Jesus Movement -Then and Now?

A Facebook friend recently sent me 3 successive clips. They were the history of Calvary Chapel and the Jesus Movement, a full tv show with William F. Buckley Jr. interviewing Malachi Martin dealing with the movement, and a Love Song tune of the era.

This can be and in many ways is a deep well. But in a nutshell response I replied with the following-

“Ahhh the “good old days”, when for some of us young ‘uns the spiritual times were simpler including the theology, doctrine and lack (Allelulia) of hard-wired methodology. On the other hand, race-riots, young service personnel being shipped home in body bags, Kent State and police brutality, Nixon, drug and sex addiction… wait… maybe all this is still in various ways happening today. Hopefully enough professing Christians will come to deeper connection to Father, Son, Spirit via His Word so that solid theology, depth of understanding to love Him and “the other” via doctrine (which is the core point of it) and fluid methodology rather than clinging wistfully to what either was or what we merely prefer painting us into static, spiritually immature corners. My prayer and personal desire -let it be HIS desire we fulfill!”

Mine was a simplistic reply of course. Here’s what I’d add:

IF and AS enough people (sizable minority) actually “pray without ceasing” through their day, are active in BEing “at peace with one another”, DOing “all you do in love”, and rather than lip-servicing “my faith is real” while clinging to weaponry and seeking the obliteration rather than cooperating with God the Holy Spirit to the possible salvation of “the widow, orphan, refugee, and those “not like us”, don’t hold your breath over “a new Jesus Movement”.

I’m one of the JM veterans and for what it is or isn’t worth, the first one imho happened due to 3, perhaps 4 major things.

1. Jesus moved. 2. Most of us (a majority of white students and street people) recognized and called out the atrocities (see above) and Emperors’ new clothes for what they were, 3. recognized beyond all material gain and “security” we’d enjoyed none of it met our deepest need for God and His love in Christ, and banded together to live out our faith come-what-may. (4.) Traditional churches on occasion were gracious and did not seek to co-opt the young Jesus Freaks but laid aside cultural and political “Berlin Walls” and whether they did or did not, houses sprung up in the U.S. and elsewhere that welcomed the hippies, surfers and “street Christians” who boldly, simply shared the Good News of Jesus Christ.

Most aged, got culturally conservative, got “a real job”, married, had kids and decided they were best fit for “normal”. Many via the several levels of pain, illness, dashed hopes and church politics or big-shot and often sin-mired leaders simply quit. Plenty continue to love God and populate churches (traditional and quite the opposite), a great number serve on the mission field of the larger world or in church leadership to this very day.

The reality is that there is a cost for following Jesus and many did not count it. Even quoting the very Word of Christ in the four Gospels (I mean the hard, demanding, “sounds like boundaries and even exclusion to me!”) then and now are what we are tempted to avoid.

Sometimes by this we avoid the Holy Spirit. Our thoughts about His thoughts become more important to us than His clear commands.

One reason I love blues music for all it’s simplicity is that it’s lyrically rather matter-of-fact about the injustices or perceived injustices of life… and the song continues to be sung. The cross is in the DNA.

If we avoid our crosses we avoid Him and those pesky, unlikable, unlovable “others”, and there you have my assessment of what was and why what some wish for may or may not take place.

Jesus is still moving! He’s never stopped. He will return too, ready or not.

As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn

2 thoughts on “Jesus Movement -Then and Now?

  1. I really appreciate the insights and comparison with the 60’s / 70’s to what so many are seeing all around us today. For most of my life I’ve been in a bubble, surrounded by church people and honestly I can see so many of my own self righteous opinions and selfish perspectives. My heart cry is that I can be in position to help the hurting and not push away from the ones around me that need the love of Christ first hand.

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