John Lennon's Born-Again Phase
In March 1977 Yoko traveled with John Green to Catagena in Colombia to meet a witch who had been recommended to her as someone "who could do anything." Green had to accompany her to check out the witch's validity. Yoko paid the witch sixty thousand dollars to perform a series of rituals culminating in the sacrifice of a dove. When they returned to New York; Yoko insisted that they had to fly via Los Angeles and Alaska to avoid having to fly in a northeasterly direction because she believed this would bring her bad fortune.
Next came one of the most extraordinary turnabouts in John's life. A television addict for many years (it was his way of looking at the world since he could no longer walk around anonymously), he enjoyed watching some of America's best-known evangelistsPat Robertson, Billy Graham, Jim Bakker, and Oral Roberts. In 1972 he had written a desperate letter to Roberts confessing his dependence on drugs and his fear of facing up to "the problems of life." He expressed regret that he had said that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus and enclosed a gift for the Oral Roberts University. After quoting the line "money can't buy me love" from "Can't Buy Me Love" he said, "It's true. The point is this, I want happiness. I don't want to keep on with drugs. Paul told me once, 'You made fun of me for taking drugs, but you will regret it in the end.' Explain to me what Christianity can do for me. Is it phoney? Can He love me? I want out of hell."
Roberts sent him a copy of his book Miracle of Seed Faith and several letters explaining basic Christian beliefs. In the second of his letters Roberts said:
John, we saw you and the Beatles on television when you first came to America. Your talent with music was almost awesome and your popularity touched millions. Your influence became so widespread and powerful that your statement-the Beatles are more popular than Jesus- might have had some truth in it at that moment. But you know, our Lord said, I am alive for ever more. People, the Bible says, are like sheep and are often fickle, following this one day and something else the next. However, there are millions who have received Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and have been filled with the Holy Spirit. They love him. To them He is the most wonderful and popular man who ever lived because he is the Son of God and His name endures.
I thank God that you see this, John, and finally regret thinking any man or group could be more popular than Jesus. Jesus is the only reality. It is Jesus who said "I am the way, the truth, and the life." So, you see, your statement that because of your hard background you've never wanted to face reality is actually really saying you've never wanted to face our loving Lord. What I want to say, as I tried to say in my other letter, is that Jesus, the true reality, is not hard to face. He said, "Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light." You said, John, that you take drugs because reality frightens you. Remember as you open your life to Jesus, He will take all the fear away and give you peace. Peace that passes all understanding.
This correspondence and his exposure to TV evangelism didn't appear to have any effect until he suddenly announced to close friends in the spring of 1977 that he'd become a born-again Christian. He had been particularly moved by the U.S. television premiere of Franco Zeffirelli's Jesus of Nazareth, starring Robert Powell as Jesus, which NBC showed in two three-hour segments on Palm Sunday, April 3, 1977. A week later, on Easter day, he took Yoko and Sean to a local church service.