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Bob Dylan: I still believe in Jesus, mofos!
The Cinch Review ^ | September 13, 2012 | Sean Curnyn

Posted on 09/13/2012 2:32:57 PM PDT by don-o

Well, how could I be expected to resist a title like that?

When I first read the excerpt of Bob Dylan’s interview in Rolling Stone yesterday, I didn’t much remark on the line where he complains about being called “Judas” for playing an electric guitar, and then says: “As if that is in some kind of way equitable to betraying our Lord and delivering him up to be crucified.” You don’t refer to Jesus as “our Lord” and speak in that way about him unless you believe in Jesus as “your” Lord. Hearing him speak in the language of a believer was unsurprising to me: it is throughout his songs, after all, and I’ve never been of the crew who insist he “rejected” belief in Christ; quite the contrary, in fact. Bob Dylan is a Jew, and he’s clearly very serious about his Jewishness, but he also clearly enough sees no conflict with that and his belief in Jesus. He’s not alone in this, but due to our various baggage and traditions, many of us can’t get our heads around that. Especially, people in the rock press have never been able to get their heads around the whole “religion thing,” and have concocted theory after theory to make themselves feel more comfortable. Dylan for his part has never given the impression he much gives a damn what anyone thinks; he has just plowed his course, a course that has included Jewish observances in the company of the Chabad Lubavitch folk, and recording a Christmas album that includes hymns of faith, sung with as much angelic devotion as his crusty vocal cords could muster. And there have been other indications, literally too numerous to mention, of a man serious about faith in the God of the Bible, both the Hebrew and the New Testament.

In the end, it’s his business. Some people pick up on it and some don’t. Yet, people continue to be curious. Many people go to Google and type in “Is Bob Dylan still a Christian?” and similar queries. I know because some of them happen to end up in my website statistics after doing so, because they hit upon something I wrote on the subject in the past.

The curious thing about this Rolling Stone interview excerpt is that Dylan is talking about the “plagiarism” subject, and then seemingly out of the blue recalls being called “Judas” in the 1960s, and then just slips in what amounts to a profession of faith. Again:

These are the same people that tried to pin the name Judas on me. Judas, the most hated name in human history! If you think you’ve been called a bad name, try to work your way out from under that. Yeah, and for what? For playing an electric guitar? As if that is in some kind of way equitable to betraying our Lord and delivering him up to be crucified.

It’s sorta hilarious and somewhat typical that he does it in this indirect way. But nonetheless he is obviously stating faith in Jesus as “our Lord” and therefore “his” Lord—and also, by the way, his belief in the historicity of the gospels. (By the way, this is not unusual: it’s a belief common to most ordinary Americans, after all. What’s unusual is the endless analysis given to it in his case, because he is who he is.)

He then follows it up with what some may consider a vaguely un-Christian statement: “All those evil motherf**kers can rot in hell.”

Which just goes to show we’re all sinners.

It also gives me a chance to speculate about something else. I think that Dylan was never going to be comfortable presenting a “holier than thou” image to the public, and that’s one reason he only did what he did as regards gospel music for a limited time. He didn’t want to be a standard bearer and to be expected to live up to that level. It’s hard enough being a believer in this world without also being on display and having charges of hypocrisy thrown at you every time you let off steam. Dylan is out there in the rough and tumble world, and, dare I say it, that’s probably right where God wants him to be.


TOPICS: Music/Entertainment; Religion
KEYWORDS: bobdylan; dylan; robertzimmerman; servesomebody; slowtraincoming
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To: Hildy
Actually, he doesn’t hate America.

Thought I could get away without the /sarc tag. Sigh; guess not

If memory serves, in 1968, at the height of the so-called student revolt, when he played in Paris, the backdrop was a huge American flag.

41 posted on 09/13/2012 4:57:17 PM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.)
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To: Hildy

And I read the book. I “get” Dylan, as far as anyone can say that, I believe I can.


42 posted on 09/13/2012 4:58:28 PM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.)
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To: DallasDeb

One more:

“Slow Train Coming”

Sometimes
I feel so low-down and disgusted
Can’t help but wonder what’s happening to my companions
Are they lost or are they found, have they counted the cost it’ll take to bring down All their earthly principles they’re gonna have to abandon?

There’s slow, slow train coming up around the bend.

I had a woman
down in Alabama
She was a backwoods girl, but she sure was realistic
She said, Boy, without a doubt, have to quit your mess and straighten out
You could die down here, be just another accident statistic

There’s slow, slow train coming up around the bend.

All that foreign oil
controlling American soil
Look around you, it’s just bound to make you embarrassed
Sheiks walking around like kings,
wearing fancy jewels and nose rings
Deciding America’s future from Amsterdam and to Paris

And there’s slow, slow train coming up around the bend.

Man’s ego is inflated,
his laws are outdated,
they don’t apply no more You can’t rely no more to be standing around waiting
In the home of the brave,
Jefferson turning over in his grave
Fools glorifying themselves, trying to manipulate Satan

And there’s slow, slow train coming up around the bend.

Big-time negotiators,
false healers and woman haters
Masters of the bluff and masters of the proposition
But the enemy I see
wears a cloak of decency
All non-believers and men stealers talking in the name of religion

And there’s slow, there’s slow train coming up around the bend.

People starving and thirsting,
grain elevators are bursting
Oh, you know it costs more to store the food than it do to give it
They say loose your inhibitions,
follow your own ambitions
They talk about a life of brotherly love, show me someone who knows how to live it

There’s slow, slow train coming up around the bend.

Well, my baby went to Illinois
with some bad-talking boy she could destroy
A real suicide case, but there was nothing I could do to stop it
I don’t care about economy,
I don’t care about astronomy
But it’s sure do bother me to see my loved ones turning into puppets

There’s slow, slow train coming up around the bend.


43 posted on 09/13/2012 4:59:52 PM PDT by Tuanedge
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To: livius

Again, bull, lying to make an anti—Evangelical, Catholic commercial, or even trying to hijack this thread by making a Catholic commercial, speaks to your character.

Dylan became an Evangelical Christian near the end of 1978.

As far as the Christian revival called Jesus Freaks.
“Although the Jesus movement lasted no more than a decade (except for the Jesus People USA which continues to exist in Chicago), its influence on Christian culture can still be seen. Thousands of converts moved into leadership positions in churches and parachurch organisations. The informality of the Jesus movement’s music and worship affected almost all evangelical churches. Some of the fastest growing US denominations of the late 20th century, such as Calvary Chapel, Hope Chapel Churches, and the Vineyard Churches, trace their roots directly back to the Jesus movement, as do parachurch organisations like Jews for Jesus and the multi-million dollar contemporary Christian music industry.[citation needed] Perhaps the most significant and lasting influence, however, was the growth of an emerging strand within evangelical Christianity that appealed to the contemporary youth culture.”


44 posted on 09/13/2012 5:06:18 PM PDT by ansel12
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To: livius
Bob Dylan converted to a sort of "Jesus People" Evangelical Christianity way back when,

Your premise is wrong. Bob was taught in the Vineyard Fellowship. Flinging out the term "Jesus people" and attaching your own personal definition to it is a bit disingenuous. I expect better from you.

45 posted on 09/13/2012 5:23:05 PM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.)
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To: livius
I have met many “Jesus People” who became either Orthodox or Catholic.

You'll see people moving both directions. I call it cross-pollinization; I see it as a good thing. :)

46 posted on 09/13/2012 5:25:43 PM PDT by marron
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To: ansel12; livius
What a crock, no the Evangelical movement and Jesus Freaks did not become Catholics and Orthodox, they stayed Evangelicals.

Amen to that from a former member of the Jesus People movement. Only two of the many, many people I fellowshipped with back in the day reverted to Catholicism. Most of them are still Bible-believing Christians today.

47 posted on 09/13/2012 6:48:39 PM PDT by alnick
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To: don-o

Electric guitar? I’ll never forgive him for that pillbox hat song. My EARS!


48 posted on 09/13/2012 6:55:26 PM PDT by St_Thomas_Aquinas (Viva Christo Rey!)
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To: ansel12

And as somebody that spritually grew up at Hope Chapel in Hermosa Beach, I can testify to the influence of the Jesus freaks to that church’s DNA. After moving to Texas, I have attended Assembly of God Churches. I don;t really care about doctorine anymore, but I sure care about the Spirit being in control of any church I attend and making that control OBVIOUS.


49 posted on 09/13/2012 7:06:29 PM PDT by L,TOWM (Write in Chuck Norris for POTUS and tell the power brokers to FOAD.)
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To: L,TOWM; alnick
I am very supportive of the Jesus Freaks, and counted myself among them.

Something that I miss about not living in Texas right now, is having Christians approach me in public to witness to me.

I like being greeted by a Christian when I pull into a 7-11, unfortunately I live in California right now.

California needs the kinds of Jesus freaks that it had during the 1960s and early 1970s, they helped a lot of people.

50 posted on 09/13/2012 7:15:20 PM PDT by ansel12
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To: cardinal4
Dead and Dylan

Yuck to the former!

51 posted on 09/13/2012 7:19:38 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong!)
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To: don-o

Thank you for posting the thoughtful article.

The new album arrived this afternoon from Amazon. Will open and listen to it tomorrow after the dentist visit.

I recall Dylan saying or suggesting sometime in the past that people pay too much attention to the things he says. That is the things he says in rare interviews. Which is why he and so many other artists tend to avoid interviews. Just read the astonishingly stupid comments on the two previous Dylan threads here in the past couple of days.


52 posted on 09/13/2012 7:25:19 PM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong!)
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To: Revolting cat!; don-o

I like the Dylan threads also, they give us a chance to break out of the box and discuss someone who is such a part of the 1960s, and of all decades since, who is well known to everyone here of all ages, and who is also somehow connected to politics and popular culture, yet who we are forced to discuss in a none black and white, predetermined way.

It kind of stretches us, and helps to keep us loose and flexible, and reminds us that people can be complex, and hard to pigeon hole.


53 posted on 09/13/2012 7:39:14 PM PDT by ansel12
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To: don-o

Bump


54 posted on 09/13/2012 7:51:45 PM PDT by Skooz (Gabba Gabba we accept you we accept you one of us Gabba Gabba we accept you we accept you one of us)
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To: cardinal4

I’ve been a Dead fan and Dylan fan for the last 40 years. Dylan is a master of poetry, song and meaning, and the Dead are, well...listen to Dark Star and they’ll figure it out!

Ed


55 posted on 09/13/2012 8:15:38 PM PDT by Sir_Ed
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To: Sir_Ed
I like the Dead, but never understood why they were bigger than Spirit, or others, or more clearly, not why they were bigger, but why they were a cult phenomena.

How did they get such a grip, what launched them into the stratosphere?

56 posted on 09/13/2012 8:33:52 PM PDT by ansel12
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To: alnick

Thank God, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADN1lLEp3H0&feature=related

Keep reaching out to people.


57 posted on 09/14/2012 2:12:08 AM PDT by ansel12
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To: don-o; Merciful_Friend

He’s the property of Jesus
Resent him to the bone
You got something better
You got a heart of stone


58 posted on 09/14/2012 6:31:36 AM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.)
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To: don-o

I was blinded by the devil
Born already ruined
Stone-cold dead
As I stepped out of the womb
By His grace I have been touched
By His word I have been healed
By His hand I’ve been delivered
By His spirit I’ve been sealed

I’ve been saved
By the blood of the lamb
Saved
By the blood of the lamb
Saved
Saved
And I’m so glad
Yes, I’m so glad
I’m so glad
So glad
I want to thank You, Lord
I just want to thank You, Lord
Thank You, Lord


59 posted on 09/14/2012 7:25:37 AM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.)
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To: ansel12
who is well known to everyone here of all ages

Small quibble: His personna that the left tried to hang on him is well known. It's an amusement to see purported conservatives swallow that jive.

Who he really is, or might be, is a much more interesting and complex matter.

60 posted on 09/14/2012 7:29:01 AM PDT by don-o (He will not share His glory and He will NOT be mocked! Blessed be the name of the Lord forever.)
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