The Alternative Jesus: Psychedelic Christ

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The Jesus Revolution

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Eastern religion and Bible reading —while stoned. Recalls Chris: "One day I saw Ted Wise speaking in Sproul Plaza at Berkeley. He was the first intelligent Christian I ever saw." Soon thereafter, he made a commitment: "I just said 'Jesus Christ. I'm going to give myself to you and nobody else.' Nothing happened, but I knew. I knew he had reached down, and I was saved." Now Chris lives in a trailer near Reno, studying religious books and working on a library of religious tapes. "The old Chris Pike died back there," says the Bishop's son. "I'm a new creature."

Many conversions seem to be like Pike's: slow, but finally confident turnarounds rather than lightning-bolt illuminations. Yet some do come suddenly. Marsha Daigle, Catholic and a doctoral student at the University of Michigan, was deeply distraught at the deaths of Martin Luther King Jr. and Robert Kennedy. One day she opened a Bible and suddenly "knew Christ was my personal Saviour. It was the last thing I expected."

Gospel Crusaders

Another major part of the Jesus movement is the highly organized, interdenominational youth movement of the established churches—a sort of person-to-person counterpart of mass-rally evangelism. Though they have been around for decades, supported by local congregations and generous private contributors, they are finding a huge new growth in the Jesus revolution.

The biggest of the straight groups is Campus Crusade for Christ, 20-year-old soul child of former Businessman Bill Bright. He still means business: this year's budget is $12 million, and by next month he will have 3,000 full-time staffers on 450 campuses. Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship is a different breed of campus evangelism—more intellectual, more socially concerned—but it has no lack of gospel zeal. It conducted a missionary convention at the University of Illinois last December that drew 12,000, probably the largest college religious meeting in North American history. Young Life, founded in 1941, reaches its audience with 1,300 clubs, U.S. and foreign. Youth for Christ began business a few years later with a lanky young evangelist named Billy Graham; it is now in 2,700 high schools.

Extraordinary Love

Few groups have had more impact than has one man, Assemblies of God Minister David Wilkerson, whose growing movement began with a single incident: his dramatic conversion of Brooklyn Teen-Age Gang Lord Nicky Cruz in 1958. Cruz himself is now an evangelist. Wilkerson's evangelical and antidrug organization, Teen Challenge, has 53 centers. His book about Cruz's conversion, The Cross and the Switchblade, has sold 6,000,000 copies; a movie version, starring Pat Boone as Wilkerson, will be released nationwide July 1. The book had an unusual side effect: its Pentecostal flavor helped launch the Roman Catholic Pentecostal movement.

Catholic Pentecostalism? The name is an apparent contradiction in terms: an austere and ritualized church coupled with a movement characterized in its early years by unleashed emotionalism—eye-rolling ecstasies, shouting, jumping, even rolling on the floor. Classic Pentecostalism has since toned down markedly, but it can still put even an unwary Catholic into theological shock. Jerry Harvey, who helped start the growing Catholic Pentecostal group in the San

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