To be ‘born again’ is to be given a ‘new life’ or to ‘renew a commitment’ that was already there. This phrase has been used in many different places including the Bible, (John 3:1-5) ‘Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the Kingdom of God without being born again of water and spirit” (New Revised Standard Version). This basically is saying that to be baptised is to be given the Holy Spirit and then you can reach God in Heaven. For some born again Christians, finding God doesn’t only change your mind but your actions.
Johnny Cash, for example was not only a fantastic songwriter, singer and guitarist, but also a devoted family man. For Johnny it had not always been this easy. When he was twelve, his brother Jack, his hero, was killing in a horrific accident whilst sawing wood for fence posts. This incident had a strong and lasting impact on Johnny’s life. Later in Johnny’s life he joined the air force. In this time, he found his music comforting, but was still quoted as saying “All through the air force, I was lonely for those three years. ” After he’d left the air force, he began his music career.
This also signalled the start of a seven year drug addiction. In 1965 he received a suspended sentence for possession of narcotics in Texas. His drug addiction started to subside in 1968 when he married June Carter. His life was started to be sorted, but it was not yet entire fixed.
He was still on drugs on and off for the next years. He believed his life to be so bad and so he would spend days at a time in the desert alone, until he finally felt he did not want to be alive any longer, and crawled into a large cave system to die.He crawled until his torch ran out, and then crawled further. It was here that he felt “the furthest from God” he had ever felt, and it was also here that he believed to have been spoken to by God, and led out of the cave system into the arms of June. He had been raised a Christian, and had always felt a connection to God through his music, both in his lyrics and singing the gospel songs of his childhood.
However, after his experience in the caves, he had become essentially a born again Christian, and felt that life had gained so much more meaning than before.This experience changed his lyrics. They became more to do with god and Jesus. This is shown in the song ‘Personal Jesus’ were the some of the lyrics are ‘Feeling unknown, and you’re all alone, flesh and bone, by the telephone, lift up the receiver, I’ll make you a believer’. Where as before he wrote about ‘I hurt myself today to see if I still feel I focus on the pain’.
It had also changed his actions as he had now given up on his drugs and was now completely devoted to God, his wife and his children.