About Jesus Steve Sweetman
Jesus Freak On
In 1972 I was called a "Jesus Freak", as if I was some kind of freak of nature. I admit, I didn't fit into any prevailing mold. I looked like a hippie, but I wasn't. I was a Christian, but not a traditional church goer. My long hair and bell bottom jeans gave me an edge in preaching Jesus to hippies, but did little for my credibility with the traditional church. Traditionalists were glad that I was a Christian, but not so glad about the way I expressed my faith. After preaching Jesus, most hippies weren't all that excited about the way I expressed my faith either. I was just another Jesus Freak. No matter what side of the fence I was on, the hippie side or the church side, I was out of place.
really went through the minds of those in one older Pentecostal
congregation to whom I preached one Sunday evening?
They were dressed in their Sunday best; and me?
Well, it was Sunday night, not prime time Sunday morning. A
T-shirt and jeans seemed fine for me; and my hair?
Well, attempting to make it less visible by putting it in a
ponytail didn't really work.
day while witnessing in a park, a distinguished looking man reminded me
that somewhere in the Bible; he didn't know where, it said it was a
disgrace for a man to have long hair.
In silence, he sheepishly walked away when I told him the verse
in question was 1 Corinthians 11:14. I
didn't mean to embarrass him, but if he was going to confront me with a
Bible verse, shouldn't he know where it was found?
Sunday morning my friend and I visited a closed Brethren
church. We entered the small
little one roomed framed building to see the men sitting in the front
half of the room. Women and
children were squeezed into the back behind a wooden rail that resembled
a fence. Once the meeting
ended, a man chastised my friend for not praying in King James English
during an open time of prayer. It
was the spirit of satan within my friend who caused him to pray in
everyday English, or so we were told.
My friend remained respectfully silent, but not me.
However, to no avail, my defense of my friend fell on deaf ears.
I was simply on the wrong side of the fence again, but so were
the women and children at the back of the room. Hadn't
those men ever read Galatians 3:28?
it or not, there was one occasion where my long hair put me on the right
side of the fence. It was
1972, in Bradenton,
time spent with David du Plessis wasn't enough of a blessing, after he
spoke on forgiveness, an elderly white haired man came to me in tears.
As he gave me a big hug, he begged my forgiveness.
He told me that I, with my long hair and hands raised in worship,
reminded him of Jesus. He
immediately repented of every nasty word he had uttered against men with
long hair. It felt good to
be on the right side of the fence for a change.
are on the wrong side of the fence in Canada
according to one government official.
He says we're out of touch with Canadian cultural values of
tolerance and acceptance. In
one sense of the word he's right.
between 745 and 686 B. C,. the prophet Isaiah preached to Judah, the southern
think about this for a moment. Who's really on the wrong side of the
fence, and whose fence are we talking about? Isaiah
said, "therefore the Lord's anger burns against His people, His
hand is raised, and He strikes them down". (Isaiah 5:25)
That's the fate of those who turn good into evil and evil into
good. It's clear to me, we
may be on the wrong side of society's fence, but society is on the wrong
side of God's fence. So to
all of us old time Jesus Freaks, be assured, thanks to Jesus, we're on
the right side of the right fence after-all.
I'd hate to be on the wrong side of God's fence.