Scott Ross: The 1950's saw the beginning of the realization
of the American dream. The house, the car, and the family were all the
rewards of a growing economy. During this time, America experienced
a population explosion known as the baby boom. Growing up, many of these
children had the best that America could offer. But as these "boomers"
came of age in the shadow of the nuclear bomb and the continued rise
of the Cold War, these children of promise became the children of disillusionment.
Dr. Elmer Towns: I think that America entered a period of apathy.
They had everything they dreamed of. It was like "Leave it to Beaver"
and "My Three Sons." They had beautiful homes, beautiful wives, good
jobs, two cars, and a swimming pool in the backyard. Yet these kids
wanted even more.
Scott Ross: By the mid-sixties, America found itself in the
middle of the Vietnam War. Many of the boomers saw their friends go
off to Southeast Asia to fight in this unpopular war. Instead of signing
themselves up, many dropped out and adopted the motto "make love not
war." The anti-war movement grew as boomers rejected "the establishment"
of their parent's generation. Gone were the morals and ideas of the
previous generation. Now it was free sex, drugs and rock and roll. People
flocked to the west coast to adopt the hippie lifestyle and become a
part of the counter culture.
Yet, in the middle of all of this chaos, God was doing something.
Dr. Elmer Towns: That something happened when Chuck Smith went
down onto the beaches. He was "A Four Square" preacher. He was a little
reluctant when he went down to the beaches the first time. But he went
down and he preached. He gathered about ten or twelve young people,
and he preached to them, and they got saved. They asked, 'What are we
going to do now?' He answered, 'Well here's water,' and he took them
out into the Pacific Ocean and he baptized them. He came back every
day, getting one hundred or two hundred converted.
Scott Ross: The flames of revival once again grew bright as
thousands of hippies became "Jesus freaks." This Jesus revolution saw
lives transformed as people ditched drugs and free sex and sought a
new high -- walking the Christian lifestyle. Many young believers joined
Christian communities that sprung up coast to coast.
Dr. Elmer Towns: If there is anything else that was so unconventional
about the Jesus people revival, I think it must be about that communal
living. Chuck Smith, the leader, set up many of these houses to disciple
these kids. Some of these kids became preachers who went all over America
establishing great churches.
Scott Ross: One common element of the Jesus movement, as it
spread across the country, was the music. The Jesus music became an
expression of worship and an anthem for evangelism. This was my experience
-- "Love In" New York.
The impact of the Jesus movement is still being felt today through
the lives that were transformed and the praise and worship music that
was born out this era of revival.
Dr. Elmer Towns: I think that that impact has touched almost
all churches through music more than anything else. Let me tell you
how important that is, because this is the key to revival. God says
in John, Chapter 4, 'The Father seeketh as such should worship him.'
That means the Father is seeking worshipers to worship him and when
you worship Him He will come.
Dr. Town's book: The Ten Greatest Revivals Ever