Guess what it's about? (LOLOLOL)
THE BASICS OF LIFE?
“We need to get back to the basics of life:
A heart that is pure and a love that is blind.
A faith that is fervently grounded in Christ -
A hope that endures for all times.
These are the basics.
We need to get back to the basics of life.”
This chorus, to a song by the Christian contemporary music group 4HIM, was playing as I dodged through the crowd in a swarming conference hall. My friend Chrissy was with me, and it was a good thing because I needed her guiding hand to steady me. We had both been invited, with a few other acquaintances, to attend the Basic Seminar of the Institute in Basic Life Principles (IBLP). At the time, I was a sophomore at a Christian university, looking to develop my relationship with God. I also longed for a road trip!
What I found amid the throng were countless book-and-audiotape sales tables, and a few for registration. I discovered that tonight’s crowd would be in a massive auditorium, and I got nervous. Would we have to sit up high? Apparently so, because our assigned seats were on the outer rim of the nosebleed section. We were at least five hundred strong - maybe closer to eight hundred, searching for the Basics of Life.
What were they? According to pastor Bill Gothard, there were seven, but I only remember one: Surrender of Rights.
Gothard said that one of the major problems in the world was that human beings insisted upon exercising their “rights”, instead of realizing that all rights belonged to God. We had no innate right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. In fact, we did not even have the right to eat, drink, sleep, etc. The more we ceded these rights back to our Creator, the more we would get in tune with His will for our lives. I was skeptical.
Gothard also mentioned bitterness causing “hard facial features in women” in his presentation. Like Max Headroom in a movie I can’t recall, he addressed us from the screen. “That’s ridiculous,” I whispered to Chrissy, and she gave me a death glare. I kept my mouth shut after that.
What engulfed me in terror, however, was his “chalk talk”. He depicted Abraham burning a ram on an altar as a sacrifice to the Lord. Then the “sky” of the picture morphed from red, to yellow, to blue, and all through the colors of the rainbow. At last, the hidden drawing was revealed: Christ on the cross. After countless exhortations to be like Jesus, which built and built, I almost screamed at this final shock.
Back in the van, the tightness in my chest and craven fear would not leave me. I talked to no one. If these were the basics of life, then why did I not want to live this way? Why was I so afraid of Christian sacrifice? Why had my night been hell instead of heaven?