Tag Archive: Woodstock

Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Woodstock was a Secular Worship Service

As I watched the new PBS film and revisited the 1970 documentary, it struck me that Woodstock was a fundamentally religious event: a worship service for a secular age; a liturgy of liberation where the object of devotion was not God, but freedom. The event signaled the dawn of a new spiritual ethos that would extend far beyond the world of hippies: a rejection of authority in almost every sense except for the authority of the expressive self. 

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Among the ways Woodstock marks a key moment in Western cultural history is that it helped solidify the move of transcendence and religious awe from the church and institutional religion, into the realm of popular culture. After Woodstock, the outdoor music festival became a key liturgy of secular religion: sacred spaces of communion with nature and fellow man, where music and drugs and alcohol contribute to feelings of physical elevation, emotional escape, and spiritual transformation.

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Woodstock lives on, both in its legacy for the world of music festivals but also as a microcosm of the 1960s cultural revolution that still shapes our world today.

The reverberating echo of Richie Havens’s “Freedom!” is still our culture’s rallying cry. The impulse to “look within” for transcendence remains pervasive—if not in acid trips and gurus, then in mindfulness apps and “wash your face!” self-help. 

Meanwhile, progressivism is still trying to figure out how to reconcile the dual values of unrestrained personal autonomy and “help each other” communal responsibility, as well as how to speak with moral authority on pet causes (LGBT rights, global warming, abortion rights) despite having built itself on the (inherently unstable) foundation of anti-authoritarianism. 

And just as the masses at Woodstock longed for an “alternative city” where they could be known and understood, singing praises (of sorts) with one voice, so do the masses today. The lost souls who flocked to Woodstock were looking for meaning, just as their 21st-century counterparts are when they crowd into stadiums, theaters, concert halls, national parks, or wherever they go to “worship.” 

These pilgrims are looking for something more. Revival. Purpose. Transcendence. Something of substance. What can Christians do to present the local church as a place where spiritual wanderers might find these things? Because even as the Western world became more secular, the religious impulse never went away. The human need to worship never fades, as Woodstock’s “worship service” so vividly shows. 

But worship satisfies only when its object is utterly and eternally worthy. That’s why, when all the secular liturgies of this age fail to satisfy, the church of Jesus Christ will still be there—singing to the same God she always has, with words and rituals that have outlasted countless cultural trends and countercultural zeitgeists.

— Brett McCracken, The Gospel Coalition, Woodstock was a Secular Worship Service, August 3, 2019

Christians Say the Darnedest Things: Baby Boomers to Blame for Immorality Says Lori Alexander

woodstock

What follows is a typical example of how many Evangelicals view history and the world.

“Baby boomers are the generation that inherited a prosperous country and leave behind a country bankrupted and drowning in debt. They inherited strong nuclear families and leave behind a long, sad trail of divorce and broken homes. They inherited relatively strong churches and leave behind decaying and empty ones. They decimated our political and social institutions, and now, in their final act, will try to place the blame on the generation they failed to raise.” (Matt Walsh)

I am from the baby boom generation. My parents were the last decent generation. Most of them grew up in intact families, the majority of people worked hard (they had to or they would starve) and only bought what they could afford, mothers were full-time homemakers, and everyone knew what was right and what was wrong.

Then came the sexual revolution in the 60s. Monogamy was boring, women needed to become like men and get away from their homes and children, government “owed” them free stuff, and if one wasn’t happy in the marriage, then divorce and sadly, all of these things have infiltrated the churches. It was a poison (sin) that has continued to grow stronger, more evil, and more pervasive.

My parents had no clue what the “parties” were like when I was in high school. The kids were sleeping around, smoking pot, and getting drunk. Sure there were people in my parent’s generation that did these things but not on a massive scale like in my generation and every generation since then and everyone in my parent’s generation knew these things were wrong.

So our country is now like Sodom and Gomorrah. Many of us are like Lot: “For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed (tormented) his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds” (2 Peter 2:8). I was watching the playoff basketball game the other night for a few minutes and saw two wicked commercials during the game. One promoted gay marriage and had two women kissing and the other one promoted the women’s basketball league by showing pictures of the Women’s March, gay pride, and sponsored by Planned Parenthood. This torments my righteous soul (and yes, I am righteous because I am clothed in Jesus Christ).

I am grieved when I see a show (This is Us) that many Christians “love” that began with a scene of a man’s naked behind, a threesome going on in a bed, and some women standing around in bras and underwear. I quickly decided it was not the show for me since we are to dwell on the pure and lovely and “abstain from all appearance of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22). Do you abstain from ALL appearance of evil or are you entertained by it?

How bad is it going to get before Christians get rid of their televisions? How bad are public schools going to have to get before Christians pull their children out? If your children are in public schools, they are being influenced by the children around them and what these children are seeing on screens. Men kissing men will be completely normal behavior for them and so will men wanting to be women and vice versa.

— Lori Alexander, The Transformed Wife, The Baby Boom Generation Started the Depravity, June 12, 2018