(Click here for a video of John reading today’s Catch.)
They call him by the “Prince Of Peace”
And they call him by “The Savior”
And they pray to him upon the sea
And in every bold endeavor
And they fill his churches with their pride and gold
As their faith in him increases
But they’ve turned the nature that I worship in
From a temple to a robber’s den
In the words of the rebel Jesus
– Jackson Browne from the song The Rebel Jesus
Follow Jesus and you will soon realize you are, and will always be, a rebel.
The early Jesus people were rebels. Truth is rebellious. It upsets the applecart and the status quo. You can look at the Jesus Movement and see when it died. It died when followers of Christ stopped being rebels.
It died at Explo ’72 in Dallas, where “100,000 people couldn’t be wrong.” Oh yeah? There have been a lot more people than that in history all wrong at the same time. (Try Nazi Germany for starters.) With that kind of reasoning, truth is relegated to numbers, not truth.
The Jesus Movement died when the music started to bless rather than convict. It died when everything became worship. (Come on, people, worship is great, but we aren’t in heaven yet!) It died when getting a hit on Christian radio was more important than saving the world with our guitars. It died when we lost our prophetic voices and started making Christians comfortable in America. It died when “Christian” became an adjective instead of a noun. It died when we tried to fit into the world’s system rather than speak into it. It died when hippies in church became yuppies in church playing yuppie music. It died when everyone was welcome except __________ (fill in the blank).
The Jesus Movement started out great, but “once a rebel, always a rebel” did not stick. Rebellion appeared to be just a phase. It was great to kick things off, but eventually you have to conform. Really? Look at Jesus; did He ever stop rebelling against the establishment? Did He ever conform to anyone or anything? If He had, they wouldn’t have killed Him.
Listen to these words by the late Mark Spoelstra. They are the words of a true follower of Christ fighting to stay true to his convictions to remain a rebel, because that is what he must do to give honor to the one he follows and the truth He represents:
“Life is created by God. He put me in it, and I believe even saw me in it before I was born, and I think He knew that He was going to write the truth on my heart. I think that even in my rebellion, He has been a big part of that path I speak of. So I see myself, on a certain level, continuing to rebel, and to understand it in others, and maybe at times to have a glass of wine over that, because I think I will never entirely grow up in this world.” – Mark Spoelstra