of the Holy Spirit
HOLY SPIRIT IN REVIVAL
Word of the Lord spread widely and grew in power.” –
the Spirit gives life” – John 6:63
“Revival” (literally “made alive again”) is
used in many contexts. What does it mean to Christians? What are
the barriers, opportunities and results?
Christians, “revival” creates images of fresh
inspiration, new spiritual blessing, fervent worship, soul-searching,
re-captured first love, repentance from sin, church growth and
intensified outreach to non-Christians. (Often after a period of
decline, stagnation, indifference, or sin.)
revivals in history have included both “awakenings” of
the church and the conversion of sinners. (Genuine renewal involves
more than numerical growth – cults cite impressive statistics,
so growth alone – while desirable -is not evidence of God’s
revival leaves a deep impression on communities. It changes
lifestyles. It heals families and delivers people from sin. It
redirects the lives of many; even those who reject the message often
feel the impact. Most important of all, it glorifies God (Isaiah
we serve the Lord we become aware our best efforts are futile apart
from the Holy Spirit. Vast amounts of money, promotion and
organization inherently produce little spiritual impact. “Rivers”
of God’s blessing sometimes flow from unlikely places. Our
hands are limited until the Holy Spirit grants His power – Acts
wrote about those who preached the Gospel, “with the Holy
Spirit sent down from heaven” – 1 Peter 1:12: Many
activities can be managed by human skill, but the Gospel can be
communicated effectively only when preaching, witnessing and other
activities are empowered by the Holy Spirit.
wrote to the Corinthians, “My message and my preaching were not
with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the
Spirit's power, so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom,
but on God's power.” (1 Corinthians 2:4, 5)
Signs of Renewal at Work
voice of God speaking to hearts
necessarily eloquence, but depending on the Holy Spirit to teach
Truth, eg Apollos- Acts 18:24
by surrender, holiness and Holy Spirit-touched living by the man or
woman of God– 1 Thessalonians 1:5; 1 Corinthians 2:4
people on the cross and resurrection – 1 Corinthians 15:3, 4
from an unmistakable holy fire in the heart – Jeremiah 20:9
on the Holy Spirit, to give it authenticity, personal application
and life force – Luke 4:18
strong spirit of prayer
of God’s people
of genuine individual and corporate worship
burning desire to witness and win souls
determination to be separated from the world in lifestyle
preferences and attitudes
does the Holy Spirit bring about revival? What has recent experience
up Christians to genuine repentance from sin
intensity in prayer – Acts 1:13; Ephesians 6:18; Romans 8:26,
27; most great revivals were characterized by prayer, in churches,
individuals, workplaces; prayer meetings; in which many received the
baptism in the Holy Spirit and the call of God and non-Christians
were brought to repentance and salvation
spiritual hunger, eg deeper relationship with God, understanding of
the Bible; spiritual growth, maturity – Ephesians 3:14-19; 2
the love of Christ in peoples’ lives
Jesus (his person, compassion, death/resurrection) more real –
great joy in the Body of Christ
faith - many revivals have been characterized by healing of the
sick, casting out of demons, defeat of ungodly opposition, release
of finances for the Work of God
teaching – less emphasis on human philosophy (Colossians
2:6-10) and more on the truths and simplicity of the Bible
- when the Holy Spirit whets our appetites and our priorities match
His we can say, “For me to live is Christ” –
hunger for the things of God; not understood by non-Christians
observing revival events – John 14:26; 1 Corinthians 2:14
surrender to the purposes of God, cf Luke 24:32
of sin, and repentance (cf 2 Chronicles 7:14)
relationship with the Holy Spirit
of materialism as an end in itself – Acts 4:34, 35; increased
(often sacrificial) giving – 2 Corinthians 9:7; for the good
of all – 1 Corinthians 12:7
zeal- Acts 8:4; reaching the lost – Matthew 5:16; experienced
by “ordinary” Christians
the influence of God’s Word becomes so mighty that the powers
of darkness are forced into retreat we see revival, and not merely a
renewed interest in religion. If it is to last, revival must be the
work of God.
movements/names linked to “revival”
century) led by John and Charles Wesley
revival, the Great
(1740s-1750s) led to the creation of the Congregational,
churches in North America. The most prominent leaders were Jonathan
Edwards and Englishman George Whitefield
revival movement in America – Charles Finney (1792-1875)
revival, from 1904 (had its roots in the Holiness Movement)
Street, Los Angeles (1906)
Movement in 1970s
Movement (1960s-1970s, including in Australia) – mainstream
(non-Pentecostal) churches that accepted that the Baptism in the
Holy Spirit is available to Christians today
in Africa, Korea, Latin America
of the Welsh Revival of 1904
Welsh revival of 1904 was a youth-led revival. It began with a young
man named Evan Roberts. He quit school when he was 11 to work in a
coal mine in Wales. He was converted when he was 13, and was faithful
in his church, serving as Sunday School superintendent in his 20s. He
had been praying that revival would come to Wales. When Roberts was
26, he felt called to the ministry, but had to go back to grammar
school before undertaking theological training.
weeks after Roberts started school, he went to a youth meeting in a
nearby town. He heard a minister pray, “Lord, bend us.”
He left the building praying, “Lord, bend me.”
He felt God telling him to go back to his home church and have a
week of meetings for the young adults. Two weeks later, he went home
and shared his spiritual experience with 17 people gathered on a
Monday night. He gave a sermon with four points:
must put away any unconfessed sin.
must put away any doubtful habit.
must obey the Spirit promptly.
must confess Christ publicly.
night all 17 young people present responded to the invitation. Within
two weeks Roberts, his brother, his best friend, and several young
women were travelling around Wales holding services. They were
completely unconventional—just songs, prayer and testimony.
Sometimes the worship and prayer would last four hours. Everywhere
they went dozens and hundreds of people were converted. The pastors
would just sit down and watch it happen. It was front page news in
Wales, then in England, and then around the world.
two months, 70,000 people were converted. Over 100,000 conversions
were reported within six months. Newspapers at the time reported
that taverns were closing for lack of business. The crime rate
dropped drastically. Coal mine owners complained that work slowed
down because the mules only understood cursing and had to learn a new
revival was not led by a trained preacher. There was no organization
or planned promotion. It was the work of the Holy Spirit in the lives
of a few young people who brought life to a dead church in Wales.
New Rebel Cry: Jesus Is Coming!
THE MESSIAH, THE SON OF GOD, KING OF KINGS, LORD OF LORDS, PRINCE OF
Notorious leader of an underground liberation movement
for the following charges:
medicine, winemaking and food distribution without a license.
with businessmen in the temple.
with known criminals, radicals, subversives, prostitutes and street
to have the authority to make people into God's children.
Typical hippie type—long hair, beard, robe, sandals.
Hangs around slum areas, few rich friends, often sneaks out into the
This man is extremely dangerous. His insidiously inflammatory message
is particularly dangerous to young people who haven't been taught to
ignore him yet. He changes men and claims to set them free.
HE IS STILL AT LARGE!
is indeed. As the words of this Wanted poster from a Christian
underground newspaper demonstrate, Jesus is alive and well and living
in the radical spiritual fervour of a growing number of young
Americans who have proclaimed an extraordinary religious revolution
in his name. Their message: the Bible is true, miracles happen, God
really did so love the world that he gave it his only begotten son.
In 1966 Beatle John Lennon casually remarked that the Beatles were
more popular than Jesus Christ; now the Beatles are shattered, and
George Harrison is singing My Sweet Lord. The new young followers of
Jesus listen to Harrison, but they turn on only to the words of their
Master: "For where two or three are gathered together in my
name, there am I in the midst of them."
is a startling development for a generation that has been constantly
accused of tripping out or copping out with sex, drugs and violence.
Now, embracing the most persistent symbol of purity, selflessness and
brotherly love in the history of Western man, they are afire with a
Pentecostal passion for sharing their new vision with others.
Fresh-faced, wide-eyed young girls and earnest young men badger
businessmen and shoppers on Hollywood Boulevard, near the Lincoln
Memorial, in Dallas, in Detroit and in Wichita, "witnessing"
for Christ with breathless exhortations.
coffeehouses have opened in many cities, signalling their faith even
in their names: The Way Word in Greenwich Village, the Catacombs in
Seattle, I Am in Spokane. A strip joint has been converted to a
"Christian nightclub'' in San Antonio. Communal "Christian
houses" are multiplying like loaves and fishes for youngsters
hungry for homes, many reaching out to the troubled with
round-the-clock telephone hot lines. Bibles abound: whether the
cherished, fur-covered King James Version or scruffy, back-pocket
paperbacks, they are invariably well-thumbed and often memorized.
"It's like a glacier," says "Jesus-Rock" Singer
Larry Norman, 24. "It's growing and there's no stopping it."
is an uncommon morning freshness to this movement, a buoyant
atmosphere of hope and love along with the usual rebel zeal. Some
converts seem to enjoy translating their new faith into everyday
life, like those who answer the phone with "Jesus loves you"
instead of "hello." But their love seems more sincere than
a slogan, deeper than the fast-fading sentiments of the flower
children; what startles the outsider is the extraordinary sense of
joy that they are able to communicate. Of course, as in any fresh
religious movement, zealotry is never far away. Some in the movement
even have divine timetables. Says Founder Bill Bright of the Campus
Crusade for Christ: "Our target date for saturating the U.S.
with the gospel of Jesus Christ is 1976—and the world by 1980.
Of course, if the Lord wants to work a bit slower, that's O.K."
of the fascination for Jesus among the young may simply be belated
hero worship of a fellow rebel, the first great martyr to the cause
of peace and brotherhood. Not so, however, for the vast majority in
the Jesus movement. If any one mark clearly identifies them it is
their total belief in an awesome, supernatural Jesus Christ, not just
a marvellous man who lived 2,000 years ago but a living God who is
both Saviour and Judge, the ruler of their destinies. Their lives
revolve around the necessity for an intense personal relationship
with that Jesus, and the belief that such a relationship should
condition every human life. They act as if divine intervention guides
their every movement and can be counted on to solve every problem.
Many of them have had serious personal difficulties before their
conversions; a good portion of the movement is really a May-December
marriage of conservative religion and the rebellious counterculture,
and many of the converts have come to Christ from the fraudulent
promises of drugs. Now they subscribe strictly to the Ten
Commandments, rather than to the situation ethics of the "new
morality"—although, like St. Paul, they are often tolerant
of old failings among new converts.
Jesus revolution rejects not only the material values of conventional
America but the prevailing wisdom of American theology. Success often
means an impersonal and despiritualized life that increasingly finds
release in sexploration, status, alcohol and conspicuous consumption.
Christianity — or at least the brand of it preached in prestige
seminaries, pulpits and church offices over recent decades —
has emphasized an immanent God of nature and social movement, not the
new movement's transcendental, personal God who comes to earth in the
person of Jesus, in the lives of individuals, in miracles (see box,
page 60). The Jesus revolution, in short, is one that denies the
virtues of the Secular City and heaps scorn on the message that God
was ever dead. Why?'
why not? This is the generation that has burned out many of its
lights and lives before it is old enough to vote. "The first
thing I realized was how different it is to go to high school today,"
wrote Maureen Orth in a "Last Supplement" to the Whole
Earth Catalog. "Acid trips in the seventh grade, sex in the
eighth, the Viet Nam War a daily serial on TV since you were nine,
parents and school worse than 'irrelevant'—meaningless. No
wonder Jesus is making a great comeback." The death of authority
brought the curse of uncertainty. As Thomas Farber writes in Tales
for the Son of My Unborn Child: "The freedom from work, from
restraint, from accountability, wondrous in its inception, became
banal and counterfeit. Without rules there was no way to say no, and
worse, no way to say yes."
search for a "yes" led thousands to the Oriental and the
mystical, the occult and even Satanism before they drew once again on
familiar roots. One of the nation's successful young evangelists,
Richard Hoag, 24, believes that many of his youthful converts see
Jesus as a marvellous father figure. "The kids are searching for
authority, love and understanding—ingredients missing at home.
Jesus is what their fathers aren't."
Baptist Pastor John Bisagno: "I'm amazed at how many people I've
counselled who have never heard their fathers say 'I love you.' "
enthusiasm is not universal. By no means a majority of the young, or
their elders, are soldiers in the revolution —any more than
they were flower children or acid trippers. Some call the Jesus
movement a fad or just another bad trip. Is it? Is the growing
fascination with Jesus a passing, adolescent infatuation? There are
obvious fad aspects: Jesus shirts (JESUS is MY LORD) bumper stickers
(SMILE, GOD LOVES YOU), posters, buttons (THE MESSIAH is THE MESSAGE)
and, inevitably, a Jesus-People wristwatch. Some followers are
affecting a Christ couture: white pants and tunics, Mexican-peasant
style. There are de rigueur catch phrases: endless "Praise Gods"
and "Bless Yous." There is even a "Jesus cheer"—"Give
me a J, give me an E . . ." Rapidly catching on is the
Jesus-People "sign," a raised arm with clenched fist, the
index finger pointed heavenward, to indicate Jesus as the "one
way" to salvation. "If it is a fad," says Evangelist
Billy Graham, "I welcome it."
are signs that the movement is something quite a bit larger than a
theological Hula-Hoop, something more lasting than a religious
Woodstock. It cuts across nearly all the social dividing lines, from
crew cut to long hair, right to left, rich to poor. It shows
considerable staying power: many who were in its faint beginnings in
1967 are still leading it. It has been powerful enough to divert many
young people from serious drug addiction. Its appeal is ecumenical,
attracting Roman Catholics and Jews, Protestants of every persuasion
and many with no religion at all. Catholics visit Protestant churches
with a new empathy, and Protestants find themselves chatting with
nuns and openly enjoying Mass. "We are all brothers in the body
of Christ," says a California Catholic lay leader, and he adds:
"We are on the threshold of the greatest spiritual revival the
U.S. has ever experienced."
revivals are, of course, a longstanding American tradition. George
Whitefield and Jonathan Edwards led the first Great Awakening in the
1740s and there have been others since: the frontier camp meetings at
the beginning of the 19th century, the great revival of the 1850s,
and the Pentecostal explosion at the beginning of the 20th century.
The Jesus revolution, like the others, has a flavour peculiarly
American. Its strong Pentecostalism emphasizes such esoteric
spiritual gifts as speaking in tongues and healing by faith. For
many, there exists a firm conviction that Jesus' Second Coming is
literally at hand. Proclaiming the imminent end of the world and Last
Judgment like so many dread guards, some millenarians chart the signs
of the Apocalypse with the aid of handbooks like The Late Great
Planet Earth. They see smog and pollution prophesied in Isaiah; the
taking of Old Jerusalem by the Jews, and the admission of ten nations
into the Common Market are signs that the end is near.
movement is apart from, rather than against, established religion;
converts often speak disparagingly of the blandness or hypocrisy of
their former churches, but others work comfortably as a
supplementary, revitalizing force of change from within. The
movement, in fact, is one of considerable flexibility and vitality,
drawing from three vigorous spiritual streams that, despite
differences in dress, manner and theology, effectively reinforce one
JESUS PEOPLE, also known as Street Christians or Jesus Freaks, are
the most visible; it is they who have blended the counterculture and
conservative religion. Many trace their beginnings to the 1967 flower
era in San Francisco, but there were almost simultaneous stirrings in
other areas. Some, but by no means all, affect the hippie style;
others have forsworn it as part of their new lives.
STRAIGHT PEOPLE, by far the largest group, are mainly active in
interdenominational, evangelical campus and youth movements.
merely an arm of evangelical Protestantism, they are now more
ecumenical—a force almost independent of the churches that
spawned them. Most of them are Middle America, campus types: neatly
coiffed hair and Sears, Roebuck clothes styles.
CATHOLIC PENTECOSTALS, like the Jesus People, emerged unexpectedly
and dramatically in 1967. Publicly austere but privately ecstatic in
their devotion to the Holy Spirit, they remain loyal to the church
but unsettle some in the hierarchy. In a sense they are following the
lead of mainstream Protestant Neo-Pentecostals, who have been leading
charismatic renewal movements in their own churches for a decade.
three movements may number in the hundreds of thousands nationally,
but any figure is a guess. The Catholic Pentecostals, often meeting
in members' homes, may number 10,000, but some observers believe that
they could easily be three times that. Those converted by the
straight evangelicals generally wind up on established church rolls,
but are likely to be in the hundreds of thousands; the evangelistic
staff account for more than 5,000 people. The Jesus People—
many thousands—are the most difficult to count. They often
cluster in communes or, as they prefer to call them, "Christian
houses"; the Rev. Edward Plowman, historian of the movement,
estimates that there are 600 across the U.S. There is no doubt about
their growth: Evangelist David Hoyt moved from San Francisco to
Atlanta a year ago and has three communes and a cadre of 70
evangelizing disciples, and centres in three other South-eastern
cities. Much of the movement's strength has been built where it
started, along the West Coast.
of the manifestations could command places in William James'
Varieties of Religious Experience. R.D. Cronquist was a carpenter
until last July, dabbling on the side in ministerial work. Now the
moustachioed, goateed Cronquist is pastor of the Grace Fellowship
Chapel, a windowless, corrugated shed on a hill in Imperial Beach,
Calif. A drab shell, perhaps, but a pearl inside; as one 22-year-old
girl put it, "the heaviest place I know to worship."
include free-form "singing in the spirit," a mighty babble
of moans, groans and cries against a background of organ music;
"prophecies," in ersatz King James style; and long
Cronquist sermons, complete with angels and demons.
the beach at Encinitas is a brand of Christianity that is pure
California. Ed Wright, 26, owner of the Sunset Surf Shop and
principal apostle of the Christian Surfers, tells how Jesus adds a
special dimension to the sport. "It's so beautiful when you are
with the Lord and catch a good ride. When you are piling out for the
next one you just say 'Thank you Lord for being so good to us and for
the good waves and the good vibes.'" Christ is the essential
focus, though. Surfer Mike Wonder, a fellow convert, sought Christ
after he found the perfect wave in Hawaii and it failed to bring him
except Christ makes waves at Berkeley's Christian World Liberation
Front, which was in the vanguard of the movement in the San Francisco
Bay Area. CWLF Bible meetings are like an understanding embrace: the
members sit naturally in a rough circle; a spaced-out speed freak
crawls in, is casually accepted, kneels: a baby plays; the only black
plucks a guitar, and the group swings easily into a dozen songs. The
hat is passed with a new invitation: "If you have something to
spare, give; if you need, take." Finally they rise, take one
another's hands, and sing "We will walk with each other/ We will
walk hand in hand/ And they'll know we are Christians by our love."
Voice of Elijah spreads the spirit in large ways and small. When
members heard of a hungry old woman who had been cut from welfare,
they took up a $42 collection at the I Am coffeehouse, left her
groceries, cash and a message that read simply "from Jesus."
The house reaches large groups through its hard-rock band, the Wilson
McKinley, which recently helped draw 8,000 to a "Sweet Jesus
Rock Concert" at Stanford University. The Jesus People almost
lost the crowd when one evangelist told the collegians they should
"abstain from sexual immorality, and that means abstain except
finding this is the last area people want to give up." There
were no cheers but, astonishingly in the Age of Aquarius, no hoots
the lingua franca of the young, has become the special medium of the
Jesus movement. Godspell, a bright, moving musical written by
students and based on the Gospel According to St. Matthew, is a
sell-out hit off-Broadway. The rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar,
bound for Broadway next fall, is already a bestselling record album;
at New York City's Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church recently, a
minister smilingly baptized a baby "In the name of the Father,
the Holy Ghost, and Jesus Christ Superstar." Amazing Grace, Put
Your Hand in the Hand and My Sweet Lord are top-40 hits, and
Jesus-rock groups, most of them converts, roam the country under such
names as Hope, Dove and The Joyful Noise.
Tell About Jesus
sounds produced by the rock groups are not always good nor the lyrics
always effective evangelism, but the best Jesus-rock music is
professionally and theologically solid. Larry Norman, probably the
top solo artist in the field, attacks the occult in his album Upon
This Rock: "Forget your hexagram/ You'll soon feel fine/ Stop
looking at the stars/ You don't live under the signs." Many
Jesus-rock musicians commit their lives as well as their talent.
Drummer Steve Hornyak, 30, of The Crimson Bridge, gave up a $35,000
house, a Toronado, and a career as a school-band director when
another Jesus musician challenged him to "go tell about Jesus."
Scott Ross, 31, a former New York disk jockey, has become head of a
Christian commune in Freeville. N.Y., the Love Inn. Ross tapes a
weekly show that he uses to promote Jesus music on standard stations.
growing number of musical stars, including Johnny Cash and Eric
Clapton, are among the Jesus movement converts. Paul Stookey of
Peter, Paul and Mary has preached on the steps of Berkeley's Sproul
Hall; Jeremy Spencer of Britain's Fleetwood Mac has joined the
ultrarigid Children of God.
are more zealous than Pat Boone; he has baptized more than 200
converts in his own swimming pool during the past year.
revolutionary word is also spread by a growing, literally free Jesus
press that now numbers some 50 newspapers across the country.
Donations are apparently enough to print 65,000 copies of Right On!
in Berkeley and 400,000 copies of the Hollywood Free Paper, the
movement's largest. Now Berkeley's CWLF is hoping to start a Jesus
news service. There is much to report, in all parts of the U.S.
First Baptist Church in Houston, youth-minded Pastor Bisagno, 37,
brought in Evangelist Hoag to recruit the young in a week-long
revival. Hoag travelled from school to school with his plea, and
11,000 young people stepped forward at Bisagno's church to declare
themselves for Jesus. Now the first few pews at First Baptist are
reserved for the youngsters. While the rest of the congregation
mumble their amens, the kids punctuate Bisagno's sermons with yells
of "Outta sight, man, bee-yoo-ti-ful."
Chicago's Grant Park bandshell, Street Evangelist Arthur Blessitt
last month warmed up a crowd of nearly 1,000 with a lusty Jesus
cheer, then led them off on a parade through the Loop, gathering
people as they went. "Chicago police, we love you!" they
shouted to cops along the route. "Jesus loves you!"
Blessitt also passed a box through the crowd, asking for a special
contribution: drugs. The box came back filled with marijuana, pills
and LSD; it was turned over to the flabbergasted cops. This month,
Blessitt is really testing Jesus' power. He is in New York City for a
three-month blitz among the pimps, prostitutes and porno shops of
Times Square for which he hopes to recruit as many as 3,000 young
helpers. So far he has had only one unnerving setback. A streetwalker
told him that she had worn one of his bright red stickers (TURN ON TO
JESUS) and "never had a better night."
a cul-de-sac beach at Corona del Mar, Calif., the Rev. Chuck Smith
recently held another of the mass baptisms that have made his Calvary
Chapel at Santa Ana famous. Under a setting sun, several hundred
converts waded into the cold Pacific, patiently waiting their turn
for the rite. On the cliffs above, hundreds more watched. Most of the
baptized were young, tanned and casual in cut-off blue jeans,
pullovers and even an occasional bikini. A freshly dunked teenager,
water streaming from her tie-dyed shirt, threw her arms around a
woman and cried, "Mother, I love you!" A teen-age drug user
who had been suffering from recurring unscheduled trips suddenly
screamed, "My flashbacks are gone!" As the baptisms ended,
the crowd slowly climbed a narrow stairway up the cliff, singing a
moving Lord's Prayer in the twilight.
Novato, Calif., the new Solid Rock house is perhaps typical of the
communal Christian houses. Though none is quite the same as another,
they all insist that premarital sex and drugs are out, and many have
quite strict rules: up early, to bed by ten or eleven, assigned
chores, a certain number of mandatory Bible readings or prayer
gatherings. Yet they generally are happy places. "It is a gentle
place, this Solid Rock," reports TIME Correspondent Karsten
Prager. "The voices are quiet, the words that recur are 'love'
and 'blessing' and 'the Lord' and 'sharing' and 'peace' and 'brothers
and sisters.'" Twelve "brothers and sisters" live in
Solid Rock, six men, four women, two babies, the children of
unmarried mothers. The men of the commune work at house painting and
construction to meet the bills, but the main business is to order the
lives in it around Christ. One of the mothers describes the success
of that effort: "When I came to the house, I didn't know Jesus.
It turned out that I grew. I guess I trust now."
path to the movement, in or out of communes, is often littered with
drugs. The Way, an 18-year-old, offbeat and minor theological group
now virtually taken over and greatly expanded by the Jesus People,
has two staunch supporters in Wichita, Kans.: prominent Lawyer Dale
Fair and his wife, who got involved when a Way evangelist helped
their daughter off drugs.
of the San Francisco pioneers, Ted Wise, has been so successful with
drug cures that he now has a new clinic in Menlo Park. Washington,
D.C., movement leader Denny Flanders tells drug users: "You can
use drugs after Jesus, but you won't need them. If you become
Christians, this is what has to happen."
Connie Sue McCartney, 21, of Louisiana, describes how "the devil
came to me" and tempted her to return to speed. She had kept
some in hand just in case, but she was up to the temptation: "I
took it, flushed it down the John in the name of the Father, the Son
and the Holy Ghost." Former Houston Speed Freak Terry Vincent
says: "Man, God turned me around from the darkness to the light.
That's all I know. That is all I want to know."
cures are not the only attraction for conversion. There are a
disproportionate number of Roman Catholics among the Jesus People,
attracted by the movement's direct approach to Christ. Many Jews have
also joined, claiming that they are not quitting but fulfilling their
Judaism. Few spiritual Odysseys, though, are as circuitous as that of
Christopher Pike, 21, the younger son of the late Episcopal Bishop
James A. Pike. In 1967 he began combining marijuana highs with
nonstop television watching: "TV and grass, that was my god,"
he says. Then came acid, Eastern religion and Bible reading —while
stoned. Recalls Chris: "One day I saw Ted Wise speaking in
Sproul Plaza at Berkeley. He was the first intelligent Christian I
ever saw." Soon, he made a commitment: "I just said 'Jesus
Christ, I'm going to give myself to you and nobody else.' Nothing
happened, but I knew. I knew he had reached down, and I was saved."
Now Chris lives in a trailer near Reno, studying religious books and
working on a library of religious tapes. "The old Chris Pike
died back there," says the Bishop's son. "I'm a new
conversions seem to be like Pike's: slow, but finally confident
turnarounds rather than lightning-bolt illuminations.
some do come suddenly. Marsha Daigle, Catholic and a doctoral student
at the University of Michigan, was deeply distraught at the deaths of
Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy. One day she opened a Bible
and suddenly "knew Christ was my personal Saviour. It was the
last thing I expected."
major part of the Jesus movement is the highly organized,
interdenominational youth movement of the established churches—a
sort of person-to-person counterpart of mass-rally evangelism. Though
they have been around for decades, supported by local congregations
and generous private contributors, they are finding a huge new growth
in the Jesus revolution.
biggest of the straight groups is Campus Crusade for Christ,
20-year-old soul child of former Businessman Bill Bright. He still
means business: this year's budget is $12 million, and by next month
he will have 3,000 full-time staffers on 450 campuses. Inter-Varsity
Christian Fellowship is a different breed of campus evangelism—more
intellectual, more socially concerned—but it has no lack of
gospel zeal. It conducted a missionary convention at the University
of Illinois last December that drew 12,000, probably the largest
college religious meeting in North American history. Young Life,
founded in 1941, reaches its audience with 1,300 clubs, U.S. and
foreign. Youth for Christ began business a few years later with a
lanky young evangelist named Billy Graham; it is now in 2,700 high
groups have had more impact than has one man, Assemblies of God
Minister David Wilkerson, whose growing movement began with a single
incident: his dramatic conversion of Brooklyn Teen-Age Gang Lord
Nicky Cruz in 1958. Cruz himself is now an evangelist. Wilkerson's
evangelical and antidrug organization, Teen Challenge, has 53
book about Cruz's conversion, The Cross and the Switchblade, has sold
6,000,000 copies; a movie version, starring Pat Boone as Wilkerson,
will be released nationwide July 1. The book had an unusual side
effect: its Pentecostal flavour helped launch the Roman Catholic
Pentecostalism? The name is an apparent contradiction in terms: an
austere and ritualized church coupled with a movement characterized
in its early years by unleashed emotionalism—eye-rolling
ecstasies, shouting, jumping, even rolling on the floor. Classic
Pentecostalism has since toned down markedly, but it can still put
even an unwary Catholic into theological shock. Jerry Harvey, who
helped start the growing Catholic Pentecostal group in the San Diego
area, once invited some Protestant Pentecostalists "to show us
how to do it their way. The poor nuns who were there actually turned
Catholic establishment in the U.S. has not blanched, but it has not
turned red with enthusiasm, even though Pope John XXIII himself
called upon the Holy Spirit to "renew your wonders in this, our
day, as by a new Pentecost." An inquiry conducted in the U.S.
for the National Conference of Catholic Bishops did find, however,
that Pentecostal experience often "leads to a better
understanding of the role the Christian plays in the Church."
The evidence supports that finding. One Los Angeles priest says that
he has stayed in the priesthood because of the "tremendous
peace" he found in the renewal movement. Dr. James McFadden, 40,
dean of Michigan's pioneering School of Natural Resources, is a
Catholic for whom religion "never had an experiential dimension.
It was intellectual, the distant Christ of history." But he
found "extraordinary" love among the 300 Pentecostals of
the university's Word of God community. "Very few people live as
though there really is a God who sent his only son to be a man."
Pentecostalist fervour has been growing rapidly. From its beginnings
at Duquesne University in 1967, where Wilkerson's book was one of the
influences, the movement spread to Notre Dame and Ann Arbor, which
have been major forces in it ever since. But there are sizable
numbers elsewhere. On Trinity Sunday last week, 450 Catholic
Pentecostals held a "Day of Renewal" at St. Theresa
Catholic Church in San Diego; this weekend 3,000 Catholic
Pentecostals from all over the country are expected to gather at
Notre Dame for their annual national conference.
the evidence of enriched religiosity, there is enough in the Catholic
Pentecostalist movement to account for the hierarchy's reserve. It is
casually ecumenical. Its speaking in tongues —glossolalia, a
form of prayer that is usually a babbling non-language—is done
quietly, but it is done. The Pentecostals have the unhappy faculty of
offending both liberals and conservatives in Catholicism: liberals
resent their insistent orthodox theology, conservatives their
confident conviction of the Jesus revolution (we have the answer; the
rest of the world is wrong) irritates many, whatever branch of the
movement it radiates from. Dan Herr, publisher of the progressive
Catholic bimonthly The Critic, calls Catholic Pentecostalism
"spiritual chic." Some who turn off may be expressing the
natural and inevitable resentment of the passive believer against the
ecstatic believer. In his magisterial study Enthusiasm, the late
Catholic scholar Msgr. Ronald Knox described the attitude of the
religious enthusiast toward the world at large: "He will have no
weaker brethren who plod and stumble, who (if the truth must be told)
would like to have a foot in either world, whose ambition is to
qualify, not to excel. He has before his eyes a picture of the early
Church, visibly penetrated with supernatural influences; and nothing
else will serve him for a model."
criticize the absolutism of the Jesus revolution and the complete
dependency it creates in some of its adherents. Jean Houston,
director of the Foundation for Mind Research in New York City, finds
that while "the Jesus trip gives them rich expectations and more
rigid values, they also suffer a narrowing of conceptual vision. They
become obsessed." She cites the case of one girl who turned to
the Jesus movement after a severe family crisis. "She escaped
her guilt and horror, but it had the effect of a psychological and
social lobotomy. Where once she had been superbly inquisitive, she
now could relate things only in terms of her religion —but she
had a focal point for all her energy." Sociologist Andrew
Greeley calls Catholic Pentecostalism the "most vital movement
in Catholicism right now," but warns that it could become "just
pure emotion, even a form of hysteria." The Rev. George Peters
of the United Presbyterian Church says of the Jesus People: "I
see dangers. This biblical literalism. The kids quote verses without
understanding them to prove a point. I thought we'd outgrown that.
I'd like to see some kind of form."
established churches may not have the luxury of choosing the
youngsters' style. Whatever the excesses or shortcomings of the Jesus
revolution, organized religion cannot afford to lose the young in
numbers or enthusiasm. In parts of the movement, of course, the
churches are not losing them; indeed, they are gaining zealots.
Catholic Pentecostals and straight evangelicals are already having an
effect; if organized religion embraced the Jesus People as well, the
greening effect on the churches could be considerable. Theologian
Martin Marty of the University of Chicago Divinity School feels that
the Jesus People, frustrated by a complex society that will not yield
to their single-minded devotion, may well disband in disarray. But
even Marty says: "Five years from now you may have some better
Presbyterians because of their participation in the Jesus movement."
And the Rev. Robert Terwilliger of New York City's Trinity Institute
says longingly: "There is a revival of religion
everywhere—except in the church."
the church is not at fault. When young people began to come into the
smoothly running, upper-middle-class congregation at La Jolla
(Calif.) Lutheran Church, Pastor Charles Donhowe started evening
meetings for them. Soon Donhowe had two congregations, the regular
Sunday-at-11 variety and the new Christians in the evening. A
minister for nine years, Donhowe was in effect converted by the
youngsters to unstructured Christianity. He resigned and took his
evening congregation with him. Some of his older parishioners joined
the secession. Now known simply as "Bird Rock," they meet
in Bird Rock Elementary School in La Jolla. If Bird Rock is an omen,
it would be an ironic one: the dove, after all, is the ancient symbol
of the Holy Spirit, and Jesus built his own church upon a rock.
Fact of Faith
are better omens in the actions of clergymen like Houston's John
Bisagno, even when they are uncertain of the full meaning and the
life span of the Jesus revolution. Says Bisagno: "All I know is
that kids are turning on to Jesus. My concern is that the staid,
traditional churches will reject these kids and miss the most genuine
revival of our lifetime." Canon Edward N. West of Manhattan's
Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine has also made his church a
haven for religious enthusiasts whom he sometimes does not fully
comprehend. He says: "There is no place left where they can go
and sort themselves out unless the churches are open. They do an
enormous amount of praying, sometimes in the lotus position. One
young man comes in and plays the bass recorder. He and God have some
relationship over a bass recorder. I don't understand it, but that's
a world filled with real and fancied demons for the young, the form
their faith takes may be less important than the fact that they have
it. Ronald Knox, who set out in Enthusiasm to expose the heresies of
religious enthusiasts, concluded by praising their spirit.
nearly we thought we could do without St. Francis, without St.
Ignatius," he ended his work. "Men will not live without
vision; that moral we would do well to carry away with us from
contemplating, in so many strange forms, the record of the
visionaries." Enthusiasm may not be the only virtue but, God
knows, apathy is none at all.
Magazine, Monday, Jun. 21, 1971
in China: Christianity's Rapid Rise
rise of Christianity is reshaping the officially atheist nation, its
politics and the way many Chinese view the world. The Tribune's Evan
Osnos reports from Beijing and the countryside.
Jin Mingri peered out from the pulpit and delivered an unusual
appeal: "Please leave," the 39-year-old pastor commanded
his followers, who were packed, standing-room-only on a Sunday
afternoon, into a converted office space in China's capital. "We
don't have enough seats for the others who want to come, so, please,
only stay for one service a day."
choir in hot-pink robes stood to his left, beside a guitarist and a
drum set bristling with cymbals. Children in a playroom beside the
sanctuary punctuated the service with squeals and tantrums. It was a
busy day at a church that, on paper, does not exist.
— repressed, marginalized and, in many cases, illegal in China
for more than half a century — is sweeping the country,
overflowing churches and posing a sensitive challenge to the
officially atheist Communist Party.
some estimates Christian churches, mostly underground, now have
roughly 70 million members, as many as the party itself. A growing
number of Christians are in fact party members.
is thriving in part because it offers a moral framework to citizens
adrift in an age of Wild West capitalism that has not only exacted a
heavy toll in corruption and pollution but also harmed the global
image of products "Made in China."
economic development, morality and ethics in China are degenerating
quickly," prayer leader Zhang Wei told the crowd at Jin's church
as worshipers bowed their heads. "Holy Father, please save the
Chinese people's soul."
the same time, Christianity is driving citizens to be more
politically assertive, emboldening them to push for greater freedoms
and testing the party's willingness to adapt. For decades, most of
China's Christians worshiped in underground churches—known as
"house churches"—that avoided attention for fear of
arrest on various charges such as "disturbing public order."
in a sign of Christianity's growing prominence, in scores of
interviews for a joint project of the Tribune and PBS'
FRONTLINE/World, clerical leaders and worshipers from coastal
boomtowns to inland villages publicly detailed their religious lives
for the first time.
repeat a seemingly shared belief that the time has come to proclaim
their place in Chinese society as the world focuses on China and its
hosting of the 2008 Olympics, set to begin in August.
have nothing to hide," said Jin, a former Communist Party member
who broke away from the state church last year to found his Zion
embodies a historic change: After centuries of foreign efforts to
implant Christianity in China, today's Christian ascension is led not
by missionaries but by evangelical citizens at home. Where
Christianity once was confined largely to poor villages, it is now
spreading into urban power centres with often tacit approval from the
reaches into the most influential corners of Chinese life:
Intellectuals disillusioned by the 1989 crackdown at Tiananmen Square
are placing their loyalty in faith, not politics; tycoons fed up with
corruption are seeking an ethical code; and Communist Party members
are daring to argue that their faith does not put them at odds with
boundaries of what is legal and what is not are constantly shifting.
A new church or Sunday school, for instance, might be permissible one
day and taboo the next, because local officials have broad latitude
to interpret laws on religious gatherings.
though, the government is permitting churches to be more open and
active than ever before, signaling a new tolerance of faith in public
life. President Hu
even held an unprecedented Politburo "study session" on
religion last year, in which he told China's 25 most powerful leaders
that "the knowledge and strength of religious people must be
mustered to build a prosperous society."
rise, driven by evangelical Protestants, reflects a wider spiritual
awakening in China. As communism fades into today's free-market
reality, many Chinese describe a "crisis of faith" and seek
solace everywhere from mystical Taoist sects to Bahai temples and
the government counts 21 million Catholics and Protestants—a 50
percent increase in less than 10 years—though the underground
population is far larger. The World Christian Database's estimate of
70 million Christians amounts to a 5 percent share of the population,
second only to Buddhism.
a time when Christianity in Western Europe is dwindling, China's
believers are redrawing the world's religious map with a growing
community already exceeding all the Christians in Italy. And
increasing Christian clout in China has the potential to alter
relations with the United States and other nations.
much about the future of faith in China is uncertain, shaped most
vividly in bold new evangelical churches such as Zion, where a
soft-spoken preacher and his fervent flock do not yet know just how
far the Communist Party is prepared to let them grow.