Carlos Benson, Director of Drummers for Jesus, interviews Vinnie Colaiuta at the Christian Musicians Summit
INTERVIEW WITH VINNIE COLAIUTA – PART I
CB: With all the religions in the world, why Christianity?
VC: Wow, that’s a great question. One thing that I’m apt to think is that God came to me and sought me in a sense. Because see, I grew up in a Catholic background, although I was not what you might call a “GOOD, PRACTICING” Catholic, it seems as though in my younger years of childhood growing up I believed in Jesus and what I knew about him. Of course there was no scripture teaching so that was all really a mystery to me. And as I grew into adulthood I remember, I would like to say, for maybe ten years, I’m just throwing a wild number out there, before I got saved in 1998, that I had gradually found myself seeking spiritual answers, reaching out to spiritual values and higher values and spirituality and had sort of racked my brain philosophically and coming up empty. I found myself bargaining with God and I realized a lot of things. Wanting to know answers. It’s real easy for us to come up with answers to satisfy ourselves and appease our curiosity. After a lot of questioning and searching I think that God had engineered these circumstances providentially to bring me to him and that led up to me going to Switzerland [where friends of Vinnie would lead him to Christ]. So, it wasn’t like a situation where I was “SHOPPING” and looked at a laundry list: “Buddhism, Hinduism, etc, oh Christianity – that one looks good.” (Laughs) So, it wasn’t really like that, although I had explored a lot of avenues and done quite a bit of research, so to speak. The way that the events actually happened: I found out that people had been praying for me. And again, after I had gone to Switzerland and after I had met the Lord and asked him to come into my life, I began to read scripture voraciously. So, on that level it provided me with all the answers. It provided me with all the answers on an intellectual cognizant level.
CB: So, you felt like God had sought you out, picked you and by reading the scripture it kind of …
VC: Well, it substantiates things. And it did substantiate God seeking me and it answered that but also what I’m saying is that scripture will tell you, it will answer you on that level. It’s not just some emotional experience that you can’t quite identify. Or, that you come away with a lot of questions, you come up empty and it doesn’t make sense, it’s not like that. It will satisfy you intellectually, and when I say “it” I’m talking in terms of Christianity and I loathe to speak about it in terms of religion versus a relationship with the living God, but just for the sake of explanation and discussion that’s what I’ll say and as well as seeing that that void was filled, so also viscerally, emotionally, experientially, intellectually and cognizant – it’s all those levels, you know. So, in retrospect now that I’m looking at it, and I would always say that God had His hand on me, because of what I’ve learned in scriptures and because I can correlate that with what actually happened in my own life that led up to it and that it continues. It’s like you go back and look and the scripture tells you that – you experience these things before you even get to scripture, then you read scripture and it tells you that. And you go, “WOW”. That was my experience as well. And like I say, philosophically I was coming up empty. It just reminded of dead end stuff. It’s like you put a pair of sneakers in the clothes dryer and they just keep bouncing off the walls. It just never gets to anywhere. I just found at the end of the day philosophically it’s a great intellectual exercise. But, a lot times I find, more often than not, you’re beating your head against the wall and trying to come up with the ultimate answers and it’s that thing like “I’VE GOT IT, I KNOW WHAT IT IS, I, I, ME, I KNOW, I’LL COME UP WITH ALL THE ANSWERS BECAUSE I’VE GOT A MIND AND A BRAIN AND I CAN FIGURE THIS OUT AND IF I CAN’T THEN I’M SURE NIETZSCHE WILL TELL ME, OR I’M SURE VOLTAIRE WILL TELL ME OR PLATO” and that’s not to denigrate any of these people in a sense. Our western thought largely stems from what Thales, Aristotle and Locke in terms of the thought processes and logic, but there’s that BUT word, it all stops short in terms of a lot of philosophical factions and philosophers. I mean, it goes on and on and on through history. Like a guy comes along and says, “ Oh, we got a paroxysm here.” Then that sticks and everybody thinks that’s the end of the road. Then 100 years later somebody else comes along and says “Nope”, here comes Immanuel Kant, “Oh no, no, no, hang on a second here” and everybody says, gee wiz why didn’t I think about that for the last 150 years? Or why didn’t WE think of that. You mean for three hundred years we thought this? Well, nobody’s been able to do that for the last two thousand years with the word of God. People tried and they do it all the time. The enemy is a crafty fellow but he’s not crafty enough. We have a promise and the Bible tells us that it’s going to get to the point where he may be able to deceive even the very ELECT. Then Christ will return again. That’s all kind of eschatology. It’s hard to speculate. That’s a little tangential from what we’re talking about right now. But, they all factor into reasons for me. So, on ALL those levels I just SAW IT … ya know, Jesus is the truth and the light and the way. There’s no falsehood in what He said. There just isn’t. I could go on and on and on and on and expound about it on a lot of levels but I think I’ve encapsulated it. There are a lot of reasons I believe but I think this sums it up.