Posts Tagged ‘gene’

True Christianity advice can come from unlikely places

Lately, I’ve been chatting over e-mail with two people: Rhea and Gene. Rhea (pronounced “Ray”) was a classmate of mine at A.C. Jones High School back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Rhea is not a Christian, but the comments he shared with me about Christianity revealed something fascinating: he’d actually make a great Christian. A chat about some basics in Christianity, including our interpretations of the Garden of Eden, show Rhea has a pretty strong grasp on basic theology–even more so that some elitist Christians I’ve met. Granted, I don’t always agree with Rhea, but he’s one person I enjoy chatting with because he’s fascinating. Some people, including many Christians I’ve met,┬ábore me beyond tears. Rhea is exactly the opposite.

I knew Gene at Pensacola Christian College. Those at PCC, no doubt, remember him very well. I remember that Gene became a Christian relatively late in life and grew up in Chicago in some mean neighborhoods. It was fun to hear stories of how tough he was back in the day. When I asked him about one story, his response suggested very strongly that his past was something neither to emulate nor remember.

Gene recently talked about how at PCC he stood up to a high-ranking administration member regarding the treatment of one particular person. Later, after leaving PCC, Gene was so stressed out over how he saw Christians treat others that he was at one point hospitalized. And now, when I read his Facebook postings, they’re one pearl of wisdom after another.

October 2011 will mark the 30th anniversary of when I became a Christian in Alvin, Texas, back in the ancient year 1981. As I approach 30 years and think of how I have still so much to learn about God, the Bible, Christianity, I find myself amazed that some of the people who grasp Christianity so well are Rhea (who’s not a Christian) and Gene (who became a Christian later in life and got off to a proverbial slow start).

It’s really ironic. For Christians like me, who are constantly striving to improve their spiritual lives and expand their intellect and wisdom (which often is tantamount to sprinting while up to your chest in a swimming pool), it’s a good idea to listen to both those who are viewing us from the outside and those who are newcomers. They bring a fresh perspective. And they just might know far more about our faith than what we realize.

Richard Zowie is a Christian who knows one thing for certain: he has a LOT left to learn. Post comments here or e-mail him at