Saturday, December 8, 2007

Changes in the Spiritual Climate and Expectation

It is difficult to remember how things were in our culture a few years ago. It is not difficult to think about when we consider the massive changes that have occurred in religion. Before the Jesus Movement people tended to attend services only with others of a like mind and similar worship styles. They rarely if ever mingled with people with other kinds of preferences.

I was reared in a Baptist Church and was not comfortable with folks from other streams of Christianity. The rituals of a Roman Catholic Church were very strange and I felt anxious when I attended a funeral or a wedding. I did not know any Catholics personally so I had little opportunity to discuss our beliefs or convictions.

That changed when I moved from a small town in Illinois to the large city of Cincinnati. My home town had few if any Roman Catholics but Cincinnati had a majority of Catholics so I met and shared life with them on a regular basis. My boss was Catholic and he attended church every morning on his way to work. I sat in the last pew and prayed spontaneously as he knelt and said his prayers from memory. The differences still kept us from mutual understanding.

Then everything changed. I was swept up in the movement of the Holy Spirit and began attending a small group in the home of a Presbyterian Minister. Over half the people in attendance were Roman Catholics. We shared deeply and openly and some of the barriers fell between us.

A similar thing happened with racial differences. I had a very few African American friends back in Illinois but that changed in Cincinnati where many of my dearest friends came from different racial/ethic backgrounds than I.

In my view, the major reasons why we have developed a healthier and more diverse society came from the Jesus Movement. We worshipped together, studied the Bible with each other and worked together. There was very little discussion about why mutual respect and honor were important. We just knew that the Bible told us so and we did it.

More later on changing musical styles.

Ps Congratulations to Josh and Ruth Willis on the grand Re-Opening of their Holy Spirit Worship Center in Hamilton. Josh is celebrating 25 years of operating The Good Samaritan Inn, a healing place for addicts. Josh came to faith in Christ at a Randy Matthews concert at the Butler County Fair Grounds in 1973. He is another radical that God brought to Himself in the Jesus Movement.


Sweeten Life Systems

P.O. Box 498455

Cincinnati, Ohio 45249

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