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Whatever Happened to the Clear Invitation

I became a Christian in 1970 during the Jesus Movement. I had been attending Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California, more or less the epicenter of the Jesus Movement, where people from all walks of life came. The church had no formal dress code, so as a teenager sporting long hair, I felt comfortable and welcome. One Sunday, I missed the morning service at Calvary, so I decided to attend another local church in the neighborhood.

I arrived late. The preacher was already preaching. As I took my seat, I immediately felt uneasy. I could feel the cold stares of those sitting around me. My jeans and tennis shoes did not match the dress code.

The stares bothered me a little, but I thought, Well, these people are Christians; I'm a Christian. We're all brothers and sisters. I sat down near the front and opened my Bible. The preacher was wrapping up what sounded like a great message, so I decided to stay for the second service.

The stares continued into the second service. Even the preacher seemed ...

January/February
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