An Evil Counterfeit to the Jesus Revolution

Pres. Trump used a variety of terms for the confused, factious movements in his stand-strong Mt. Rushmore speech: "angry mobs"; "cancel culture"; "totalitarianism"; "dangerous movement"; "new far-left fascism"; "left-wing cultural revolution"; "radical ideology"; "bad, evil people."  They are all apt, but I prefer "left-wing cultural revolution." 

I lived through the second-half of the Jesus Revolution of the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s.  We were the antidote to the drug-addled radicals back then.  Though separated by decades, this left-wing version today is still an evil counterfeit to the Jesus Movement and biblical Christianity, much like the old-school radicals were.  The parallels are obvious, and it's time to speak up.  History is repeating itself. 

Here are five clear signs that tell us why the current version is a counterfeit.

First, whatever its manifestation — woke, BLM (the movement, not the generic statement "black lives matter"), the ironically named Antifa, or the left generally — the revolutionaries today do not promote the biblical God in their actions.  It is anti-Christian.

In contrast, the Jesus People talked of nothing but God.  We gladly carried our print Bibles around; we put cool leather covers on them, sometimes with swords on them (the sword was a symbol of the Word of God).  Bible studies sprang up everywhere.  It was a genuine Bible revival. 

Second, the left-wing cultural revolutionaries suppress free speech.  As Trump accurately said in his Mt. Rushmore speech: "In our schools, our newsrooms, even our corporate boardrooms, there is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance.  If you do not speak its language, perform its rituals, recite its mantras, and follow its commandments, then you will be censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted, and punished."  College students insist on safe spaces.  P.C. culture has been building over decades, and the web makes the attack against nonconformist speech intense. 

Those of us in the Jesus Revolution engaged in debate because we wanted to spread our message.  When we encountered opposition, which happened often, we had to figure out ways to counter their views.  But we never dreamed of shutting down free speech.  We believed in "speaking the truth in love" (Eph. 4:15).

Third, the left-wing cultural revolutionaries are neo-Marxists and anarchists.  They intend to spread chaos with the purpose of confusing people and then controlling them.  Neo-Marxists preach a counterfeit kingdom on Earth, but with a strange Marxist god.  Frederick Engels: "We shall see that the kingdom of God, the capital of which is the New Jerusalem, can only be conquered and opened after arduous struggles with the powers of hell."  Their fake gospel of the kingdom of God on Earth has never worked.  The counterfeit, though sounding so pious, damaged and deceived millions of people.

In contrast, the Jesus Revolutionaries didn't think of grabbing political power and certainly not by rioting and looting.  I can't imagine that we would have deployed Twitter mobs back then, if we had had the web.  The Jesus People are still alive, and we are not banding together in Twitter mobs today.

Further, many of us respectfully studied Scripture, and it made us very conservative.  We advocated for the oppressed and the poor, but without neo-Marxist illusions and false promises.  We easily discerned it to be a counterfeit.  Many of us in fact denounced and competed against it, if only in discussions.  It was intuitively revolting to us.  We could see, just as our nation's Founders saw, that Scripture teaches liberty, but only under God. 

In the 1980s, after growing up, we gladly voted for Reagan because we could perceive that he would chase away the confusion that dominated the previous 15 years and forge a saner path.  He was a relief from the chaos.  Trump is a replay of Reagan, despite the personality differences.  The radicals are once again hell-bent on tearing the nation down; Reagan and Trump (and the Jesus People today) are Heaven-sent to build it up.  Yes, Reagan really did say twice, "Make America great again" in his "kick-off" (his term) speech (11:40 and 19:10) with the Statue of Liberty in the background, on September 1, 1980.  This background imagery parallels the Mt. Rushmore speech (though Reagan was a much more rhetorically polished speaker than Trump).

Fourth, the left-wing cultural revolutionary mobs have been toppling statues unilaterally, with no discussion.  They have been burning and pillaging and destroyed the local economy in cities.  In eerie parallels, the radical revolutionaries of the past sometimes damaged buildings and often disrespected police officers.  Those lawful heroes were called "pigs"!  Nowadays, it seems to me that the violence is much worse.  More police officers are being killed in a short span of time.  The whole thing is evil and built on lies (see the fifth point). 

Here's why we Jesus Revolutionaries never dreamed of committing violence in the Jesus Revolution.  "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (Jn. 10:10).  Those who destroy are on the thief's (Satan's) side.  Those who promote life, abundant life, are on God's side.  And now, if we decide to remove statues, let it be done after rational talks and with full appreciation of their historical contexts.  Only afterward and only if necessary do we place some of them in museums.

Fifth, confusion and ambiguity and distorted facts rule over and feed the left-wing cultural revolution.  Postmodernism and deconstruction, the intellectual source of so many left-wing polices, thrive on ambiguous language and fluid definitions.  As one example, here is the equivocation about BLM:

Generic statement: Black lives matter

No one disputes that.  They are made in God's image.

Movement: Black Lives Matter

That set of words sounds exactly the same, but they have different meanings.  The neo-Marxists manipulate the ambiguity and bully the unthinking crowds.  The bullies claim that if people don't support the movement, then they don't support the generic statement.  Wrong.  Every reasonable person supports the first statement, but the second one is questionable and even deserves denunciation. 

To conclude, on the positive side, the old Hippy Movement was countered by the Jesus Movement.  So maybe the left-wing counterfeit today will be opposed by a new Jesus Movement.  Who knows?  Maybe some of the leaders and many of the rank-and-file in the evil counterfeit will repent and join the true movement, as so many did in the 1960s and 1970s.  Let's pray this is so.

Please visit James Arlandson's website, where he has posted How to Rescue America with These ImagesShould I Wash a Black Man's Feet to Atone for Historic Racism? (my ancestors owned slaves), Rapture = Second Coming and Happens at Same Time and on Last Day (lots of nonsymbolic biblical evidence), So What's Wrong with Socialism, Anyway? Does Book of Acts Teach Modern Communism or Socialism? and Is It Just to Deploy National Guard to Stop Mayhem? 

Image: Johnny Silvercloud via Flickr (cropped).

Pres. Trump used a variety of terms for the confused, factious movements in his stand-strong Mt. Rushmore speech: "angry mobs"; "cancel culture"; "totalitarianism"; "dangerous movement"; "new far-left fascism"; "left-wing cultural revolution"; "radical ideology"; "bad, evil people."  They are all apt, but I prefer "left-wing cultural revolution." 

I lived through the second-half of the Jesus Revolution of the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s.  We were the antidote to the drug-addled radicals back then.  Though separated by decades, this left-wing version today is still an evil counterfeit to the Jesus Movement and biblical Christianity, much like the old-school radicals were.  The parallels are obvious, and it's time to speak up.  History is repeating itself. 

Here are five clear signs that tell us why the current version is a counterfeit.

First, whatever its manifestation — woke, BLM (the movement, not the generic statement "black lives matter"), the ironically named Antifa, or the left generally — the revolutionaries today do not promote the biblical God in their actions.  It is anti-Christian.

In contrast, the Jesus People talked of nothing but God.  We gladly carried our print Bibles around; we put cool leather covers on them, sometimes with swords on them (the sword was a symbol of the Word of God).  Bible studies sprang up everywhere.  It was a genuine Bible revival. 

Second, the left-wing cultural revolutionaries suppress free speech.  As Trump accurately said in his Mt. Rushmore speech: "In our schools, our newsrooms, even our corporate boardrooms, there is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance.  If you do not speak its language, perform its rituals, recite its mantras, and follow its commandments, then you will be censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted, and punished."  College students insist on safe spaces.  P.C. culture has been building over decades, and the web makes the attack against nonconformist speech intense. 

Those of us in the Jesus Revolution engaged in debate because we wanted to spread our message.  When we encountered opposition, which happened often, we had to figure out ways to counter their views.  But we never dreamed of shutting down free speech.  We believed in "speaking the truth in love" (Eph. 4:15).

Third, the left-wing cultural revolutionaries are neo-Marxists and anarchists.  They intend to spread chaos with the purpose of confusing people and then controlling them.  Neo-Marxists preach a counterfeit kingdom on Earth, but with a strange Marxist god.  Frederick Engels: "We shall see that the kingdom of God, the capital of which is the New Jerusalem, can only be conquered and opened after arduous struggles with the powers of hell."  Their fake gospel of the kingdom of God on Earth has never worked.  The counterfeit, though sounding so pious, damaged and deceived millions of people.

In contrast, the Jesus Revolutionaries didn't think of grabbing political power and certainly not by rioting and looting.  I can't imagine that we would have deployed Twitter mobs back then, if we had had the web.  The Jesus People are still alive, and we are not banding together in Twitter mobs today.

Further, many of us respectfully studied Scripture, and it made us very conservative.  We advocated for the oppressed and the poor, but without neo-Marxist illusions and false promises.  We easily discerned it to be a counterfeit.  Many of us in fact denounced and competed against it, if only in discussions.  It was intuitively revolting to us.  We could see, just as our nation's Founders saw, that Scripture teaches liberty, but only under God. 

In the 1980s, after growing up, we gladly voted for Reagan because we could perceive that he would chase away the confusion that dominated the previous 15 years and forge a saner path.  He was a relief from the chaos.  Trump is a replay of Reagan, despite the personality differences.  The radicals are once again hell-bent on tearing the nation down; Reagan and Trump (and the Jesus People today) are Heaven-sent to build it up.  Yes, Reagan really did say twice, "Make America great again" in his "kick-off" (his term) speech (11:40 and 19:10) with the Statue of Liberty in the background, on September 1, 1980.  This background imagery parallels the Mt. Rushmore speech (though Reagan was a much more rhetorically polished speaker than Trump).

Fourth, the left-wing cultural revolutionary mobs have been toppling statues unilaterally, with no discussion.  They have been burning and pillaging and destroyed the local economy in cities.  In eerie parallels, the radical revolutionaries of the past sometimes damaged buildings and often disrespected police officers.  Those lawful heroes were called "pigs"!  Nowadays, it seems to me that the violence is much worse.  More police officers are being killed in a short span of time.  The whole thing is evil and built on lies (see the fifth point). 

Here's why we Jesus Revolutionaries never dreamed of committing violence in the Jesus Revolution.  "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full" (Jn. 10:10).  Those who destroy are on the thief's (Satan's) side.  Those who promote life, abundant life, are on God's side.  And now, if we decide to remove statues, let it be done after rational talks and with full appreciation of their historical contexts.  Only afterward and only if necessary do we place some of them in museums.

Fifth, confusion and ambiguity and distorted facts rule over and feed the left-wing cultural revolution.  Postmodernism and deconstruction, the intellectual source of so many left-wing polices, thrive on ambiguous language and fluid definitions.  As one example, here is the equivocation about BLM:

Generic statement: Black lives matter

No one disputes that.  They are made in God's image.

Movement: Black Lives Matter

That set of words sounds exactly the same, but they have different meanings.  The neo-Marxists manipulate the ambiguity and bully the unthinking crowds.  The bullies claim that if people don't support the movement, then they don't support the generic statement.  Wrong.  Every reasonable person supports the first statement, but the second one is questionable and even deserves denunciation. 

To conclude, on the positive side, the old Hippy Movement was countered by the Jesus Movement.  So maybe the left-wing counterfeit today will be opposed by a new Jesus Movement.  Who knows?  Maybe some of the leaders and many of the rank-and-file in the evil counterfeit will repent and join the true movement, as so many did in the 1960s and 1970s.  Let's pray this is so.

Please visit James Arlandson's website, where he has posted How to Rescue America with These ImagesShould I Wash a Black Man's Feet to Atone for Historic Racism? (my ancestors owned slaves), Rapture = Second Coming and Happens at Same Time and on Last Day (lots of nonsymbolic biblical evidence), So What's Wrong with Socialism, Anyway? Does Book of Acts Teach Modern Communism or Socialism? and Is It Just to Deploy National Guard to Stop Mayhem? 

Image: Johnny Silvercloud via Flickr (cropped).