God Told Us to Go, Go, Go
1988 HFP, Volume 12 Number 1
The film "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" debuted in the U.S., combining animation with live action. A wildfire in Yellowstone burned 1.6 million acres in Idaho and Montana. The Navy cruiser U.S.S. Vincennes misidentified an Iranian civilian airliner as an F-14 fighter and shot it down, killing all 290 passengers. Conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh began broadcasting his nationally syndicated program. And in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Mike Tyson knocked out Michael Spinks just 91 seconds into the first round of a championship boxing match to retain the undisputed heavyweight title.
When the presses started up on this issue of the HFP, when ink spread across the aluminum printing plates and a wide roll of brown newsprint paper began to snake its way through the rollers, no one could have guessed that this was the last time. Nothing in the content of this issue gave any hint that the Hollywood Free Paper, which had started in the early dawn of the Jesus Movement, flourished during the Movement's heyday, and had hit the streets whenever God provided the means for the better part of 19 years, was coming to an end. After nearly two decades of newspaper publishing our blood was half ink, but we would not go to press again until our 35th Anniversary special edition, 16 years later in 2004.
Our good friend Chuck Girard penned a full-page article for this issue, titled "God, You Can't Send Me to Hell," about the early beginnings of his musical career prior to founding the Jesus music band Love Song, and his spiritual search for God and the truth. "A group of us started searching through the drug scene and hippie philosophy trying to find God," Chuck explained. "One of God's promises in the Bible says, 'Seek and you shall find.' I didn't even know what a Bible promise was, but I said, 'God, whoever you are, if you can hear me, I need to find out who you are.'" Jesus heard that earnest prayer, and as Chuck has said many times, the answers began to come.
Our brother Dave Eaton drew the dramatic portrait shown at right of our friend Milton Gonzalez, a gentle and sensitive young man who was working at a local food bank helping distribute food to people in need, and handing out the HFP on Hollywood Boulevard with his friend Yolie after work. Milton attended the church at Venice Beach that our founding editor Duane Pederson was pastoring in those days. Duane can be seen in the photo at lower right looking optimistic and ready for anything, as he still is today.
"There's a revolution happening," we wrote at the top of page 7 in this issue. "The good news of Jesus is being proclaimed on the streets worldwide. You are invited to get involved in this awesome revolution. Come and watch Jesus change people, making them radically new." We printed those words more than 20 years ago, but they're still true today. That invitation, to see Jesus changing people or to be changed by Him yourself, is still open. And He is still making people radically new.
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