Once upon a time I was a college student at a strict fundamental Baptist university and on one particular evening in the Fall of 1978 I was actually even studying. Or trying to. Sitting at my desk beneath the stark glare of a flourescent bulb, I was tapping my pen on a spiral notebook. It dawned on me I was tapping in rhythm with a bass beat coming through the cinderblock wall from the other side. I leaned into the wall and listened more closely. No, it couldn’t be! Not at this college!
The ire rose within. In that defining moment, it was apparent that something must be done before the integrity of the school would be buried in a mudslide of evil. It was incumbent upon me to stand in the gap and defend her honor! So I threw on a robe and stuck my feet in some flip flops and marched next door. Their door was open and I sardonically observed the room was full of guys, so I entertained the thought of living to fight another day, but it was too late. I was already spotted.
“C’mon in!” Brad waved.
How could I? I would be complicit with evil! “No, thanks, but could you guys turn down the music? I’m trying to study. Better yet, turn it off.”
“Turn it off?” his big, brawny weightlifter roommate Jim was puzzled.
“Yeah. You know…we’re not supposed to listen to…”
“To what?” the room was beginning to turn on me real fast. I had gone this far. Might as well take it the distance.
The room erupted in raucous laughter. “Rock music? Rock music? You gotta be kidding! This is the Imperials. They’re a Christian group,” Brad informed me.
“But it’s got a beat. It’s wrong…” I pleaded for their souls. The mood of the room told me I would get no penitent sinners at the altar of invitation on this night. I wanted to crawl into a hole. Why couldn’t I have just reported them to the dorm supervisor? And here I was, a freshman, standing up to two seniors. Whatever got into me?
Balance that night against what happened to me just the other night. I was on the internet and came across a page endorsing a Christian book, a best-selling book, and when I saw the author’s name, I said to myself, “It couldn’t be…” Not Brad! Surely not…But as I investigated further, I discovered it was one and the same, and not only had my buddy Brad turned into an influential writer for church reformation but he was also the senior pastor of a church up north where 13,000 parishioners gathered each weekend for worship. It was the fastest growing church in the state!
I’ve considered jetting Brad an email, telling him I am sorry for my overzealous judgment on that fateful night long ago, that I’ve changed, that the Imperials are tame compared to what I listen to now, but since I’ve not written a book and my church averages below 200, he probably wouldn’t remember me. Or care. And maybe that’s a good thing. I’d just as soon have the memory of that Bay of Pigs incident forgotten forever.
Oops, too late. I just told you.