. I was hopelessly depressed and no matter what I offered at the altar of her my offering was despised.

I need to back up for a minute her and talk to you about my theological thinking for a minute; I had some friends in a Christian punk band who shared Calvinism with me and a close friend in a venue parking lot one night. I really hated the doctrines of Grace but at the same time knew deep down that those five points were the case. I spent the next two to two and half years trying to disprove it to myself and others. This wasn’t hard while I was interacting in Lutheran circles which had a really strong

Enter Grace Bible Church. Grace bible church was and is a reformed non denominational bible church that LOVES the gospel and the doctrines of Grace. Sara had a twin sister who had a young life friend who went to this bible believing, gospel loving church (you get all that?). I started to attend Grace off and on with Sara in the evenings. The music was really good and they preacher was really engaging and it was something to do with her. When things got bad with her it was the only guaranteed place I knew I would see her during the week. So I kept going out of a desire to provide a context to see her. Also importantly some time during the winter of 2001 or spring of 2002 I came to accept the doctrines of grace in my mind but didn’t tell anyone.

So I’m doing the Lutheran thing in the mornings and going to this bible church in the evenings. I’ve become a closet Calvinist and am desperately in love with Sara who will have none of it but won’t leave completely for whatever reason. There is a lyric to a song by a band I like that goes like this, “you know who I am…you held my hem as I traveled blind, Listening to the whispering in my ear, soft but getting stronger.” God was on the move. More to come tomorrow.

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