(Image via Wikipedia)
Every once in a while J. Lee Grady comes out with an article that hits it right on the head. In this one he says that we need to get back to Jesus and the Bible like those simple days of the ‘Jesus People’ movement of the 70’s. Well worth a read: “We Need Another Jesus Movement”
Here is where he hits us hard:
The Jesus movement was primarily focused on—surprise!—Jesus. Theology was not complicated, pastors weren’t trying to be hip or sophisticated or tech-savvy; and we hadn’t yet created a Christian subculture with its own celebrities and political power bases.
… In my travels this past year I’ve been horrified to learn that many Spirit-filled believers have given up the discipline of reading their Bibles even semi-regularly. They prefer a steady diet of culturally relevant, fast-paced, techno-theology that is a poor substitute for discipleship.
Many charismatics have developed the attitude that a simple focus on Christ isn’t enough. We’d rather go to a “prophetic encounter” to hear what Obama’s chances are in 2012, or experience some exotic spiritual manifestation (gold dust, gems falling out of the ceiling), or ask Rev. Flash-in-the-Pan to pray for us for the sixteenth time so we can receive yet another “special anointing” that we will probably never use.
In the midst of all this charismatic gobbledygook, where is Jesus? Am I the only one out there who is weary of this distraction?
I remember the Jesus people movement well and I live 15 miles from where it all started and still see the effects of it. I go to a church that traces its beginning in the midst of it with a bunch of folks that came to Jesus then and part of a movement that started in the aftermath.
All of us look fondly back on those days when the Holy Spirit fell upon a bunch of hippies and college students in Orange County California and did a sovereign work that is still on-going.
God raised up a bunch of uneducated nobodies and turned them into Bible teachers and mega-pastors. The Holy Spirit fell upon a bunch of hippies and students and instilled in them the notion that everybody gets to play and all are called to minister. Plus he called forth a bunch of musicians who demonstrated that guitars and contemporary music could be used to worship God and bless people in the name of Jesus Christ.
For us the message that Grady brings is an admonition to return to our first love- Jesus. Then let the heavens open once more and transform a new generation and another half a million or so folks in Southern California and eventually touch millions of folks from sea to shining sea.