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p1040002

I became a Christian in 1971. The Jesus People Movement was in full swing as was the Charismatic renewal. Lots of converted hippies. We were young. It was exciting. And we were enfolded into the churches that were willing to take in young people who dressed like, well, hippies.

And then we just slowly fell asleep.

As I said, we were young. I can’t speak for others, but I wasn’t very discerning in those days. I don’t think the people around me were, either. The other day my wife was singing a chorus from that era, one of the lines of which was, “If you want joy, you must shout for it.” In that song, different actions were added to what one must do to receive joy. Jumping was another. Some of us white people lifted ourselves about an inch off the ground when we sang those lines, but most of us just lifted ourselves up on our toes. Nobody thought about the theological ramifications of this requirement to receive joy. The pastor certainly didn’t—and he was a good guy—because he taught it to the church. No one cared. We were young. We were excited.

But I already said that, didn’t I?

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