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OUR DECLARATION OF REVOLUTION!

- from the Church Building System

By David Brandt Berg, September 1968
This famous Declaration of Revolution was given in the Light Club Coffeehouse in Huntington Beach, California, after an unconventional and radical betrothal of two young Christian Revolutionaries for the Lord! If marked the dramatic break with the established churches and systems of man which resulted in the now-famous, worldwide explosion of the Jesus Revolution of the Family of Love led by God's Prophet and Shepherd, David Brandt Berg!--Editor.
False church system

WE BELIEVE WHAT JESUS SAYS, NOT JUST WHAT THE PREACHERS SAY: The preachers say, "Go to church on Sunday and don't forget to bring your money!" Jesus said, "Go out into the highways and the byways and compel them to come in!" And He wasn't talking about a building, He was talking about into the Kingdom of God, into the Love of God!

THE AVERAGE CHURCH PREACHERS SAY TODAY, "BE SURE YOU FEED ME," JESUS SAID, "FEED MY SHEEP!" The average church today says, "Let's build a great building!" Jesus said, "Go out and make disciples of all nations." The average church says today, "Let's organise a big denomination!" Jesus said, "Where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them."

THE AVERAGE CHURCH TODAY SAYS, "BE GOOD! GO TO CHURCH AND YOU'RE A CHRISTIAN!" Jesus said, "He that keepeth My commandments, he it is that loveth Me." And they said, "What are the greatest commandments?" He said, "To love God, and love thy neighbor as thyself." Wow!--Nothing about going to church! The greatest commandment of the church today is, "Don't miss church on Sunday!"

JESUS SAID, "DON'T MISS THE WILL OF GOD! Go out after the missing sheep. Don't wait for him to stagger in." The average church today says, "Be good. Go to church on Sunday and you're a Christian." You can live like hell the rest of the week as long as you enter the gate of Heaven on Sunday. Ha!

I WENT TO LAGUNA LAST NIGHT, SOMEONE THERE HAD INVITED US TO HAVE A BIBLE STUDY, a prayer meeting or talk or something, and my daughter asked me on the way down, "Hey, Dad, what are you going to start in Laguna anyhow?" You don't know who I am, most of you don't.--It doesn't matter who I am. I just happen to be David, the father of some of these kids, Sponsor for Teens for Christ who are now operating the Light Club. And I said to myself, "Well, what am I going down there to start anyhow?" And I sat and pondered that question. I told her, "I don't know, I don't really know." I had an idea. So when I got there I finally got there I finally got up and gave the answer, and I said,

"HOW MANY PEOPLE DOES IT TAKE TO START A REVOLUTION BECAUSE THAT'S WHAT I'D LIKE TO START IN LAGUNA!" And when I began talking like that, we had a little handful of nice people, these nice good Christian church people sitting in the back there to have a nice little quiet meeting, and then I began to tell them I wanted to start a revolution, I wanted to upset the status quo, that I'm not a reformer, I don't want to just change things, I want to turn them upside down and inside out! I am not here to reform the churches, I am here to tell you that those buildings have absolutely nothing to do with religion or Christianity!

I'M HERE TO START A REVOLUTION! I'm here to turn that System upside down and do what Jesus did, and show you what real Christianity is and what real religion is! And it's not going to church on Sunday! It's not a lot of pious, sanctimonious, holier--than-thou "Oh, everything's so nice in our nice little building, and isn't beautiful, the pipe organ music, and Mrs. So-and-so's sitting on the other side of the church and I hate her guts, but as least she's coming to our church anyhow, and the preacher's an old friend of mine ...," and acting like, "This is it, man, this is where it's at!" It's not even close to Christianity! It's not even close to what Jesus Christ preached!

THE CHURCH TODAY IS ABOUT AS FAR AWAY FROM WHAT JESUS PREACHED AS CAPITALISM IS FROM COMMUNISM!--I'm here to preach revolution! A revolution to the New Church of Jesus Christ, to turn upside down and do what Jesus said to do! He never said to build one single building! He never said to start one single Bible college. He never said to organise one single denomination! He never said to go to church on Sunday!

HE JUST SAID, "LOVE GOD AND LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF, AND GET OUT AND TELL 'EM ALL ABOUT IT! GO!" "Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest that he shall send forth labourers into his harvest, for his harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers, the workers, are few."

THE CHURCH'S BUILDINGS ARE FULL OF A BUNCH OF BENCH--WARMERS!--No workers, no labourers, a bunch of pew-sitters! Pew! Pew! They've sat there so long they stink!--Because they've been dead so long! But I just want to tell you what we believe and what we represent. we're not here to represent a bunch of church buildings, we're not there to represent the establishment, we're not here to represent preserving the status quo, and I was rooting for the guy that everybody was against in politics tonight, because he represents youth, and the soul generation, and the new generation, and the turn-'em-upside-down generation, and the tune-in, turn-on and take-over generation, and it's yours for the asking, and you're gonna have it! But the question is what are you going to do with it?--The right thing?--The good thing?

I'M HERE FOR REVOLUTION, THE RIGHT KIND, the kind the Apostle Paul wished to start. Not violence, not guns, not swords, not that kind of a revolution, not one of Molotov cocktails and rocks and beer bottles, but a Revolution stated by the Sword of the Spirit!

THIS SWORD DOESN'T KILL, IT GIVES ETERNAL LIFE, and that's the only kind of a revolution that's going to work and last and accomplish anything that really means anything. Churchianity, denominationalism, religiousity, go-to-church-on-Sunday isn't gonna turn the world upside down. They've been doing that for the last 1,800 years and have accomplished little or nothing as far as changing the world is concerned.

BUT JESUS WENT OUT AND FELLOWSHIPPED AND MINGLED WITH THE DRUNKS, AND THE HARLOTS, AND THE PUBLICANS AND THE SINNERS!--And the good, upstanding, righteous citizens and church leaders of His day strung Him up and crucified Him because He exposed them, that they were a bunch of phonies and hypocrites, scribes and Pharisees, and they had the form of godliness without the power thereof!" And He said,

"YOU DENY THE LAWS OF GOD BY YOUR TRADITIONS!"--The rigmarole and the forms and the ceremonies and all this blah, blah, blah and the universities of empty blab and all the rest of it! They call our bunch when they go out to high schools like Marquette, the drop-outs! Man, they went to Marquette and held three assemblies and nearly got thrown out, nearly started a riot!--

BECAUSE WE BELIEVE YOU OUGHT TO TUNE IN WITH THE WORD OF GOD, JESUS CHRIST TURN ON TO THE POWER OF THE SPIRIT, AND DROP OUT OF THE TRADITIONS and the folderol and the ceremonies and going through the motions of a lot of baloney that has nothing to do with Christianity whatsoever, and get down and get out and love one another and feed my sheep and help the poor and clothe the naked and feed the hungry and give drink to the thirsty! That's what Jesus did. And do you know what?

THE COMMON PEOPLE HEARD HIM GLADLY! But the leading citizens of His day threw Him in jail and killed Him and His follower, too. But you know what it took?--How many revolutionaries to turn the Roman Empire upside down?

HOW MANY DID JESUS START WITH?--JUST TWELVE! And Himself. Thirteen! Nice number! They say it's unlucky, but I'm telling you it was blessed by God because they turned the world upside down with not guns and swords and bullets and bombs and planes, they turned it upside down with the Love of God and the Love of Jesus Christ, until within 200 years one out of every five people was a professing Christian and the entire known civilised world had been saturated with the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Without a building, without a denomination, without a bunch of clerical, clerical preachers.

DON'T CALL ME A PREACHER! I DON'T WANT TO BE INSULTED, because of what "preacher" usually means nowadays! If you want to call me something, call me something I like!

CALL ME A REVOLUTIONARY!--A RABBLE-ROUSER!--And a son of God, praise God! "For as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them the believe on His Name." (Jn.1:12) That's how you get to be a son of God.

CALL ME A PROPHET OF DOOM! Doom for the society that now is, doom for the establishment, doom for what's going on, and soon they're going to find out that you're going to tune in, tune on and take over! Just do it right, do it the right way, do it for God, do it for Jesus Christ.

THE ROMAN EMPIRE LASTED FOR A THOUSAND YEARS, BUT IT CAME TO ITS END AND IT COLLAPSED. We think we're going to go on forever, we're been here in the United States of America for a couple hundred years and we think it's going to last forever. We're just a flash in the pan! "For the nation that forsakes God," God's Word says, "shall be turned into hell!"--Hell on earth and Hell Hereafter if we don't repent!

I BELIEVE AND I AGREE WITH TIMOTHY LEARY WHEN HE SAID ABOUT EDUCATION, "EDUCATION IS A DRAG!" Education is the greatest enemy today of the Kingdom of God! Education today is the greatest enemy today of true civilisation. The hippies today come closer to what Jesus was talking about than the so-called Christians and churches of today!

LOVE, BROTHERLY LOVE, SISTERLY LOVE, SHARING, COMMUNAL LIVING, tune in, turn on, drop out of a society that you don't like and that hasn't arrived and doesn't know where it's going, and find something better! And the thing is, at least they know that this isn't it, and they want the answers and they're looking for them. Let me tell you, it's right here! (Holds up Bible!)

GOD'S GOT THE ANSWERS, and it's not those buildings on the corner, Churchianity. It's not those pious, fancy pulpit platitudes on Sunday morning, that's not the answer. Some of it may be true, but God knows I've heard some of it that I couldn't stand and I had to stand up and tell the preacher off and they threw me out on my ear and called the cops! Not once, but a good many times, because that's not Christianity, and I don't like it. It's not what Jesus preached.

LISTEN, BOY, I WAS IN GOOD COMPANY! THEY TOSSED JESUS IN JAIL, they tossed every last one of the apostles in jail, they tossed most of their followers in jail, and all you guys that get busted are in good company!--So they did with the early church, so they did with the Christians, and so they've done with me because they don't like what I have to say, because I don't mind telling them off!

THAT'S CHRISTIANITY--TO TELL THE TRUTH EVEN WHEN IT HURTS! And we told them, and it hurt, and they turned around and hurt me, like I saw 'em hunting hundreds of young kids on the streets of Chicago in the news tonight on television, beating them over the head, running them with bayonets and everything else, all because they were trying to demonstrate for peace and freedom and love and the poor underdog candidate! God help us! I may not agree with all of his politics, don't misunderstand me, but I'm for freedom, and if this be treason make the most of it! "Give me liberty or give me death!"

WHAT THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST NEEDS IS LIBERTY AND FREEDOM from all that folderol and those buildings where they've got God in a box with a lid on it and keep religion and their message to themselves instead of getting it out of the rest of the world, building up instead of out!

THAT'S WHAT WE'RE HERE FOR, WE'RE HERE TO START A REVOLUTION! My kids have been arrested more times than I can remember, taken to jail, but for what?--Stealing?--Stealing cars?--Dope?--No!

THE OTHER NIGHT DOWN AT LAGUNA THEY GOT ARRESTED FOR STANDING ON THE SIDEWALK! It's against the law to stand on the sidewalk anymore! In Laguna they've got a law you can't lie on, sit on, kneel on or stand up on the sidewalk. You can't even hitch-hike down there anymore. You've got your back against the wall now, kids, right up flat against the wall! Like this, they've got you with your back against the wall. "Against the building," they said, "don't play dumb!" What do you do when you get your back against the wall? When you can't back up any further, what do you do?--You've got to fight!--

BUT DON'T FIGHT WITH VIOLENCE, BOYS, FIGHT WITH LOVE! Don't fight with knives and swords and guns, fight with the Word of God, the Sword of the Spirit! And then a bunch of those fancy--looking leading citizens of the town stopped right outside of the door of the restaurant last night and heard me carrying on like this, and they gathered out there standing on the sidewalk!--Those dear leading citizens that had them pass that law!

I YELLED OUT THE DOOR AND SAID, "YOU BETTER GET OFF THAT SIDEWALK OR THE COPS ARE GONNA AND ARREST YOU!" They looked shocked! I said, "Didn't you have them pass a law that you can't stand on the sidewalk? You're standing on the sidewalk! Either get out or get in, one or the other!"

"OR," I SAID, "IS THIS DISCRIMINATION? Is it just when the hippies stand on the sidewalk that you call the cops? We're not calling the cops on you. You're grouping outside of out meeting here so much that you can hardly get in, but nobody's calling the cops. Is it just because they're hippies that stand on the sidewalk you call the cops?" I said, "That's discrimination!" Boy, they didn't like that any! Wow! We had one of the leading citizens down there in the meeting who said, "I was going to invite the Mayor, I'm glad I didn't!" He said, "That was some of the leading citizens of the town out there!" I said, "Well, good! They needed it!"

JESUS WAS A REVOLUTIONARY! Jesus rebelled against the status quo. He said, "You ought to learn something, I'll have mercy and not sacrifice! I'll have love and mercy and not a bunch of Churchianity!" Dressing up pretty and going into a nice pretty little building and sitting in a nice pretty little plush pew and listening to pretty little pious platitudes from the pulpit, and pretty little songs and pretty little organ music and seeing pretty little windows, is not Christianity!

WHO WOULD EVEN HIRE A BUNCH OF BENCH WARMERS THAT COULDN'T FIGHT A GAME ON THE FIELD? You've got to get on the field and play the game and be a part of the team. You can't win the game by sitting on the bench! Did you get that? Who ever heard of winning a game by sitting on the bench? And the whole Church, nearly the whole Church of Jesus Christ is sitting on the bench watching everybody else play!

MY GOD, HELP US TO GET OUT THERE AND FEEL THE FIGHT AND PLAY THE GAME ACCORDING TO THE RULES OF GOD, the love, the mercy, the peace, the non-violence, and the unity with Jesus Christ!

THAT'S THE SOLUTION, THAT'S THE ANSWER, THAT'S WHERE IT'S AT! That's the kind of a Jesus He was! He was the kind that defied the status quo and the establishment and said, "This is the way it ought to be!--Love, Mercy, Peace, Joy, Kindness!" And He made 'em so made by being so sweet and so kind and loving and helping people and feeding people, that they gave Him the Distinguished Service Cross?--That they awarded Him a special citation from the city government?--HA!

WE'VE GOT A POSTER OVER HERE THAT I'VE GOT ON THE WALL OF OUT HOME: "WANTED: JESUS CHRIST!" And it goes on down how the upstanding citizens of the town wanted to string Him up!--What for?--Just because He hadn't joined their denomination, just because He didn't do all His preaching inside of their churches, and because He went out amongst the common people and the rabble and the ordinary people and the drunks and the harlots and the publicans and the sinners!

THE ONLY ANSWER IS THIS: THE LOVE OF GOD, THE LOVE OF CHRIST, non-violence, mercy, the Spirit of Jesus Christ. That's the only thing that will ever do it, the only thing that will ever bring real revolution. Communism, Marxism, Leninism, socialism, any other kind of ism might be able to overcome the world with guns and bullets and propaganda of the mind, but only God can change hearts! Only this Truth here can bring freedom!

HOW MANY OF YOU LIKE THAT KIND OF A JESUS BETTER THAN THE KIND YOU'VE HEARD PREACHED? How many of you would rather have that kind of a Jesus than the so-called Churchianity? Let me see your hands!

WELL, ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS TAKE HIM, JUST TAKE HIM AND THANK HIM, because He loved you enough to take your punishment for your sins for you, to die on that cross, and all He asks you to do is believe it and receive it. Did you get that? Not go to church, not be a goody-goody!

THERE ARE A LOT OF GOOD PEOPLE GOING TO HELL, AND A LOT OF BAD PEOPLE LIKE YOU AND ME GOING TO HEAVEN, because the good people think they're good enough to make it on their own, and we know we've got to have God to help us. We've got to have Jesus Christ! So Jesus turned around and He told a bunch of hippies like you, and drunks and harlots and publicans and sinners, and He said,

"YOU'RE GOING TO GET TO HEAVEN BEFORE THESE BIG CHURCH LEADERS OVER HERE, these scribes and these Pharisees, these hypocrites," because they received Him gladly! That's all you have to do is take Jesus. Do you want to receive Jesus?

BOY, I LIKE TO BREAK WITH TRADITION! I used to think it was a sin to open my eyes when they were praying. I had to bow my head, 'cause if I didn't I got swatted by my Mom or Dad. I figured that must be in the Bible, you gotta bow your head and close your eyes when you pray. I haven't been able to find it yet! It might be a good idea to kind of shut out things and show reverence and so on, but you don't have to, because if you're gonna always pray you gotta have your eyes open some of the time or you're going to have a wreck driving your car!

YOU DON'T HAVE TO COME DOWN TO AN ALTAR, you don't have to stand up, sit down, turn over, stand on your hands, it has nothing to do with the position of your body or your eyes or your head!--

IT'S ALL IN HOW YOU POSITION YOUR HEART! If your heart is humble before God tonight, you know you're a sinner and you need His help, for those of you who care and are interested and concerned, all you have to do is take Jesus. Say, "Lord God, come into my heart." He said, "If any man hear My voice and open the door, behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man will open the door, I will come into him."

ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS SAY, "DEAR JESUS, COME IN. Change me, take away these bad habits and these sins and this horrible past and make me a new creature in Christ Jesus." "For ye must be born again," He said, "to enter into the Kingdom of God." You have to have a spiritual rebirth, a born-again experience, and that comes with taking Jesus.

MARY MAGDALENE, ONE OF THE WORST HARLOTS IN HIS DAY, FOUND THAT EXPERIENCE. A great big old stinking fisherman by the name of Peter who had a lot of violence in him, found that in Jesus. Even a few of the smart guys like Paul and a very few of the rich guys like Joseph found it was the answer, but they were few and far between. Mostly they were just like us.

ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS TAKE JESUS. Say, "Thank You, Father." That's it. How many want Jesus? Let me see your hands. Take Jesus. You want that kind of a Jesus, not the churchy Jesus, but you want the kind I've been talking about, the Son of God. God bless you. Just say, "Thank You."

Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family International


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James Arendt
James Arendt

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