Hippies and Charismatics: From the Sixties to Here
|Loving people is so much more fun than trying to convert them, I promise you.|
That wider global movement had a resurgence in the nineties expressed in electronic dance music, seeking a genuine culture of love, with a parallel within the Charismatic movement called the Toronto blessing. For an interesting look at the youth culture around the nineties the film "Human Traffic" is very good.
Unfortunately Evangelicism, which started so genuinely in love and was more evident in the house church movement of the sixties not covered directly in this article, seems (as a movement) moribund in dogma, commercialism and being defined by what it is against. There are still beautiful, sincere people within the movement who are there because they found faith and life and family within the movement.
The ideology Evangelacism teaches however excludes so many and says such ugly, horrible things about people I love. So as painful as it is for those who found life and vision within evangelical Christianity, particularly in its early days, I still say that that I will stand up for those excluded by Evangelicism and stand against Evangelicism in this. This I am convinced is right, and the greater love. A wider understanding of love opens us up to how big love really is.
So much of what it teaches, and in particular the way it teaches and the way it claims authority in what it says, just seems fake and totally lacking in the extraordinary power it claims to have. Although there is extraordinary beauty in Christianity, the path to find it is not through the teachings of Evangelicism. The reason that people still find life in it is, is that whatever your ideology, worshipping love works. So many still find a genuine experience of God and life in an atmosphere of worship. But where's the substance of overflowing joy and unbounded love, the overthrowing of the past and full healing of deep wounds of the psyche? I believe it's possible, but I so rarely see it in the practise of Christianity. I see a genuine love, but not the love the doctrine promises. All is not alright here.
Christianity should not be a dogma, for all dogma is wrong. It is a way, the way of love and of laying aside self. The rest is all detail we have to work out.
Actually I do have a dogma. I'm an ordained Dudeist priest and we have but one teaching: abide. This I do hold to be ultimate truth. For after all, what else is there to do.
"For me the essence of progressive Christianity is that my duty and purpose is to love people. Not to convert people, that's the work of the spirit, but to love them. My dream is to live in a world where we all love each other, so that's what I teach and work for."