In closing, the biggest question I wanted to ask other Christians was if they ever felt like a hypocrite. Iím not going to release this issue without giving my answer to that question. So, do I ever feel like a hypocrite? Well, duh! Those of you who know me, whom see me every so often, what would you say? Of course, I know the answer to that, but I wonder what else goes through your mind knowing what I believe in and then you see me getting high? Hear me say a cuss word? When you see me at a party, though Iím not drunk, or getting drunk, but you see a beer in my hand? Or what about what you donít see? What you canít hear that lingers inside my head?
What you just read in "Finding Mike" was written about seven months ago when my faith was actually stronger. Those of you who think that Christianity is for the weak, well, youíre dead wrong. This faith, this philosophy, this life style, is the hardest thing that I have ever experienced. Not only because this faith requires practice and patience, it also requires time, time to grow and heal. Could it be that the habits that Iíve been used to for ten years of my life are just too "there" to fully walk the narrow path? Is my past just too powerful for my weak self? Well, yes and no. I know what I need to do to change, but I will admit that Iím not really putting forth the effort to truly walk the walk as I was seven months ago, due to the fact...(Iíll stop right there, some things Iíd rather not mention). My hypocrisy is the reason why you wonít hear me talk to people about God, unless they ask me about the things that I have experienced, or theyíre just curious about certain things.
I know that change doesnít happen over night, and I think that by being hard on myself, and always criticizing myself, that doesnít help me out either. Being and extremist/perfectionist definitely has its flaws.
Yeah, Iím a hypocrite, but like everyone else, who isnít? I know that my beliefs/faith doesnít rely on perfection, but thatís just the way I feel at times.
One of the things I want people to know (in case you think that in "Finding Mike" I was blaming metal for my rebellion or "hatred" towards God when I was younger), is that no matter who you are, you will be influenced by your surrounding. Whether it be friends, books, movies, music, etc...Maybe there are people out there who are exceptions, and arenít as easily influenced by their surroundings, and hey, more power to you, but seeing my friends who Iíve grown up with these past 3-4 years who never drank, or experimented with drugs, but then started to because they started hanging out with people who influenced them, I will always believe that everyone will always be influenced by their surroundings.
How often will you see a Christian and a Satanist hang out? Not very often, huh? How do you feel when youíre around Christians? Uneasy? Scared that they will judge you or criticize you? I still feel this way, and thatís why youíll see me hang out with my non-Christian friends more-so, than my Christian friends. Not only because I feel strange because of my hypocrisy, but because, well, really only that. Well, what Iím getting to is this. When you see Christians hanging out with just Christians, why do you think that is? Because theyíre better than you? Because they donít want to hang out with a bunch of sinners? Well, I have known Christians to act this way; holier than though attitude, you know? But as I mentioned before, Christians are just as hypocritical and sinners as anyone else. The reason Christians usually only hang out with other Christians is because they to can be influenced into doing things, or saying things, that are unhealthy to their state of mind and their faith. Christians are as human as human can get.
How often will you see metal heads hang out with hicks or vice-versa? How often will you see group A society hang out with group B society? Do you see what Iím trying to say?
I recently went to a party, and there was some negative tension coming from certain individuals, or "friends", who hadnít seen me in a while, and why did they feel weird in my presence? Did they think I was going to look down on them? Did they think I was going to preach or force God down their throat? Who knows? I just wish people wouldnít treat people differently just because of a belief. Like I said before, why canít we all get along? Reality, Mr. Coles, reality.
Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this issue. It was a task getting this thing together, but I finally did it. I want to take this time and thank: Brian M. and Josh P. for letting me use their computer/scanner, even though I now own these devices myself. Until next time guys, he, he. Thanks to all the bands and individuals interviewed, especially the ones who became great friends since this issue started. Terry Richardson for the proof reading and for his never ending support in me. My daddy and Brandon B. for the typing and for their support as well. And everyone else who contributed, Iím sure I thanked the contributors somewhere else.
Thanks, Mike Coles