Bob, our good friend and frequent commentator from Seattle, raised some very excellent questions about the Jesus Movement, circa 1968-72, after yesterday’s Catch. The following two sentences capture the essence of his speculations. “Did we ever concern ourselves with looking toward the future with God’s endgame in our sights or were we simply content to “live one day at a time,” sing Maranatha songs, and let God handle the details down the road? Do any of us vaguely recall seeing forward 50 years into the possibility that, if the second coming hadn’t already happened by 2019, then our lives and messages (guided by the Holy Spirit) would result in a world where His love, joy, and revelation would prevail because we were His instruments of peace and messengers of His wisdom?”
No, I don’t think we did. We firmly believed there wasn’t enough time to change the world; we only had time to usher as many people onto the “ark” as possible before the rains came. That was the prevailing mentality. But then, as Bob said, when the second coming didn’t come, there was another agenda that took over. Indeed, the whole movement was hijacked by the Christian subculture, embroiled in the culture wars and politics. It was a powerful marriage of conservative politics and Christianity that created an unstoppable cultural force fueled by fear and the need for safety. And the danger now is that Christianity, as many have come to know it, has left Christ. Following Jesus — His discipleship and the Great Commission — has been usurped by an issue-oriented cultural Christianity more concerned with making society conform to “Christian” values than introducing people to Jesus. This is why Christianity has become distorted.
And this is why, at the Catch, we are championing Grace Turned Outward. It is who we are and what we do. We are people who have become the unwitting recipients of God’s free grace that has been lavished upon us through Christ, that we might in turn lavish it on all those in our sphere of influence — who we call, “everyone, everywhere.” We are basically redefining Christianity, or more accurately speaking, we are putting Christ back in Christianity.