“There is a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can’t take part; you can’t even passively take part, and you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you’ve got to make it stop”- Mario Savio.
With those words Mario Savio launched the free speech movement at Berkeley. The fuse was lit on October 1 1964 when former graduate student Jack Weinberg was sitting at the CORE table. He refused to show his identification to the campus police and was arrested. There was a spontaneous movement of students to surround the police car in which he was to be transported. Weinberg did not leave the police car, nor did the car move for 32 hours. At one point, there may have been 3,000 students around the car. The car was used as a speaker’s podium and a continuous public discussion was held which continued until the charges against Weinberg were dropped.
It was a Thursday and at the same exact moment that the protests began in Berkeley something else began 12 miles southwest. Galen Norsworthy, a pastor’s son was witnessing to me and daring me to go to church. It was lunch time at Woodrow Wilson High School in San Francisco.
Galen’s words filled me with turmoil. I knew I needed to give my life to Christ. Berkeley’s revolution was outward mine was inward. Two revolutions began that very day and I had not an inkling of my destiny at Berkeley.
For the next 72 hours strange things happened. Twin events culminated. While Jack Weinberg’s charges were being dropped my sins were being forgiven in a little Free Methodist church on Mission Street. For the students at Berkeley it was a victory that poured jet fuel on the bonfire of student revolution. For me it was the fire of the Holy Ghost that was birthing a worldwide ministry.
Then I came to Berkeley. Thousands met Christ and were healed during the decade I preached in Berkeley.
Today I return to the steps of Sproul Plaza where revolution began and where I preached during that revolution. Think of it! This is on the 50th anniversary of the free speech movement and the 50th anniversary of my conversion to Christ.
What will happen when I once again stand on the steps of Sproul Plaza in front of thousands of students? It is summed up in the words of Mario Savio who would no doubt violently disagree with my application of his words. There is a machine in America and it is so odious that left unchecked it will destroy America within a few years.
I fully agree that Christians must refuse to take part in the machine of tyranny. We do not cast ourselves upon the gears but upon Christ who can lead us to a revived America!
I thank God that Lou Engel and The Call has been invited to Berkeley for today! I thank God for all of the students that invade Berkeley today. But most of all, I thank God that we still have a chance to see a nationwide revival that will eclipse the Jesus Movement of the 1970’s.
Come and join us if you can. The event is all day. You cannot miss us if you get to Sproul Plaza anytime between 9AM to 6PM. I will speak from the steps at around 7PM. Come if you can. Pray for us if you cannot come.
Stay tuned for updates today!
We know what is at stake and I we know what God can do!