The 60’s :Haight Ashbury, Simpson and Me.

CW Jefferson.jpg
If you truly follow Jesus you’ll seem “Too Christian for your pagan friends and Too pagan for your Christian friends.” This is what I concluded after reading the Gospels where I saw Jesus “partying” with the sinners (and eventually telling them to “sin no more”) and then being accused of being a drunkard by uptight religious types who wouldn’t be caught dead at the party. (Plus being judgmental types they were probably never invited.

My early thoughts on this subject were formed at Filmore West, sitting on an overstuffed sofa between two guys smoking grass, listening to Jefferson Airplane and asking, “What would Jesus do” (way before the bracelet).

These thoughts are fresh on my mind this AM because today I have returned to speak at Simpson College and I’ll be telling that story. My presence in SF during the 60’s at the height of “cultural revolution” was due to my enrollment at Simpson in 1966 (It has since moved from the heart of San Francisco to Redding California). Plopped down in a conservative college in the zeitgeist of “free love, free sex, free drugs,” the dissonance fueled my thinking about the relationship between faith and culture and essentially cemented my calling to understand how to understand faith and culture and interpret each to the other.

This morning while reading Deuteronomy I was reminded that God is more concerned about shaping the person He calls than He is with the accomplishments that issue forth from the call.

I arose to make my dramatic re-entrance to my alma mater and God humorously set the tone for the whole day. Returning after 40 years, my day began with this text: “Remember the long way that the Lord your God has led you these forty years in the wilderness, in order to humble you, testing you to know what was in your heart, whether or not you would keep his commandments.” (Deuteronomy 8)

Whatever my achievements their embodiment is in a jar of clay (2 Corinthians 4:7) “But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.”

I’ve been humbled (and those who knew me in college know I needed it) and I’ve been tested (failing more often than I care to describe), but I’m still standing and I’m determined to keep His commandments.

We live out our faith in the real world like Jesus, we aim high and let grace fill the gaps and we challenge the next generation to go deeper in a culture-enriching faith.”

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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    Posted in Staublog in November 8, 2004 by | No Comments »

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