They have long hair. They wear beards and sandals. Some claim to have rejected everything but the basic necessities of life. They hold up two fingers in a "V" to proclaim peace, almost like a Papal benediction. They talk of "making love, not war," and speak of a world where each man is his brother's keeper. They point out, with stunning accuracy, many of the hypocrisies of their elders especially when it comes to religion. They claim to be gentle, good, wanting to do no harm. They are the "flower children," they say, whose goals are those of meekness and mercy. Often, they speak of Christ. And they don't know what they're talking about.
IT'S EASY to spot hypocrisy. Double standards are everywhere. Nations endowed with the religion stemming from the Judeo-Christian ethic have fought each other with viciousness and hate for many centuries.
A World of Hypocrisy
Mothers who presumably believed in the same god and a different government fervently prayed to that god to grant their boys success in battle, which must have been enormously confusing to whichever god, if any, heard those impassioned pleas. A believer in Jesus shooting a machine gun is as purely hypocrital as a policy of peace through war, success through cheating, or happy marriages through adultery. A cynical, turned-off youth easily spots hypocrisy in others. A father tells his teenagers to stop smoking pot. But the father who lays down this moral edict, puffs away at cigarettes with the plain statement written on the package, "Caution: Cigarettes may be harmful to health." Mother may be aghast that daughter likes hard rock, long hair, free "love" and pot, while she, the moral mama, just got back from a little weekend adultery. Added to the general hypocrisy of our age are the hideous problems we all face. We have the bomb, the population explosion, the environmental crisis, wholesale poisoning of the basic life-support systems. Above all, we have a protracted and unfinished war. In short, our world is in a mess. And youth knows and knows it knows that it, the youth of the world, did not make it that way.
Survival in the Nuclear Age
"Be sure to lie down immediately, children, when you hear the warning siren. Stay away from the windows, and do not look at the flash, for it can blind you. Remember, too, that the shock wave will explode the windows, which could cut you in two. After the initial shock wave has passed, we should quickly, and in orderly manner, descend into the shelter at the bottom of the stairs." These were not the instructions for the 30's or 40's. Then, teachers explained how to get out of that upper-level classroom and down the stairs, or into the metal slide in case of fire. In the old frame classrooms of the 30's, fire was feared. But in the 50's, and ever since, it's been "the bomb." If you're over 40, the chances are you can't understand. You see, you weren't reared during the age of the bomb. Your childhood fears were "Japs" and "Nazis." Perhaps you even went to war against them. You don't recall classroom petitions being sent to President Roosevelt, asking him to "please not press that button, Mr. President." You weren't a young adult or teenager living through the assassination of a young President, or the shooting down of his brother. You weren't a teen, filled with vital hopes and dreams, seeing the funeral processions of Martin Luther or Medgar Evers. Your children were. Your news wasn't filled, when you were growing up, with headlines screaming: "America's cities are burning," or bombings, riots and huge demonstrations against war. It is today. There was little chance, when you went to college, that you could be shot while crossing the campus green. It could happen to your sons or daughters tomorrow. Today the world is different incredibly, enormously different. Today, you must recognize the stark fact that human annihilation is a very real possibility. Accidental war could bring it about; accidental poisoning could bring it about; biological or chemical war could bring it about.
Change Necessary And Now!
If your eyes are open you can see that dramatic, complete change is needed. TOTAL change. And you can see it MUST BE NOW! You can recognize a complete change is necessary in the whole concept of business and industry that the world needs desperately to be busy in the manufacture of plowshares instead of spears, beautiful homes and buildings instead of bombs, bullets and nerve gas. You can see total change is necessary in the pollution-producing methods of transportation, and the entire structure of city living. You can see total change is necessary in the "chamber-of-commerce growth-for-the-sake-of-growth" attitude of an ever-soaring "GNP" resulting in the pollution of the environment. You can recognize the need for change NOW. But you can see no change, now. Instead, you see the same tired old principles at work which were the fundamental, root cause that produced the world all around you, just "like it is." And so can teenagers. They see the agonizing need for change. And, tragically, they too see that no lasting change is forthcoming. Some of the most exciting conversations among teens are those which probe the cause of the evils of society. There are those long "rap sessions" about the establishment, "Agnew's rhetoric," "Nixon's War," the student groups, "pot," the rock festivals, and the crassness of parents. This concern with the "establishment" has been the catalyst for a new subculture. They are variously called the "Hippie Generation," the "Now People," the "Happy People" and an ad infinitum of other press-publicized names, including "The Jesus People."
Today's Teenage Tyranny
This new subculture has developed its own standard of physiognomy, vocabulary and religious expression. Ask a teenager what it's all about and he may answer like this: "I think each person must decide those things for himself." "I think you should do your own thing y'know, have your own bag I mean... it's you, isn't it, and, like, YOU have to be you, and decide for you, right?" Like, wrong. Parrots repeat meaningless, simple words endlessly. And students who sit at the feet of "new" moralists have learned their nowhere clichιs well. "Y'gotta do your own thing, y'know"...? Like mindless machinery groaning its tiresome tune, America's youth repeats its sneering rejection rhetoric. The looks of barely concealed outrage from middle America directed toward a Volkswagen van full of long-hairs is as downright satisfying to the hip set as wolf whistles for the gal in the yellow bikini. They like to be objects of abnormality since everything their elders call "normal" is to them "anathema." Somehow, gals, you just HAVE to have long, straight hair, hanging straight down. You've got to be like that endless number of burnt-faced blondes with that long hair that jounces and bounces so loosely to the wild sounds of the "Health Department Approved" (if it's not yet a new "rock" group, it probably soon will be!) Why those hanging shawls, and long purse handles or leather bags with fringes? Like, it's part of the uniform. Why scraggly sideburns, wispy mustaches and long hair? Like, it's mine, ain't it? Haven't you ever looked at the pictures of your own money? Or don't you remember the busts of all those composers whose music you straight guys seem to dig, and you called them all "long hairs"? And, besides, didn't Christ have long hair? And didn't Wild Bill Hickok, and Buffalo Bill Cody, and most all the early founders of the nation? So what's the big deal about hair anyhow? What difference does it make?
The Rejection Syndrome
Today it's "hip" to reject. A scathing sneer, a helpless, quick laugh at the tired old hung-up establishment is heady wine for the ego. Deliberately mottled rags, Clorox-treated jeans, sandals (mostly in summer only), sloppy, baggy, "put-on" clothes are a prideful, glittering uniform beside the "straight" establishment with its nowhere scene. The hair, hanging purses, huge scarves, and put-on red, white and blue are all part of the big scene, and it's labeled: "We reject society." And it's worth rejecting, all right. Any society which could be so utterly insane as to bring mankind to the brink of literal Cosmocide has got to be a society worth rejecting. Any civilization which so entangled itself in the pursuit of worldly, materialistic goals that it looked around in decades-late bewilderment at its own impending annihilation has got to be a civilization worth plenty of rejection. So we see youngsters sneering at the uniform of the "straight" scene, while they stand in their own uniform. We see youngsters who are turning off from the world and turning on to new things drugs, sex and whatever is bizarre. Some of them even say, "turn on with Jesus." They say Christ had long hair. They say, "I march because Christ overturned the money tables." They say, "I demonstrate because Christ talked pretty straight to the Pharisees." They say, "Sure, I come head to head with the authorities because Jesus did." In finality, they say: "Jesus was the first hippie." Recently at the Tournament of Roses Parade, a loud, public audio set was going up and down the parade route. Thousands heard it: "Turn on with Jesus. Sin is the problem. We've got to come out of sin. We've got to turn on with Jesus. That's the way to solve the problems of this world."
The "Jesus Freaks"
Or they say, "Freak out with Jesus," or "Jesus is a good trip." The new subculture takes on blatant religious overtones. They talk of Jesus. But which Jesus? The same one whose name adorned the barns and rocks of the '30's? The same "Jesus" who was adored by the perpetrators of the Spanish Inquisition? Do they speak of the Christ of the Crusades the Jesus of the Jewish Persecutions which Jesus? Do they say the Jesus of the mainstream of Catholic, Coptic and Protestant faiths is the one to "trip" with or do they speak of some other Jesus? The one of whom they speak the one with long hair, flowing robes, halo, sick expression, thin, aquiline nose, petulant lips; the one who supposedly died of a broken heart; the one who is represented as a dropout from dogma, a revolutionary, a lawbreaker, an establishment-hater that "Jesus" is a pusillanimous pansy; a putrescent put-on; an historical hoax. He never lived. He's as fake as store-bought hippie uniforms as fallacious as fairy godmothers, glass slippers, and Rudolph's red nose. You reject society, you say? Then why accept its Christ? Why claim the only place society never erred never made a mistake, was in its religious notions? Why seize on the central figure of the professing "Christian" faiths with their history of crimes, sins, sickening barbarism and hideous wars? Which Jesus? Does it make sense to claim you're rejecting society when you accept the very focal point of the historical development of that society? The older ones followed the kids in clothes, hair, and music. Old-time comedians can be seen sporting long hair; newscasters, television commentators, actors, sports figures, all inevitably cultivate curls, buy bellbottoms, and follow the youths into the "swimming pool pseudo-hip society." Middle-aged men who deplored "mop tops" when the Beatles first waggled their hips and wowed the teeny hoppers can now barely see beneath the shaggy shock of hair they wear. Keep leading, kids, and the older set will inevitably follow slowly perhaps, reluctantly maybe but they will finally follow. Until you stop degenerating. The minute you stop doing that society will call a halt. Keep going down, and you'll be amazed at the compromises your own parents, and the middle-aged, middle-class, middle-Americans, will make. They will surely follow. They'll follow everywhere but in one specific direction. They will never follow you if you follow the true Christ. If you really "turn on with Jesus," the Jesus of the BIBLE you'll look around behind you in vain. No one will be there. Want to know the way to become a complete, utter, total outcast? Discover the TRUE Christ of the Bible.
The Real Christ
Take a look at the young man who looked like any average Jew of His day (that will make all the Jew-haters, witch-hunters, and racist bigots seethe with a hatred which would embarrass Hitler), who was so commonplace in His appearance that He escaped out of crowds time and time again, and whose betrayer had to be paid a huge sum to carefully single out which person He was. Discover the Christ who was utterly unconcerned about saving the world then who came to deliver a vital message, not to convert men's souls and you'll succeed in turning off the broad majority of all religions who have ever professed the Jesus of decadent society. Find the Jesus who studiously obeyed the laws, who paid His taxes, who lived in His own home, who helped the slaves of Roman officers, and who was brutally murdered in an illegal trial, and you'll find a Jesus Christ your parents never heard of. Find the Christ who was subject to His parents, and who came to keep and MAGNIFY the laws of His Father, not destroy them; find the Jesus who commands His followers today to KEEP THE TEN COMMANDMENTS (Matt. 19:17); and you'll have discovered a Christ totally different from the historical fake professed by millions. Discover the Jesus who was in a house when the wise men arrived, not the manger (Matt. 2:11); who said you can worship Him all you please and do it all IN VAIN (Matt. 15:9); who was not crucified on a Friday, and who did NOT rise on a Sunday; the Jesus who was NOT born anywhere near "Christmas." Read about the Jesus whose mother had a large family (Matt. 13:55-56), who is Lord of the Sabbath, not Sunday (Mark 2:27), and who did NOT come to live a righteous life in your place (I John 2:4, 6; I Pet. 2:21), and you'll discover a Christ who will ENRAGE the establishment today, just as He did during His day! Want to learn how to TURN OFF people, how to LOSE friends, and DISILLUSION people? Then follow the Jesus Christ of the BIBLE, instead of the Jesus Christ of society and history! Do that and you'll REALLY reject society. You'll be FORCED to reject it. Because IT WILL REJECT YOU! Make no mistake. The "turn on with Jesus" idea of the hip set is as false and meaningless as the values of the society they reject. They've got the wrong Christ. It's another "Christian cop-out." One man's religion is another's booze. One man's pot-induced daydream is another man's pseudo-religious, self-created sanctimoniousness. The Christ of the Bible was no hippie. And neither would He have fit into the "straight" society of this day. When the youth reject society the end product of a civilization led by the "Judeo-Christian ethic" and its Jesus they are rightly rejecting "another Jesus" not the Jesus of the Bible. But incredibly the youth, while rejecting that society, turns right around and assumes it is discovering a "new" thing, when in fact it is latching onto the same fictitious Christ of the Establishment.
All in the Mind's Eye
Look at it this way. Suppose all your life your dad had been telling you about a great old long-haired buddy, "old Joe Stapzinski." Joe was a World War II veteran, your dad told you. He was weak with a pinched face. Stapzinski was a bent-over, sallow-complicated little weasel of a man real timid. All your life as a young person you heard about "good old Joe Stapzinski." You grew to know the man as if you saw him daily: Little weasel-like ferret-face, close-set eyes, gray, ashen, sallow-complicated, lung-cancer ridden, one-legged, hobbling along with a twinkle in his eye and a quarter for the kids. One day your dad announced, "Hey, you know what? Old Joe is finally going to come over here for a visit. He's made it clear across the country, and I haven't seen him in over 20 years." You're 17, and all your life you've heard about little old, weasel, pinched-face, stooped, bent-over, one-legged Joe with his long hair. And you sure want to meet this character because you've heard dozens of stories about him. So the doorbell rings and you go to answer it, and at the door is a six-foot-four giant. He's healthy, broad-shouldered, with a booming voice. He's not particularly handsome, just an average farmer-looking type. He's the picture of health. He reaches out with a strong, calloused hand and grips your hand and says with a deep voice, "How ya' doing, buddy?" You say, "Oh, excuse me, I was expecting Joe Stapzinski." You look behind this big guy for little old weasel-faced, pinched-over, stooped, bent, one-legged, long-haired Joe. He says, "Well I am Joe Stapzinski." You say, "No, no, you couldn't be. You see, I've heard dozens of stories about Joe. I just feel like I know him. I mean, I'd recognize him anywhere. I could pick him out of a crowd. I mean, after all, somebody with a wooden leg, you know, with that long, wispy, gray hair and that kind of a half-sick expression, looking like he's near death with lung cancer you couldn't be Joe Stapzinski!" you would argue. What I'm illustrating is this. The world thinks Christ had long hair. He didn't. The Establishment claims Christ was born December 25th. He wasn't. Religious leaders say Christ came to do away with the Ten Commandments. He came to make them ever more binding. The religious encyclopedias write that Christ said people go to heaven. Christ says the saints will rule the earth. "Hell-fire" preachers say their Christ condemned the wicked to burn forever. He said no such thing. You can prove all these opposites, if you care to. It's all in the Book. Read the historical biographies of the historical Jesus the books Matthew, Mark, Luke or John. The contents may shock you.
Job and You
Let's illustrate the point about the "other Jesus" a little further with a man whose name was Job, mentioned in the Bible. Job thought he knew a lot about God. He'd heard, and he could argue! In the book of Job you can read some of the most eloquent arguments about all the qualities and the attributes of God's character from the lips of Job. With his three friends sitting there, arguing and telling Job why he was having such a rugged time of it and why he'd lost everything, and his family dead, and he was sitting there in that pile of ashes with all those horrible boils all over his body and aching with pain. Did they ever philosophize? They went on and on and on. They really had a rap session. They were talking about all the attributes of this person of whom they spoke, and the name they used was "God." And the word "God" conjured up something in their minds. The same thing is true of you, isn't it? You ask a person, "What do you think of when you think of God?" And they say, "Well, I think of a father-figure. I think of my grandfather, I think of an ancient creature or a Being, probably in a long robe with long, absolutely snow-white hair, almost a Santa-Claus-type of image." And so it was when Job and his three friends were talking about God. Every time they said the word "God," what got into their minds was their own attitudes, their own ideas about the qualities, the personality, the programs, the character, the requirements for obedience of this God. This was their concept of God. Finally, after a long series of incidents, Job really broke down and came to see what his problem had been. Job said something which is really a point to make right now to all you young hipsters who think Jesus had long hair, or for all of you middle-of-the-road, church-going, professing Christian people who have concepts of a "Christ" in your mind. Take a look at the lesson Job learned. Job said, "I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought can be withholden from thee." He said, "Who is he that hideth counsel without knowledge? Therefore" verse three, "have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not" (Job 42:2, 3).
Now Job Understood
He said, "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eye SEETH thee." He saw for the first time the true picture of that awesome Personality the Creator God of whom he had been speaking. This had never before even reached his mind. His conscious mind had not really seen this God of whom he spoke, even though he could argue long and eloquently about "God." He said, "I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear but now I get it, now I really see, now I understand, now my eye sees you, now I comprehend Wherefore," he said in verse six, "I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." Now he got the true perspective. He saw how great and how good was God, and how wretched and miserable and utterly blind he had been. And he made that most difficult of all human steps he admitted he had been utterly wrong; not partly wrong, totally wrong. He said he abhorred himself! It was just as alarming to Job to see with his mind's eye that great God as it would have been for you as a boy of 17 to open that door, expecting little old stoop-shouldered, pinched-faced, bent-over, one-legged, long-haired, sallow-complicated, lung-cancer-ridden Joe Stapzinski and to see instead this big, six-foot-four man, a picture of health, sticking out his hand, and booming a cheerful greeting. And it will be equally shocking to you when you see what the real Jesus is like! "Turn on with Jesus," the hippie said. How do you do that when you don't know who Jesus is? How do you "turn on with Him" when you don't know how to contact Him? Why turn on with the very same kind of a Christ whom you hold responsible for being the guiding figure in a Judeo-Christian society which has brought this world to the point of virtual nuclear annihilation?
Find the Real Jesus
If you youngsters want to "turn on with Jesus," do it. But why do it with the traditional Jesus? Why do it with the pseudo-sanctimonious, long-haired, sad-faced Christ of tradition? Why accept a complete fabrication, a total fake, another Jesus, a false Christ? I challenge you to find the true Jesus Christ, and I'll guarantee you a few things right now. You won't like what you see. Believe it or not, Christ was a law-and-order man, a short-haired Christ, a Jesus Christ who would not have stood out in a crowd, who looked rather plain, like anybody. And He was clean! That Christ you find will very probably turn YOU off! He'll command you to KEEP THE LAWS! You'll be told to BE CLEAN! You'll find He would tell you it's a shame for a man to have long hair (I Cor. 11:14). He'll order you off drugs, and tell you the penalty for ruining your health, your mind, and your morals with licentious "free love" is the DEATH sentence! He'll command you, not ask you politely, to REPENT of your sins. And if you do, He'll give you mercy, and pardon. But He'll tell you that grace and mercy doesn't allow you the freedom to sin again and again! The Christ of the Bible will not justify your flagrant lawbreaking, your "head-to-head" confrontations with the Establishment. He'll DRAFT you, too! That's right! He'll DRAFT you right into His own service, into His Work. That's why most of you won't find the true Christ! He's too much for you. You would probably hate Him if you found Him. You wouldn't want to take His orders. Again, I challenge you young people to find the true Christ. Rub it in the face of the Establishment. They've never found Him! Ninety percent of the people you could talk to couldn't tell you what He looked like, who He was, what He stood for, what He said or anything about Him. Thousands of them can't even name the first four books of the New Testament that give His biography. If you find that Christ of the Bible and it's easy just read about Him just STUDY what the Book says instead of parroting the endless myths of the Establishment if you find that Christ, you'll discover the ultimate in severing every last tie with society. Jesus was Jesus. And it got Him killed. You'd better thank your Creator He didn't stay dead, friend.