vintage…Rich Mullins

If you were around Christian music in the late 80’s and early 90’s then you know the name Rich Mullins. If you went to almost any protestant church in last 30 years then you know or have heard one or both of these two songs…”Awesome God” and “Step by Step“. Rich was an insightful songwriter and a wonderful musician who’s life was tragically cut short by a car wreck in September 1997. Rich lived what he believed and that is what has drawn me back to him these past couple of months.  I ran across this video of him on YouTube. I keep going back to it and listening to what he says in it. Funny part is it is not him singing…it’s him talking. I find that I keep going back to it and playing it again. I want to invite you to listen to it and see if it touches your heart too. It was shot at a concert of his in Lufkin, Texas shortly before he passed. It is about a 9 minute video…if you don’t have 9 minutes then come back later when you do…it’s worth it. 

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This is the part I can’t get loose from…

“Jesus said whatever you do to the least of these my brothers you’ve done it to me. And this is what I’ve come to think.

That if I want to identify fully with Jesus Christ, who I claim to be my savior and Lord, the best way that I can do that is to identify with the poor.

This I know will go against the teachings of all the popular evangelical preachers. But they’re just wrong. They’re not bad, they’re just wrong. Christianity is not about building an absolutely secure little niche in the world where you can live with your perfect little wife and your perfect little children in a beautiful little house where you have no gays or minority groups anywhere near you. Christianity is about learning to love like Jesus loved and Jesus loved the poor and Jesus loved the broken….”

Do you believe that?

If you believe it do you live like you do?

About Eddie Broussard

Bond servant to Jesus the Christ, want to be harvest worker (only a few out there).
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  • paulholderman

    Oh, man I miss the “Barefooted Ragamuffin”. He was surely one of a kind.
    Yes, I do believe this and try to live it with God daily. Having lived most of my life from paycheck to paycheck, one month away from homelessness at times, and now being without permenant fulltime work for 2 years, many may call that “failure”, but it has given me a very high sensitivity to how it feels to be American Poor. Not Haiti or African poor but pretty low on our food chain here in the USA. This helps to have experiences of being the outcast, rejected, and not so popular in certian circles.

    I feel this with desperation for the broken, poor, lost of people I see here in Hickory. Not just the homeless but, there is a good portion of 20-35 yr olds out there in our county who would not darken a churches doorstep, JUST BECAUSE they look different, have tattoos, piercings, may smell like smoke or their lifestyle may “stick out” in front of churchy people. It is also because they don't measure up to the clothes, cars and the economic status stuff they see at “church”.

    I have worked with them, talked with them, became friends with some over the past 10 years. They are so lost, hurting, looking for acceptance and alot of times hurt FROM the church. What really is the kicker here, I would love to invite them to church or a church – but there isn't one here, that doesn't present a very rich, white, cracker crust world. They wouldn't be caught dead in this enviroment. With me asking them to church scares them away and looses my credibility as a friend with them. They look at me differently then, like I am trying to “get them”.

    We have got to realize the whole church, everyone from janitor to pastor are designed to 1) glorify God and 2) make disciples. Every gift, position, and office held in our body is geared to help evangelize, teach, grow, pray, love these people in Hickory. That's it. That is our whole mission statement straight from Jesus. Meanwhile, we spend hundreds of dollars on youth ski trips, tens of thousands of dollars on furniture and renovations and there is some girl or man out there not able to eat or pay their rent, or wants to kick the drug habit but there is no one to trust or may not know how to contact someone for help. Right now there is girl 20 something who is “accepted” at her new found bar. The crowd “loves her” and she feels wanted there. She sleeps with everyone there and they all laugh about it. She has covered her body in large colorful tattoos and piercings. I sat next to her for 3 months everyday. I would talk with her, gained her trust, told her about myself and eventually who Jesus is to me. She stated, “They are all a bunch of hypocrites there.” “Could you see me at one of thiose places the way I look?!” I told her honestly no, but I would have no problem with it and Jesus certianly wouldn't. She said, “If Jesus shows to one those places tell me and I will come, besides, well you not from here, and the “good ol folks” wouldn't stop staring and I won't wake up early on a Sunday just to be critized and looked down upon.

    Church needs to do it better than the nightclubs, bars, and the hangouts. She is a “dedicated partier” because she thinks she is “loved”, and she could be a dedicated follower of Jesus if she just realizes that she is really loved and has a home. There are thousands of people like this right here, right now. One of them is my son. I do not know what to do and continue to pray for them and for Jesus to help bring something here, a place with the atmosphere of grace, where the word of God is taught carefully, methodically, and without the hype. Somewhere they would get help and love and not judgement.
    I know them well because I was one of them.

  • ebroussard

    Paul…thanks for your raw heart! Thanks for eloquently describing one of the greatest challagenes/opportunities we as Christ followers will have. Reaching those that will not show on Sunday morning (because that’s when most do their god work). That is why I am so drawn to guys like Rich Mullins. His focus was on loving those people to his Jesus. He valued community and the scripture but he loved and lived with the poor. Oh yea…that’s what Jesus did too.
    PS…there are some pretty cool places outside the church walls where this is starting to happen.
    Thanks again

  • Mahatmelissama

    It's amazing how we get it all right..then all wrong! Keeps us from thinking we don't need God. I have been raised in the church, kind of Liberal wide open-door tolerance..from them I ran from the broken emptyness with the infallible-view of the bible…but did not realise until later, I took the view of tolerance…loving those minorities and those gays. I became a inerrantist (fundamentalist is a term well-knocked into the fruitcake zone now on the right wing)…and proceeded to carve out my way in the non-dem place where Xtian rock was performed on stage for church. One day, I looked at one of the elders having a guitar solo during Amazing Grace and while I swear a bic lighter was held up…I felt…strangely unmoved. I felt we singers and musicians had gone perhaps a little too far in our quest for perfection and not enough Holy-Spirit worship. That church folded and I went to another one where I was in the choir and where I enjoyed the singles group, but I got mad at some things I felt were wrong in its spoke to a pastor there and left. I got to a place I felt had it right, an ad-hoc mix of high-churchers and low-churchers, burning the candle at both ends. We had endless debates, discussions on craedo baptism to women working outside the home. Then that church started to change. It seems to me to have become a sort of church-plant of itself. I then ended up checking out the Roman Catholic church a little and the Eastern Orthodoxy Church a little bit more…even attended classes on the Eastern Orthodoxy near me. Then as it happened, misery and pain happened in my life…and I ran not walked to the Word of God. I found myself clingning to the bible…the Holy Spirit was right there and a pastor was right there helping me at my church plant. While God revealed to me later to walk away from that church-plant from church parent church…it was to a non-demo church I ended up at. Ironically a church that is a plant of plant. It is bursting at the seems, it has so many coming to seek God's Word there. Geeky engrs that come in…sit uncomfortably shifting and running out before Communion. I find my journey has enriched not hurt my Protestant experience. I appreciate LENT, even if the way I talk about it can set off my friends who are higher up the candle then me (had that experience recently). I can see Christ clearly in some faces that *gasp* are Orthodoxy or Catholic. I can see sometimes sadly Christ lacking in some people who have come to church for years…God is everywhere but many seem to overlook him no matter if they have Creeds or not. Hope this post makes sense. God bless. +