The Other

So I went on a Christian single's cruise with Adrian a couple nights ago. It was a beautiful evening on the Sound, with a fresh breeze blowing in my face, inhaling the tangy smell of the sea. It's good to be home. Sadly, I love the smell of the diesel from the shipyards, for it reminds me of the Sea, after so many years working on diesel ships. The sunset over the Sound was incredible as Sol sank into the Olympics.

The cruise was mostly dancing, drinking (water), and talking. Mostly I did talking. And I'm proud to say that I actually talked with a woman I didn't know for an extended amount of time, and I think I sounded interesting. But that might be just the water talking. At the end of the cruise, I determined I'd give her my number. But at the last moment that seemed far too scary.

It's difficult to find a safe place within the Christian world to explore potentialities. To say you're interested has become The Love That Dare Not Speak It's Name. You're not even supposed to talk about the concept. If you go to a single's event, you are often told that no one should actually be looking for a relationship with someone there. We are told we should follow I Kissed Dating Goodbye, rather than take the risks. The result is that most of those at single's gatherings pretend that they are there for completely other reasons, and the idea of pursuing a relationship gets degraded to the point that Song of Songs should rightfully be removed from the canon. At some point we as Western Christians lost some of the respect for the beauty of relationship that God intended for us in the garden. So I'm grateful for these rare opportunities to begin to try to work on relationships.

As Christians we are a judgmental lot, of which I include myself. I had a Coptic friend in Egypt once ask me who was the founder of my church, the Jesus Movement. I told him the closest thing was Lonnie Frisbee, pictured here. Without missing a beat, he responded from his own cultural background, asking what Bishop Frisbee was doing these days.

Sadly, nothing now. For he has gone beyond, passing away a few years ago. I remember Lonnie baptizing.when he prophesied over me when I was young in Hawaii, saying I would influence many people. He was a very charismatic figure. It was he who was truly responsible for the growth of the Calvary Chapel movement. He walked in with a bunch of hippies into an Assembly of God church, barefoot and threadbare. Unlike most churches of the time, Chuck Smith is to be credited with not turning him away. But Frisbee was the evangelist of the group. He was the explosive force behind
the Calvary movement, and later behind the Vineyard explosion with John Wimbur's Signs and Wonders, that went on to have a heavy influence on Fuller and Peter Wagner.

Why haven't you heard of him? He was also gay at one point, and died of AIDS. Our Christian charismatic leaders aren't supposed to struggle with that kind of issue. There's often not room for a David or Samson in our theology, tragically flawed but still leading people to Christ. David Di Sabatino has become kind of the historian of the Jesus Movement, and has now put together a movie of Frisbee's life, recently screened at a number of festivals, including at Fuller Seminary. And I'm proud to report an abridged version of the film will be on local PBS at multiple times November 19th-23rd on KQED in San Francisco, narrated by my father, Jim Palosaari.


Mom said…
Beautiful poem, Jed. You come to your own answers the more you resist absorbing prescriptions of others.
I'm glad Lonnie is getting the recognition his quirky personality deserved. If he hadn't been the boy he was, the Jesus movement might not have developed the style it did. Even prickly Chuck, with all his Prescriptions for righteousness, may have even been chosen Lonnie's brakeman for such a time as this...then, the movement spread, surpassing all who came to call it "theirs."
By the way, Lonnie, who never did define his sexual identity, fell blissfully in love with Chuck's daughter one day on the beach, and followed her home. The rest is history.
@bdul muHib said…
Thanks! :-) I submitted it to a literature review booklet with Yearly Meeting.

You sure about that about Lonnie? According to wikipedia, he was definitely gay. You sure he didn't come out (from the past)?

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