Jesus movement

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The Jesus movement was an Evangelical Christian movement beginning on the West Coast of the United States in the late 1960s and early 1970s and spreading primarily throughout North America, Europe, and Central America, before subsiding by the late 1980s. Members of the movement were called Jesus people, or Jesus freaks .

West Coast of the United States coastline of the United States of America

The West Coast or Pacific Coast is the coastline along which the continental Western United States meets the North Pacific Ocean. As a region, this term most often refers to the coastal states of California, Oregon, and Washington. More specifically, it refers to an area defined on the east by the Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada, and Mojave Desert, and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. The United States Census groups the five states of California, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Hawaii together as the Pacific States division.

Jesus freak

Jesus freak is a term arising from the late 1960s and early 1970s counterculture and is frequently used as a pejorative for those involved in the Jesus movement. As Tom Wolfe illustrates in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, the term "freak" with a preceding qualifier was a strictly neutral term and described any counterculture member with a specific interest in a given subject; hence "acid freak" and "Jesus freak". The term "freak" was in common-enough currency that Hunter S. Thompson's failed bid for sheriff of Pitkin County, Colorado was as a member of the "Freak Power" party. However, many later members of the movement, those misunderstanding the countercultural roots believed the term to be negative, and co-opted and embraced the term, and its usage broadened to describe a Christian subculture throughout the hippie and back-to-the-land movements that focused on universal love and pacifism, and relished the radical nature of Jesus's message. Jesus freaks often carried and distributed copies of the Good News for Modern Man, a 1966 translation of the New Testament written in modern English. In Australia, and other countries, the term Jesus freak, along with Bible basher, is still used in a derogatory manner. In Germany, there is a Christian youth culture, also called Jesus Freaks International, that claims to have its roots in the U.S. movement.

Contents

Its predecessor, the Charismatic Movement, had already been in full swing for about a decade. It involved mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics who testified to having supernatural experiences similar to those recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, especially speaking in tongues. Both of these movements held that they were calling the church back to a closer Biblical picture of Christianity, in which the gifts of the Spirit would be restored to the Church. [1]

Mainline Protestant Older, more establishment Protestant denominations

The mainline Protestant churches are a group of Protestant denominations in the United States that contrast in history and practice with evangelical, fundamentalist, and charismatic Protestant denominations. Some make a distinction between "mainline" and "oldline", with the former referring only to denominational ties and the latter referring to church lineage, prestige and influence. However, this distinction has largely been lost to history and the terms are now nearly synonymous. These terms are also increasingly used in other countries for the same purpose of distinguishing between the so-called oldline and neo-Protestants.

Catholic Church Largest Christian church, led by the Bishop of Rome

The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3 billion baptised Catholics worldwide as of 2017. As the world's oldest and largest continuously functioning international institution, it has played a prominent role in the history and development of Western civilisation. The church is headed by the Bishop of Rome, known as the pope. Its central administration is the Holy See.

Acts of the Apostles Book of the New Testament

The Acts of the Apostles, often referred to simply as Acts, or formally the Book of Acts, is the fifth book of the New Testament; it tells of the founding of the Christian church and the spread of its message to the Roman Empire.

The Jesus movement left a legacy that included the formation of various denominations as well as other Christian organizations, and it also influenced the development of both the contemporary Christian right and Christian left. Jesus music, which grew out of the movement, was very influential in the creation of various subgenres of contemporary Christian music during the late 20th and early 21st centuries, such as Jesus Culture and Hillsong in both America and the UK. [2] This also led to the inclusion of new musical instruments in churches all over the world, such as guitars and drums, in addition to traditional musical instruments such as pianos and organs. Music in other parts of the world was also greatly influenced by the Jesus Movement, such as music in Central America and the UK. In Central America, Pentecostal churches under the Charismatic Movement began to compose spiritual music called "coros" (fast-paced hymns) which is normally accompanied by dancing as worship. [3]

A Christian denomination is a distinct religious body within Christianity, identified by traits such as a name, organization, leadership and doctrine. The Roman Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox Church, and Oriental Orthodoxy, meaning the large majority, all self-describe as churches, whereas many Protestant denominations self-describe as congregations or fellowships. Divisions between one group and another are defined by authority and doctrine; issues such as the nature of Jesus, the authority of apostolic succession, ecclesiology, eschatology, and papal primacy may separate one denomination from another. Groups of denominations—often sharing broadly similar beliefs, practices, and historical ties—are sometimes known as "branches of Christianity". These branches differ in many ways, especially through differences in practices and belief.

The Christian right or the religious right are Christian political factions that are characterized by their strong support of socially conservative policies. Christian conservatives seek to influence politics and public policy with their interpretation of the teachings of Christianity.

The Christian left is a range of centre-left and left-wing Christian political and social movements that largely embrace social justice viewpoints and uphold a social gospel. Given the inherent diversity in international political thought, the term can have different meanings and applications in different countries. Although there is some overlap, the Christian left is distinct from liberal Christianity, meaning not all Christian leftists are liberal Christians, and vice versa. Some Christian leftists have socially conservative views on social issues but lean left on economic issues.

Origins

The terms Jesus movement and Jesus people were coined by Duane Pederson in his writings for the Hollywood Free Paper. In an interview by Sean Dietrich on August 19, 2006, Pederson said that he did not coin the word "Jesus people" but gave credit to a magazine/television interviewer who asked him if he was part of the "Jesus people" and thereafter credited Duane as the phrase's founder. [4] The term Jesus freak was originally a neutral label imposed on the group by non-Christian hippies, but members of the Jesus movement, who misunderstood the term as pejorative, reclaimed the phrase as a positive self-identifier. The Jesus movement was partly a reaction against the counterculture from which it originated.

Duane Pederson is a former self-proclaimed "Jesus freak", and leader of the "Jesus movement". In his capacity as founding editor of the Hollywood Free Paper, he has been credited with coining the terms "Jesus people" and "Jesus movement". Pederson clarified in an audio interview that those words were attributed to him by a news agency when he said "We're people who love Jesus." However, Pederson did popularize the words "Jesus People" and "Jesus Movement" in the pages of the Hollywood Free Paper.

A pejorative is a word or grammatical form expressing a negative connotation or a low opinion of someone or something, showing a lack of respect for someone or something. It is also used to express criticism, hostility, or disregard. Sometimes, a term is regarded as pejorative in some social or ethnic groups but not in others, or may be originally pejorative and eventually be adopted in a non-pejorative sense in some or all contexts.

Beliefs and practices

The Jesus movement was restorationist in theology, seeking to return to the original life of the early Christians. As a result, Jesus people often viewed churches, especially those in the United States, as apostate, and took a decidedly countercultural political stance in general. The theology of the Jesus movement also called for a return to simple living and asceticism in some cases. The Jesus people had a strong belief in miracles, signs and wonders, faith, healing, prayer, The Bible, and powerful works of the Holy Spirit. For example, a revival at Asbury College in 1970 grabbed the attention of the mainstream news media and became known nationwide. [5] [6]

Restorationism Belief that Christianity should return to the form of the early apostolic church

Restorationism is the belief that Christianity has been or should be restored along the lines of what is known about the apostolic early church, which restorationists see as the search for a purer and more ancient form of the religion. Fundamentally, "this vision seeks to correct faults or deficiencies by appealing to the primitive church as a normative model."

Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the divine and, more broadly, of religious belief. It is taught as an academic discipline, typically in universities and seminaries. It occupies itself with the unique content of analyzing the supernatural, but also deals with religious epistemology, asks and seeks to answer the question of revelation. Revelation pertains to the acceptance of God, gods, or deities, as not only transcendent or above the natural world, but also willing and able to interact with the natural world and, in particular, to reveal themselves to humankind. While theology has turned into a secular field, religious adherents still consider theology to be a discipline that helps them live and understand concepts such as life and love and that helps them lead lives of obedience to the deities they follow or worship.

Apostasy in Christianity repudiation of the Christian faith

Apostasy in Christianity is the rejection of Christianity by someone who formerly was a Christian. The term apostasy comes from the Greek word apostasia ("ἀποστασία") meaning defection, departure, revolt or rebellion. It has been described as "a willful falling away from, or rebellion against, Christianity. Apostasy is the rejection of Christ by one who has been a Christian...." "Apostasy is a theological category describing those who have voluntarily and consciously abandoned their faith in the God of the covenant, who manifests himself most completely in Jesus Christ." "Apostasy is the antonym of conversion; it is deconversion."

The movement tended towards strong evangelism and millennialism. Some of the most read books by those within the movement included Ron Sider's Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger and Hal Lindsey's The Late Great Planet Earth . [7]

Evangelism Spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ for the purpose of conversion to or a rapprochement with Christianity

In Christianity, evangelism is the commitment to or act of publicly preaching (ministry) of the Gospel with the intention of spreading the message and teachings of Jesus Christ.

Millennialism, or chiliasm, is a belief advanced by some religious denominations that a Golden Age or Paradise will occur on Earth prior to the final judgment and future eternal state of the "World to Come".

Ron Sider Canadian theologian

Ronald James Sider is a Canadian-born American theologian and social activist. He is the founder of Evangelicals for Social Action, a think-tank which seeks to develop biblical solutions to social and economic problems through incubating programs that operate at the intersection of faith and social justice. He is a founding board member of the National Religious Partnership for the Environment. He is also the Distinguished Professor of Theology, Holistic Ministry and Public Policy at Palmer Theological Seminary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Perhaps the most illustrative aspect of the Jesus movement was its communal aspect. Many Jesus people lived in communes. Although there were some groups, such as the Calvary Chapel movement, which did not live in communes, these remained more on the fringes of the Jesus movement. Within the commune, the group became more important than the individual and communal sharing of possessions was the norm. One example would be Graham Pulkingham's community described in his book They Left Their Nets. Some of the communes became highly authoritarian.[ citation needed ]

Growth and decline

Secular and Christian media exposure in 1971 and 1972 caused the Jesus movement to explode across the United States, attracting evangelical youth eager to identify with the movement. The Shiloh communities and the Children of God attracted many new believers while many other communes and fellowships sprang up.

Explo '72 was an event organized by Campus Crusade for Christ and involved such conservative leaders as Bill Bright and Billy Graham. Many of the young Jesus People attending Explo '72 discovered for the first time these and other traditional avenues of Christian worship and experience. Afterward, the movement began to subside, largely concluding by the late 1980s.

Although Explo '72 marked the high-water mark of media interest, the Jesus movement continued at a grass roots level with smaller individual groups and communities.

Legacy

Although the Jesus movement lasted no more than a decade (except for the Jesus People USA which continues to exist in Chicago), its influence on Christian culture can still be seen. Thousands of converts moved into leadership positions in churches and parachurch organizations. The informality of the Jesus movement's music and worship affected almost all evangelical churches. Some of the fastest growing US denominations of the late 20th century, such as Calvary Chapel, Hope Chapel Churches, and the Vineyard Churches, trace their roots directly back to the Jesus movement, as do parachurch organizations like Jews for Jesus and the contemporary Christian music industry. [8] [9] Perhaps the most significant and lasting influence, however, was the growth of an emerging strand within evangelical Christianity that appealed to the contemporary youth culture. [10]

Jesus music

Barry McGuire Barry McGuire at the 3 day Music & Alternatives festival, New Zealand 1979..jpg
Barry McGuire
Keith Green Keithgreen.jpg
Keith Green

There has been a long legacy of Christian music connected to the Jesus movement. Jesus music, also known as gospel beat music in the UK, primarily began when street musicians of the late 1960s and early 1970s converted to Christianity. [11] They continued to play the same style of music they had played previously but began to write lyrics with a Christian message. Many music groups developed out of this, and some became leaders within the Jesus movement, most notably Barry McGuire, Love Song, Second Chapter of Acts, All Saved Freak Band, Servant, Petra, Resurrection Band, Phil Keaggy, Paul Clark, Dion DiMucci, Paul Stookey [12] of Peter, Paul, and Mary; Randy Stonehill, Randy Matthews, Andraé Crouch (and the Disciples), Nancy Honeytree, Keith Green, and Larry Norman. The Joyful Noise Band traveled with a Christian community throughout the U.S. and Europe, performing in festivals held underneath giant tents. In the UK, Malcolm and Alwyn were the most notable agents of the gospel beat.

According to The Jesus People: Old-Time Religion in the Age of Aquarius by Enroth, Ericson, and Peters, Chuck Smith of Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California founded the first Christian rock labels when he launched the Maranatha! Music label in 1971 as an outlet for the Jesus music bands performing at Calvary worship services. However, in 1970 Larry Norman recorded, produced, and released two albums: Street Level [13] and Born Twice for Randy Stonehill. [14] on his own label, One Way Records. [15]

Organizations

Belmont Avenue Church of Christ

Don Finto became involved with the Belmont Avenue Church of Christ (now simply Belmont Church), an ailing old inner city church in Nashville, Tennessee on Music Row between the public housing and several universities – Peabody, Vanderbilt and Belmont College etc. By the summer of 1971, the membership roll had dropped to about 75 elderly members. The church had mainstream roots in the Churches of Christ, but was transformed and firmly placed in the Jesus movement by an influx of countercultural Christians.

Seating ran out, with people sitting on the window sills or on the stage. It was not uncommon to find them walking the worst parts of Lower Broadway witnessing to hookers and addicts. Within a year or two, the fellowship grew to hundreds and the famous Koinonia Coffee House was opened, being managed by Bill and Sherry Duguid at 1004 16th Avenue South, as it was known then, and a year or so later was led by Bob and Peggy Hughey. The second Koinonia building next door at 1000 16th Avenue S. (16th and Grand) had been an old "Five and Dime" store on Music Square that had closed down. The concerts held there on weekends helped east coast Christian music to grow in popularity. The house band was Dogwood, and many famous musicians regularly appeared on stage, including Dogwood, Amy Grant, Brown Bannister, Chris Christian, Don Francisco, Fireworks, Annie and Steve Chapman, Clay In The Potter's Hand and many others.[ citation needed ]

Calvary Chapel

Chuck Smith, founder and pastor of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, led with expositional verse-by-verse Bible studies. While he taught that the gifts seen and described in The New Testament were at work today there were Biblical restrictions on the exercise of those gifts among believers in their services. He baptized members in the Pacific Ocean. Unlike many other Christian movements, there was no single leader or figurehead of the Jesus movement. Some of the larger names include Duane Pederson, Jack Sparks, who led the Christian World Liberation Front, as well as Lonnie Frisbee, who worked for a time along with Smith. Frisbee was a key evangelist during the growth of the Calvary churches, while Smith was one of the few pastors who welcomed in the hippies who after coming to faith, eventually became known as Jesus people, and thus allowed for the dramatic future growth of his affiliate church network. Sparks and Pederson later became priests in the Eastern Orthodox Church. The international Potter's House Church (CFM) was birthed out of the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, a church movement based in Los Angeles where Smith received his early theological training.

Fellowship House Church

Steve Freeman and others opened the Kingdom Come Christian Coffee House in Greenville, South Carolina, in 1971. Each Saturday night Jesus People gathered for worship, songs and fellowship. In 1972, several people who were highly involved in the Kingdom Come graduated from high schools and dispersed in several colleges and universities throughout the Southeastern United States and started a Fellowship House Church. Maynard Pittendreigh, Jay Holmes, and Freeman each established one at Erskine College, the University of South Carolina, and Furman University respectively. Leadership moved from Steve Freeman to a charismatic preacher named Erskine Holt, a self-described apostle of the movement who lived in Florida. By 1973, nearly every campus throughout Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia had Fellowship House Churches. These generally died out by 1977, with many of the members moving to more traditional campus ministries. However, many moved onto similar ministries in such organizations as Calvary Chapel.

Jesus Army

In the UK, the Jesus Army was among the groups most influenced by the Jesus movement, embracing (former) hippies, bikers and drug addicts, among others. Many members of the church adopted a communal lifestyle, which continues to this day, with around 600 living in Christian community.

Shiloh Youth Revival Centers

The Shiloh Youth Revival Centers movement was the largest Jesus People communal movement in the United States in the 1970s. Founded by John Higgins in 1968 as a small communal house in Costa Mesa, California, the movement quickly grew into a very large movement catering mostly to disaffected college-age youth. There were over 100,000 people involved and 175 communal houses established during its lifespan.[ citation needed ][ dubious ] Two years after the movement's founding, Higgins and some of the core members of the movement bought 90 acres (360,000 m2) of land near Dexter, Oregon and built a new headquarters which they called "The Land".[ citation needed ]

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Christian rock is a form of rock music that features lyrics focusing on matters of Christian faith, often with an emphasis on Jesus, typically performed by self-proclaimed Christian individuals. The extent to which their lyrics are explicitly Christian varies between bands. Many bands who perform Christian rock have ties to the contemporary Christian music labels, media outlets, and festivals, while other bands are independent.

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Chuck Smith (pastor) pastor

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In Evangelical christianity, a worship service or service is a time when believers meet to praise, worship, pray to God and receive a teaching (sermon) based on the Bible. It can take place with the church or with the family. Meetings can be held on weekdays, but Sundays have a special connotation.

References

  1. Sherrill, John and Elizabeth, They Speak with Other Tongues, Chosen Books, 2011
  2. "A Brief History of Contemporary Christian Music". schooloftherock.com. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 26, 2009. Retrieved August 26, 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  4. "The Hollywood Free Paper". hollywoodfreepaper.org. Retrieved March 6, 2018.
  5. "A Revival Account Asbury 1970". The Forerunner. March 2008. Archived from the original on July 19, 2011. Retrieved October 26, 2012.
  6. David J. Gyertson (1995). One Divine Moment. Bristol House, Limited. ISBN   9781885224002.
  7. Larry Eskridge, "Jesus People" in Erwin Fahlbusch, Geoffrey William Bromiley, David B. Barrett, Encyclopedia of Christianity "... the popularity of books like Hal Lindsey's Late Great Planet Earth (1970) mirrored hippie perceptions of the apocalyptic direction of modern America"
  8. Stella Lau, Popular Music in Evangelical Youth Culture, Routledge, USA, 2013, p. 33
  9. Bruce David Forbes, Jeffrey H. Mahan, Religion and Popular Culture in America, University of California Press, USA, 2005, p. 103
  10. Eileen Luhr, "Witnessing Suburbia: Conservatives and Christian Youth Culture "... University of California Press(2009) ISBN   0-520-25596-8"
  11. Don Cusic, Encyclopedia of Contemporary Christian Music: Pop, Rock, and Worship: Pop, Rock, and Worship, ABC-CLIO, USA, 2009, p. 269
  12. Paul Noel Stookey's 1968 conversion. Archived April 17, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  13. "Superstar", Hollywood Free Paper 2:23 (December 1, 1970), http://www.hollywoodfreepaper.org/archive.php?id=29
  14. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on July 20, 2011. Retrieved May 17, 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  15. While it is claimed that Norman borrowed $3,000 from Pat Boone to start One Way Records (see Randy Stonehill in Chris Willman, "RANDY STONEHILL: TURNING TWENTY", CCM (August 1990), http://www.nifty-music.com/stonehill/ccm0890.html), Norman denied this explicitly. (See Larry Norman, linear notes, Bootleg (2005 CDR Release-"Red Letter Edition").)

Bibliography