“We Need Another Jesus Movement”


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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?

Response: Amen!

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.

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8 Responses to “We Need Another Jesus Movement”

  1. Thanks for posting this. very stimulating. Got me thinking for sure. Hope all is good with you, Michael.

  2. Thanks Andrew for your comments.

  3. Talk of needing another “Jesus People Movement” invokes a mixed feeling in me. I guess another one would be great if the many negatives of the earlier one were somehow subtracted out.

    But why do we suppose that the LORD is restricted to reusing past paradigms?

  4. Oengus:
    Actually if God did do another sovereign work in this area one thing we can be sure of is that it would be different than the last and the enemy would sow all new ‘negatives’ too.

  5. Michael: ” it would be different…”

    Yes, indeed, but in that case there really is no need to call it “Jesus People Movement, version 2.0”

    As for the Devil sowing “new negatives,” well the archfiend really isn’t all that creative. He would just recycle all the same ol’ negatives he has used so well in the past, e.g., idolatry, immorality, greed, hero-worship, envy, and jealousy.

  6. Oengus,
    I really don’t care what you want to call it. If a sovereign work of God falls on Southern California once again and 500,000 more folks come to Christ in a couple of years than praise the Lord.

    Why invest so much time and concern on what ‘negatives’ the Devil may sow. It is always going to happen. Yes some leaders will fall and some will be misled, and some ‘wolves in sheep clothing’ will show up but I will take another half million new believers any day and consider it a blessing.

    Most of the folks that came to Christ in the 70’s are still faithful and two movements came out of it that are still bringing folks to Jesus in spite of it all.

  7. Michael: “Why invest so much time and concern on what ‘negatives’ the Devil may sow.”

    It’s hard in a combox to indicate tone of voice or intent. I think you might be reading into my terse comments an adversarial tone of voice that I don’t intend.

    My concerns are really more with what is happening right now instead of past or future negatives. I would refer you to Lunar Ossuary, where you might get a somewhat larger window into my thinking, especially by my most recent items, a short essay on “Grabbing the Mantel,” and a short review of a recent book by Grady. I guess, to put it very tersely, the two concerns I was addressing there are (1) hero-worship, and (2) self-serving leadership.

    As for there being another something like another “Jesus People Movement,” I really don’t think there will be one because the particular cultural confluences that came together to produce it back in the late 1960s and early 1970s no longer exist. The situation in America is very different now. But, what’s coming next will probably be very surprising and even take the profiteers, er… the prophets on “Elijah List” by surprise.

    By the way, your blog is one of the very few xtian blogs that I consider worth the effort to follow.

  8. Bobby Gilbert

    There will be another “Jesus Movement”. The Jesus Movement was an act of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was the worker. We are in His Week that he has to fulfill. The next week should be called something like the Children of God. The adopted has to fulfill this 15th and last week which should be called the 1st Resurrection Week.

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