It’s all about Jesus

(Click here for a video of John reading this Catch.)

OIP-3

At the beginning of the Seventies, a small group of musicians shook Christianity to its base. They burst on the scene seemingly unknown to each other yet all with the same message. The message was about Jesus and how his gospel related to the deep, unresolved needs of their generation for love, meaning, community, peace and justice. These “Jesus Freaks” melded the freedom of the Sixties and the Jesus of the Gospels into a new way of looking at Christianity. 

Recently, Marti and I were invited to view some original footage of the Jesus Movement being prepared for a new documentary on the Jesus rock band, Love Song. It was an eye-opener to be reminded once again about what was going on then. It’s really pretty simple — stunningly simple as a matter of fact. There was preaching and singing about Jesus, people seeking Jesus, people coming to receive Jesus, and people getting baptized into Jesus. That was it, except for Bible studies in the few churches that accepted long hair and jeans. It was all about Jesus. Not a word about abortion, homosexuality, or politics. Your views on these subjects didn’t matter. What mattered was simply one thing: Were you saved?

Are you saved? Do you believe in Jesus? Have you been baptized? Imagine these being the only questions that matter. Because they are. At the gates of heaven, no one’s going to ask you about your views on anything other than what you did with Jesus. It’s gotten so complicated — so convoluted. Faith has become so contorted that it’s hardly recognizable as its real self. 

Time to strip it back down to the basics. Are you saved? Do you know Jesus? Keep it that way. Keep it all about Jesus. We are Jesus people. Followers of Christ. “Christian,” “evangelical,” even “born again” are unreliable terms. They have been co-opted by the media. There are too many other connotations. If someone wants to know why you’re a Christian, there are almost more reasons why you aren’t a Christian than why you are based on what they most likely think a Christian is. But if our point of identification is Jesus, then if anyone asks about that, we can simply tell them all about Jesus. 

If there’s going to be another Jesus Movement, I know it’s not going to be like the last one, but one thing I know will be the same: it will be all about Jesus. Jesus is someone we can trust, Jesus is all about justice on all levels, and Jesus is all about love. He is what this world is so desperately seeking.

Fifty years ago, Larry Norman was wishing we were all ready. How about now? Are you ready? Is your boss ready? Your next door neighbor?

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4 Responses to It’s all about Jesus

  1. Lynn Suzanne says:

    In 1972, at age 15, at a “Jesus Freak” youth gathering full of music and peace… I asked Jesus to come into my life. Tears streamed down my face after I prayed, and honestly the world changed that day for me. All the mindless blabber I heard in Sunday School suddenly made sense. I felt clarity and peace in a way I did not ever expect.
    He was real. Jesus was actually there, with me.
    But I was 15. And for many years after that day, I made a lot of poor choices. Big sins. Big consequences.
    Yet I always knew that Jesus was with me. The gift of faith he gave me that day in 1972 has never left me.
    Many years later, alone in my car, I prayed for forgiveness. The clarity and peace I felt were overwhelming. I am loved and I am never alone. What a miracle… that even though daily life is up and down, Jesus is unwavering in the joy, hope, and contentment I experience while under his umbrella.
    I am so very grateful for the Jesus movement and for those musicians who helped me find Jesus.
    And it’s so exciting to read this Catch. The truth you speak. Thank you.

    • jwfisch says:

      Lynn, what a beautiful story. Thanks for sharing it. I’m thinking of that Philippians verse about the one who began a good work in you will perfect it and finish it. Sounds like He’s doing just that.

  2. Andrew Zwick says:

    Although, I agree with Jesus first we have an obligation to stand for righteousness. We have never been challenged in our beliefs like this before. The very threads of civilization are corrupted today. What was once accepted as truth has been replaced by relativism. What is true for you may not be true for me. The traditional family unit of marriage between a man and a woman has been discarded for a new construct.

    One thing is needed for evil to succeed and that is for good men to do nothing in the face of evil. And although I may not like the politics of today my personal walk with Jesus demands that I be involved and stand for Jesus including being against anything that is anti-Christian. And didn’t Jesus stand for righteousness by overturning the money changer’s tables in the temple?

    We are obligated to be salt in this dying world. Jesus demands that we be holy as He is holy.

  3. jwfisch says:

    Yes, but we need to be careful. It’s very easy to get all caught up in trying to defend a moral universe (or a Christian America) and forget that people need to be saved.

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