by ?

Syndicate Volume 9 1994

In another of Pursuit of a Legacy's interview segments, Mullins refers briefly, but positively, to the reverence in which Catholics hold the Virgin Mary. Taken with his monastic tendencies and his admiration for the writings of Catholics like St. Augustine and G.K. Chesterton, such comments makes Mullins seem almost more Catholic than Protestant these days.

"I grew up in rural Indiana," Mullins recalls. "Everybody was Protestant. Almost everybody was white. I didn't understand racial tension because we had no races. The only prejudice that we could afford was against Italians and the only reason we had a prejudice against Italians was they were mysterious. They went to the Catholic Church and they were allowed to drink in church and we weren't. So for years, Catholicism had a shroud of mystery around it. When I would sneak into a Catholic Church (I used to because I thought they were so beautiful) I always felt as if I were being tempted away from true Christianity. It always looked like idolatry to me to have candles, statues and praying to saints and Mary."

"Then several years ago, I read Orthodoxy by [G.K.] Chesterton. I have seldom cried when I read a book, but I wept- I mean blubbered- from pure joy, the joy of saying 'Wow! This is stuff that I've always suspected in the back of my mind but could never articulate. This guy's articulating for me what I could never get any kind of handle on in order to hold and appreciate."

"The difference between me and most Protestants" notes Mullins, "is most Protestants have no problem at all saying, 'The Lord told me this' or 'The Lord told me that', but they won't believe that the Lord speaks through the Pope. You know, at least this guy has some credentials."

Mullins laughs. "I read the Pope's newest encyclical (The Splendor of Truth: Veritatis Splendor) and to me it was shocking. It was a wonderful breath of fresh air that someone says, 'There is such a thing as truth, and it is a beautiful thing. So until we learn to long for it and set everything else aside, our lives will not make sense"

"For me, I have no idea what's going to happen. But more than ever before, I think that a great part of the Holy Spirit in our lives is played out through what the Catholic Church would call a Eucharistic community, and that's the thing that is lacking in Protestantism. If Christ is the head of the body, the body has to be together or it-"

Mullins pauses.

"What good is the head if the body isn't -you know what I mean?"

If it's chopped up in wriggling pieces?

"Right" answers Mullins, who despite having been involved with Christian music for over a decade, has perhaps- with his plans for future recordings, resisting temptation and working among the poor- just begun to play his role in unifying the Body of Christ.