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Jesus Freaks

21 Nov

ImageΒ Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β Β  The first Jesus Freak that I met was Salvadore (Sal), a Latino (the in word in the 1960s was Chicano) guy who had lived with Ostap at one time. I met Ostap at Macomb County Community College MCCC, in 1968, when we were attending Junior college on the GI Bill after being discharged from the army, but then that’s another story. I met Sal a few times at Ostap’s and even ran into him one time at one of the free concerts that WABX promoted down by Wayne State University. My first and only significant encounter with Sal, that I can recall, was shortly after my house caught fire with me in it, in November 1969. I was at Ostap’s and Sal was there, when I told them about how I narrowly escaped with my life with only 1st and 2nd degree burns on my upper body. Sal asked me if I thought that God spared me for a reason? I thought about it for a moment and then said, no, but little did I realize how God would take hold of my life and turn it upside-down in the next year and a half.

In 1970 Jeremy Spence left Fleetwood Mac and joined the Children of God, a Christian religious cult, at the height of his musical career. At the same time Jesus Christ Superstar was released and became a hit with the counterculture, since Jesus was a counterculture hero, because of the way that he opposed the established status quo and paid the ultimate price for it. All this on top of over 100 trips on acid and mescaline had me obsessed with the spiritual realm, until I flushed it all down the toilet and began to read β€œGood News For Modern Man.” The stick man drawings of Jesus and the apostles were just as much a part of the 1960s as Andy Warhol’s Campbell Soup labels.

When I transferred my job with the post office to Los Angeles, in 1971, I didn’t realize that I was entering ground zero of the Jesus movement, but I soon found out. Jesus freaks abounded and so did Christian venues, from coffee houses to night clubs, along with traditional churches friendly to hippies. Before I knew it, I was proudly declaring myself to be a Jesus freak, wearing buttons stating my faith. I attended 3 churches on different nights of the week and nearly every moment of every day was spent with Jesus in mind. This obsession continued, until I was finally driven to attend Bible college, a place that either energizes your zealotry or begins to unravel it.

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