Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Jesus Freak-Peacenik

Back in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s I was going through a lot of  turmoil, not unlike most teens my age. Being involved with the Jesus Movement during that time gave me the inner peace that I was craving.

But, becoming a Christian also challenged two very important passions of mine, Science and the Anti-War Movement. In my earlier blog post, I'm Losing (And Finding) My Religion - Again, I wrote about my faith journey and my love of science and how I finally reconciled the two

Here, I want to tell the story of my other passion and how being involved with the Jesus Movement caused me to abandon the Anti-War Movement for a period of time.

During the Vietnam War I registered for the draft as a Consciences Objector. The Great Command to “love your neighbor as your self” along with the Great Commission to “go and make disciples” could not be reconciled in my mind with going to war. I would often make the point of how totally incompatible spreading the Gospel is with going to war by saying “Hello, I am a christian and I am here to let you know that Jesus loves you... BANG!”

On one hand I was hanging up anti-war posters while on the other hand I was passing out Gospel leaflets. At the height of the Jesus Movement a very popular and influential singer named Larry Norman wrote a song that prompted me to give up my anti-war activities. Larry’s song Right Here In America has a line that says:

“I'm not talking religion, I'm talking 'bout Jesus, Put all your plans on the shelf. Let's stop marching for peace, and start marching for Jesus, And peace will take care of itself.”

That is exactly what I did, I shelved my plans to help end the Vietnam War and literally marched for Jesus. I felt that investing time and energy on anything other than spreading the Gospel was sinful. I believed that if I could help convert the whole world to Christianity all wars would miraculously end.

About this same time John Lennon released his hit song Imagine. Imagine was so Anathema to my way of thinking. How could we do away with Heaven and Hell? How could I imagine no religion? I hated that song! I hated it while at the same time I was drawn towards it.

John Lennon’s song challenged me to think about religion in a new way. So many wars and conflicts, so much hatred and division - all in the name of Jesus, Mohammed, Moses, Vishnu, or whatever deity gave someone the feeling that divine authority was granted to kill in the name of religion. I was beginning to understand why John Lennon wrote Imagine. It was not a song against religion, but a song against hatred in the name of religion.

I don’t think that John Lennon would imagine a world without Jesus’ teachings on Peace and Love. Jesus spoke out against hypocrisy and any religion that breeds hatred. Jesus taught that Peacemakers are blessed, he taught that we should love our enemies, reach out to the outcasts, and help the needy.

The eradication of all religion can no more bring about world peace than the conversion of the entire planet to Christianity would. A world totally void of religion or a completely Christian world are both utopian dreams without any basis in reality. With or without religion people still have to choose peace as a way of life, peace is not an automatic byproduct of either system.

I am no longer repulsed by John Lennon’s song Imagine. I came to believe that John was making the point that anything - be it possessions, politics, or religion - anything that causes hatred between people should be abandoned. Imagine is no longer Anathema to me, I now embrace it.

I am still talking about Jesus, but I am also speaking out against war again. I now am actively promoting peace with the full conviction that it is my Christian duty because Jesus said “Blessed are the Peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God”

"We will not build a peaceful world by following a negative path. It is not enough to say "We must not wage war." It is necessary to love peace and sacrifice for it. We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war, but on the positive affirmation of peace."
~Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. - Nobel Peace Prize Lecture December 11, 1964

Peace, Love, and Light!
Kevin (Cloud)

11 comments:

Monica said...

Hello, my name is butterfly. I'm also a hippie and a Christian. N I am going thru the same struggle. I want to be a minister to people about Jesus but I also hve my different views on things that most Christians don't. So how would I go about that?
I mean is that also possible in this society? To be a hippie and be a pastor? Or minister?
How would u go about this?
Are u a pastor yourself? Do u go to church? If so, which one?
Please get back to me, thank you!

Hippie Christian said...

Hi Butterfly,

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog and post a comment.

If you haven't yet, I hope you find the time to read my posts in the Simple Church section of my blog. They should answer a lot of your questions about my feelings concerning church and ministry. But a short answer would be that I believe in the Priesthood of the Believer. We unplugged from formal church and were getting into the house church movement.

There is a pastor that has been ordaining hippies for the last dozen years or so. His name is Chris Ward and his church is Logo Christian Fellowship in Leesburg Florida.

Also checkout the FaceBook group Hippie Christian. I didn't create that FaceBook group, but I post there sometimes.

I sure hope my short answer helps you.

Peace, Love, and Light!

Kevin

Lulu989 said...

This is great! I just found your blog today. I love it! I really feel this is the type of Christian that I am. :) Peace, Love and light,
Cindy

Hippie Christian said...

Hi Cindy,
I am glad that you enjoyed my blog.
I have been taking a class for work and so my posting has been a little slow lately, sorry.
Peace and Love!
Kevin

Jared Beiler said...

Your Rad bro. God has great things in store for you bretha.

Jared Beiler said...
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Jared Beiler said...
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A Mystery Wrapped in Love said...

I hope you find you way home to God. Being a conscientious objector to war means you have a heart for people and are an independent thinker. You are the kind of person who can make a difference to better mankind.
Wishing you peace & love.

Hippie Christian said...

Thanks Jared!

Hippie Christian said...

Hey Mystery, thanks for your positive encouragement. It is a journey but I have always been "home", just hanging out in different rooms from time to time.
Peace, Love and Light!

Unknown said...

I have been looking for someone who felt the same way I felt. I am a firm believer. I feel like not many get me. I feel like people are creating drama where it's not needed. All I wanted was peace and to spread the love of Jesus.I am a hippie and believe in God wholeheardly. Your post makes sense. Thank you for this post!