5 Nov

ImageImageΒ Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β  My daughter Amy was asking me why I haven’t put any new posts on my blog for Jesus Rocks The World.Β  The truth is, I’ve been busy trying to promote the book in other ways, like contacting Bible and Christian Colleges about the book and even teaching a class on it at the local community college. I’d like to do some seminars or at least some lectures on the book and Christian music. At the same time, I’m working with a friend who is aΒ  video photographer and film maker to create a YouTube video promoting the book and my lectures. However, today I want to bridge the gap between Christian and secular music by discussing one of the most spiritual secular bands to come out of the 21st Century, β€œThe Grateful Dead.”

Why are β€œThe Grateful Dead” the most spiritual band to come out of the 1960s counter culture, also known as the hippie movement? There are many reasons, but the first and foremost reason is in their name. The story was documented by Dennis McNally, the β€œDead’s” official biographer and publicist, in his epic historical tome, A Long Strange Trip: The Inside History of the Grateful Dead.

The way that the story goes, according to McNally, was documented by American mythologist Francis Childs, who wrote about the legend of the Grateful Dead. The story it seems, originated in Egypt around the 3rd millennium BC, but may have been older. It always has either a single traveler or a group of travelers, who pass through a town, where there is a corpse lying in the street. When the traveler inquires about it, he is told that the deceased was in debt, therefore it did not deserve a decent burial. So out of compassion the traveler pays the corpse’s debt out of his own pocket and it is properly buried. Then somewhere down the line, the traveler meets up with either a stranger or an animal, like a dog, that it befriends. Soon the traveler encounters a problem or situation that the new friend helps him overcome. The story is about generosity, compassion, and karma.

Karma, of course is a Buddhist concept. Simply put, it refers to the belief that whatever you do to someone else, will eventually come back to you. However, Jesus alluded to the same concept when He spoke in Matthew 7:12. What is commonly called the β€œgolden rule” states β€œTherefore, however you want people to treat you, so treat them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (NASB)

So what does this have to do with contemporary Christian music, you ask? It’s all part of the cosmic connection, because truth is truth, regardless of where it comes from. In the beginning, when the hippie counterculture became the crucible from which the future of spiritually directed music was born, many were using entheogenic substances (LSD, mescaline, psilocybin, DMT, STP, etc.), that produced spiritual experiences, which led them to pursue the discipline of whatever religious faith that they chose, after discarding the use of psychotomimetic substances. Some will argue that these substances induced false religious experiences that were from the dark side of the spiritual realm, and thus were demonic. If this is so, then it does not refute the fact that they were genuine spiritual experiences, because if one experiences the reality of hell and the demonic, then it is quite simple to change allegiances, once this is realized.

I speak from personal experience, because I used these substances for a period of 4 years from 1967 – 1971, until I flushed all my LSD down the toilet and began to read the Bible. What I did was also done by people like Oden Fong, Lonnie Frisbee, Chuck Girard, Keith Green, and Barry McGuire, to just name some. They were all leaders in the Jesus movement and the creation of its accompanying music.

So while there was a Christian faction of hippies that became Jesus freaks and established hybrid Jesus freak churches, like Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa, there was also that segment of the counterculture that followed the Eastern religions, like Buddhism and Hinduism and even New Age creations. Whatever one’s beliefs about the veracity of non-Christian faiths, one must recognize that they are indeed alternate theological systems, that co-exist with Christianity. To prove my point, I have posted some photos from both Christians and counterculture Deadheads involved in spiritual exercise at their respective meetings.


2 Responses to “Worship”

  1. John Iorio May 18, 2016 at 9:43 AM #

    always enjoyed the dead, but since 1983 when i got saved, I’ve had to be careful of that scene….2nd timothy 3:5 talks about many on the dead lot: having godliness but denying its power…..I think Jerry and robert hunter are both righteous men, and I hope that jerry found the real “man of constant sorrows” before he passed that night at the re-hab…Amen, and “fare thee well”!!!!

  2. John Iorio May 18, 2016 at 9:45 AM #

    There is worship, and then there is true, pure worship (doesn’t necessarrily need music or a band to be present)…..its like comparing brass and gold….God asks us to get the gold.

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