"Jesus freak" was a term used to describe the non-traditional Christians of the Jesus Movement. "Freak" here means enthusiast, and although the term was originally used by outsiders, believers in the movement adopted it as their own.
Who were the Jesus freaks? What was the Jesus Movement?
The Jesus Movement was a revival of sorts in the late 1960s and early 1970s that started among the counter-culturalists on the West Coast. It originated with hippies who were unfulfilled in the drug-saturated, free-love culture and found more meaning in Jesus' teachings on love and peace. The movement was fairly Pentecostal in nature, emphasizing healing, signs, and miracles.
Jesus freaks, then, were the hippies, druggies, bikers, and others who combined aspects of their old lifestyle, like communal living and modern music, with their Christian faith. The Jesus Movement was influential in bringing fresh music to traditional churches as well as the development of Calvary Chapel and Vineyard churches, but for the most part died out in the 1980s.
The term "Jesus freak" is still used today in a lesser degree. It means anyone who is enthusiastic about following Jesus and is not afraid to show it (Luke 9:26). It is also a popular song from the Christian group DC Talk and the title of their book on Christian martyrs.
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