Jesus People Exploding
In 1971 the Jesus people were exploding onto the scene. Millions of Young people were turning away from the hippy drug life and were dedicating their lives to Jesus. It truly was a phenomenon and the effects of this latter day outpouring of the Spirit of God is still being felt around the world.
At the time I was living communally with group of other young Christians in a big loft in Greenwich Village. We spent most days out on the street witnessing to other young people and handing out tracts inviting them to visit our loft to learn more about us and our goals in reaching the youth of that day. We challenged them to come and live for Jesus with us and many did.
The Day I met Ritchie Havens
One day I was asked if I would like to accompany another member of our group to go visit Ritchie Havens, the singer/songwriter who opened the Woodstock Music Festival 2 years before. His performance at Woodstock was the big break he needed to propel him into notoriety amongst the hippy generation. His opening song “Freedom” was powerful and it was the perfect opener for the festival.
And so we headed out to visit Ritchie and our one main goal was to find out if he was saved, had he received Jesus as his saviour? If he had not then we were prepared to share our testimonies with him and hopefully bring him to Christ. Well, thank God, we got quite an answer from him.
It turns out that the brother I was with knew where Ritchie lived and we made it to his house without any problem. To my memory his home was an older wooden two story house with stairs that led up to a wide veranda that went around the whole front of the house. To our happy and relieved surprise Ritchie greeted us warmly, shook our hands and we all sat down on the front stoop together. He was outstandingly nice, very open and he received us with such grace we were blown away.
Ritchie was years older than we were and that in itself gave us more respect as we knew he’d been through more than we. Both of us had seen Woodstock the film and were so impressed with Ritchie’s whole soul performance and the amount of energy he put into it. You can still catch it on youtube.
It turns out that it was kind of a fluke that Ritchie Havens even played at Woodstock much less as the opening act. The problem was, none of artists that were scheduled to perform had turned up and so the organisers just grabbed Ritchie and put him on the stage hoping that he would be able to inspire the massive crowds that had come to Woodstock. And so this little known artist wound up performing for 3 hours straight and absolutely wowed the crowds with only his acoustic guitar, powerful voice and an indomitable spirit that truly set the stage for what was to follow.
Ritchie wasn’t the kind of man to be putting on any airs and was just really down to earth and natural and we hit it off with him. We told him that we had come to see him to ask if he were saved. Did he know Jesus as his saviour? His answer was pretty funny and made us both laugh. He spoke the way a lot of black people talk when they are speaking of their own history or that of other black people. He said, “Every black person over the age of 25 is saved! We had grandmothers whoop’n our ass and drag’n us to church on Sundays and several other times a week as well. Any black person over the age of 25 is saved!” He expounded in a few more words than that but he made it a point that we understood that it was the grandmothers of his youth that were the salvation of the black young people from his generation. To him there was no question about it and he didn’t mind making that perfectly clear. So Ritchie Havens was saved. And did you know that by the time he was 16, he and several friends had put together a gospel group known as the McCrea Gospel Singers?
Ritchie Havens Singing In Heaven
So Ritchie declared it himself and he’s going to be singing in Heaven as well as all those other black kids of his generation who were dragged to church by their God fearing Jesus loving Grandmothers. God bless them every one!
Ritchie was cool. He took time for two white boys younger than he and came out and sat on his stoop and set us straight on the salvation of the Black youth of that day. I’ve often thought about what he shared with us that day and I think he spelled it out quite clearly why this new generation of blacks today is so much more troubled and violent. For sure it’s the drugs, the music of today, and society has become much worse but there is one thing that really stands out and that is the fact that God fearing Jesus loving Grandmothers are in short supply in this day and age we are living in.
Black Children Raised Without Fathers
Statistics show that a large percentage of black children today are raised without fathers. And where are those grandmothers that Ritchie talked about that dragged him and his generation to church and told them about Jesus? They are gone. Those grandmothers that loved Jesus and dragged their grandchildren to church have now all but died off and there have been very few to take their place.
And let me throw in here that White America is no different. My parents had me right after WW2. I am a “Baby Boomer” and was born in 1947. During those years after the war and during the 50’s our fathers, who were still young men, had learned to pray through the dangers of the war and were driven to desperation because they missed their wives and families and times were tough and death was all around them every single day. Also the mothers of that time who stayed at home and cared for their children were driven to pray for their husbands who were away at war. When our fathers came home and were once again united with their wives and families there was an incredible spirit of thankfulness and church attendance and involvement was up like never before.
Many of my earliest memories were of going to church every single Sunday. My father became the Sunday School Superintendent and remained so for many years. My parents did their best to raise us right, discipline us when we needed it. Our public schools started the day with united prayer and then with our right hand over our hearts, we recited the pledge of allegiance.
Following The Wicked of this Nation
The generations since have become steadily worse. We have allowed the wicked of this nation to force God and prayer and the Ten Commandments out of our schools and churches and even public places are no longer able to show Christmas scenes. We have forced God out and He is not one to stay where He is not wanted. It’s killing us and our country and it’s gotten steadily worse. We never would have imagined back in the 50’s that homosexuality, gay marriage, and the killing of over 50 million unborn babies would be accepted. In fact these sins are not accepted by the majority of the population of our country but we have wicked people in office like President Obama who stated before he was elected that he believed that marriage was between one man and one woman. Now we find out years later that he confided in his close friend David Axelrod that he only said he believed that Marriage was between a man and a woman because he was afraid he would not be elected if he said what he really believed. You can read it Axelrod’s recent book “My Forty Years in Politics” Obama has lied about so many things and this is kind of person we have elected as our president. He also was and is a devout follower of Saul Alinsky who praised and was a follower of Satan.
The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart: his words were softer than oil, yet were they drawn swords. Psalm 55:21
Obama said he was a Christian but in fact he is a Muslim. You never hear him talk about Jesus or Christianity accept in a derogatory way but he is all about praising Muslims. Jesus himself said, “out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.” Our founding father found it easy to quote scriptures and their letters and statements from those early days of our country are just full of Bible quotes. You don’t see that from the leaders of our country today. That is because Christ is not in their heart.
I believe Obama has had a big part to play and has been instrumental in pitting black against white. He likes to proclaim that he is a uniter but in fact he is a divider. The leaders of our country today have allowed God to be thrown out and we are all suffering for it. From reading the Bible and what it predicts is coming we can expect that things are going to get worse, a lot worse and we will have no one to blame but ourselves. Psalm 9:27 says, “The wicked shall be turned into hell and all the nations that forget God.” It’s not God that is going to “tun things into hell” as we are doing a pretty good job of it ourselves without His help.