I often think back to those early days in the Jesus Movement of the late 60’s and 70’s. It’s the freedom and the love that I miss so much. I’m not just being nostalgic, but it seems to me that we were free to worship and free to love. We were just glad to be saved and learn about our Savior. We’d go to any Bible study on the beach or in someone’s home and we’d just hang on every word that we were taught.
We carried around our Living Bibles, guitars and passed tracts at the pier in Huntington Beach and Newport. People were not as harsh back then. Sure some of the counter-culture hippies did not embrace Christ and some of the establishment types would just shake their heads at us as if we’d lost our minds and joined some cult. We did not sell flowers, we left that to the Harikrishnas and Flower children, but we did proclaim Jesus.
We had the beach and we had a new church that accepted us and actually chose us, our music and attire. When you go to church in blue jeans and a T-shirt today at your local Mega church just remember it was not always acceptable to do so. The establishment church Lady types who rule most denominational churches through fear and intimidation did not want us in their holiness or as I called them, holier than thou churches, so Calvary Chapel, the Vineyard and a plethora of other nondenominational churches grew out of the Jesus people movement. We still call it a movement of the Holy Spirit and for the most part it still is.
We took over little Corona in those days and many churches a have tried to copy the way it was, but they can’t produce the Spirit that was there. In those days it was just like the masses from Judea coming out to see John the Baptist at the Jordan. We never saw the Christ there, although He was with us, but we had our own prophet and teachers.
Lonnie Frisbee was the wild-eyed prophet that drew them in and Pastor Chuck was the man whom God had chosen to teach us the Word and it was the Word that grew Calvary Chapel and gave birth to the Vineyard. As we used to say, “Lonnie brought them in and Chuck taught them up.” The same way it has always been, feed the sheep and they will produce more sheep. We were not held to any strict rules as far as forming fellowships went. We could start a home fellowship or preach on the street anytime we were led to do so. As Chuck Smith often says, “We didn’t need a set day of the week to evangelize we just did it.”We just spoke the Word and the Word did not come back void and that is how an entire lost generation came to The Lord.
When I look at the old pics of those early days in the Jesus Freak era of the Church I’m always reminded that all it took was for us to get off the couch and do what our Lord had called us to do and that is to be a light in the darkness. For the darkness can not remain where the simple Truth of the Gospel of God shines.
May all of us take up our cross daily and follow Him. May The Lord give us the courage and strength to lead another lost generation to Him. May we be receptive to the leading of His Holy Spirit and shine a soft light upon this perverse and evil generation just as it was in His day upon the Earth and as it always has been.