Time Magazine: The Jesus Revolution

Filed under Revolution & Justice on October 25th, 2008 by M. French

The following is an excerpt from Voice of Revolution‘s purpose and vision as written on our about page:

Voice of Revolution is the online magazine of the ministry of Dr. Michael Brown, devoted to helping equip, strengthen, and mobilize a Jesus-people in the earth today: a people devoted to the teachings and character of the Son of God, a people committed to being like Him as well as to doing His will, a people who take God’s Word seriously and feel a holy calling to make their lives count for the Master, a people who believe that as the salt of the earth and the light of the world, we can make a difference. And far from feeling that this is a special or elitist calling, we believe that this is the sacred privilege of every child of God – in denominations, in house churches, in fellowships of all kinds around the world. All those who truly know the Lord are called to live countercultural lives and to be ambassadors of His kingdom.

We believe that it is time for God’s people to take hold of His revolutionary purposes on the earth today. As one socialist said in the 1920’s, “We socialists would have nothing to do if you Christians had continued the revolution begun by Jesus.”

Time Magazine's Jesus Revolution CoverWhat would a “Jesus People” living countercultural lives really look like? The Book of Acts describes just such a people who turned their world upside down through the gospel.  They serve as the model for us, but what about contemporary history?  Are there any examples of what a movement of counterculture Jesus People looks like?

Consider the Jesus Movement of a generation ago.  At a time when, as one pastor puts it, the church had become nothing more than a social club; a flood of hippies left their lives of sinful rebellion and became counterculture Jesus followers.  Even the mainstream media took notice of this influential movement.  If you picked up a copy of Time Magazine during the week of June 21st, 1971, you would have seen the Jesus Revolution cover to the right, and you would have read the following cover story within its pages:

JESUS CHRIST

ALIAS: THE MESSIAH, THE SON OF GOD, KING OF KINGS, LORD OF LORDS, PRINCE OF PEACE, ETC.

> Notorious leader of an underground liberation movement

>Wanted for the following charges:

—Practicing medicine, winemaking and food distribution without a license.

—Interfering with businessmen in the temple.

—Associating with known criminals, radicals, subversives, prostitutes and street people.

—Claiming to have the authority to make people into God’s children.

APPEARANCE: Typical hippie type—long hair, beard, robe, sandals.

> Hangs around slum areas, few rich friends, often sneaks out into the desert.

BEWARE: This man is extremely dangerous. His insidiously inflammatory message is particularly dangerous to young people who haven’t been taught to ignore him yet. He changes men and claims to set them free.

WARNING: HE IS STILL AT LARGE!

HE is indeed. As the words of this Wanted poster from a Christian underground newspaper demonstrate, Jesus is alive and well and living in the radical spiritual fervor of a growing number of young Americans who have proclaimed an extraordinary religious revolution in his name. Their message: the Bible is true, miracles happen, God really did so love the world that he gave it his only begotten son. In 1966 Beatle John Lennon casually remarked that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ; now the Beatles are shattered, and George Harrison is singing My Sweet Lord. The new young followers of Jesus listen to Harrison, but they turn on only to the words of their Master: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

Christian coffeehouses have opened in many cities, signaling their faith even in their names: The Way Word in Greenwich Village, the Catacombs in Seattle, I Am in Spokane. A strip joint has been converted to a “Christian nightclub” in San Antonio. Communal “Christian houses” are multiplying like loaves and fishes for youngsters hungry for homes, many reaching out to the troubled with round-the-clock telephone hot lines. Bibles abound: whether the cherished, fur-covered King James Version or scruffy, back-pocket paperbacks, they are invariably well-thumbed and often memorized. “It’s like a glacier,” says “Jesus-Rock” Singer Larry Norman, 24. “It’s growing and there’s no stopping it.”

There is an uncommon morning freshness to this movement, a buoyant atmosphere of hope and love along with the usual rebel zeal. Some converts seem to enjoy translating their new faith into everyday life, like those who answer the phone with “Jesus loves you” instead of “hello.” But their love seems more sincere than a slogan, deeper than the fast-fading sentiments of the flower children; what startles the outsider is the extraordinary sense of joy that they are able to communicate… click to continue reading the article …

As we seek to bring about a new Jesus People movement in our time, let’s hear the cry of a generation ago; from a people who “turn[ed] on only to the words of their Master” and “startle[d] outsiders” with their “extraordinary sense of joy.”



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