Summary: Time flies. Months slip away. Years are lost. Before we know it, a decade has passed. However, decades of the past can teach us today!
It is an understatement that time flies. However, this is never more apparent than when you reflect over a period of 10 years or a decade. The amount of change that we experience in 10 years can be overwhelming. This may have never been more true than in the decade we call the 60s. Perhaps one of the best ways to understand or catch a glimpse of a decade is to listen to it. Play 60s soundtrack Exiting the conclusion of WW2 in the 50s there was a huge cultural upheaval that took place. There was a move from poodle skirts to bell bottoms, sock hops gave way to Woodstock, and Elvis mania is rivaled by the arrival of the Beatles. There were significant historical moments that continue to shape our nation and our lives. Civil Rights catapulted to center stage highlighted by Martin Luther King Jr. Women’s Rights are demanded. The assignation of JFK sends a nation into mourning. The Vietnam War is fought in the jungles but also on the streets of America in protests. A man walks on the moon for the first time. This crazy and tumultuous decade is probably best describe and summarized as a decade of revolution. Revolution in social norms about clothing, music, drugs, and sexuality. However, this “revolution” was accomplished by irresponsible excess, flamboyance and the decay of social order. Free love birthed STDs. The pursuit of freedom led to psychedelic drugs like LSD to help people “Turn on, tune in, drop out.” If it feels good do it became the mantra of the day. Finally, the revolution against all norms led to the famous article in Time Magazine in 1966 which declared on the cover “God is Dead!”
It has been said that hindsight is 20/20 so looking back it is easy to deduce that the 60s begins in revolution and in many cases ends in rebellion. That is the danger . . . The desire for change if we are not careful can morph into rebellion.
In our current decade I am beginning to hear the cry for revolution. Revolution in politics and in policies. Revolution in educational structure. Revolution in treatment of those who are different. The truth of the matter is that if you desire or are attracted to revolution then you are in good company. Scripture is chock full of revolutions. Countless coups and uprisings can be found throughout the Old Testament. In the New Testament the central figure that graces its pages is histories greatest revolutionary. It is difficult in our surroundings to truly understand just how revolutionary Jesus was. The culture of His day was so tied into the synagogue and the power of the religious leaders that when Jesus arrives on the scene and starts His teachings about personal relationship with the Father and freedom from legalism and performance/ritual to reach Him that there is no other way to describe Jesus than radical. He overturned money changing tables in the temple, stood up to spiritual bullies, and opposed political leaders. If you want to start a revolt, then you are in good company with Jesus. He is your man. The revolution against the religious, culture, and political systems of His day was so significant that it cost Him His life. Jesus was revolutionary. So, Jesus would have fit well into the revolutionary climate of the 60s. He absolutely embodied revolution. I tried to think about Jesus’ most revolutionary statements only to be reminded as I pondered that they were all revolutionary.
“I am the way the truth and the life and no man can reach the Father except through me.” Is a stand against the religious claims of the day.
“Turn the other cheek. Love your neighbor. If asked to walk one mile go two. If you lust it is the same as adultery, if you hate you murder. Gain your life by losing it. Daily take up your cross.”
Wow - revolutionary statements that turned His world upside down.
His revolutionary thoughts and demands would have fit well in the 60s but the truth is He would have been an outcast in the 60s because although Jesus embodied revolution He is absolutely and categorically against rebellion. In fact, Jesus says in 14:48 ... Am I leading a rebellion," said Jesus, "that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me?
This is what Jesus teaches us that the 60s missed!
1. Free from must lead to free to!
Revolution sounds attractive because we are convinced that life without rules is real freedom. We think that life without regulations, barriers, laws, and no judgement is real freedom. However, we often fail to realize that is rebellion. Jesus taught revolution with guidelines and lanes. Real revolution establishes new rules/regulations that result in freedom. Free from has to lead to free to. Revolution against systems and abusive authority is a good thing. However, if revolution leads to rebellion against the authority of God and leads to contempt of Godly ordained leaders, then we are in danger. Revolution when it gives birth to rebellion then leads to disrespect.