A good-hearted bro. put pics of the late 60s-early 70s Jesus Movement up in social media which mentioned elements in 2020 are quite similar and that we need a new Jesus Movement including evangelism and discipleship.
“I could not agree more: Now as then issues of injustice, poverty, racism, white and business interests -before-“the least of these” along with “Of COURSE I’m a Christian because I’m an American!” foolishness along with dope, booze and the futility of life without authentic relationship with Jesus and treating our neighbor with His love and compassion meant sharing the Good News of Jesus and discipleship rather than mere “fire insurance” and eternal (and temporal) rewards. Then and now, ‘Whosoever will let them come.'”
What far too many wish for are “the good old days”, a romantic time of innocence with newfound faith, the “first love” we had with Jesus before some of these very issues I mention above were faced. Many if not most of us realized the futility and utter despair of self-worship, of addictions including that of status, status quo society including that of any church group, whiteness, the face of racism (which “didn’t affect me/us or our family because we were/are white”!) and the poverty, police and bigoted brutality and violence, the military-indu$trial complex President (General) Eisenhower spoke so clearly about.
We lived through JFK, Bobby Kennedy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. assassinations, Fred Hampton and Kent State student murders and the body bags of a Vietnam “police action”.
Most of us hippies didn’t only come to saving faith in Jesus, we eventually got clean and sober, cut our hair, “got a real job” married, had kids, and especially if white continued the process of “me, mine, us” in control and a modicum of life that did and too often does reflect the establishment, status-quo of society which in part along with our “personal sin-choices” had trashed our lives initially bringing us to Him in the first place! Please read those words again, -please do!
In simple terms, we became satisfied enough that “the least of these” Jesus mentions re. God’s separating sheep from goats at the end of this life took a back seat to “personal success” schemes rather than serving those in deepest need around us. Full circle. Prodigal church.
Yes, we NEED a new Jesus Movement, but like Israel’s roller-coaster on/off/on/off relationship with Yahweh we are often (if not consistently) into backsliding -even after tasting that the Lord is good.
Jesus, Paul, Peter’s earliest sermons (among many more in both Testaments) call us -you and me dear reader- to repent.
The issue is indeed “first love” and “do the works you did at first”, not mere “ticket-to-heaven” to continual bubble-bursting of a mythic dream where personal sacrifices, cross-bearing and loving one’s neighbor REGARDLESS OF ANYTHING INCLUDING PERSONAL POSITION, to “count the cost” and lay one’s life down for Jesus and others.
My old Jesus Movement peers:
Real life in maturing discipleship with our Lord Jesus Christ (detailed by Jesus in John chapter 15) is not the simplistic emotional high and joy-ride of our youth.
Love that dies and rises again rather than robs, kills and destroys is what brought us to follow Jesus Christ. If “the weapons of our warfare are [truly] not carnal” why are so many professing Christians picking them up, even talking about civil war as per killing one’s neighbor?! It is a full-on lie to consider such “defending the faith”. Straight-up, lie.
Yes, we need a new Jesus Movement because like Adam and Eve we are prone to listen to snakes as long as they agree with us getting “our way”.
Jesus IS Who He said: “THE Way, the Truth and the Life!”
Things to consider if we’re talking about the God of Love, the only Lord and Savior as revealed in His Word.
As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn