Moved Mountains

Banner - Mt Trio, Stirling Range National Park, Western Australia - (c) 2007

Monday, November 27, 2006

Horribly Wrong and Incredibly Right

I was talking with an acquaintance on the weekend when he popped into the conversation that he had heard I was starting a "new" church. I told him this wasn't exactly what was happening, that the meetings we were starting were still a part of Binningup Beach Christian Fellowship, but provided an alternative for people who found the more traditional way of doing things difficult to understand or participate in.

He isn't a Christian (as far as I know) so I was interested to hear what he had to say and that he was interested in and had been thinking about our plans. I described to him the loose format we were taking and that it would hopefully be a place where people could feel comfortable being themselves.

He didn't respond directly to this, instead he began talking about his time as a hippy in the late 60s. "You know." he said, "we got it horribly wrong when it came to the drug side of things. We have given our children and our grandchildren a heavy burden to carry there, what we started is now out of control. But we did get something right, and that is the sense of belonging and acceptance that existed within the movement - the sense of real community."

He didn't say whether or not he would come along when things kick off in February, but he did reinforce something for me. The importance that exists in finding a place to belong (I posted on this same topic a few days ago - The Lost Art of Relationship).

And he's right. Where the hippy movement went wrong, it went terribly wrong. But the real strength behind, and perhaps even the reason it lasted as long as it did, wasn't the drugs and the "free love", it was the sense of community it generated. It gave people a safe haven, a place of refuge and belonging in a confusing world at a confusing time.

Unfortunately though for the hippy movement, the freedom that characterised it was its undoing. The ideals of the youthful leaders were unsustainable and it failed to endure.

The church on the other hand has endured. It has been with us for 2000 years. I won't repeat what my friend went on to say - it was personal - but he linked the actions we're taking to the positives of the hippy movement. I got the impression he could see the potential for something he had experienced once, in a place far removed from the modern church, in what we are trying to achieve in our community.

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 CEV
Here's a link to a film website about a guy who was a kind of "emerging" hippy back in the 60s. It seems his life even sort of mirrors the title of this post.

Lonnie Frisbee -
Imagine if John the Baptist came of age during the 1960s counter culture, the charisma of Jim Morrison flowing from the mantle of an Old Testament prophet. Meet Lonnie Frisbee, a seeker turned Jesus freak evangelist who compelled thousands towards a profession of Christian faith. It was during a trip into a canyon that Frisbee claimed that God gave him a vision of his future as an influential evangelist to the hippie generation.

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