Brad Stine Mini-Cast
I’m A Christian & I Will Stand Strong
Now, here’s the deal. I remember years ago, and I don’t know if I told you guys this story, and if I did, stop me. But I remember, when I was in high school, okay? I attended a church and it was high school, and I was younger, and this was back in the day when you went to church, you went on Wednesday nights, Bible study. You went on Sunday mornings, Bible study. And after Bible study or Sunday school, you went to service. And then Sunday night you went to church. Church was what you did, right? And I was a Christian at nine, that’s when I got saved, so I always was a Christian and I was trying to live this life as effectively as I could, okay?
So, anyways, they used to have these people that would come into the church and do revivals. Now these were singers from Liberty University. This was back in the 70s, so Liberty I think started in ’74 or ’72, is when they started it, somewhere in that. This wasn’t that many years later, that they were running their university, and they bring in these singers, these whatever, six, eight, four women, four men. They’d sing, they’d do revivals, they would preach.
So I got talking to one of these guys that was one of the singers, he must have been, who knows what he is, 21, 22 at that time, right? Maybe 23. And he’s talked to me about, “You got to live this Christian life, you got to be a good Christian.” He said, “What I want you to do, is I want you to get your Bible, and when you go to school in the morning, I want you to bring your Bible and I want you to carry it with you from class to class.” Now there’s what six, seven classes in high school. And you go to your lockers and you switch your books. You go from History to Math and Math to, of course, in my case that was Calculus, and thermal nuclear fusion. I did that a lot.
Oh. So in course of lying.
Yes. I also dealt with a lot of, with compulsive …
Yeah I guess pick pocketing, that’s the mistake for that one.
Yeah, pick pocketing. Yes. That’s how I funded my schooling, actually. Thank God for other people’s pockets. But you’d switch out the books.
Well, this guy told me, “I want you to carry your Bible to all the different classes with you all the time. You got your Bible. The reason I want you to do that is because people are going to ask you about it. They’re going like, “Why do you bring a Bible everywhere you go?” And it’s going to give you a chance to talk to them about Jesus.” He wanted me to say, “Well, I believe that Jesus is God, I think this book talks about him. And let me tell you about him.” And you know, that was his game plan. Let’s bring a Bible and walk from class to class with your Bible and people are going to just come up to you and really want to know all about your Bible and be excited to hear about your Bible. Why are you chuckling, Wyatt? I sense that you think something’s coming that wasn’t quite what I was anticipating.
Oh, it’s just like, I feel this inkling that I know where this story’s going to go.
Well, we’ll find out. Where do you think it’s going to go?
Nowhere. Well, it went somewhere. So, I would do it. And I’m going to be perfectly honest, I felt embarrassed. It was just weird. I’m walking around in school with my Bible and it just felt odd. Like, I shouldn’t be just carrying my Bible around. Nobody else carries their Bible around and I just feel odd, like I’m making a spectacle of myself. But I thought, “Well, if this is how I’ll be a great witness, I’m going to keep doing this thing.”
So there was a kid that was in the gym, sitting with some of the guys up on the stage. And I was in Indiana at that time, Northern Indiana, that were some kind of hillbillies then back in those days, kind of what you’d call redneck, not real sophisticated. I was walking past this kid and he goes, “Hey, you Jesus freak.” That was perfect timing. He said, “Hey.”
Is that the kid back to? Who’s just texting you from like the other side of the world. “Hey, Jesus Freak, remember me?”
Yeah. Well he said … Yeah, right, exactly. It’s like, “You promised you’d never tell that story.”
Anyways he said, “Hey, Jesus, freak.” He yelled at me. And so I remember just being mortified, like, “This is embarrassing, oh my gosh, he’s yelling Jesus freak. Oh my …” Now I thought maybe people would be interested. Like the guy promised, they’re going to come up and say, “Tell us about your Bible. Tell us more about this Jesus that’s in that Bible. I can’t wait to hear about this Bible you carry around.” And instead I’m mocked and ridiculed in my own little town filled with lots of Christians, little conservative town in Indiana. This guy’s calling me a Jesus freak.
I went and put my Bible away, didn’t carry it again. We ended up in PE class together, me and this kid, and we were playing a baseball inside in the gym. We would play because you couldn’t go outside. It was freezing in the winter. So we played baseball, kind of a softball thing. I was playing second base and this guy was up and he got a hit. And he came around. He was running first and I was at second and I got right in front of him and I slammed down my feet like I was going to catch the ball and he had like stopped. And like, I was in his face, like, “I dare you to try and run me over because I will knock your butt down.” And he’s like, “What is up?” And I got in his face. I tore into this guy. I just was angry.
Now this was maybe a week or two later, but I was so mortified and so insulted this guy would call me a Jesus freak. And here he was, and now I want to lay him out. Now I’m thinking somehow if my goal was to be a good loving Christian witness to this redneck hillbilly, maybe challenging to beat the crap out of him isn’t what you normally find in the gospels. I don’t even think it’s in First or Second Corinthians. I’m not even sure that’s in Romans where God said, “Hitteth him in the faceth to draweth him closer to the Lordeth.” Do you know anything about that? Are you …
Closest I remember is, “Giveth plentyeth of wedgieth.”
Ah, but that was the third grade version of the Bible.
The third grade translation. Timmy, yeah. He needs to know how to deal with his problem. Yeah. So my point was that I didn’t do it well. That’s the point I’m trying to make. I wanted to make a statement, make a stand for my faith. “I’m a Christian guy and I will stand strong. I’ll walk with my Bible.” The second I was mocked, I was ridiculed, the second I was insulted, I folded. I’m 18 years old, right, maybe 17. I don’t remember. 17, 18. Put the Bible away, was like, “I can’t take being insulted.” Don’t like to be maligned. Don’t like to be lied about, don’t like to be made fun of. Who does? But I don’t like it. And I have a tendency or have had to fight the urge to want to fight back. Physically. Because I don’t like it.
Now, Wyatt, my son who you’ve never seen, never will, he’s a myth.
He may not even be real.
He’s ethereal. He’s not even here as we speak, he’s not here. He’s calling this in from some kind of other dimension, some string theory, right? You believe that, right?
For all you know, I could be three little Timmys in a trench coat.
You could be three Timmys in a trench coat, I never thought about that. By the way, that was my first band three Timmy in a trench coat. Did I ever tell you that? Anyways, I …
Yes, of course. But I wanted people to think of me as this good guy and this Christian guy, you know. I did believe in it. I didn’t drink in high school. I didn’t go to parties in high school. I didn’t smoke and I always played baseball. I played sports. So that was part of it too. But it was a small town. And if you were drinking or smoking or whatever, people would know. And you’d go to church and people would know. So I didn’t really have any fun in high school like that. Right? I didn’t party, right? And I dealt with that over the years. I felt like I missed, you just felt like you never fit in. You didn’t really have anywhere to go. You weren’t part of the group. Not that I wanted to go out and get drunk or whatever, because I don’t. But you still felt like you weren’t part of something, that you didn’t get to fit in. And that was bothersome. And that bothered me and so forth.
And so here I was as a young kid, immature, fragile. We’re young. Everything we know about in high school, we think matters. Isn’t that the case? The biggest mistake you make in high school is thinking it matters because it doesn’t. You can be out of high school your senior year, six months, and now look back at the new crop coming in of seniors and go, “Oh my gosh, we are a lot more mature than them. Look at these punks.” You always think you’re more mature than you are. You always think you’re more advanced than you are. You always think you have the insight that nobody else has.
This is the problem, the fight, the battle of pride that every human being endures. We always think we’re better than the guy next to us. Now we will say we’re not. “Hey, I don’t think I’m any better than you.” And we’ll say that, thinking we’re better than you for saying that. We are always looking for ways to justify our point of view, to make us feel better about ourselves even if it acts as though we’re trying to show that we don’t really care what you think. I do care what you think. When somebody says, “I don’t really care what you think about me.” What they’re really saying is, “I care what you think about me.” So by saying, “I don’t care what you think about me.” It’ll show that I don’t care, because I do.