My Friend, Jesus Christ

One month after he sang about Jesus Christ at a church in Lufkin, Texas, Rich Mullins rolled his jeep on a freeway in Kansas, got thrown from the vehicle because he never wore seat belts, stood up from where he had landed, and got hit by a semi that had swerved in the darkness to miss hitting Mullins’ jeep. In that instant, Rich met Jesus face to Face . . . or he didn’t.

I have written about “my possibly imaginary Friend,” Jesus Christ, herein, and how I came to believe in him as a boy, then lose my faith in him during my adolesence under the intoxicating influence of too much sex, drugs, and rock & roll, and then got hit by the semi truck that He can be sometimes when I had mistakenly started praying, “God, please lead me to do your will,” back when I was twenty and so screwed up in my thinking that I had the New Age mystic notion that I was “God,” and that praying such a prayer might help me to get more of the sex, drugs, and rock & roll that I back then so craved.

What? You say you haven’t heard that story? You must be new to The Happy Narcissist, huh? Go back and read the first few chapters of this blog. Hell, go back to the first chapter and read the whole damned thing! Go ahead. Do it. It’ll be good for ya. I promise. We’ll wait.

Meanwhile, the rest of us can ponder this picture of me at twenty and bemoan . . . or laugh about . . . the ravages of time . . .

Me At Twenty

And here’s a picture of me these days . . . ah hell, I’m still a handsome man!

Me At Sixty Four

OK! You’re back, huh. Read my entire blog now from start to here, have you? Good for you. GOOD STUFF, ain’t it!

So where was I? Oh yeah . . . Jesus.

When I was twenty one and finally back in school at Arizona State University . . . whence I’d previously dropped out after getting arrested there for possessing a baggie of marijuana that the cops found in my sock under my bell bottom jeans after they had illegally searched me for a second time, not having found it during my first pat down that they had ineffectually completed but knowing damned well, and accurately so that “this hippie must have some dope on him” that they searched me again . . . I was now sitting in my huge history class of Rome 101 during the fall of my now sophomore year of college.

A fellow student way in the back of the large lecture hall asked our young professor, “Is there any historic evidence for Jesus Christ?”

“No,” our professor answered authritatively. “But you have to understand that where the person they call ‘Jesus’ lived was in the far flung reaches of the ancient Roman empire, kind of like the ‘arm pit’ of ancient Rome.”

The class either sat in shocked silence or nodded their heads in smug smartassedness at our professor’s seemingly conclusive answer.

“Now wait a minute,” I said, not waiting for my raised hand to be called on. “What constitutes ‘historical evidence?’”

My professor looked at me like I must have been sleeping through his class for the last two months since it started that fall.

“Don’t ‘eye witness accounts’ or ‘letters written from the time’ constitute ‘historical evidence?’”

Our professor suddenly knew where I was going with my own version of the Socratic method, and he kind of softly gulped, took a step back from the podium to gather himself, and meekly responded, “Well, of course they do . . . but IF you are referring to the writings that make of the New Testament of the Bible, you must also be aware that those same writings contain references to the supernatural, i.e. ‘miracles.’”

Having so recently encountered the “supernatural, i.e. miracles,” myself, I said, “So? Those writings still constitute ‘historical evidence,’ don’t they? And considering that the bibliographic record for the writings of the so-called New Testament are a veritable mountain compared to the scant mole hill of a record that modern historians have for the writings of Plato or Aristotle, who no one doubts existed, what difference should THAT make?”

“Well . . . um . . . er,” our professor stammered.

Now I personally liked the guy. He was a good professor, and I truly believe that he wasn’t intending to be a religious bigot with his initial answer to my fellow student, although that answer certainly played well into the hands of the actual religious bigots who were also in the class, but he’s the one who had skated out onto thin ice, no make that non-existent ice, with his too blithe and factually incorrect answer to an honest question in the first place, and if he was now going to drop out of sight into the drink because of that blitheness or bigotry, I was sure as hell going to enjoy the spectacle!

“Actually,” our professor now said softly, “There is no reason to doubt the historicity of Jesus Christ.”

“I’m sorry, Professor,” I lied now taking my victory lap, and I lied again when I said, “I couldn’t hear what you just said. Could you please say that again only louder this time?”

“I said, ‘THERE IS NO REASON TO DOUBT THE HISTORICITY OF JESUS CHRIST,’” the man rightly corrected himself and then quickly moved on with his lecture.

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