Rich: Yeah and especially in a day when so much emphasis and so much pressure is put on us to esteem ourselves I kind of go, wow, I don’t know how anyone can wake up with morning breath and pillow head and feel any self esteem. (laughing) That is not the sort of thing I want to put my faith in. And in the church it is unbelievable to me that this whole foolishness about esteeming yourself has leaked into the church. I kind of go, “Christ didn’t ask us to esteem ourselves.” I think if Christ were asked, I think He would probably say, “Look buddy, you would be lucky if you could forget yourself. If you could lose yourself, you would be luckier than if you found yourself.” It would be wonderful if you knew the names of the trees between your house and where you work, between your house and your church. If you knew that that was a tulip tree and you knew that that was a red bud. It would be great if you knew the names of the constellations. It would be great if you knew something about your neighbor. It would be a lucky thing for you if you forgot yourself, if you lost yourself. I remember when my brother and his fiancé were eating a meal with us and it was absolutely sickening because we were trying to eat here and they were staring at each other in the eyes and I’m going, “Golly, can you not wait until football.” And then I realized, wow, what a terrific thing when you are so in love that you forget how obnoxious love looks to everybody else. (Rick laughing in background). How I wish we were all French. Although I really appreciate modesty and I detest public displays but nevertheless, what a wonderful thing when you are so caught up in a moment when you are so lost in an experience that you forget to straighten your tie or to comb your hair. Why esteem yourself? Forget yourself. You’ll have a lot more fun.
Rich: A lot of times we think something spiritual is happening and it is merely aesthetics. That is why it always bugs me at the end of a concert someone will say, “Wow the Spirit really worked” and I kind of go, “How would you even be able to know that? It was so noisy in here tonight. How would you know if the Spirit was working?” “Well, I was really moved.” Well, that is an emotional thing. That’s not a spiritual thing. A spiritual thing is folding your clothes at the end of the day. A spiritual thing is making your bed. A spiritual thing is taking cookies to your neighbor that is shut in or raking their front lawn because they are too old to do it. That’s spirituality. Getting a warm, oozy feeling about God is an emotional thing. There is nothing wrong with it. I think there is nothing more practical than real spirituality. But nothing more fun than just a good heartfelt emotional experience of God because I think emotions are good. They are only dangerous when we come away from an experience where we were emotionally manipulated and we confuse that with being convicted. I think conviction – there is an emotion that accompanies that but it certainly goes deeper than just coming away going, “Oh isn’t God neat? Two different worlds.”
I think the big problem is that, as Christians, we forgot that our identity is wrapped up in Christ and for a long time we bought into the illusion that the will of the masses would be more generous and more benevolent than the will of one dictator. But democracy isn’t necessarily bad politics, its just bad math. A thousand corrupt minds are just as evil as one corrupt mind.Rich Mullins
John Rivers: 20: The Countdown Magazine remembers Rich Mullins.
Rich: I’m very hurt at the apathy in the church. I’m very hurt over the determination of the government to destroy life and its not simply over the abortion issue. Anyone who has any awareness at all of Wounded Knee, not only the first Wounded Knee but what happened there, what 20 years ago, whatever. You kinda go, there can be no doubt that governments that are controlled by men are without exception anti-life and anti-Christ.
Rich: I think for a long time I believed that there would be political solutions because, growing up in America, you endure several political campaigns and these people make promises and they say, we will do this and we will do that and you believe them because you don’t know any better. And I really believed for a long time that this was all going to work. And I thank God now for Richard Nixon and for Gerald Ford and for all those people who betrayed any confidence that the American people could have in their government who said that the leadership of this country is not accountable to the people who elect them and who made so clear what we now know that no government works. And I wanted the government to work. And what I have now realized is I used to make fun of the sentimental feeling of the church that there was an afterlife. I used to mock songs about Heaven. And I used to think that it was somehow stupid and even wicked to dream of Heaven and to long for Heaven. And now I see the kind of a horrible place earth really is. And I go hiking and I go, this could be so beautiful. I met the guy last night sweeping the stairs down there and I talked to this very gentle man, a very kind man, a very simple man and I thought, how could a world made up of people like this be such a horrible place. And then I pick up the paper and read about dishonesty and deceit and betrayal and all that and go, I do long for Heaven. Someday God will destroy injustice. Someday there will be a judgment and because we have a loving and a forgiving Father, maybe we’ll survive it. If we don’t, sometimes I think hell is better than what we deserve anyway.
Blessing to you.