MUSIC MONDAY Larry Norman and Steve Turner on John Lennon’s spiritual quest and Jesus!!!

Larry Norman and Steve Turner on John Lennon’s spiritual quest and Jesus!!!

______________

I posted a lot in the past about my favorite Christian musicians such as Keith Green (I enjoyed reading Green’s monthly publications too), and 2nd Chapter of Acts and others. Today I wanted to talk about one of Larry Norman’s songs. David Rogers introduced me to Larry Norman’s music in the 1970’s and his album IN ANOTHER LAND came out in 1976 and sold an enormous amount of copies for a Christian record back then.

Larry Norman on John Lennon, Paul McCartney and the Beatles

Uploaded on Dec 28, 2011

Larry shares his view on The Beatles, especially John Lennon

_______________________

Two new books on John Lennon claim that the ex-Beatle experienced a brief period as a born-again Christian during the 1970s. While living the life of a virtual recluse in New York’s Dakota Building, Lennon became an avid viewer of American TV evangelists and, at some point during 1977, declared that he had been saved. Robert Rosen in Nowhere Man: The Final Days of John Lennon (published in June by Soft Skull Press) cites Billy Graham as the main influence, whereas Geoffrey Giuliano in Lennon in America (published in June by Cooper Square Press) mentions both Graham and Pat Robertson. Both agree that the period, during which Lennon peppered his everyday conversation with

“Praise the Lord” and “Thank you, Jesus,” was brief. Giuliano says it lasted for “a matter of months.” Rosen suggests it was “about two weeks.”

Both writers have based their information on sources close to Lennon and on the singer’s personal diaries, which circulated shortly after his death and were then retrieved by his widow, Yoko Ono. The existence of the diaries has been known for some time, but so far no writer has divulged their contents. Because of legal problems, neither Rosen nor Giuliano has been able to quote directly from the diaries, but both have drawn on the information.

“One day [Lennon] had an epiphany—he allowed himself to be touched by the love of Jesus Christ, and it drove him to tears of joy and ecstacy,” writes Rosen, a New York journalist briefly employed by Ono.

“He drew a picture of a crucifix; he was born again, and the experience was such a kick that he had to share it with Yoko.”

Giuliano, who has written extensively about the Beatles, pinpoints the conversion to a Palm Sunday and says that Lennon was so moved by a series about Jesus broadcast on Robertson’s CBN that he broke down in tears. In the following weeks, he attended church services and took his son, Sean, to a Christian theater performance. He even called The 700 Club help line to request prayer for his health and troubled marriage.

“He prayed for forgiveness when he stepped on insects or snapped at the maid,” Giuliano writes.

“He became convinced that Jesus was personally protecting Sean.”

Ono, whose first husband Anthony Cox became an evangelical Christian in the 1970s, was displeased with Lennon’s changed outlook. Giuliano claims that Lennon began to challenge her interest in the occult and was disappointed that she wouldn’t join him in watching Graham’s telecasts.

“This dramatic conversion worried Yoko,” Giuliano writes.

“She feared that John’s new faith would clash with her own ideas about spiritualism and threaten her iron hold over him.”

In the end Ono won. In his final years, the man best known for his lines “Imagine there’s no heaven / It’s easy if you try” was living a life dictated by astrologers, numerologists, clairvoyants, psychics, herbalists, and tarot-card readers. The one song that Lennon wrote during his born-again period has never been released. “You Saved My Soul,” which recounts being prevented from attempting suicide while staying in a Tokyo hotel, is known only to Beatles bootleggers. Two years later, Lennon wrote a parody of Bob Dylan’s “Gotta Serve Somebody” in which he urged his listeners to believe in no one but themselves—a line he had peddled on his first solo release in 1970. According to Rosen in Nowhere Man, Lennon wrote the song in Palm Beach after seeing the newly converted Dylan on a Grammy Awards TV broadcast.

Rosen writes that “Serve Yourself” was “a wrathful protest bristling with fury and despair.”

“(You got to serve yourself / Nobody gonna do it for you / You may believe in devils / You may believe in laws / But you know you’re gonna to have to serve yourself.”)Unlike the other Beatles, Lennon was raised as a nominal Christian and attended Sunday school at St. Peter’s Church in Woolton, Liverpool. This early exposure to Christianity may explain why he always seemed to regard Jesus as a figure who had to be dealt with, whether through comparison (“The Beatles are more popular than Jesus”), identification (“They’re gonna crucify me,” in “Ballad of John and Yoko”), or challenge (“I don’t believe in Jesus,” in “God”).

Where his contemporaries ignored Jesus, Lennon had to continually take him on. In his final interviews, carried out just weeks before his death in December 1980, Lennon said his beliefs could be described as “Zen Christian, Zen pagan, Zen Marxist” or nothing at all. Speaking to Newsweek‘s Barbara Graustark, however, Lennon revealed that he still reads the Bible. “Some of [Christ’s parables] are only making sense to me now, after a whole life of sitting in church or school,” he told her.

“It was just moany, moany, moany for years, and then I hear it again and I think, God, that’s what he means.”

Steve Turner is a journalist and poet living in London.

Related Elsewhere

Nowhere Man and Lennon in America are available from Amazon.com and other Web retailers. The Buffalo Newsand The Times discuss the controversy swirling around the sources used for Lennon in America. An interview with Geoffrey Giuliano, author of Lennon in America, is available online. Excerpts of Nowhere Man are available from the publisher.In 1966, there was a furor over Lennon’s alleged comment that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus. About.com has an area devoted to the Beatles, which links to the other top Beatles sites.Sister publication Books & Culture looked at the spiritual side of Lennon contemporary Bob Dylan in a 1998 issue.

Previous Popular Culture columns include:

The Clay Cries Out | “The Miracle Maker” presents an animated, supernatural, and utterly believable Jesus. (April 3, 2000)

Take a Little Time Out | Amy Grants ever-smiling face is everywhere, obscuring the tragedy of two failed marriages. (Feb. 7, 2000)

Rocking the Church | The Rolling Stone of Christian magazines turns 20. (March 1, 1999)

Related posts:

larry Norman 1983b Wish We’d All Been Ready, I Am A Servant

Uploaded on Mar 5, 2008

From VHS tape “Illegal Observations – The Best of Norman Bootlegs, Part 2 Vol 7”

Please show your love for Larry’s work by purchasing videos and albums in the online store at http://www.larrynorman.com . Even though Larry is gone his work lives on (as well as his medical bills). We all must help to preserve his legacy for future generations.

 

1978 Prolife Pamphlet from Keith Green’s ministry has saved the lives of many babies!!!!

Francis Schaeffer Whatever Happened to the Human Race (Episode 1) ABORTION _____________________________________ 1978 Prolife Pamphlet from Keith Green’s ministry has saved the lives of many babies!!!! Francis Schaeffer “BASIS FOR HUMAN DIGNITY” Whatever…HTTHR Dr. Francis schaeffer – The flow of Materialism(from Part 4 of Whatever happened to human race?) Dr. Francis Schaeffer – The Biblical […]

Tribute to Keith Green who died 32 years ago today!!!

This is a tribute to Keith Green who died 32 years ago today!!! On July 28, 1983 I was sitting by the radio when CBS radio news came on and gave the shocking news that Keith Green had been killed by an airplane crash in Texas with two of his children. 7 months later I […]

“Music Monday” My favorite Christian music artist of all time is Keith Green.

My favorite Christian music artist of all time is Keith Green. Sunday, May 5, 2013 You Are Celled To Go – Keith Green Keith Green – (talks about) Jesus Commands Us To Go! (live) Uploaded on May 26, 2008 Keith Green talks about “Jesus Commands Us To Go!” live at Jesus West Coast ’82 You can find […]

MUSIC MONDAY:Keith Green Story, and the song that sums up his life (Part 10)

To me this song below sums up Keith Green’s life best. 2nd Chapter of Acts – Make My Life A Prayer to You Make my life a prayer to You I want to do what You want me to No empty words and no white lies No token prayers, no compromise I want to shine […]

MUSIC MONDAY:Keith Green Story (Part 9)

Keith Green – Easter Song (live) Uploaded by monum on May 25, 2008 Keith Green performing “Easter Song” live from The Daisy Club — LA (1982) ____________________________ Keith Green was a great song writer and performer.  Here is his story below: The Lord had taken Keith from concerts of 20 or less — to stadiums […]

MUSIC MONDAY:Keith Green Story, includes my favorite song (Part 8)

Keith Green – Asleep In The Light Uploaded by keithyhuntington on Jul 23, 2006 keith green performing Asleep In The Light at Jesus West Coast 1982 __________________________ Keith Green was a great song writer and performer and the video clip above includes my favorite Keith Green song. Here is his story below: “I repent of […]

Keith Green’s article “Grumbling and Complaining–So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt?” (Part 4)

Keith Green – So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt (live) Uploaded by monum on May 25, 2008 Keith Green performing “So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt” live at West Coast 1980 ____________ This song really shows Keith’s humor, but it really has great message. Keith also had a great newsletter that went out […]

Keith Green’s article “Grumbling and Complaining–So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt?” (Part 3)

Keith Green – So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt (live) Uploaded by monum on May 25, 2008 Keith Green performing “So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt” live at West Coast 1980 ____________ This song really shows Keith’s humor, but it really has great message. Keith also had a great newsletter that went out […]

MUSIC MONDAY:Keith Green Story (Part 7)

Keith Green – Your Love Broke Through Here is something I got off the internet and this website has lots of Keith’s great songs: Keith Green: His Music, Ministry, and Legacy My mom hung up the phone and broke into tears. She had just heard the news of Keith Green’s death. I was only ten […]

Keith Green’s article “Grumbling and Complaining–So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt?” (Part 2)

Keith Green – So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt (live) Uploaded by monum on May 25, 2008 Keith Green performing “So You Wanna Go Back To Egypt” live at West Coast 1980 ____________ This song really shows Keith’s humor, but it really has great message. Keith also had a great newsletter that went out […]

Advertisements
Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: