Rich Mullins – A voice from the past
As Americans, we tend to create heroes. We create idols, e.g., movie stars, and recording artists. How often have people on the front lines of this pandemic been referred to as heroes (no negativity intended)? For a variety of reasons, we always seem to put certain people on pedestals. Why is that?
And then there’s people that do great things and leave a legacy that transcends time.
Well, Rich Mullins is one person that I admire for his wisdom. And from what I’ve read, he was not well accepted by evangelical Christians when he was alive. He’s story is told in the 2014 movie Ragamuffin. It’s worth watching. Anyway, he left us years ago, but he left an unmatched legacy, at least for me. Here are a few words of his from long ago that are fitting for today’s chaotic world. Being honest with ourselves is one of the hardest things to do. And right now, it seems fitting that all Bible-believing Christians should be examining their walk.
I think I would rather live on the verge of falling and let my security be in the all-sufficiency of the grace of God than to live in some pietistic illusion of moral excellence. Not that I don’t want to be morally excellent but my faith isn’t in the idea that I’m more moral than anybody else. My faith is in the idea that God and His love are greater than whatever sins any of us commit.
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 your 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.
I don’t know that the United States is God’s Country, but the church has been so strong here, and because of its influence, we hold life to be sacred and we believe that individuals have dignity. This is part of our legacy. – Rich Mullins
The hardest part of being a Christian is surrendering and that is where the real struggle happens. Once we have overcome our own desire to be elevated, our own desire to be recognized, our own desire to be independent and all those things that we value very much because we are Americans and we are part of this American culture. Once we have overcome that struggle then God can use us as a part of His body to accomplish what the body of Christ was left here to accomplish.
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 about learning to love like Jesus loved and Jesus loved the poor and Jesus loved the broken-hearted.
It’s a cultural disability in America that we worship pleasure, leisure, and affluence. I think the church is doubly damned when they use Jesus as a vehicle for achieving all of that. Like, if you give a tithe, He’ll make you rich. Why? Are you hacking Him off or something? If you give a tithe, you get rid of ten percent of the root of all evil. You should be giving ninety percent. Cause God can handle money better than we can.
Deliver us from evil – from moral duplicity and weakness, from laziness and spiritual complacency, from those lies we tell ourselves from our fear of facing the truth.
Never forget what Jesus did for you. Never take lightly what it cost Him. And never assume that if it cost Him His very life, that it won’t also cost you yours.
Love is found in the things we’ve given up, more than in the things that we have kept.
It’s all that pretending to be perfect that breeds in-authenticity in the church.
We were given the Scriptures to humble us into realizing that God is right, and the rest of us are just guessing.
Be God’s – Rich Mullins (His sign off)