Roger Helle / January 3, 2020

Politics Makes for a Poor Savior

Previous generations learned that faith provides so much more than any politician who ever lived.

I can certainly understand how people become discouraged and fearful as we look around the nation and the world and see all of the things taking place. Our focus goes to the noise and rhetoric we see and hear day after day. It takes someone who has strong faith to see that beyond the noise, behind the bad news, there is a spiritual dimension we need to be aware of.

Our nation has been to this place before. In fact, a number of times we have found ourselves in seemingly hopeless circumstances. Prior to the Revolutionary War, prior to the Civil War and at the turn of the century when things seemed hopeless, each time a spiritual renewal swept the nation, bringing hope where once there was none. This has happened in my lifetime as well.

I’m a child of the ‘60s and a Vietnam veteran. I joined the Marine Corps right out of high school in 1965 and by the end of the year I was on my way to Vietnam. The '60s were tumultuous! In 1963 President Kennedy was assassinated. Then, in 1968, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, followed by presidential candidate Robert Kennedy’s assassination the same year.

This was a generation that, according to Timothy Leary, “Turned On, Tuned In, and Dropped Out.” Drug use had become prevalent. Riots protesting the war in Vietnam erupted on college campuses. Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco became ground zero for the counter culture. Long-haired, disillusioned youth turned to drugs to protest the establishment around them. It seemed as if there was no hope for this generation.

Then came the Jesus Revolution! It seems hippies were looking for peace and love. They met Jesus Christ, who is the original Peace and Love! Hundreds of thousands of these long-haired kids with no shoes were swept up in this move of God. New churches sprang up, ministries were started. Even Billy Graham noticed this unique move of God. While some (the religious ones) condemned it, Graham embraced it. He wrote a book titled The Jesus Revolution.

Look Magazine and Time Magazine (remember them?) both recognized this move of God. Both did stories on it. In fact, Time Magazine featured a purple Jesus on its cover. They described Jesus as a “notorious leader of an underground liberation movement” who bore the appearance of a “typical hippie type — long hair, beard, robe, sandals.” I remember California during this time.

You see, it was during the Jesus Revolution that a 27-year-old Marine Vietnam veteran with Post Traumatic Stress, physically and emotionally scarred, nightly nightmares and addicted to alcohol to make the memories go away, met Jesus during this same time. His life was changed forever. He and his wife spent the next 40 years helping other hurting, addicted people find the same peace they had found.

No matter how bad things may seem today, Jesus is still available to any generation that is sick and tired of being sick and tired. Peace is available and so is hope. True faith provides so much more than any politician who ever lived.

I know because I was that 27-year-old hurting addicted Vietnam vet!

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