“That Guy”

Jesus Freak” by DC Talk on AmazonMusic
Jesus Freak” by DC Talk on Spotify

Our God has a sense of humor. How can you look at platypuses … platypi? … or armadillos or manatees or any number of other animals and not think so? With that in mind, let’s try something lighter-hearted, yet still with a point. There must always be a point. Right?

On August 1, 1995 a hip-hop/pop/Christian band called DC Talk released a song called “Jesus Freak.” I know! Right? 1995! That’s like ………. ancient history! Did they even have electric guitars back then? Microphones? Plexiglass protectors so the drummer could “let his hair down” and not overpower the entire auditorium? Laser lights? Live concerts? Truly ancient. I was almost 37 at the time. Hmm. Ancient.

I find it ironic that I’m using this song today almost 26 years to the day of its release. A God thing? Always.

According to Wikipedia (not the best but definitely the fastest source): “DC Talk member Toby McKeehan, writer of the song’s lyrics, wrote the song to be a bold declaration of love for Jesus Christ, even in the midst of persecution…. McKeehan took the song’s title from the derogatory 1970s term “Jesus freak” and turned it on its head; he noted that when he was looking up the word “freak” in the dictionary, he saw an entry that said “ardent enthusiast.””

The term “Jesus freak,” coined in the late 1960’s was originally derogatory, aimed at anyone whose life was totally sold out to Jesus. Eventually, the derogatory name was embraced by those same Jesus-loving people. “Jesus freaks” were totally sold out to Jesus. They stood on street corners and talked about Jesus’ love and handed out copies of the new “Good News for Modern Man,” New Testament Bible translation. I don’t remember how I got it but I had one.

When I was 15, I became a Christian. I was well into my addiction to pornography and masturbation. I gave my life to Christ but my secrets remained hidden. No one knew; no one asked. My salvation was assured but my life showed no transformation.

I developed a disdain for these “Jesus freaks.” They were “that guy” I never wanted to be. They were weird. They were fanatics. They talked openly about Jesus and His Love. They loved Jesus with all their heart; totally sold out. They knocked on doors. They stood on street corners, publicly, openly declaring their love for Jesus and His for them. I did not want to be counted among them.

As I look back, I admit I was embarrassed. I was afraid God would ask me to be like them. I didn’t trust Him to care about my struggles (didn’t know it was an addiction). In my addiction I developed an iron-clad façade. As long as I stayed within my Christian circles and didn’t venture out into that “freaky” world of Jesus lovers, I was safe from exposure.

Fast forward four decades. Imagine my shock when God recently revealed to me my Recovery – my God ordained, Jesus created, Holy Spirit directed Recovery – made me “that guy.” The guy I should have been. The guy I refused to be – a Jesus freak.

I … AM … A … JESUS FREAK!

I have happily become the guy I loathed in my youth, the guy my addiction would not tolerate. I am a Jesus freak!

Occasionally, with the celebration of that revelation, comes regret. I can’t forget – I don’t want to forget – the years with Him, with Lynn, I squandered in my addiction. It helps me never to return. However, my Father is Redeeming those years. It’s what He does, Who He is. He brings Joy, Freedom and new life. He is Redeeming Lynn’s & my past. Every day.

What will people think
When they hear that I’m a Jesus freak?
What will people do when they find that it’s true?
I don’t really care if they label me a Jesus freak
There ain’t no disguising the truth
– Chorus from Jesus Freak by DC Talk

Freedom is a gift from God. It is also His Promise; and He ALWAYS keeps His Promises.

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