After a day or so of musing, my mind then started to think about the revival called ,The Jesus Movement. Which for those who know Church history, happened to coincide with the Charismatic Movement. Which in turn ran concurrent with the Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘N Roll revolution of the late 60′s and 70′s. It would later be called the Sexual Revolution or the Global Youth Movement.
Those years of upheaval and change in some ways were a foreshadow of our own times. Yet, what is missing today, seems to be the element of spiritual change that came about as a result of the conversion of massive numbers of youth during the Jesus Movement. I remember how even in the rural parts of the New England of my youth, hearing people calling others Jesus freaks with disdain in their voices. I can recall distinctly, when our neighbors, two single, upwardly mobile young woman. Sisters who came to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Were spurned by their more “traditional” parents, because ” they didn’t understand what had gotten into them”. What a shock! Two young nurses who decided not to have free sex, use recreational drugs, and instead wanted to go to Church more than the culturally accepted one or two Sundays a month; cast aside by their parents because they weren’t now normal?Their new found faith was not normal for the America of that era. It rocked the boat of their parents comfortable, traditional, compromised, Christianized worldview.
Whether you were a part of that social/ spiritual movement directly or not, we are all still influenced by it’s effects in the Church today! Praise choruses, films in church, hands lifted in worship, operating in spiritual gifts, church as a lifestyle as opposed to an institution, the Christian Music industry, radio, home groups, etc….these are all waves that still emanate from that time of revival. Cross pollinated with the Charismatic movement that occurred within the Church , all of it changed the “how” of “how” we do Church even today!
But, now other than the occasional Tebow appearing on the publics’ radar screen now and then, Where is the influence of the Church? Where is the social change that is her call and charge? Where are the on fire sold out youth?
I know those words are strong, and I certainly do not wish to offend anyone who is living that call to their utmost. But, my general sense is we haven’t seen any resemblance of a national awakening akin to that for quite some time. At least in the very real sense that such a movement literally rocked a nation, and caused society to see the error of their ways. In all honesty, do you?
Remember those neighborhood girls that I had mentioned earlier? They literally had to live together, and set out on their own because of their love for Christ had so offended the mediocrity and compromise of their parents form of religion. But, they chose Jesus over compromise. Both eventually became successful nurses paying their own way through college. And in time, their parents saw their conviction and lifestyle was true, and began coming to Church with them. That is the kind of living faith that I could applaud and extol all day long.
Yet, I feel somehow that God was trying to say something by linking Judges 2:10 and the idea of the Jesus Movement. The Bible tells us that the true stories of the Old Testament where meant as examples for our lives. So as I further meditated on these streams of thought I came to this conclusion. It is that an older generation who has lived out a life of faith, miracles, and interaction with God; has an obligation to pass that faith on! In the scripture they failed to pass on their faith. There was a true “generation gap”. An even sadder fact from the Book of Judges is that this becomes a repeated tragedy. It’s cyclical. The pattern repeats itself over hundreds of years, each time leading to a downward spiral of sorrow and bondage. When one generation failed to pass on a living breathing faith to the next, the story always ends the same way.And where does the Jesus movement fit into all of this? Well, I am glad that you asked! I would like to reply by saying, ” Where are they now?” Are those who fell so hard in love with Him still in love with Him? Or, did the bloom fall off the rose? Have they passed on the faith of their youth with all of its’ passions, and life? Or are they now living the same compromised life with the world that they criticized their parents for living? Honestly, in my own life, I have come across both types of Christians in the Boomer generation.