Who is Joe Story?
The Story of Joe Story
My call to ministry is epitomized by this verse. By all accounts, I am exactly the kind of person our Lord Jesus Christ selects to represent Him in the public square because of how obviously it points to Him when anything goes right. Born to financially well off, worldly, intellectual parents, both of whom are well-known professionals in the field of psychology, I never wanted for anything in early life. My parents loved me very much and raised me the best they could according to their worldview of secular humanism and 21st century American liberalism. I got whatever I wanted and never was seriously disciplined. It was a kid’s dream that turned into a nightmare fast when I reached the age of accountability and had none to speak of.
As soon as I hit driving age, my parents bought me a brand new sports car, which I wrapped around a telephone pole driving warp speed in the rain high on marijuana. My parents expressed slight annoyance and promptly replaced it with another new car a few weeks later. I corrupted my younger brother and took him on trips to buy cocaine, ecstasy, and heroin at wholesale prices in Spanish Harlem to ruin the rest of the rich kids in our hometown of Princeton, New Jersey. I tried my hand at gangster rap music, engaged in drug prescription forgery and generally displayed no moral compass whatsoever. After all, if naturalism was true and God did not exist, then a human being is nothing more than an accidentally developed primate. Morality would be subjective at best, though I conveniently viewed it (along the lines of Nietzsche) as an illusion. This was the worldview I developed growing up in the mecca of American leftism. In those few moments circumstances forced me to face the big questions I halfway figured I was following it to it’s logical conclusion, but mostly I was just acting a fool, mindlessly playing (suburban) gangster with mommy and daddy’s money.
My road to destruction took a much darker direction when I got in trouble with the law for writing fake prescriptions. A warrant was put out for my arrest in New Jersey and my parents paid a huge sumof cash to keep me out of jail, sending me to a fancy liberal young adult treatment facility in Southern California. (The total of what my parents spent on the process of keeping me from the long prison sentence I deserved throughout my years of dereliction must be around the range of several million dollars.). I left the facility within a few weeks, saving my parents the additional few hundred thousand bucks it would have cost if I stayed through the duration of the program, and started running the streets of Riverside, Ca with some serious players in the SoCal Crystal Methamphetamine industry.
It was during this window of time that I realized my worldview of naturalism and secular humanism was false. Seeing the evil of the world of meth abuse rocked my foundational understanding of reality. What I saw and experienced was nothing short of absolute wickedness, far more debase than my little party circuit with high schoolers and college kids in Jersey. I delivered meth to a husband who paid for it by renting the sexual services of his wife to the local manufacturer - and everyone involved with the exchange seemed glad, even excited about the arrangement. It was just so objectively wrong - wrong even if all parties believed it was right, myself removed from the equation. That just didn’t fit with the moral relativism I’d grown up with. Along the lines of C.S. Lewis’ conversion experience, I innately knew there must have been something (or Someone) showing me that moral absolutes existed and were significant for human flourishing. Furthermore, that moral standard had to come from outside the human race, because otherwise a majority of dissenters could simply vote it out of existence or change it to something quite the opposite (For example: was slavery acceptable when it was accepted?). I also experienced the presence of dark entities I ventured to guess were what the Bible refers to as demons. Though such experiences could be viewed subjectively, it was self-evident that I was being exposed to elements completely incompatible with the worldview that the physical universe is all there is. I began to realize the supernatural was real, and if the moral standard and these evil entities were real, then it was probable God existed as well.
My salvation experience came in the back of a police car, on my way to do a violation of my parole (I completed an eight month term in prison only a few months prior). I was fresh off a week straight of partying with meth cooks and all of a sudden in the back of that squad car everything hit me at once - hard. I felt something very demonic coming for my soul, mind, and sanity. I was being tormented, possibly experiencing what may have been a taste of eternal separation from God. Just at the moment when I was about to slip into darkness, I remembered that God must exist if evil did, and cried out from the depth of my being for His help. To my amazement and instant relief, I felt a peace flood through my body, healing me of the drug induced state and heard the name of *JESUS* clear as day in my thoughts. I knew something of the utmost importance had occurred. I realized everything in my life would change that moment, in the back of the police car, when God rescued me from going over the edge and revealed Jesus as the only One with the power to do so.
After my conversion experience, I spent the next six months in jail working out the implications of what it meant for me to be a Christian. It was just so diametrically opposed from my upbringing in the worldview of secular humanism and 21st century American liberalism. I knew my intellectual, secular parents loved me and would accept the new me, perhaps even embrace it as the subjective experience that saved their beloved son. However, I really thought there must be evidence I stumbled upon actual objective truth in the Christian worldview, truth that, according to the Law of Non-Contradiction, repudiates conflicting assertions about the nature of reality. If this evidence did not exist, then I didn’t see a reason to believe the tenets of Christianity at all. I felt that I’d found truth, and “true for me” simply wasn’t going to work. The only reason I could accept to live as a Christian in post-Christian America was if Christianity was true. Immediately, I purposed to find out if my new Christian faith was supported by facts.
I ravenously read through the entire NIV Study Bible, commentary and all. I immersed myself in Christian apologetics, starting with Evidence that Demands a Verdict, by Josh McDowell, Mere Christianity, by C.S. Lewis, and The Case for Christ, by Lee Strobel. I found some of the interrogatives posed by Strobel to the scholars he interviewed for his book to be the same ones I used to mock the veracity of Christianity and the New Testament. I was shocked at how easily the secularist attacks on the Christian worldview were dismantled. It was through this time of preparation in biblical studies and apologetics, in jail and then at a Christian Men’s Home for the next two years I would realize my calling as an ambassador of truth to a culture of deception. I was convinced that the Lord Jesus was going to use me in some capacity to demonstrate the foolishness of the worldview of secular humanism; by commandeering a fool such as myself as a tool to shame the wise. I went on to earn undergraduate and graduate degrees in theology from a growing Seminary (The King’s University - now in Gateway, Texas) and was certified as an apologist with Reasons to Believe (find out more: www.reasons.org). Along the way, I discovered a call to use rap music as a vehicle to reach young people with the message of Jesus applied to our decaying culture.
For better part of the past decade, I’ve been teaching systematic apologetics in churches, youth camps, retreats and performing Christian, Conservative contemporary music along with it. My single aim is to do everything I can to re-establish classical Christian theism as the dominant worldview in our culture, especially concerning subversively finding ways to get the truth of the Christian message and its practical application into the rising generation of Americans, those who have had nothing but indoctrination in our school system and media industrial complex with the worldview of secular humanism (man created God, government assigns rights, morality is relative, etc.). I am particularly passionate about the life issue, as I am utterly convinced the sixty-million defenseless little babies (fetus = Latin for “little baby”) ruthlessly poisoned, tortured and dismembered to death in abortion clinics (unjustly legal since Roe v. Wade in 1973), are nothing less than the ghastly logical consequences of the secular humanist worldview in practical application. As an apologist highly influenced by the works of Francis A. Schaeffer, it’s my position that if Christianity is true, then it’s true to total reality, and those that bear the message of Christian truth must bear it in all areas of life and all areas of life equally. From my earliest days in apologetics ministry, I committed to learning and using pro-life apologetics, equipping and commissioning American believers to do our part to end quite possibly the greatest social injustice the world has ever seen: one baby every twenty-five seconds legally, brutally murdered in the nation whose birth certificate (The Declaration of Independence) states unequivocally that the right to life is inalienable and comes from the hand of the Creator himself.
Recently, I launched a website called We Are Watchmen (Learn more: www.wearewatchmen.org) geared toward Christian youth to educate on cultural issues, American founding principles and Christian worldview apologetics. We Are Watchmen also has my latest music, written in the spirit of the words spoken by the seventeenth century Scottish insurrectionist Andrew Fletcher: “I don’t care who writes the laws of the nation as long as I write the songs.” This is part of my effort to encourage, equip and empower American youth to reject and rebel against the establishment status quo and bald faced deception of 21st century American liberalism. (I feel the need to specify the century, because what’s called liberalism in America isn’t close to the genuine liberalism of the nineteenth century, which sought man’s independence from government meddling based on the honor of divinely endowed human essence. Today’s liberalism is characterized by sexual freedom and state control, which is antithetical to the classical view of liberty - freedom for excellence). I’m trying to do my part to influence the rising generation of Americans against the worldview that ensnared me, and to show that living out Christian truth in the public square, against the wishes of the secular establishment, is the best way to channel the spirit of youthful rebellion.
Currently I travel the country with the American Renewal Project (learn more: www.americanrenewalproject.org), equipping and encouraging American pastors to get involved in politics and make a bold stand for Jesus in the culture wars. I’m also proud to be the Outreach Director for the a bold, pro life ministry, Survivors of the Abortion Holocaust (www.survivors.la), that is committed to using graphic images to put a human face on the horrors of the American Abortion Holocaust and politically active in voter education initiatives geared to reveal the evil of pro-abortion candidates at their functions. God uses foolish people like me to shame all the sophisticated, worldly types who shake their heavens and seethe with rage at the Deity they say doesn’t exist. I look forward to partnering with you in the war for the soul of our nation and the future of our children.