[Following is a portion of a recent email I sent Barry McGuire, and
portions of his reply. My few interactions with him have been
I was part of the “Jesus People” crowd back in the 70′s and 80′s.
Over the last 5 to 10 years, I’ve become a very different person, spiritually.
My wife and I left “institutional religion” about 5 years ago. I was a co-Pastor, Elder, Worship leader, Sunday school teacher, ect., ect.
Now, when I look back, I can see, IMHO, how the Jesus movement seemed to eventually be co-opted by conservative, right-wing, Republican “christianity.” I’ve also noticed, as I never did then, that the “Christian” music industry, book industry, ect., also is pretty much controlled by the religious right. (I didn’t believe that the Christian left even existed.)
Anyway,now when I listen to some of the old songs by certain artists like yourself, I hear a more radical tone than I ever noticed back then.
I hear implications that we’re all connected. I hear concern for our planet, and actual love and relationship with those of other religions. All things I have come to believe in.
I’m at a very different place spiritually than I ever would have imagined even a decade ago. It’s a different place, but it’s the best and most honest place I’ve been in that regard.
Have you had any major shift in your spirituality since the Jesus People days? Were you just always more “left” (if I can use that term) than most of us realized?
Anyway, thanks for all the years of great entertaining and thought-provoking music.
Keep it up!
Well, good for you my friend. I recently received an email asking me if I was still walking WITH Jesus and I had to tell the enquirer, that “No, I no longer walked WITH Christ, I now actually walk IN Christ.” All the difference in the world.
I can tell by your email that you are sinking deep unto deep. Recently a pastor in So Cal expressed that he’d heard that I’d gone off the deep end. My response was, “Praise God, yes, I’m tired of the wading pool. It’s deep unto deep for me.”
Someone asked my wife recently what church we went to. Her response was, “You’ve asked the wrong question…
She told that person, “We are the church, you and I are the living stones in the Body of Christ.” She went onto say that we belong to the church of Two or More. Wherever two or more are gathered in His name, there He is in our midst.
We could spend hours talking, at least I know I could. It’s been a long journey, but for me I’ve discovered that fundamental Christianity just doesn’t work. I’ve written a few blogs you might want to read on my personal www.barrymcguire.com website although it’s been a long time since I’ve read them myself, and I know my outlook on reality has changed since then. What we believe to be true today, with additional information, will change what we believe to be true tomorrow.
Just sink into your heart my friend, all the answers live there and ultimately it’s Christ WITHIN us that will prevail.
Blessings on you my friend, get stubborn in your surrender to reality,
[Bold and underscores added my me. - df]
Some other quotes from Mr. McGuire:
We have never known such peace, such assurance, we have never been filled with such expectancy, such hope, such knowing, that Christ IS living WITHIN every heart.
My world view changes from day to day. The truth of it is, we can know 99% about all there is to know, but the 1% we don’t know will totally change our understanding of the 99% that we did know……”His mercies are new every morning as our Spirit is renewed daily.” I’m not the same person today that I was yesterday, and I’ll not be the same person tomorrow that I am today.
Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we’re here we should dance.
Ghandi had the right idea. He was assassinated. Anwar Sadat was a man of peace. He was assassinated. Martin Luther King spoke of the brotherhood of man. He was assassinated. John Kennedy wanted to get us out of Vietnam. He was assassinated. Jesus Christ gave us a message of forgiveness and love. He was assassinated. Socrates apparently did all he could to get people to think for themselves and not let others tell them what to do. He was assassinated. That’s why I take an a-political stand in this world I find myself living in.
How dare I judge ANYONE that Christ gave His life to forgive! I don’t care if they’re gay [or] straight.
Well, I don’t know about Christ’s soon physical returning. People have been thinking He’s going to be coming back any minute for the last two thousand years. For me, and Mari, He’s already come back!
Our constant goal is to stay focused on this present moment, and to pour one hundred percent of our energy and attention into the demands and requirements of each moment we experience.