“It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” (Lamentations 3:22-23)
Looking back at the 1960s we see it was anything but peaceful.
Hard rock had taken a popular turn with Woodstock. Drugs were tapping out great performing artists such as Hendrix, Morrison and Joplin. Marijuana, LSD, cocaine, heroin and hash were both popular and deadly drugs. Racial division further added to the many ills of society. Civil rights leader Martin Luther King’s best efforts to end the strife laid him in an early grave.
The counterculture groups protested, broke store windows, set fires and fought authority. They were outspoken against the Vietnam War and treated the returning soldiers as the dregs of society. It was a time like no other. The minority fought for socialism, free speech and freedom to be and do whatever the dictates of their hearts were so inclined.
People ceased to fear authority and rebellion became a praised behavior as the society consistently spiraled out of control. Sex, drugs and rock and roll was the characterizing theme of the era.
However, in the midst of this uprising, another movement was in the making, “The Jesus Movement.”
I find this quite amazing in light of the similarities existing in today’s world. Those who adhered to the “Jesus Movement” were called “Jesus Freaks” by many. The Holy Spirit was working behind the scenes. While the hippies partied and crashed in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco, another group of hippies was finding Jesus.
God was sending a light in the midst of gross darkness. The Lord was truly at work. People were having life-changing encounters. They were walking away from death, darkness and destruction. A mild version of contemporary music began to emerge. Barry McGuire, Petra, Randy Stonehill, Larry Norman and many others. Bill Bright’s Campus Crusade for Christ played a huge role in the conversion of souls.
Later, Keith Green’s “Last Day Ministry” would come to fruition. It was a time I can describe only as walking into a pitch-black room and flipping on the light switch. In the midst of that darkness many saw a great light. Faith in signs, wonders and miracles was restored as many sought to live lives similar to that of the early church. It was a return to basic Bible Christianity and it spread like wildfire!
I believe as we look back, we can gain a fresh hope. Almost 60 years later we have not changed as a people because the same age-old sin exists in all of us until we’re born again. It’s the same devils at work raising up the same counterculture groups to go against the mores of society.
Heroin is still an evil foe leaving parents, childless and children parentless. It’s the same drugs that are still taking the lives of rock legends. The counterculture groups are protesting anything and everything that is of any resemblance to a moral society.
Could it be in the midst of this present darkness the Holy Spirit is about to flip the switch yet once more? The conditions seem both similar, favorable and almost demanding.
God still commands light to shine out of darkness. Let’s pray He does!
“This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.” (Lamentations 3:21).