Dear Hippie-Watchers:

The ubiquitous presence and lively activities of the hippies indicate that they have no intention of folding up their pads, cutting their hair, and quietly stealing back into “middle-class respectability.” Many drop-out hippies have dropped back into the social brouhaha now as militant yippies. (“A yippie,” said one, “is what happens to a hippie when a cop hits him over the head.”) And they’re out to change the world by involvement in man’s three major causes: sex, politics, and religion.

Their revolt against sexual mores may be observed in the Sexual Freedom League’s libidinous parties, the recent spring “nude-in” by a flock of fifty nudeniks in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, the abundance of sex come-on ads in “underground” newspapers, and, lest we forget, the one-man crusade of “Naked Adam” Feldman. Adam apparently views disrobing in public for the cause of freedom as his life mission. After an appearance at the recent “neo-naked nude-in” protest at the Oakland Induction Center (“Nudity, not napalm”; “Go naked, not army”), he strolled among the cars in a freeway traffic jam, smiling and waving in his birthday suit. It was his free way of showing what it means to be truly human!

The yippies’ political activism is set to explode at the upcoming Democratic Convention in Chicago. They hope to involve 200,000 young pilgrims in their “guerrilla theater” antics. They proclaim: “Come to Chicago to do your thing; be the Festival of Light confronting the Convention of Death; and spread the word.” Since President Johnson has bowed out of the race, we can’t be sure which candidate will experience the wrath of the yippies’ “politics of ecstasy.”

In the religious realm, they’re trying to revive the psychedelic Neo-American Church. “Rev.” Jefferson F. Poland, ex-leader of the Sexual Freedom League, has been appointed “Primate of California” by Chief Boo Hoo Arthur Kleps of New York. He now seeks a storefront in San Francisco for public evangelism. A year’s free growth of hair entitles Boo Hoos to absolution for “five sins of self-pity or one sin of lack of compassion.” They have special meetings when the moon is full.

Call them hippies, yippies, or Boo Hoos, they’ll be around to bug the straights, fuzz, and narks for some time to come. Maybe we all should become longhairs and freak out.


Feelin’ groovy,


During the crucial hours and days following the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., people in grief and despair, uncertainty and dread grappled with the issues of life.… Because the consequences of the catastrophe were national, the need really was for an evangelical voice to be heard nationally.…

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Dr. Joel Nederhood of … the Christian Reformed Church on very short notice prepared a special broadcast of the “Back to God Hour,” from which NBC Radio News excerpted a segment for its Sunday afternoon memorial tribute to Dr. King (“How the Church Reacted,” News, April 26).…

One voice, eloquently and effectively raised to the nation in the time of desperate need—but only one! Why no others? Was this the way evangelicals demonstrated that they had well earned and truly deserved their reputation for lack of social awareness, compassion and concern, for irrelevance, for “playing church”?…

The crisis of a century; the nation listened; but from those who had the only adequate answer, there was but a whisper.


Bible Fellowship Church

Staten Island, N. Y.

I am a Christian; I am also black, and being black causes me to take a different view of things than do most evangelical Christians who happen to be white and middle class. For two decades I have had the opportunity to observe evangelical Christianity (American version) at rather close quarters.… and [I] feel I know evangelicals quite well. They have many virtues and many faults. I trust you will forgive me if, on this occasion, I do not mention their virtues, but take a rather hard look at some of their faults.…

The Lord said, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself” (the second greatest commandment). If this means anything at all, it means that I want my neighbor to be treated the same way I myself would want to be treated in any given circumstance. It means for the Christian that he be absolutely color blind, absolutely without racial or religious favoritism in dealing with his fellow man.… It is hard for Negro Christians to believe that most white conservative Christians have even begun to fulfill this commandment.…

I realize, though, that most evangelicals do not hate Negroes—they simply do not love them.

Racism, however subtle, on the part of evangelicals is especially burdensome to those of us who are black evangelicals and who sometimes find ourselves in the embarrassing position of having to explain to our black brothers how we can believe the same Gospel as “those conservatives who care nothing for us.”

It is sad that those who pride themselves in biblical orthodoxy can evidence so little Christian love.… While conservative Christians busy themselves with their little dos and don’ts, the greater moral issues of love, justice, and mercy are being wrestled with and acted upon principally by those outside the evangelical community. If evangelical Christians do not awaken to what is happening in the world of the 1960s and begin to show a little Christian love and concern, they may find that in the world of the 1970s no one will be interested in hearing their message.

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New York, N.Y.


I found the dialogue on the resurrection (April 12) very exciting and feel more forums of this type are well in order. It was very encouraging to see a top respected theologian of the stature of Pannenberg, trained in a Bultmannian atmosphere, declare the importance of the resurrection. Conservative theology is something to be reasoned with and can no longer be dismissed with the non-thinking wish-theology or liberalism which characterized much of twentieth-century theology.


Wheaton, Ill.


The editorial “The Loss of Personal Religion” (March 29) raises questions that far too many Methodist ministers and laymen are just frankly afraid to face. The spirit and accuracy of the editorial are alike unassailable. As a concerned Methodist evangelical, I commend the editorial.


Mount Vernon Methodist Church

Mount Vernon, Ala.

It would be impossible for me to disagree more with “The Loss of Personal Religion.”

Suffice it to say that, whereas your criticism of the new Methodist literature … is that such materials reflect “the loss of personal religion,” it has been my experience to note that these materials are both applauded and denounced for one reason, namely: because they jerk religion out of the abstract and plant it squarely in the midst of our personal worlds, where we live and move and make our living.…



Pfeiffer College

Misenheimer, N. C.

Your title for an article dealing with the particular unit in question would be titled more accurately “The Loss of Traditional Language in Religion.” As I see it, this unit uses the language and experiences of the modern world to make men aware of the emptiness of life apart from God.


St. Andrew’s Methodist Church

Amory, Miss.


I was very interested in the report (March 29) about Dave Brubeck.…

You would be interested to know that the Mennonite Brethren Church is compiling a new hymnal and … planning to include folk hymns with guitar notation. We sincerely believe that the hymnal of the 1970’s must include this type of hymn. I don’t know of any other denominational hymnal which does.

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This letter is written because of a deep concern for the spreading of the Gospel and the giving of a true witness of Jesus Christ to a lost world through the medium of music. The Christian college must take leadership in training young people for Christian service as well as help them in defining their own Christian faith. In music we now have a job of evaluating the use of jazz as a useful technique. My sensitivity to this area of concern is being sharpened because most of our young people are conversant with jazz without the prejudice that most of us have had against it.


Chairman, Dept. of Music

Tabor College

Hillsboro, Kan.

Your article on Dave Brubeck’s oratorio on Jesus was fascinating. I would like my teen-age children (and myself) to hear this hour-long concert.


Madisonville, Ky.


I want to express special appreciation for the editorial, “Crepe-Hangers in the Church” (March 29).

I wonder if the primary reason students shy away from the parish ministry, ministers leave it and lambast it, is that they do not understand the real nature of the ministry.…

The ministry is less wielding political power or pressure on public officials than a person-to-person encounter.… Instead of healing the demoniac, our Lord might have lobbied for better mental-health care before the Roman government. Instead of saving the soul of Mary Magdalene, he might have pressured the police to raid the brothels.… Since Scripture says that our Lord had nowhere to lay his head, he definitely should have worked to improve the housing situation.


Bethany Christian Church

Evansville, Ind.

The crepe-hanging editorial made its point. Now, let me make mine.…

At the age of sixteen, I was converted in and became a member of a Baptist church. I was immediately taught to believe that Baptist church structure was patterned after the New Testament example of a Christian church. [Since then] … I noticed certain things about New Testament churches which are not being taught in Baptist churches.…

I am still a Baptist, but I no longer believe everything I hear in Baptist churches; sometimes, I believe things which I do not hear.…

You see, Timothy was also specifically warned about false teaching and was told that correction (at the obvious cost of being called a crepe-hanger) would result in salvation (1 Tim. 4:1–16).

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Hammond, Ind.


Craig Skinner has reported in your journal that a congregation has separated from the Presbyterian Church of Australia (News, March 1). As the minister of this congregation may I correct the description of myself as a “hyper-Calvinist”?…

We are aware, as Dr. Skinner states, that the more “moderate” evangelicals consider these moves “immature.” The commendable maturity of the moderate evangelical is in no way doubted, and has been nowhere better demonstrated than in New Zealand. It was this magnificent maturity which kept evangelical ministers paralysed with fear while the immature elder Robert Wardlaw carried on the fight against Geering, single-handed, and then immaturely separated, while the clergy so maturely stayed in a church twice apostate, plucked up by the roots, foaming out its shame with wretched double-talk in two consecutive assemblies.


Presbyterian Reformed Church

Cronulla, N.S.W., Australia

As founder of the New Zealand Presbyterian Laymen’s Association … and as national chairman of that association until after the visit to this country of the Australian pastor you described in your columns as a “hyper-Calvinist,” I want to assure you that the association was not, in fact, connected … with the sponsoring of this visit. Further, while the independent group in separation here does not seek to criticise by repudiation, it has no relationship … with the ICCC or any other [such] group.

Your correspondent’s statement … infers [unfairly] an extremist attitude and immaturity of outlook. Some of the mud slung in ill-informed inferences such as this can stick and do untold damage to a truly faithful and thoroughly moderate witness such as we believe ours to be.


Auckland, New Zealand


I have considered your comments on the South West African terrorist trial (News, March 1) and feel challenged to express the view that it was very unfortunate that you mentioned: “That the case was a travesty of justice seemed quite clear”.…

These terrorists were inspired and trained by Communists with the sole purpose of inciting hatred and violence and … murder. South Africa seems to be a stronger bastion against Communism than is America.


Cape Town, South Africa

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