This Saturday, October 4 is the 50th anniversary of the student revolution at Berkeley that changed America forever. On that day a police car was flipped over and a young man named Mario Savio rose up and declared the dawn of a new era.
Later that same day, another Mario, a young frightened teenager in San Francisco knelt at an altar in a little church and gave his life to the service of Christ. No one but God knew that on that day 50 years ago two revolutions were born that would ultimately collide in Berkeley.
This Saturday is a double Jubilee. Mario Murillo returns to the spot where he began preaching to stand and preach to thousands of students on the very anniversary of his conversion to Christ! Read more from Lou Engle about this amazing event now. -MMM Staff
Tiananmen Square, Boston Tea Party, Woodstock, the fall of the Berlin wall, storming the Bastille. Every revolution has one defining moment that is remembered long after the names of politicians and kings have turned to dust. Massive shifts in human history—whether good or bad; whether political, cultural or religious—have one commonality: the flash point. In 1964, the free speech movement at Cal Berkeley became such a moment, flint and steel for the decadent revolution of the 1960’s.
For years I have been captivated by the ferment and fire of those student protests. Sociologists speak of the zeitgeist of the 60’s—the fullness of times, magnetic times, times that heralding the beginning of a new age, it was like that in Berkeley, 1964. There was a spirit there; a spirit that injected a generation with the ideologies that spawned the sexual revolution, proliferated the drug culture, and many ways caused the departure of the nation from a culture of honor, family cohesiveness, and a biblical world view. It was in the sixties that the term ‘Generation gap’ was coined. The hearts of the fathers were separated from their children, and the wound has not healded. Even my favorite lifetime movie, Field of Dreams, points to Berkeley as the place where Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) broke relationship with his father. The whole movie is about easing that pain and restoring relationship back to his father.
Often I have sensed that the raw revolutionary spirit embodied by the students of Berkeley in those days was actually a quasi-distorted reverse image, of the latent power of true Kingdom revolution that could be ignited by a new generation of raw, fiery evangelistic passion.
In fact, this mirror image did take place at Berkeley. Following the 1964 student revolution, Billy Graham and Bill Bright mobilized the Berkeley Blitz to evangelize the campus in 1967. Then in the 70’s, a man named Mario Murillo under the groaning’s of intercession and the intense burden of the Lord for souls, went out to preach at Berkeley. In two years, he saw two thousand students converted to Christ. Amazingly, it is there on Sproul Hall on the very place where the free speech movement occurred, I stood some eight years ago and declared before hundred of students as they were changing classes, “In this place there was a student revolution that shook the nation and spawned an era of rebellion and protest, but I declare to you that in this place there is coming a greater revolution, a Jesus revolution that will be stroner than the rebellion, and thousands from this place will come to know the Man Christ Jesus.
In 2000, eight months before TheCall DC, I received a heavenly dream. In this dream I was overwhelmed with the impossibility of seeing America turn back to God, but then a scroll rolled down before my eyes and on it I read the words that spoke of the Nazirite John the Baptist’s destiny, “He will go on before the Lord in the spirit and power of Elijah and he will turn the hearts of the fathers to the children and the hearts of the rebellious back to the wisdom of the righteous” (Luke 1:17) I awoke under the immediate presence of the Lord as if he were saying, “What I am pouring out in America is stronger than the rebellion.”
Since then, I have often pondered this dream and recently been renewed in simple faith: this word still lives on. If Luke 1:17 was truly the job description of TheCall, then could it have been a forerunner heralding the coming of something stronger, Someone far more worthy, by which all our collective rebellions—social, moral and political—can be subsumed into the great river of the kindness of God’s purposes for America? I believe The Call has been a precursor, with many others, to a mighty Jesus Movement coming to America. John prepared the way for Jesus, i.e. the Nazarite went before the Nazarene. And so John proclaimed the mightiest revolution in history, love striding the earth in sandals, “Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world.”
A Jubilee Moment: 50 Days for 50 Years
The Call has been invited to the campus of Berkeley on the 50th anniversary of these historic protests, October 4th, 2014. Frankly, I’m stunned. For years, Luke 1:17 has fueled my imagination, always with the sense that the very culmination of my efforts might actually be a gathering at Berkeley—not to “protest the protest”—but to petition the God of grace and mercy for a breaking of the curse which rebellion inevitably invites. From that place, in the watershed of our unity, I believe a new sound will be released; a new culture will be birthed; a new ‘Jesus Movement’ that could sweep in a massive harvest of souls.
Therefore, with this letter, I am announcing that The Call has set its face to Berkeley. The 60s were a turning point in our nations history. My generation was the student body of that day. Now we are fathers, and we must rise up for children with fierce love. I believe this event is designed by God to be a multi-generational appeal for that reason. Please note, it may not look like TheCalls of the past. We are sensing that we are to hold an immersive 50-day prayer push, well beyond our normal 12-hour event. Why? In hopes that a great united prayer convergence can serve to catalyze the student evangelization of California and the nation. It’s time for a Jubilee, “Let My people go”.
Please consider, even now, the invitation to stand with us in prayer and giving? TheCall needs $200,000 over the next few months to bring closure to our various relocation and transition costs, and also provide sufficient operating capital to thrust us forth with power and provision into the God assignments of 2014 and beyond. Please give generously for such a time as this: “to turn the hearts of the rebellious to the wisdom of the righteous.”
Thank you for your faith.
Consumed by the call,