The late Rich Mullins (1955-1997) opted out of the CCM craze (Contemporary Christian Music) and chose to live and teach among Native Americans on a reservation in New Mexico. This follower of Jesus was a modern-day Thoreau in two ways: 1) he lived life on his own terms instead of conforming to culture around him; 2) he thought a lot and communicated his thoughts through his life and words.
Mullins was seen as an enigma in CCM, often barefoot, unshaven, and badly in need of a haircut, Mullins did not look like the average American gospel music writer. Unlike most artists, Mullins did not consider his music his primary ministry, but rather a means to pay his bills. Instead, his ministry was the way he treated his neighbors, family and enemies. His concern about today's religious life is captured in this quote, "I really struggle with American Christianity. I'm not really sure that people with our cultural disabilities, people who grow up in a culture that worships pleasure, leisure, and affluence, are capable of having souls, or being saved." He often called St Francis of Assisi his hero and modeled his life after him by showing great compassion towards the poor and taking a vow of poverty. This is the last interview Dick Staub did with Rich in 1997 before he died tragically in a highway accident.
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