Pastor Greg Laurie, pastor and author of Jesus Revolution spoke the title line in a recent interview. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/jesus-revolution-how-the-hippie-generation-came-to-christ/id1045171376?i=1000607600628
I knew nothing of Laurie until I saw his story depicted in the Jesus Revolution movie earlier this year. Laurie was caught up in the hippie movement of the 1970s, a movement that can be seen as the progenitor of the progressive movement of today.
Neither the hippies sixty years ago nor the progressives today offer substantive values. Progressivism justifies itself by destroying past values and institutions: religion, family, patriotism, responsibility, work ethic, meritocracy, democracy, chastity, the Socratic pursuit of truth and knowledge, wisdom, selflessness, loyalty, service to others, truth and honesty, authority, etc.
The Left sees these values as tainted, so they must be destroyed and replaced. Destruction is the Left’s entire strategy for winning a cultural war. Not all the past should be preserved, but it had core values to distinguish itself. Progressivism has shifting, often amorphous, values, hardly any recognizable as actual values to past cultures. Still, the Left believes it is more enlightened than all generations proceeding it. Karl Marx called for the “ruthless criticism of all that exists”. The Left champions this model yet again despite the fact Marxism has never succeeded (it has always led to totalitarianism) and accounted for countless more deaths than all religious wars of the last several thousand years. Marxism and the progressive movement of today are indistinguishable; they stand for nothing but rejection of all that currently exists. After they destroy the supposed contemporary evil, they desire a phoenix to rise up from the ashes, but they have nothing meaningful to offer in exchange. It is a certain path to destruction–for all of us. Revival must happen to divert us from this failing path. Nothing else can save us.
Hazel Motes, Flannery O’Connor’s tragic hero of Wise Blood, ardently sought truth, but never recognized it despite numerous opportunities for redemption. He would have blended perfectly with today’s progressives.
I preach there are all kinds of truth, your truth and somebody else’s, but behind all of the, there’s only one truth and that is there’s no truth. No truth behind all the truths is what I and this church preach! Where you come from is gone, where you thought you were going to never was there, and where you are is no good unless you can get away from it. Where is there a place for you to be? No place.
Nothing outside you can give you any place. You needn’t look at the sky because it’s not going to open up and show no place behind it. You needn’t search for any hole in the ground to look through into somewhere else. You can’t go neither forwards nor backwards into your daddy’s time nor your children’s if you have them. If there was any Fall, look there, if there was any Redemption, look there, and if you expect any Judgment, look there, because they all three will have to be in your time and your and where in your time and your body can they be?
Where in your time and your body has Jesus redeemed you? Show me where because I don’t see the place. If there was a place where Jesus had redeemed you that would be the place for you to be, but which of you can find it?
Seventy years ago O’Connor captured the nonsensical and fatalistic values of progressivism. Motes offered an alternative with no substance and no hope. His life was a failure; his nihilist philosophy prevented him from ever finding truth. He rejected every opportunity for a true revival. Both unhappy and unfulfilled, he clung to his failing philosophy with stubborn loyalty, unable to admit his mistakes or change course. His life is a metaphor for the failed progressive movement. Unfortunately, progressives, conservatives, independents, and the rest will suffer the same awful fate unless we divert from our current path.
Motes said: “there’s no truth”. Objective truth was too much for him to bear. It is a seductive message: set your own standard and define your own truth; you will never fail because you can always change the standard to suit yourself (although it will not end well). Pontius Pilate asked Jesus: “What is truth?” (John 18:38). It wasn’t a heartfelt search for the truth. Pilate mocked its value, proclaiming its relative unimportance. His position, the status of the Roman empire were more important than truth. He knew Jesus was innocent and washed his hands of the verdict, yet he still had Jesus scourged and did not prevent his death. Who cares about objective truth at such times? Preservation of our own standards may matter more than truth. Truth is attacked in the same manner today, as it was seventy years ago, as it was two thousand years ago.
Meaning of Life
Pastor Laurie during the interview asks us: “What is the meaning of your life? What is going to happen when you die? Why do you exist?” Our culture of today cannot answer, cannot even comprehend, such deep questions. We need a value system to guide our responses; however, progressivism has destroyed the institutions which provided answers in the past. Happiness, finding one’s self, seeking one’s own truth are new enlightened goals offered by progressives, but fulfillment should be the real goal. Find meaning in your life, fulfill the role you should play, and you will find a lasting happiness, not the ephemeral happiness from sex, drugs, or discovering your true gender identity . Earn a legacy to be inscribed on your gravestone: loving parent, loyal and faithful spouse, wise teacher, good friend, faithful servant of God, etc. Who cares if you found yourself if you had no impact on anyone else?
Lonnie Frisbee, said of the hippies in the Jesus Revolution: “They are looking for all the right things, but they are looking in all the wrong places.” We are re-living the same tragedy today. The progressives I encounter claim to seek a better life, not only for themselves but others. I believe the vast majority are genuine, but they are looking in all the wrong places.
Today, virtually all our institutions–media, education, government, entertainment, and big business–are controlled by the Left. They influence the narrative and impose restrictions on dissenters. Even many religious folks appear afraid to confront and challenge the Left’s re-writing of language and standards. It is easier to accept the change in values to avoid debate and grow the parish.
Religion and family are the institutions that can still (and must) push back. In Brave New World, Huxley described a world with neither. The people were bribed with sexual freedom, lack of responsibility, and the perfect drug, Soma, which allowed them to forget and escape any unnatural pain that might have seeped in. Without the support of religion and family to find meaning in life, individuals were powerless to affect change. In 1984, religion was a non-entity; family existed, but ultimate fealty was to the state. Winston Smith’s neighbor, Parsons, talks proudly of his own child who sent him to the gulag for his illicit dreams about Big Brother:
She listened at the keyhole. Heard what I was saying, and nipped off to the patrols the very next day. Pretty smart for a nipper of seven, eh?
Huxley’s and Orwell’s worlds are two distinct alternatives we could easily devolve into without religion and family to bind us together and push back against today’s madness.
Religion and family are under attack because they pose a substantial threat to progressivism. On The View, last week, entertainer, Patti LuPone, attacked Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for “anti-trans legislation”. She compared the Christian Right (represented by DeSantis) with the Taliban. She received nods from the show’s hosts.
Sorry. She is not even close. I repeat the words from my last post. Where is the hatred? These simple words from the Catechism of the Catholic Church are a counter to the lie:
2357 tradition has always declared that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. Under no circumstance can they be approved.
2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.
2359 By virtues of self-mastery that teach them [persons with same-sex attraction] inner freedom, at times by the support of disinterested friendship, by prayer and sacramental grace, they can and should gradually and resolutely approach Christian perfection
Respect, compassion, sensitivity, prayer, support, and friendship. There is no call to hatred. There are no dog whistles, conspiracies, or secret messages. Calls to hatred of individuals or groups is antithetical to Christianity. You can easily find sinful Christians, but you will find no authentic Christian doctrine which advocates hatred. Our media are the liars; their lies about Christianity are leading to hatred of Christians.
Governor DeSantis as well counters lies regarding Florida legislation. Where is the hatred? Where is the Taliban-like action?
“When you actually look at the bill and it says ‘no sexual instruction to kids pre-K through three,’ how many parents want their kids to have transgenderism or something injected into classroom instruction?” DeSantis said. “It’s basically saying for our younger students, do you really want them being taught about sex? And this is any sexual stuff. But I think clearly right now, we see a focus on transgenderism, telling kids they may be able to pick genders and all of that. People continually ask why is anyone else’s sexual lifestyle a problem? The overall trend undermines the family, and the family is the basis of civilization. The average woman in more than 100 countries, primarily the more affluent countries, has fewer than 2 children in her lifetime. Unless the average woman has slightly more than 2 children in her lifetime, the population will decline.
Teachers: stick to standard school subjects, do not share intimate details of your own personal lives, especially not your sexual proclivities, and avoid advising our children on life decisions without consulting parents. Believe what you want outside of school. This is a simple, and certainly not a hate-filled, un-Taliban-like formula.
This question always is asked: why do you care about your neighbor’s lifestyle and preferences if it doesn’t impact your own life? But it does impact us all. It should be clear that kids are a political target and parents values do not matter to educators. The current trends, the attack upon and the destruction of value filled institutions, have massive impact on society writ large. The destruction of Western Civilization, possibly all civilization, is a meaningful concern. Leftist TRANSGENDER “Pastor” preaches BLASPHEMY! Compares Nashville Shooter to Jesus! – YouTube
Why are we not having children any longer?
Specifically, we surveyed a representative sample of just over 1,000 U.S. adults about their future family planning. Of those without children, about half (52%) do not want to have a child in the future, while 20% remain unsure.
The birth rate has halved during the last seventy years–and it is not rebounding. The promotion of alternative families, birth control, abortion, and the attack on family values has dramatically changed our culture. Without immigration, the US population would be declining. Who will take care of you when you are older? How will our nation fund social security? How will we continue to innovate and improve technology? How will we continue basic services without enough to do the work?
Boys are not taught to be men, but to express their gender identity instead. Boys don’t learn how to be men and it is increasingly difficult for women to find men to fulfill their vital roles. With the explosion of new sexual identities, how could our youth not be totally confused about finding fulfillment with a partner? The change in values has been so dramatic the last few years. Changing your gender puts more downward pressure on the already low birth rate numbers. This is an experiment that will end badly.
Family and children give great meaning to lives. Without children, that fulfillment will be lost for so many. The LGBTQ sexual fads (the numbers clearly show this is a fad), prevent millions from leading very different, almost certainly more fulfilling, lives. Civilizations since the beginning of time have supported marriage and family, developing countless traditions and institutions which allow for the proliferation of their own culture. Why should we accept the argument that suddenly abandoning such values is “no big deal”? Transgenders, by far, have the highest rate of suicide among all demographics. Educators pushing children into genital surgery has not changed that statistic an iota. Our neighbors odd behavior may make some uncomfortable, but this fight is not about compelling our neighbors to change simply to suit our whims; it is about saving humanity for our children.
Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose
Nothing, and that’s all that Bobby left me.
Janis Joplin, Me and Bobby McGee
Our whole society will be left with nothing too if the trend continues.
The Left wants us to believe there is no right and wrong anymore. Truth has become relative; it changes depending upon your perspective. This is how anything can be justified. This is why so many believe things that would never have been accepted in the past. Without religion, family, or patriotism there are no common value systems: your truth, my truth; everyone can have their own version. We hear this notion so often today. How can one ever find meaning in life when your philosophy allows for amorphous truth that can change any moment?
Relativism is the philosophical position that all points of view are equally valid and that all truth is relative to the individual. This means that all moral positions, all religious systems, all art forms, all political movements, etc., are truths that are relative to the individual.
Relativism is a family of philosophical views which deny claims to objectivity within a particular domain and assert that valuations in that domain are relative to the perspective of an observer or the context in which they are assessed.
In the novel 1984, Winston Smith was forced to admit two plus two does not equal four. It equals whatever Big Brother says it equals. Your truth must always support the state. There is absolute truth, however. The sky is blue. Water is wet. There are only two sexes. Social Security is a Ponzi scheme.
How can one even make the claim: “there is no absolute truth” with any certainty whatsoever? This statement in itself claims to be an absolute truth, yet, at the same time, it denies such a truth even exists. This contradiction destroys the argument. QED.
Relativism is pervasive in our society as evidenced by the following. Black teenager, Ralph Yarl was tragically shot by a white man last week. The boy survived and will be visiting the White House. His story is national news and his victim status supports the narrative that blacks are being systematically targeted by a white supremacist America. Blake Mohs was a white security guard shot and killed by a black woman last week:
A California Home Depot security guard and Boy Scout leader was killed Tuesday when he tried to stop a woman from stealing an electrical item before she and her boyfriend fled with their toddler in the back of their car.
Who knows about Blake Mohs, his aspirations, or his plans to be married next year? Will his family visit the White House? His story doesn’t matter because progressive’s version of truth changes based upon the race of the victim. Ben Shapiro provided an amazing statistic regarding inter-racial crime: 1 out of every 1 million white persons fatally killed a black person while 12 in every 1 million black persons killed a white person. Does the truth matter in this instance or is all relative?
Three Tennessee legislators led hundreds of protestors into the legislative chamber last month. In 2011, hundreds filled the Wisconsin legislature to protest Republican Governor Scott Walker’s proposed bill regarding state pensions. The Tennessee three were expelled from the legislature, but they will visit the White House in any case; they are heroes in this relativistic world. Jacob Chansley, unfairly imprisoned for two years following the January 6 riot, should visit the White House. https://time.com/6267335/jan-6-qanon-shaman-jacob-chansley-released-early-prison/. How about asking the victims of a shooting at a Christian school (the very event protested by Tennessee legislators) to the White House? Unfortunately, the race, sexual orientation or political beliefs of the victims are what matters to the current White House occupant. January 6, 2021 was the worst threat to democracy ever, but similar protests by Democrats were patriotic acts. The truth changes along with the victim’s identity or political beliefs.
Facts can be altered, but the progressive narrative must always be supported. Liberal icon JK Rowling was attacked because she strayed from the narrative in just one instance. Without value systems of faith, family, and patriotism, ultimate fealty is to the political narrative. What else is there for those who have abandoned traditional values? This logic makes sense to them, but they should be pitied. They need a revival. They need absolute truth restored.
I don’t demand anyone follow my religion or my values, but I do ask you ascribe to a value system with real meaning, one established above yourself, preferably from God, and one not subject to capricious changes from contemporary culture–or we will all be lost.
Political Correctness contorts language in an attempt to remake reality along leftist lines . . . According to the premises of political correctness, a man can become a woman if we all agree to call him “her”. A baby will cease to be a baby if we all just agree to call him a “fetus”. – Michael Knowles, Speechless
One More Take from Laurie
One of the conflicts with Lonnie Frisbee, the hippie preacher in Jesus Revolution, is his forays into gay sex. Andrew Klavan challenges Pastor Laurie on this point, and he responds directly:
He knew homosexuality was a sin. He never was an advocate for it. He never identified as a gay man . He did experiment sexually before his conversion. After he came to Christ, he was married.
Later, by his own admission, he fell away. He got into drugs; he got into promiscuity, and he got AIDS. He knew AIDS was the result of his bad decision. He knew what he had done was wrong. He asked God to forgive him.
Frisbee is depicted as saying: “We did everything and we did everyone”. The movie does not attempt to hide his or anyone else’s sinfulness. Frisbee repented and then fell away again. Laurie recounts his ultimate repentance at the end of his life.
Frisbee’s story in this regard is similar to so many others. God wants us to surrender to Him and to repent of sin. Too many today cannot recognize sin; this is the great failure of progressivism. They condemn, label as haters, those who simply point out sin. Truth will ultimately prevail, but how much longer will it take? How much longer before revival finally takes hold (if it ever does)?
Do Christians hate people like Frisbee because they experimented with homosexuality (and other sexual deviancies)? Absolutely not. We empathize with Frisbee. The movie emphasizes his struggles and his checkered past without actually depicting any homosexual experiences (it wasn’t part of the story during that two-year period, according to Laurie). We are not ashamed of our religion because a Christian like Frisbee engaged in homosexual acts. We do not condemn him for this sin. In fact, we share his example for others. We do not condemn anyone who engages in homosexuality or transgenderism today. Hate the sin, love the sinner is the motto, one we do not always follow, but one we should be bound by. What similar principles does the progressive movement have to offer?
Finally, what legacy does Frisbee leave behind? What would the legacy be if he had not repented in the end? What legacy would that be if he had not “done everything and done everyone” before turning his life around? What should we learn from his example? These are the questions I wish to ponder after hearing his story. We must learn from his mistakes as well as our own. We must change our own lives and positively impact the lives of those around us as Frisbee ultimately did himself.
For more on matters of faith: https://seek-the-truth.com/category/faith/
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