Monday, June 19, 2006

Son of a Preacher Man

Jay Bakker is a cool guy.

I got to meet him and his wife Amanda last fall when he first spoke at my church, Open Door Community Church. He made a return visit this weekend and we got to hang out some more. For those of you who don't know, he's the son of televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. Say what you will about them, and many have, but if you want to see evidence of how God really used those two, look no farther than Jay. He's not perfect. But he uses his imperfections to show people God's perfect love. He has every reason to be bitter and crushed. But he's channeled all of those trials in to a passion and depth of conviction that is inspirational and magnetic. He is also going to accuse me of sucking up to him.

Tonight I got to watch a movie with him, my pastor Randy and his partner Gary, Michah, and Donald Bruce from the church. It was a documentary called "Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippie Preacher" about the impact upon the 70's Jesus Movement by Lonnie Frisbee and how he was nearly written out of its history when he was discovered to be gay and died of AIDS. It was a sad and tragic story, not because of Frisbee's failings, but because throughout his whole life he was used and then abandoned by everyone he trusted and loved. But it was beautiful too, because Lonnie was such a free spirit, wild and untamed and completely open to the work of God. He might have come a little unglued from LSD, but he proved that God will use who he wants to use. Millions came to know Christ through a crazy, ex-druggie, gay hippie who never quite got all his shit together. Truly, "God exalts the foolish things of this world to confound the wise." And, "His strength is made perfect in our weaknesses." Frisbee is airing this October on PBS. Check your local listings.

Jay and Amanda are moving to Brooklyn, New York, in August. Jay is beginning a new chapter in his ministry, Revolution, and Amanda is beginning med school. Jay is a New Yorker at heart, I can tell. He's selling his car next week. I'm jealous as all get-out. Stop by Revolution's website and show them a little love.

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