Thursday, November 27, 2014

A very good book

I've been reading a good history of the Jesus People Movement, God's Forever Family. Good stuff. I was saved through the Jesus Movement, so I have a special place in my heart for it. Eskridge does a good job of chasing the various strands and tying them all together.

I think this little excerpt, from an Atlanta Discipleship Training Center newsletter ca. 1970, sums up what the Jesus Movement was all about:

We suggest and encourage our new brothers and sisters who are somewhat freaky in dress, hair, and general appearance to ask the Lord in prayer for a balance. We do feel that the beads, bells, and various astrological signs along with the no-bra philosophy of the Hip Scene should be forsaken. We do not believe, however that a shave and a haircut make a you a Christian any more than long hair and sandals....We are not rehabilitating people to melt back into society as good, clean-shaven and well-spruced American citizens, but rather to learn to follow Jesus Christ and do the will of the Father. (Quoted on page 110)
I ran into a good bit of the "Jesus saves and shaves" mentality once I became a Christian. I remember once going with a straight-laced friend to a revival service at a local Nazarene church. There were 3 of us long-hairs with him. I think the evangelist was trying to get us saved the whole night. I'm not sure what he thought afterwards when we greeted him after the service with a "Praise the Lord, brother." : )

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