Freak Unleashed!

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“As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
—Acts 4:20

“Those Jesus freaks, well, they’re friendly, but the shit they believe has got their minds all shut.”
—Frank Zappa

»Read Part 1: Cracking the User Manual
»Read Part 2: The Big Bang
»Read Part 3: Punch Drunk
»Read Part 4: Visitor from the Dark Side

EPILOGUE

One of the big differences between Jesus freaks and your average run-of-the-mill religious person is that the Jesus variety are absolutely convinced that everybody else on the planet needs to join the freak show too. Yes, there are a lot of really nice Christian folk out there who mercifully keep their religion to themselves. In fact, unless you actually catch them sneaking out for church some Sunday morning you might never discover their private sectual orientation. These tight-lipped Christians may have mild theological qualms about unbelievers, but in practice they’re pretty much content to reap the benefits of the Cross and American Dream and let the pagans wander their merry way down the road to perdition.

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Jesus freaks, on the other hand, wear themselves inside out. For them salvation is something to be advertised and they are God’s billboards along the freeway just this side of the final tollbooth. You can turn up the radio, flip down the visor, and stomp on the accelerator pedal, but you can’t ignore them. To make matters worse, Jesus freaks are convinced that your religious business is their business. Forget the “all roads lead to heaven” tripe; these people have got the freaking map for Christ’s sake and, come hell or high water, they’re going to point you to the Promised Land whether you like it or not. Some freaks may use more finesse than others, but whether they’re wielding a jelly roll or a jackhammer they’re determined to share the spiritual mother lode. This can be a bit disconcerting to the general public and may be a good reason to sanction limited religious persecution.

Which brings this whole episodic freakish account to its (second) intended conclusion. I started writing these posts in order to explain myself to curious bystanders, many of whom knew of my Christian bent but had no idea just how bent I really am. I tried to describe for them my unexpected and rather unreligious encounter with a decisively real God and to trace the early fallout. Basically, I wanted them to know whose fault I am.

IFreak[1] also hoped that my story might remind my faith fellows that the Gospel still has serious firepower. I am living proof that there’s still such a thing as radical redemption. To our progressive culture the message of salvation in Jesus alone may appear quaint or even discriminatory and counterproductive, but I’m Exhibit A that the Blood will never lose its power. I realize too that I may also be one of the best arguments that the Gospel isn’t exclusive enough, but then I’ve never claimed that God is normal. As they say, it is what it is.

Interestingly, as I was writing these posts, I discovered that I was also attempting to explain myself to me. Nobody is more astonished at my transformation than I am. I have never been drawn to religious observance of any kind. Even now I find pietistic exercise generally empty and unfulfilling. My story is not about religious zeal and discipline culminating in spiritual enlightenment. Mine is simply about an extraordinary grace and its aftermath. Telling it here reminds me of a love beyond all measure.

In other words, I can’t explain it.

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3 Responses

  1. Thanks, Fred. Imagine if folks actually believed as you have shown, that “all things have become new, the old has passed away.” (“All” in the Greek means “all”…same in Hebrew) The inhabitants of this mud ball would make one sweet freak show, indeed.

  2. Thanks, Fred. Imagine of the inhabitants of our mud ball believed as you have shown that “all things become new.” dk

  3. I just read your testimony and blogs, Fred. WOW! I COULDN’T stop reading. SO powerful! Thank you for passing this on and yes, I will most definitely send it to our N2 group. I found myself praying as I read through your writings “Lord, give me that insatiable hunger for prayer,” “Lord do that kind of transformation in my daughter.” “Lord, I want so much more of You in my life.” etc. Thank you for loving Jesus so radically, Fred.

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