Re: Jesus Freaks (another reply)

Sat, 14 Mar 1998 06:00:56 -0600 (CST)

My younger brother became involved in the Jesus Freak movement about 30-31
years ago and today is still very much the evangelical Christian, home
schooling his six kids, active in the home church movement, living a back to
the land kind of existance in the Sierra foothills east of Porterville, CA.
We had a rough couple of years during which he tried to convert me, but once
we got past that we've become very good, close friends again. He's a loving,
but rigid, father, good to his wife, a hard worker and nice guy. Considering
what a mess he was strung out on coke previously, it hasn't been a bad life
choice for him, although I frankly wonder about the isolative nature of the
woods and home schooling (especially when conducted by people who have
limited education themselves) on his kids. Both his oldest boy, age 15, and
only daughter, age 13, publish newsletters for similar back-to-the-land
Christian kids. It's a whole world, quite self contained.

Over the past three decades, my brother actively led one fairly large (35
families) communal church in the Petaluma area, then later moved to Waco
(ground zero for many radical Christian groups, with Baylor, the largest
Baptist college in the US, there) to participate in another group that he
later became quite disillusioned with. When he stopped leading a church on
his own (a difficult decision, occasioned by his family's experiences with
some very hard medical problems that the third kid had and their inability
to be there for the kids and similar sorts of parental figures for all 35
families simultaneously), he had a rough time transitioning back to regular
jobs in spite of his intelligence, skill, good work habits, etc. and ended
up going into business for himself. In many ways, he and his wife are living
lives much closer to what they'd envisioned in the 60s than are all of the
activists I was hanging out with then (most of whom seem pretty miserable
with their lives in a declining academy these days).

Ron Silliman

On 03/14/98 02:23:09 you wrote:
>Subject: Re: Jesus Freaks
>Re: Dave's post on the counterculture & Jesus freaks, a good source is
>Steven Tipton's "Getting Saved from the Sixties," a study of the
>"cult" traits in parts of the counterculture, link to drugs, etc.
>It's a U.Calif. book that came out in 1982. Reading the account on
>the "Plastercasters" was not only new to me, but I had to chuckle
>when, after reading all the references to, uh, certain parts of the
>anatomy, I read that it was from "Wally" --no personal insult
>intended! Ted Morgan
>Department of Political Science
>Maginnes Hall #9
>Lehigh University
>Bethlehem, PA 18015
>phone: (610) 758-3345
>fax: (610) 758-6554
>Subject: Jesus Freaks
> Greetings,
>I have a couple of questions about those who converted to Christianity
>during the "Sixties". .. those that came to be first derogatively
>called "Jesus freaks" ('once high on drugs, now high on Jesus') and
>then Jesus People.
>First, I am interested in hearing whether any on this board that were
>participants during the Sixties ever thought that the Jesus freaks
>constituted a significant portion of the counterculture.
>Second, part of the reason I think that historians of the Sixties
>overlook the Jesus freaks is perhaps they might be viewed as having
>been co-opted by the right wing and the longstanding Protestant
>tradition in North America. But yet, on the other hand, there were
>many who didn't make any distinction between hippies selling LSD or
>doling out tracts. I guess my question is. . . why aren't the Jesus
>freaks included in the discussion of Sixties counterculture???
>david di sabatino
>queen's university