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!
These are the opening lines of the June 21, 1971, cover story in Time magazine. It covered the “Jesus Revolution” or as we usually labeled it, “The Jesus Movement.” It was the time when the Spirit moved deeply among the under 30 generation — a generation growing up in “an impersonal and despiritualized life that increasingly finds release in sexploration, status, alcohol and conspicuous consumption.” A world falling apart, being exploited and destroyed, where a “Silent Spring” seems very likely, a world on the “Eve of Destruction.” It was a time when many of us honestly never expected to see our 30th birthday (seriously).
And the Church? Irrelevant, meaningless and sold out to “The Man.”
The Jesus revolution rejects not only the material values of conventional America but the prevailing wisdom of American theology.
Times don’t seem to have changed much, but the Spirit is blowing a refreshing breeze among His people which has again opened spiritual eyes and ignited a movement — the missional movement — where “the way of Jesus” informs and radically transforms our existence to one wholly focused on sacrificially living for Him and others and where we adopt a missionary stance in relation to our culture.
The Jesus Movement faded, but its fruit radically impacted the American church. I expect the missional movement as we know it will also fade, but it too will (and already has) have a radical and deep influence on western Christendom.
Because the Jesus Movement is the root of the missional movement, it is well worth your time to read the full Time magazine story. You can find it here.
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