There were many bad things happening in society in the late 1960's and early 1970's. With the introduction of a new kind of music coupled with protest movements of every ilk imaginable: the culture at the time was ripe for something profound to happen in one realm or another. Incredibly, something spiritually profound took root at the time and exploded. It was around 1970 that the Jesus people movement started along with numerous independent ministries unshackled by denominational rules or demands.
God stepped in and radically changed my life in August of 1969 and I spent the next year living off the experience that took place in New Mexico. By the autumn of 1970 I was stagnating and starting to fade spiritually because a person cannot survive for any length of time on experience alone. The church I was in focused on the social gospel and placed no emphasis whatsoever on the Bible. This was the way the wealthy older members wanted things to be. They were no interested in anything other than a comfortable religion that never challenged them to grow or change. This stagnant attitude was fine for the older people, but those of us in high school were not happy and thus began exploring other churches and ministries. I was no exception.
When I got involved with a non-denominational ministry in October of 1970, the outcry from my parents and the youth minister at church was loud and strong. Immediately the group I was getting involved with and all other independent ministries were labeled as cults and any of us attending their classes or services were accused of being brainwashed . A shock wave was rolling through established denominational churches at the time as they watched their young people leave in throngs and join various groups that had one thing in common; a love for Jesus Christ and a passion for outreach.
I, like a multitude of other kids, was tired of the hypocrisy and apathy found in the church I grew up in. I was only 17 years old and I was not ready to settle down to a life of religiosity. All of us who departed various churches and became active in alternative ministries did so because of a hunger within us to know the truth and share that truth. We craved a personal relationship with our Lord and Savior. The fire that burned within us for God and His Word consumed us and the independent ministries provided a place to fellowship with others on fire .
I received a crash course in Biblical instruction between November of 1970 and April of 1971. It was my senior year in high school and I was supposed to be studying and getting ready for college and a job. Instead, I was wildly in love with Jesus and wanted to fully devote my life to Him and to telling others about Him. My church did not like the changes in me (and about 70% of the other kids who joined me) in spending our Sunday evenings at ministry functions instead of youth group at the church.
Finally in late April of 1971 I was confronted by the ministers of the church and given an ultimatum to stop what I was doing with the ministry I was in or be expelled from the church. I was not afraid and instead spent the better part of an hour boldly sharing what I had learned from a ministry who actually taught and believed God's Word. At the end of the hour I was literally carried out of the room, shoved out the door and told to NEVER set foot in that church again as the door was slammed shut in my face.
Instead of anger or fear I felt a huge weight of pressure removed from my shoulders. I was officially given complete freedom to live, worship and serve as I felt led to do. Unfortunately, many of my companions either could not or would not leave the church. They were intimidated by parents and others to return to their pews as good boys and girls should. To my knowledge, many of those people still sit on those same pews today.
Revolution is never easy and demands sacrifice and boldness. Once I was removed from that church I never looked back. After I graduated in May of 1971, I worked and spent the rest of my time leading a fellowship in my basement which at times attracted 60 people. What made what was going on so alluring? The power and life of God manifested in sharing His glorious Word and love is what enabled our group to grow and prosper. As they say, the rest is history.
Thanks for the sharing the great story and testament of the love of Christ .
The most difficult thing is for someone to let go and let God especially your parents. LOL
The old saying is I don't know what I shall be, but this I know that when He shall appear I shall be as He is.
I can see that the lord has given you much treasurers from your obedience to Him and learning to be lead by the spirit and not the world.
The hardest lessons in life is that of following Christ Jesus from the hearts and not the crowd or the world and witnessing Christ Jesus in your own lives.
If you shall search for Me says He with all your heart,I shall be found of you all, and in that hour and day you shall see, it shall be at evening time there shall be all light.
And I beheld the day and look and the heaven's were rolled away and the clouds were gone and the day Star shining brightly forevermore ,and there was no more night .
Be forever blessed!
The Jesus movement took off here in the early 70's and I can remember joining in a street march with the rest of my fellow church goers, something that we foreign to all of us. It was around this time that the charasmatic movement swept through NZ and I was caught up in this. But there was never a 'door slamming' on those who embraced the work on the Holy Spirit as each baptist church tried to accommodate this movement. All this fervour was the instrument in leading me to enter full time study for the ministry.
Yes they were 'heady' wonderful times as Gods spirit moved into my life and also my wife as we forsake all and followed Jesus in theological college.
Thanks for this blog reviving precious memories.
The 70's was a decade of change for me as I left my childhood and emerged into my teens and ended the decade as a college student. Being raised Pentecostal, I too did not face the 'door slamming' and indeed, it was encouraged.
I do remember however, that there was a great deal of criticism from a number of denominations and even within my own, you would sometimes hear murmuring about "those young people" and "their music". I saw the birth of what is now known as Contemporary Christian Music as Christian musicians and singers started to speak to my generation in our own language so to speak and faced a great deal of criticism at times for doing so.
Most people who have come to Christ within the past 25 years or so are not aware of how much of how much we see the influences from that time in the Church today.
Being as old as most here, and also involved in seeing all that you and others who commented share, I for one am broken-hearted at the endless comparisond between traditional and contemporary. Or charismatic, or whstever and however most will describe it.
Seems that everyone just wants to describe what they feel is wrong, with others. Be it groups, denominations, or people.
A 'new creation' is always how God has worked and moved with and in His people. All through Jesus Christ. It is Jesus Christ, what He has done, and does now, through His people, that brings about this 'new creation'.
Seems this is where we all have failed. How most all get off course. Forgetting that He is the preeminent One, the means, by which everything of God is accomplished.
So sad. And the reason for this turning away we are seeing today, EVERYWHERE. Good to see your presence here brother. You are faithfully doing your ministry here. God bless you.
Baptist is where I went in my youth, and me and my wife were married in a Baptist Church and latter I became Pentecostal and I have a license through my state to give in marriage.
I didn't know this !
Contemporary Christian Music as Christian musicians and singers started to speak to my generation in our own language so to speak and faced a great deal of criticism at times .
And that is great information to have witness a new era take place.
I do however remember the chatting about the younger generation in those times
And I listen to the new Contemporary Christian Music,and received a lot of criticism at times aswell.
The language was good because you needed to speak to the new generation,you know that you had to be up with the times as they would say back than or you got to be with it ! LOL
Be forever blessed