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Monday, April 17, 2023

Very Quick Thought on the "Jesus Revolution" Film

I'm a second generation product of the Jesus Movement. My brother, who is 10 years my senior, was in college in the 70s and was wonderfully saved. Catholic school his whole life (including university) and he was introduced to the Savior while in college. His faith worked its way into my family.

Being a huge music fan, he introduced me to the likes of Keith Green, Phil Keaggy, and Larry Norman. I then found Petra. First time I ever heard a gospel invitation was at a Petra concert (confused me a bit at the time). I attended Creation Fest at the end of my sophomore year in college (1986) with my sister. My brother got me to read scripture.

When I finally surrendered to the true gospel in 1991, I could see it all working around me and in me. 

Chuck Smith is a main character in "Jesus Revolution." I've enjoyed Chuck Smith's ministry (and a number of Calvary Chapel teachers) over the years.

One of the ironies, to me, of the criticisms of the film and of Chuck and Lonnie Frisbee by so-called conservative teachers is that I believe my theology is a lot more conservative than the critics'. When I came to Christ, I stopped playing music for a couple of years. When I started playing again, my local assembly (for the most part) was not very encouraging. They were hung up on ties and pianos (you know, the stuff the Bible is concerned with). What may seem conservative and fundamental on the outside is often very extra-biblical or even anti-biblical

The one weakness of the 1970s movement that seems to have persisted in some corners is its obsession with taking care of the poor (the social gospel). Obviously, helping the poor is a good thing, but it led to rise of men like Tony Campolo. Even Keith Green had to write "Grace By Which I Stand" after his demolishing of the gospel in his song, "Sheep and the Goats" (a song which sends people to hell for "what they did and didn't DO!," Keith's emphasis).

Not that I expect musicians to necessarily be the best Biblicists, we must acknowledge that some of those artists did go off the rails. John Michael Talbot became a Catholic. Joe English went the other way and now preaches ties and hymns for salvation. DC Talk got caught up in the "red letter" movement and parts of the "Social Gospel." Phil Keaggy has waffled, even to the point of endorsing the Catholic Catechism which condemns him as an ex-Catholic. Etc.

All movements of God get corrupted and usurped to one degree or another at some point. But I think Chuck stayed true to the end and many of the Calvary teachers have carried the torch.

I recommend the movie and I choose to see the many wonderful things that have come from the 1970s Jesus Movement. Satan has his ministers ready to corrupt the truth, but that has always been true and will always be true until the Lord comes. Mormonism and the Jehovah's Witness movements started after American revivals and during times of widespread fundamentalism. 

Let us rejoice over the sinner who comes to Christ and protect the gospel of the grace of God above all things. Petty denominationalism creates a foothold for Satan and his ministers. We should surely seek to understand and interpret scripture as accurately as possible, but we must never move from the foundation which is the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ alone.