As an unsaved teenager with my own rock band, I strained at the sounds coming from my 45 rpm record player. Did the singer really say what I thought he said? Like many other kids my age, I was fascinated by the controversy. It all seems prosaic now when compared with today’s foul-mouth rap artists spouting constant obscenities. It was a million miles from the disgusting vulgarities of Eminem. But “Louie Louie” was scandalous for its time, for what we thought were clandestine four-letter words. I bring this up because the man who fronted the band the Kingsmen, Jack Brown Ely, died last week at age 71. He took to his grave the secret of what he really said that day in the recording studio when he belted out that early rock classic.
What I never knew, until he died, is that Ely eventually became a Christian and even released a Christian rock album, “Love is All Around You Now.” Strangely, he eventually turned to the Christian Science cult, according to a surviving son. (Christian Science is explained in my book LARSON’S BOOK OF WORLD RELIGIONS. To order CLICK HERE.) He died of skin cancer because he refused medical treatment. Still, at one point he obviously walked close to the Lord. In the song “The First Time I Touched His Hem,” Ely sang, “Oh, praise Him, Just praise Him, Yes, praise Him for His wonderful love.”
However things ended up for Ely, it’s a testament to what God can do with a life headed the wrong way. I got saved and so did Ely. I left “Louie Louie” behind for spiritual warfare, and Ely left the muttered obscenities of his song for Christian music, at least for a while. God does amazing things we can’t comprehend. If there was hope for Ely and me, there is hope for anyone to find Jesus.
An encouraging word: OVERCOMING TRIBULATION
“In the world you will have tribulation.” The words of John’s gospel are sobering (16:33). Jesus followed that warning with the promise, “I have overcome the world.” But reflect on that first part. The Lord has not promised us freedom from suffering and heartache. He hasn’t said by that following Him all would go well. Quite the opposite. As long as we dwell on earth, there will be trials. The right response isn’t to suggest, as do some theologians, that God only wants us healthy and wealthy. Reality testifies that sometimes Christians have to go through deprivation and pain. But never fear, we too shall overcome no matter what the world throws our way.
Bob Larson has trained healing and deliverance teams all over the world to set the captives free and Do What Jesus Did® (Luke 4:18). You can partner with Bob and support this vision to demonstrate God’s power in action by calling 303-980-1511 or clicking here to donate online.