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Are You a Religious Mutt?

I hate being labeled. So when someone recently asked me about my religious background, I described myself as a religious mutt. I suppose the term could appear derogatory, but I don’t see it that way. In fact, I kind of revel in advocating mutt-ism.

Part of it comes from my personal religious experience.

I was raised a Catholic. Attended nine years of Catholic school, K thru 8, part of which required me to go to mass every weekday and regularly serve as an altar boy. The Catholic church definitely left a mark. But once I graduated and went into the public school system, everything came unglued. It started with pot and, by the time I graduated high school, peaked with a fairly steady diet of hallucinogens (LSD, peyote, psilocybin). During that time, I delved into the occult and various forms of Eastern mysticism. The catalyst for my return to a more orthodox faith revolved around my quest for “ego death” and Out of Body Experiences using principles found in The Tibetan Book of the Dead and psychedelics.

This ended badly.

The Catholic Church had lost me, but its doctrinal scaffold had remained. At that point, I returned, rather dramatically to those Christian roots. Which began a whole other jaunt through the religious landscape. I got “saved” in an Evangelical church. I was baptized in a mountain stream by a friend who’d also just become a “Christian.”  After several years, we migrated to a Charismatic church and I began learning about things like speaking in tongues and the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. From there, it was on to the Vineyard movement, with their emphasis on signs and wonders, worship, and social justice. Before long, I snapped back to something more conservative and less experiential / experimental and began studying the Reformed faith. While I loved their rigorous approach to Scripture, I struggled with some elements of their system. So I kept truckin’. Along the way, I visited home churches, liturgical churches, Greek Orthodox, and Southern Baptist.

The underlying conviction produced by this religious hopscotch was 1.) The family of God is big, 2.) No one denomination or system has a corner on the market of truth, and 3.) Scripture is — or should be — the one constant.

Which is one reason I don’t mind being a religious mutt.

But there’s something else. I am deeply suspicious of groupthink and resistant to the suggestion that any one doctrinal system or religious group can contain God. In my article, Why I am Not a Calvinist, my first point was this:

No one human system perfectly codifies and articulates all Truth.

Possibly my biggest concern about Calvinism is the fervency of its proponents. (I know of several churches that have split over this issue.) There is, in my experience, a type of rigid devotion to “the system,” as if it were almost equal to Scripture. We must remember that John Calvin was a man ( a young man, at that), who developed and refined his theology over time. While it may align itself on many fronts with God’s Word, to suggest Calvinism or Reformed Theology — or any other denomination or creed — is THE summation of Scripture, is stupid.

I don’t mean to pick on Calvinism, but rather to illustrate that no one system encapsulates all Truth. Which is why I think Christendom is so broad and being a religious mutt is just fine.

The question us religious mutts need to ask, I suppose, is not how many different “breeds” we are, but whether or not we are simply a canine. Entrance to heaven is a matter of heart, not pedigree. Even those of us with religious mange can find acceptance. (If only more churches / shelters would accept us.)

Perhaps my type of religious wandering is unique to Americans. I don’t know. But even though I’ve settled down, my faith still seems cobbled together by lots of elements. I’m okay with that. I don’t need to identify myself with any one denomination or brand. And I don’t mind viewing myself as a religious mutt.

In the end, what matters is not that you’re a specific breed, but that you are a specific species. As long as you’re a canine, what does it matter if you’re a mutt?

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{ 40 comments… add one }
  • Kat Heckenbach August 6, 2012, 6:49 AM

    I am totally a religious mutt. I grew up Southern Baptist, but quit church as soon as I was old enough that my parents couldn’t make me go anymore. I took my own trip down the pot-smokin’, acid-trippin’ road (but without the occult experimentation), and then when I got cleaned up, I met my husband, who had grown up Catholic and abandoned that church around the same time I’d given up on mine. A few years after getting married we had kids…and we realized we wanted those kids to have a church home, but we were desperate to NOT have one where denomination was the defining factor of salvation.

    We have tried so many denominations, and churches that claim non-denomination. We’re now at a Methodist church, but I don’t consider myself Methodist. Just Christian. A mutt, with no desire to be a pure breed.

    I love what you say here: “Scripture is — or should be — the one constant.” THAT is my whole belief. The BIBLE is where God’s word is found. Church, denomination–those are means of worship, with their own distinctive styles. The problem is that too many denominations (or at least churches within given denominations, or even non-denominational which becomes its own denomination) get caught up in the idea that their doctrines somehow outweigh scripture. That attitude–our way or the highway–is what has driven us from other churches.

  • Ramona August 6, 2012, 7:07 AM

    I use the term “patchwork Protestant,” for many of the same reasons (although I was Catholic for awhile). Our journeys are similar in theme if conducted in a slightly different order. I believe it’s beneficial for you people to experience different denominations and doctrines, to walk in many shoes (so to speak). I think that once they decide which path is theirs, they’ll walk it with more conviction and many questions, but with less doubt. I still have lots of questions. Fortunately for me, I work in Christian publishing…

  • Lynette Sowell August 6, 2012, 7:42 AM

    I love being a mutt. I think it makes me more accepting of others whose Christian walk is different from mine. I think it makes me less judgmental. I was Catholic until 11, then mom & dad entered the Catholic Charismatic movement which segued us into Pentecostal churches. During college I attended an Evangelical Free church as well as a Brethren in Christ Church. Moved out into the grownup world and back into Pentecostal church. Now I attend a Baptist church but I don’t consider myself a Baptist, just a Christian. I find myself coming back to Jesus’s words to the woman at the well: God is spirit and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth. She was all set to argue with him about the best place to worship, like all good ‘religious’ people do, thinking theirs is best. I like Jesus’s approach to the whole idea. 🙂

  • Jeremiah August 6, 2012, 7:43 AM

    I never thought of calling myself a religious mutt…and maybe that’s partly because I’m still in the early stages of forming my theological beliefs (no matter how sure I sometimes am that I have all the answers 😉 ). But I totally agree with the post in general- the Gospel is what makes us Christians, and as long as that has been embraced and …for lack of a better phrase, partaken of, we are all the same in the most important area. We’re all Christ-followers.
    We’ve been going to reformed churches for almost five years and grown more during that time than all the time we’ve spent in other churches, but we don’t consider ourselves calvinists! So maybe I am a sort of religious mutt.

  • Jessica Thomas August 6, 2012, 7:59 AM

    Perhaps I’m one of a strange breed that lumps it all under the term “Christian”, including Catholicism. I know Catholics thinks they’re right and Protestants think they’re right. Charasmatics think they’re right. I think they’re all right as long as they adhere to the main basic tenets.

    I’ve always attended restoration churches (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Restoration_Movement), so I think that explains why I think it’s weird for a Christian to answer the question “What religion are you?” with “Methodist.” Wha? Do they really think Methodists are different than Baptists? If so, I think they best go study the Good Book some more.

    Because of the above, I guess I don’t see you as a mutt, Mike. I just see you as a follower of Christ, a.k.a Christian. But, I don’t have a problem with the term “mutt” either. If I had a dog, it’d be a mutt because I can’t afford pure-breed medical bills.

    • Greg Mitchell August 6, 2012, 9:04 AM

      Yeah, someone asked me what “religion” I was: Baptist, Methodist, etc.. I told them I was *Christian*, but I go to a Baptist Church. They kind of looked at me weird.

      • Mirtika August 6, 2012, 9:13 AM

        That was exactly my answer for the 17 years were members of two Southern Baptist churches. “I’m Christian, but I worship at a Southern Baptist church.” I would put down Southern Baptist if I filled out a survery or something or a hospital form that asked for denomination, but I always feel more comfortable with just…Christian.

  • Jill August 6, 2012, 8:50 AM

    I’m a religious mutt. Sometimes I feel like a wandering mongrel without a home. I wish I could find a home. For a number of years, the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod has been my family’s home. But, lately, I’m not so sure.

  • Mirtika August 6, 2012, 8:56 AM

    So much to ditto here. I was raised a Catholic–my mom was very devout, a lay Franciscan, and we did the no meat on Friday, processions on holy days, and she took extra work to send me to K-8 Catholic school. At 15, I got saved at one of those semi-hippy evangelical churches that you’d find here and there in the ’70s, and it stuck. While I may have migrated to Southern Baptist for many years, then non-denom, now Calvary Chapel, I still think of myself as “Christian”, a “Christian attending X church”. I listen to Reformed, Presbyterian, Baptist, Evangelical preachers, I read writers of all denoms, including my first faith, Catholic (love me Peter Kreeft and the blogger The Anchoress). When my Catholic mother was dying, I prayed with her and read the Bible to her (she’d gone blind and incapacitated, bedbound), and put on Father Alberto’s radio show for her (though he’s now not Catholic and very married). What I know is my mother adored the Father and the Son and lived in faith. She believed he paid for her sins on the cross, and prayed every day of her life. My mother was a Catholic, but like me, we had faith in the Son and his promises. I know where her soul is.:D

    I’m more concerned in what folks believe about God and His Son, in how they view the “good news”, that in the secondary things (though, granted, those matter). That can be argued endlessly, and has been.

    It’s like the Jehovah Witnesses who came to my door last week. I sat with them for more than an hour in the garden, talking. And I’d respond to their questions. But I kept going back to, “Why are you so fixed on X, which is rather trivial. Don’t you see that what is most essential, what is most crucial is who Jesus is and what He has done.” And then I’d put the focus back on THAT.

    I love studying the Word and learning new deep things. But in the end, when I praise God, I praise Him most for sending His Son to save me and His Spirit to seal me and for making me His own forever. That’s where my heart rests.

  • Jenni Noordhoek August 6, 2012, 8:59 AM

    I’ve attended churches that were Mennonite of a couple different varieties, home-church-because-we-couldn’t-find-a-church-where-we-felt-un-judged-for-our-legalist-beliefs, GARBC Baptist, and currently Faith Evangelical Free… I don’t know if this is where I’ll permanently end up, but ‘mutt’ is a happy designation for me. XD

    Personally, I think this wandering makes us more open to people who are not of our ‘club’. I see a big difference between this attitude and the attitudes of people who grew up in one church and have never considered other denominations’ points of view.

    It’s a good place to be.

  • Jim Hamlett August 6, 2012, 9:02 AM

    All your points are valid, Mike. And I’m with Kat on the importance of #3: “Scripture is–or should be–the one constant.” But this can be as divisive as any fist-fight over Calvinism, the color of the carpet, or contemporary music.

    There are elements in the BIG family of God who see Scripture as evolving. One person’s “interpretation” is as valid as any, especially if you’ve had “a word from the Lord.” This is dangerous ground. But it’s here and not going away, especially if we cannot rid ourselves of the notion that we must be “accepting” of everyone. You don’t read far into the New Testament without discovering the Apostle’s highly intolerant stand against “any other gospel.”

    But, of course, you may have a different interpretation of that.

    Jim H.

  • Katherine Coble August 6, 2012, 11:11 AM

    I’m bemused that your extension of understanding doesn’t include those who are presently outside a Sunday church home.

    • Katherine Coble August 6, 2012, 11:27 AM

      Unlike most others here I am proud of my denominational affiliation. Being a Mennonite has given me a rich history and honourable forbears in the faith.

      When people ask me my religion I generally tell them I’m a Mennonite. Not because I’m not a Christian first but because when I was little and asked my mom what was for dinner I would have been frustrated and irritated if she said “food”.

      This way people know what dish of food theyre being served right off the bat.

      • Mirtika August 6, 2012, 12:10 PM

        Well, when one says “Christian,” sans denomination, ones forbears go way, way farther back than any of the thousands of groupings we currently have. 😀 I guess that’s why I like it. It links me with Peter and Paul and Priscilla and Junias and Timothy and the others who didn’t have a particular brand seal that evolved over the centuries.

      • C.L. Dyck August 7, 2012, 4:27 AM

        Katherine, I had to laugh at your perfect analogy. My teenage son often wanders into the kitchen during supper prep, peers over my shoulder without offering to help, and goes, “What’s for supper?”

        I look at him and say, “Food,” precisely because he’s asking for evaluation criteria by which to judge what I’m doing, not participation in the moment. 🙂

        That said, my husband Dave was raised with a strong appreciation for his Canadian Mennonite background, and I instantly fell in love with it on culture alone–the sense of family is unparalleled, as well as the sense of giving, the worth of labour, and the global perspective. Mennonites are wanderers in another, more physical way, so perhaps that’s a distinguishing point in relation to the modern American wandering. Home and belonging have a different value when they’ve been taken away by persecution within generational memory.

        • Katherine Coble August 7, 2012, 2:59 PM

          You know, that’s an excellent point. I see everyone mentioning their wanderings through various denominations/theosophic trends and I wonder why I haven’t wandered afield.

          But I guess it’s because Mennonism is specifically tailored to seeking and openness. And journeys.

          • Jenni Noordhoek August 7, 2012, 3:04 PM

            What kind of Mennonism is it that you are part of? (The Mennonite textbooks and most of the storybooks from Mennonite publishers that I had as a child/teen were very not how you’re describing. They were from Rod & Staff and CLE)

            • C.L. Dyck August 10, 2012, 2:21 PM

              We haven’t used Rod & Staff, but my husband was taught on CLE growing up, and we had it for our kids for some courses in elementary school. There’s a reasonably wide range of beliefs among Mennonites, even here where I live. Some wear the head covering and skirt, and only attend a German church. Some speak plautdietsche, some don’t (I totally LOVE its relationship to Old English). Some are very postmodern in their religion, and follow an emergent style of faith. And there’s also Old Order and a few horse-and-buggy types.

              My husband’s family is culturally Mennonite, but don’t attend Mennonite churches for the most part, as they differ on the doctrine of eternal security. However, there’s an assortment of plautdietsche words, and keeping the door open to all wanderers and needy, because they were once the same. There’s no particular cultural clothing among us, but we interact freely with more conservative families as well.

              One of our friends was married in a dark-coloured wedding dress, and the pastor lambasted the guests for women appearing in church without head coverings…other Mennonite friends are so postmodern they have no firm conviction that truth is knowable. It’s genetics and culture as much as religion, maybe more than. The curricula are representative of their publishers’ type of Mennonism, but not all Mennonites.

  • R. L. Copple August 6, 2012, 2:30 PM

    While some people may be fiercely loyal to their denominational affiliation, even those generally acknowledge they don’t have all the truth, and acknowledge other denominations have Christians going to heaven in them. But inevitably, they have to have a reason to be separate and exist as an entity, so they have to claim some reason for their existence as a defined group. And usually that revolves around doctrine in one form or fashion. Or sometimes a doctrine/theology built around an experience or more.

    And if statistics are any indication, more and more people now days are claiming “mutt” status. Which is probably one reason what you’re getting here is mostly an amen corner.

    But I will suggest this, and this is what the many denominations emphasis tend to miss. Being a Christian is about being united to Christ. He is the foundation, and the apostles were build on that same foundation. So if we are not being built on that foundation, then we are not Christian. The faith is about a relationship, and doctrines are no more than guides to lead us to that and preserve the way of establishing that relationship with Christ and no one else, which is the only union that can heal us, forgive us, and save us.

    Most of the divisions happen over what leads us to the true union with Christ. What constitutes that union and is the way we are healed. How we get married to Christ and have that relationship with Him. I could say what I believe, but I doubt that would sway anyone. Always true when there is no valid method of determining the validity of any one interpretation or understanding of how to unite to Christ.

    So it becomes more of an eclectical feast based on what we think is right. In some ways, what “mutt” boils down to, is we have become our own denomination of one. Created our own mix of what it means to be united to Christ and how to achieve that. Whether that actually accomplishes what we think it does, is another question. And in this current climate, maybe a question that can only be answered by Christ. I guess it was a lot easier for first century Christians who could point to what the Apostles were teaching and say, “Yes. That!” And not rely upon their own ideas of what is true or not to decide doctrine.

    • Mike Duran August 7, 2012, 5:05 AM

      Rick, I think there’s a big difference between my approach to religious denominationalism, and the typical postmodern approach. I hold that Scripture is to be the common tie that binds. And I don’t think Scripture advocates “an eclectical feast based on what we think is right.” The “postmodern mutt” is the arbiter of her own religion. Not me. I affirm Absolutes and appreciate religious traditions. I’m not anti-denominational in any way. Except when they prop themselves up as being sole bastions of the Truth. Today’s postmodernistic approach, on the hand, does not affirm Absolutes. That’s the big difference.

      • R. L. Copple August 7, 2012, 10:28 AM

        I can appreciate the distinctions you’re making, Mike. There is still the question of whose interpretation of the absolutes of Scripture is accurate. On some of them, there is wide agreement. On others, not so much. Calvin says one thing. Luther another. Wesley still yet another. And those things have been debated ever since, and why you’ll have different denominations in the first place.

        So while Scripture can be said to tie a lot of them together, their specific interpretations of the “absolutes” from that same Scripture is also what separates them. At some point, you have to have a final authority other than me, myself, and God. Or me, myself, God and Calvin.

  • sally apokedak August 6, 2012, 9:27 PM

    I’m with RL Copple on this one. No mutt here. This does not mean I haven’t pounded out my theology. I was raised by Reformed missionaries, did the drug and sex thing when I was a teen and in my early twenties. Was saved in my mid-twenties, went to a very conservative Covenanter church, swung all the way back the other way to a nondenom charismatic church, spent many years in the OPC and am now in the PCA. I am happily Reformed. If someone asks my religion I say Christian. Or perhaps Protestant depending on the circumstance, but when they ask me what flavor, I am happy to claim the Reformed label.

    That’s all it is.

    A label.

    It gives you a quick understanding of what I believe (if you understand what Reformed people believe–and, no, Mike, we don’t believe that the Reformed faith is THE summation of scripture. You’re right, that would be stupid.) 🙂 I think labels are useful.

    And I see no need to reinvent the wheel and come up with a new, personal religion. So when I studied the Charismatic beliefs and the Methodism from which they sprang, and the Baptist beliefs, and the Lutheran beliefs, I saw much that was good, but in the end the Reformed Faith and its covenant theology was the one that I believed answered the most questions the most satisfactorily to my mind.

    Birds of a feather flock together. I’m comfy in my Reformed church and many of the people there believe the same way I do on many important issues. But I certainly believe that many people in the Baptist, Methodist, charismatic, and Catholic churches are Christians. And I believe that many aren’t. And I believe the same thing about the Reformed churches. Many in the pulpit and pews of Reformed churches are Christian and many aren’t. God reads the heart. Good doctrine is extremely helpful and some of it is vital, but the ability to spout good doctrine is not necessarily an indication that a man is saved. And sloppy doctrine is harmful and some of it is deadly, but holding wrong beliefs in many areas does not necessarily an indicate that a man is lost.

    That’s my take.

    • Tim George August 7, 2012, 1:23 PM

      Say hello Sally to a guy who was educated in a Southern Baptist College, and then went on to do graduate studies in an independent Baptist seminary followed by a number of hours at Reformed Seminary where I sat under the likes of J.I Packer and R.C. Sproul. I discovered John MacArthur in a Methodist seminary tape library and marveled at the power of Leonard Ravenhill during a Nazarene camp meeting. One of my coffee buddies here in town is pastor of a PCA Presbyterian church and we join friends on the beach early every Easter morning to join Calvary Chapel as they baptize hundreds. Like you, my wife and I gravitated to a church fellowship with a label (Reformed Baptist) and it is a label that serve its purpose. It does not, however, define who I am as a believer. My walk with Christ does that.

      • Tim George August 7, 2012, 1:35 PM

        And I just realized I outed myself as one who will now be labeled as one of those contentious Calvinists who thinks his way is the only way, stifles creativity, doesn’t believe in missions, belongs to the frozen chosen, blah, blah, blah.

        • sally apokedak August 7, 2012, 1:53 PM

          heh heh I just realized that Mike’s opening line was about how he hates to be labelled. I find labels helpful at times, hurtful at times, and inevitable all the time. Mike labels himself a religious mutt, even though he hates labels. 🙂

          I consider Packer and Lewis to be the fathers of my faith (Hey, Sally has two daddies!–OK I’d say Packer is the daddy and Lewis is the godfather) but Jerry Bridges, RC Sproul, Chuck Colson, John MacArthur, Spurgeon, Haratius Bonar, Tim Keller, and Phillip Keller are favorite uncles. Corrie ten Boom, and Darlene Divler Rose are favorite aunts. How’s that for mutt-i-ness? I’ve had a load of influence from people of varying faith practices, as most of us reading here have had. Anyone who reads Mike’s blog likes to read and chew on things, I bet.

          • Tim George August 7, 2012, 2:05 PM

            Yea, Spurgeon is one everyone likes to claim but I suspect most are rather selective in actually reading him. Kudos to Jerry Bridges and Tim Keller.

  • Katherine Coble August 6, 2012, 10:50 PM

    So am I the only person here who didn’t do the drug sex drink rebellion thing?

    • Jenni Noordhoek August 6, 2012, 10:55 PM

      Um, though I’m still very young and have plenty of chances to mess up, I haven’t done it and don’t really plan on it. And I don’t see actually that many people on this comment thread who’ve mentioned it specifically. 🙂

      • sally apokedak August 7, 2012, 2:06 PM

        And let me encourage you not to, lest you think I was making light of youthful rebellion. God does forgive, and it’s wonderful. But there are consequences. Sin always injures many. My husband and my children suffered for the sins of my youth even though God forgave. I carried the baggage with me, and people who were dead were not raised from the dead, just because I was sorry. I had several friends who died of drug overdose and suicide (none were gay and none were bullied, imagine that) and I aborted two babies. None of these precious people came back into my life because I was sorry for being supremely selfish.

        • Jenni Noordhoek August 7, 2012, 2:10 PM

          No intentions of getting into trouble that way. 🙂 What I meant with mess up, is that there will always be choices I regret in my life when I’m older (I’m 20), even if it’s not drugs/sex/etc. And I’m trying my best to be okay with that, and make the best choices I can anyway, because I get depressed b/c of perfectionistic tendencies frequently.

          • sally apokedak August 7, 2012, 2:36 PM

            I see. I was the anti-perfectionist kind of perfectionist (I can’t be perfect so I might as well just be a total loser). Both reactions to perfectionism–the one that always strives and the one that always says, “screw it” are really damaging.

            But you have much wisdom at twenty because you are self-aware. That’s very good news.

      • Katherine Coble August 7, 2012, 3:02 PM

        I went back and looked. I guess since I read them in a row but in different sessions it seemed as though there were actually more than there were. I was feeling distinctly stodgy. 🙂

    • Mirtika August 6, 2012, 10:56 PM

      I didn’t do the rebellion thing. Probably mostly because I got saved at 15, so was really zealous and in church all the time during prime rebellion stage. The other main reason is that I did not like distressing my parents. That has a becalming effect, so what rebellion there was was pretty darn minimal. I did get drunk ONCE, hated how it felt, and never did it again. I’m married to super-duper-goody-two shoes Man, who did not/does not smoke, drink, or cuss…and did not have sex until his wedding night. 😀

    • R. L. Copple August 7, 2012, 12:20 AM

      I’m 52 this year. I’ve never done drugs, not even weed, never even got into smoking. I didn’t take my first drink of any alcohol until I was 36. And the only person I’ve ever had sex with is my wife of 30 years. I was the “model” teen for my mom, and never really veered from it. So no, you aren’t the only one here. 🙂

      Note: I’m certainly not saying I’m perfect, but those are sins I have successfully avoided, and don’t see getting into them before I die.

    • C.L. Dyck August 7, 2012, 6:19 AM

      No drugs or drink here. The sex and rebellion was enough to mess me up good.

      • Jill August 7, 2012, 11:34 AM

        Yes, I rebelled in my mind and in my spirit. But I had an allergic reaction to marijuana and didn’t have the time or money to experiment hardcore with any other drugs. Moderate alcohol has always been a part of my life, although I admit I’ve gotten drunk and had a hangover twice in the last twenty years–may God forgive me because I’ve already done my penance here on earth–meaning, I was miserable both times. I didn’t do the physical-sex rebellion, but that doesn’t mean my mind was pure on all counts.

    • Jessica Thomas August 7, 2012, 2:25 PM

      I appreciate everyone’s honesty here. I rebelled via harboring a lot of anger for a long time, but I was too chicken to ever act out (thankfully). I guess you could say I’m boring. But I have a lot of angsty writing to show for it…and what you could call a mid-life crisis, I suppose. I decided to act stupidly when I had the most to lose. I don’t recommend it.

    • Tim George August 7, 2012, 2:55 PM

      If you are, be thankful for it.

  • John Robinson August 7, 2012, 10:41 AM

    Sadly, I did the rebellion-sex-drugs troika (alcohol, Mexican ditch weed, LSD, you name it) for too many wasted (literally) years. God had quite of bit reconstruction work handed to him on that chilly February evening in 1975 (still does, truth be told).

    That said, because my wife and were saved in spirit-filled church back then, ones holding closest to those teachings are the ones we’ve tended to gravitate toward.

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