Reading the Papers
Connie W. Adams
"The Jesus People"
There is indeed an oddity in the land. Some who dress and act like Hippies (beards, long hair, beads and all) have proclaimed themselves "The Jesus People" and would have all to believe that they are genuine followers of the Lord. Their motive seems to be able to make the religion of Christ "groovy" to those who have repudiated the establishment. This movement now encompasses some who claim to be members of the church of the Lord. A copy of a tabloid called Hollywood Free Paper came to me the other day. It lists addresses of the movement in Hollywood, Kansas City, Worcester Mass., Detroit, Cleveland and Denver.
In Volume 3, issue 5 there are bold headlines proclaiming "Here Come the Liberated Ones." Then there are pictures of young people marching with signs saying such things as "Try Jesus," or "Jesus People Unite," and "Jesus Power." Some young men are carrying a huge wooden cross.
The whole movement is an intermingling of Pentecostalism generously sprinkled with the sights and sounds of the Hippie culture. For anyone to imply that our Lord made such a public spectacle is to betray a woeful ignorance of what the New Testament teaches.
(1) The Hippie cult, including the uniforms that go with it, breathes a spirit of resentment and rebellion against the tastes and wishes of parental authority, Yet, Luke 2:51 says that Jesus was "subject to his parents." Paul wrote "Children, obey your parents in the Lord for this is right! (Eph. 6:1-3)
(2) Jesus condemned making a spectacle of one's service to God in the marketplaces, and praying or doing alms to be seen of men.
(3) The whole affair is an appeal to sensationalism. Such cheapens the gospel. The gospel is not to be brought down to the vulgarity of the street. Men of the street are to be elevated to its lofty standards. The gospel is a message of dignity designed to lift man up from the vulgar, the course manner of this world. Jesus and the apostles reached lost men by faithfully preaching unto them the gospel. Their method cannot be improved upon.
(4) There is no liberating power in a gospel perverted with the doctrines and commandments of men. Jesus said "the truth shall make you free" (Jno. 8:32). It is not enough to scribble on a rock, on the side of a barn, or on a sign for a parade the words "Jesus saves." The sinner must yet be taught how Jesus saves and when Jesus saves and what relationships that salvation entails. Sectarians for years have urged sinners to "accept Jesus" without ever telling them how. This movement to get people to "Turn on with Jesus" is related to the tongues speaking heresy and other elements of the direct operation of the Holy Spirit movement with which Pat Boone now stands identified.
Who would have thought that anyone who ever thought that he just might suspect that he was a member of the New Testament church would ever have been caught up in such a maze? These misguided youths have thrown away the pattern. But then, I wonder just who helped them to limber up" their throwing arms?
TRUTH MAGAZINE, XV: 38, pp. 10-11