This is the counter anti-post to Six Pastors Who Influenced Me. The ugly post, if you will.
And “killing” might be too strong. But hear me out before you chew me out.
Cocksure and rugged friend who introduced me to late night drinking binges on school nights, reckless joy rides over narrow country roads and foolhardy fun at the hands of merciless drugs. The point: I was adequately softened to absorb the following influences.
Jean Paul Sartre
When I was 20, through his novel , Sartre introduced me to and . Still gunnin’ it down country roads, I lived out the fatalistic destiny of a meaningless, boring existence.
Through , Camus introduced me to the only philosophical question worth answering: Suicide or not? For this addict to purposelessness, Camus was permission to slit wrists. [As tempting as it sounds, I never did.]
What can I say? Cobain was a hero to me. From his first album to his death five years later. But devastated me to deep, dark degrees.
I seemed to escape the jaws of fatalism, hedonism and alcoholism after someone “led me to the Lord” around the end of 1996.
But this conversion amounted to nothing more than behavior modification–I shed some bad habits and picked up some good habits. In retrospect, I can see that there was something still dreadfully wrong: I cared about nothing else but me, myself and I.
Thus, suicide still dogged me.
It wasn’t until God peeled back the blinders to my sin–using difficult circumstances and bold preachers–that I truly emerged from the power of these influences.
So, while Moses, Sartre, Camus or Cobain may not have actually tried to murder me, their ideas and lifestyles proved sufficient to smother me.
That’s why I thank God today for bold men and women who proclaim the . The hard truth that overcomes the philosophy and culture of death and darkness, lies and deceit.
The hard truth that radiates with light and life–both in this life and the life to come.