Broken Home, Broken Heart
Interviewed by Blaine Bartell
Fire By Nite TV Program 1992
Blaine Bartel: Hey, welcome to Fire By Nite. We've got a tremendous program. In fact, the title of our program this time is called Broken Home, Broken Heart. We're gonna be talking about the impact of divorce upon the American teenager. Our special guest is Rich Mullins, and, as you can see, Mr. Excitement. Lee Wilson, who usually fills the space on that couch right over there, is not here; and I'll tell you why. Lee is on location. He's gonna be bringing us a very special interview with one of the Baltimore Orioles - all the way in Baltimore, Maryland. Now, Brad, I was actually supposed to be there with him interviewing this professional baseball player. Is that right?
BB: But, I couldn't be here - be there - because I had to be here doing this, right?
Brad: That's right.
BB: That's right. I'm committed. Now, does Lee, does he know I'm not gonna be there?
Brad: Not sure.
BB: Okay. Alright. We'll have to maybe check on that. So, a lot of great things on the program - wonderful stuff. In fact, this program is so good, even the credits are gonna be exciting. We'll be back.
[Promotional 'commercial' for Fire By Nite Summer Youth Camp]
BB: Alright. [crowd cheers] Alright. We're back. You know, I read a statistic the other day that was very interesting. It says that 79% of American teenagers say it's too easy to get a divorce. Think about it. Kids today are saying, "Hey, it's way too easy for my parents to break up." And you look at the television ads today, and it really does look that way. They advertise, you know, divorce. You can get a cheap one for $79 if it's uncontested.
I think one good thing that we might do in this country is put as much into a divorce as we do into marriage. I mean, we spend thousands of dollars in getting married, buying a ring, sending out invitations. Think about it. If we did the same thing for divorce - you had to send out invitations [to] all of your friends and family, invite everyone to be there [to] witness your new broken vows, and tell everyone to come, you know - I think the divorce rate would decline. It's just too easy today to break those vows, and I'll tell you, it is influencing our generation.
And parents, I want to just speak to you for a minute - you that would dare to watch Fire By Nite. I want to talk to you. You are influencing your kids. I've had a lot of people come up to me because we're involved in talking to young people. [They] say, "Hey, can you believe what these athletes are doing to our kids? You know - the Pete Rose scandal, and the thing with Magic Johnson, and all these other athletes that have got involved in drugs - such a negative influence upon our teenagers." But, do you know - in my, I don't know, ten years of traveling [and] ministering to young people - I've never had one teenager come to me and say, "Blaine, I really want you to pray for me, man. I'm really going through a hard time." [Where I've said,] "Well, what is it?" [and they respond,] "Oh man, Pete Rose, man, it's just, oh man, it's just, oh, man, I just can't get over it." I've never had it happen. But, I've had one after another - every time I go out - say, "Man, I can't hardly live. I'm goin' through one of the hardest times in my life, because my parents broke up." I want to encourage you parents to think about what you're doing to influence your kids. Your kids need you.
[Mr. Excitement still searching for Blaine Bartel]
BB: I want you to welcome to the program one of Contemporary Christian Music's best songwriters and most unconventional performers, Rich Mullins.
[Rich enters from side stage as Fire By Nite band plays "Awesome God".]
BB: Alright. I guess our last good visit was in Guatemala - somewhere in Guatemala - and since then you've been to several other countries. ["How Can I Keep Myself From Singing" begins playing.] You've really got, I guess a vision, for world missions. It's a real part of your heart and in your music.
Rich Mullins: I just get a lot of opportunities.
BB: Do you find that in the different organizations you're working with on the mission field, that missions is becoming a more important thing in the church in America, and that things are really happening in other parts of the world?
RM: I don't know. I think there's, I don't know. I don't think it's enough of a thing.
BB: Yeah, it needs more all the time.
RM: I suppose.
RM: I think when 90% of the world's preachers preach to 10% of the world's population, I would say there's probably somewhat of a [Blaine says 'mathematical'] problem that needs to be solved.
[A clip from the "How Can I Keep Myself From Singing" video]
BB: Rich, we're talking in this particular program about the impact of divorce upon the American teenager. What kind of family life did you have growing up?
RM: I had a very normal family. I grew up in a Norman Rockwell painting...
BB: Really? So everything was wonderful.
RM: ...with a little bit of Picasso, yeah. I mean, that was the great thing about my parents, was they both had hang-ups. They both had problems. I think there were times when they had a lot of trouble getting along. But, they believed in, that they said they were gonna do; and so they just did it. I mean, it was never like [pause], they considered murder several times. They've confessed...
RM: ...And it's really great; because my dad died last summer and my last memory of my father is [pause], my parents had come to Nashville for the Dove Awards. And after the awards were over, we went back to the Opryland Hotel. I got 'em a room at the Opryland Hotel and they were really excited about that. And they're like in their sixties, right? So they are Noooo [with empahsis] - they are not pin-up types. I mean, there's just [everyone is laughing] and so, they're walking along behind me, and I'm talking a mile a minute, you know, walking through there, and I turn around and my parents have disappeared; and I thought, 'Oh wow, they're so old they can't keep up with me.' [Everyone laughing] So, I turned around and went to look for them; and they had stepped off in this little enclosed kind of a place; and they were standing there holding hands looking at each other. [Rich has a warm smile on his face. He seems to enjoy telling the story.]
BB: Oh really?
RM: You know? Like they were really in love.
RM: And I think, my dad, when I was engaged a long time ago, I said, "Well, how do you know if you're really in love with somebody?" And my dad said, "Well, you will *never* know until you make the leap...
RM: ...and, I did not know that I loved your mother until I had been married to her for 20 or 30 years."
RM: And I think that's very wise. You know, it's really interesting. One of the very interesting things about divorce is, I was working with a group of young people - there were four of them - and two of them came from split homes, and two of them came from parents that had stayed together and that had honored their commitments. And, it was very interesting, 'cause we were working in a studio. They were working on an album, and one of the kids who came from a split home, whenever she was having trouble singing, she would say [Rich points to one ear.], "Oh, I think the bass singer is flat, and that's throwing me off." Or, she would say, [Rich points to both ears.] "There's something wrong in my mix, in my headphones." And she would clank the headphones around. It was always someone else's fault. She was very afraid of making a mistake.
The guy that came from the split home, his whole reaction was, "Why don't you just sing this, 'cause you're a better singer;" so he was tryin' to get everyone else to sing his part. And he wanted to just kinda back out. One of the girls that came from a home where there had not been a split, when she would make a mistake, she would call everybody in and say, "Oh wow, listen to this! This'll flip you out." And then she would play this terrible thing she did, and she would laugh her head off. And the guy that came from the home that had stayed together was the same way. He made a lot of mistakes. They all made the same number of mistakes. They all were very equally talented.
The two people, who grew up in an environment where they came to realize that love is not conditional, that some one loves you not because you're worthy of their love, or not because you're cool enough to love; somebody loves you, because it is in them to love - that they are able to accept you, and are able to support you even when you're not doing your, what they think is your best. They were able to make the mistakes, laugh and go on; and finally get things right. The two people that came from a split home, I think since that time - 'cause I've stayed kind of in touch with all of them, and they've worked through some of those insecurities, and they've worked through some of those problems, but it was much harder for them. So I think there's a reason why we were created to be monogamous. [They both laugh.]
BB: You're single,
RM: Mm, hmm.
BB: And are staying, I guess, you have no plans to change in the next few months anyways.
RM: I have trouble getting a date. [Rich smiles.]
RM: Let alone getting married. [Laughter]
BB: Okay. You don't, you don't fear marriage? It's just that your career is such that you just aren't able to settle down, I guess. Is that true?
RM: Well, I wish I could say that; but it is scary to think about.
RM: Yeah, 'cause I just kinda go, "Wow, that's..." It's scary to me.
BB: Yeah, do you think young people, in your dealings with them, feel that same way? They look at all the marriages today that are breaking up, and saying, "Oh, I don't know if I want that."?
RM [nods his head]: Very much so. I think, in fact, a friend and I were just talking about it. About how confusing it is right now - not in terms of our faith, not even in terms of the information that we have. The information that we have is very negative. The information that we get says, "Don't do this." This is ridiculous. The faith - the Christian faith - teaches that love is possible, and that marriage is a good thing, and etc., etc. So, the information that we get from our culture, and the information that we get from our faith, are two conflicting things and we end up with all this confusion going, "Yes I know that it is possible that people can love one another, but wow! can I take that leap?," 'cause it is a big leap.
BB: Yeah. Well, you're gonna come back and do a song in a minute. What's the name of the song you're gonna do for us?
RM: "Sometimes By Step"
BB: Well, we're lookin' forward to it.
[Video footage of "Mr. Excitement" and crowds of people entering The Baltimore Orioles' Camden Yard. Also an interview clip of Glen Davis (Baltimore Oriole) telling how he came to know Christ and how he shares Christ is his daily life.]
["Sometimes By Step" - Rich on keyboard, Beaker on guitar (black and white video clip)]
[A lady calling BB over the intercom. Mr. Excitement pleading with God to show him where Blaine Bartel is.]
[Friends (A short skit) - and musical introduction of characters: Blaine Bartel, Cathy Bartel, Lee Wilson, Vicciio Witty, Brad and Angie Witty, and John Witty.]
[A dramatization of a how a teen handles a divorce situation.]
[Fire By Nite Praise membership plug. Fire By Nite University of Youth Ministry (cassette series) plug (1-800-888-7856).
[Testimony of a teen who experienced his parents splitting up.]
[Blaine Bartel speaks about divorce. He reads a poem from a ten-year old girl who went through depression treatment after her parents split up. He speaks of the need to forgive those who have hurt us through divorce situations, etc. He speaks of the need for a supernatural love in order to obtain the power to have that spirit of forgiveness (Luke 17:3). He prays for those effected by divorce.]
[Dramatization of a woman grieving over her husband's grave. She speaks of how she misses him - how the years together were not always easy, but always worth working things out for the sake of the marriage.]
[Mr. Excitement still looking for Blaine.]
[Blaine Bartel is in Washington DC advertising for the next episode of FBN.]
[Mr. Excitement ticked off that he has still not found Blaine.]
[Blaine with audience thanking Rich Mullins and Glen Davis.]
[Fire By Nite band plays song as credits appear.]
Executive producer: Willie George
Producer: Blaine Bartel
Directed and edited by Eric J. Smith
Written by Tony Leech
Director of television: Keith Richardson
Audio: Kelly Ward & Jeff Cremeen
Camera operators: Stacy Ratliff, Tom Doerner, David Harder, Tony Leech, Monte Seaborn
Crane operator: Brad Davis
Engineering: Keith Richardson
Production secretary: Slvian Avalos
Production assistant: Sally Gubser
Floor director: Jodie Thomas
Mr. Excitement: Lee Wilson
Lighting: Monte Seaborn
House Audio: Jeff Cremeen
The Fire By Nite Band: Joey Smith, guitar; Mike Dinsmore, bass; Marcos C. Cruz, keyboards; Billy Estes, drums
Some equipment provided by: Peavy
Rich Mullins appears courtesy of Reunion Records
Special thanks to: Southern Villa Mobile Home Park, 86th & Lewis, Tulsa, OK; Bill & Ruth's Sub Shop, Austin & Sue Lillibridge, 10117 East Admiral, Tulsa, OK; Heart's Desire Pet Shop, 31st & Harvard, Tulsa, OK; Calvary Cemetery, 91st & Harvard, Tulsa, OK
Original music score: Joey Smith, Kent Booth (1991 Gospel Bill Music, b.m.i.)
Fire By Nite theme written by: Todd Homme
"Friends" theme written and performed by: Kenny Marks (1991 Comatome Little Dude Music)
To join the Fire By Nite video purchase club contact: Fire By Nite, 1-800-888-7856, P.O. Box 639, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, 74013 (1991 Willie George Ministries)
The copyright to the video is held by Willie George Ministries, 10838 E. Marshall, Suite 152, Tulsa, Oklahoma, 74116 (All rights reserved 1992)
Transcribed by Robin and Kelsie Woodson