The Jesus Revolution: A Review of the Hippies for Jesus Film

The Jesus Revolution: A Review of the Hippies for Jesus Film June 1, 2024

Jesus revolution promo image
Image: Jesus Revolution Promotional Image

Have you watched the Jesus Revolution film about when a remarkable move of the Holy Spirit hit three lives, Greg Laurie, Chuck Smith, and Lonnie Frisbee? Thousands of hippies turned to Jesus as a result and were baptised in the ocean. The Church was never quite the same again.

The movie had me in tears at many points, and is hugely encouraging. God can and does move in a dramatic way to change lives around for him.  The film looks at what many believe to have been the last Great Revival in the USA: The Jesus Revolution which began in 1968.  From the standpoint of 2024 it is possible that many other Christians are as unaware of the huge impact of this point of Church history as I was.

I strongly recommend you watch this movie!

The remarkable result of all this is that Chuck Smith, who was a pastor struggling to work out how to reach out to hippies founded the Calvary Chapel group of churches, now around 1800 strong as a direct result. But that movement also went on to multiply and birth the Vineyard Movement which also has over 2400 churches. Lonnie Frisbee also played a direct role in initiating the Vineyard movement introducing them to the prayer “Come Holy Spirit“.  In addition Greg Laurie, who is a young hippie that gets saved during this movement, also went on to plant the mega church Harvest Church and leads the huge Harvest Crusades. Christian worship music was also hugely impacted with vibrant intensely physical expression in worship spreading far and wide.

I do realise that I am seriously late to the party on this one. I was not able to catch the Jesus Revolution Movie when it came out briefly on UK cinema screens about a year ago.  It was also not available until recently to watch digitally over here.   I have found myself reading a lot about the characters in this movie and their subsequent stories and I am sure I will be writing some more about the amazing impact of this move of God, which was the largest revival recorded in the West.

Even in the movie there are some hints of the fact that the Christian life is not all about wonderful experiences of God. Each of these three men and their wives are all flawed in some way and that comes across in the film.  The reality of Christian life is that it is not all about enjoying the mountaintop, but it is about building faithfully in the long term, often in the valleys.

I do like the fact that the movie does not totally shy away from the challenges and disagreements that occurred. But I also like the fact that it does not go into what happened after this brief period as I think it is good to celebrate and commemorate what was clearly a dramatic work of God.  If you are not yet aware of some of the controversies around the personalities in this movie, I encourage you to watch it first before looking into any of that.  Enjoy this account of the way God can use ANY of us for his glory.  There is much profit for us to have in considering this moment, and in later posts I will look more about what the outcome of it all was.

God is great both in the mountaintop and in the valley!

Greg Laurie writes,

” Many people have wondered how much of Jesus Revolution actually happened in real life. The truth may surprise you! While some of the events of the film were condensed, altered, or rearranged for the sake of storytelling, most of what you see on screen is based in true-to-life happenings . .   the Jesus Revolution proved to be a true and lasting revival—a movement of the Holy Spirit in the lives of thousands . . .  Chuck had to rent a giant tent to contain all of the people who were coming to hear God’s words of life. The ripple effect of lives changed traveled throughout Southern California and far beyond. Many of the young men and women who came to know Christ in those days later began their own churches and ministries, perpetuating the effects of the Jesus Movement for decades.”  READ MORE

Watch the Trailer

Watch the Movie



The Jesus Revolution: Revival Roots and Fruits

Ten Things Jesus Did NOT Say

Send a Resurrection: Revival in History and Today

A Relationship with the Risen Jesus: Christian Experience

Embodied Worship: Corporate Singing and Lives of Service

Worship: Are Physical Expressions and Emotions Essential?

Imperfect Churches Reflect God’s Perfect Glory


Beware the ‘Perfect’ Christian myth. None of us are mature

About Adrian Warnock
Adrian Warnock is a medical doctor. He worked as a psychiatrist and in the pharmaceutical industry on clinical trials. He has been a Christian writer since 2003 and is a published author. Alongside his career Adrian also served on a church leadership team. He was diagnosed with blood cancer in May 2017 and is the founder of Blood Cancer Uncensored an online patient support group. Adrian is passionate about helping people learn to approach suffering with hope and compassion. Adrian qualified in 1995 with an MB BS medical degree from London University (in the USA this would be called an MD). Adrian also has post graduate qualifications in both Psychiatry (MRCPsych) and Pharmaceutical Medicine (MFFM and DipPharmMed). He studied theology through courses organised by Newfrontiers. You can read more about the author here.
"I am a former evangelical. I now advocate for a non-supernatural worldview. I have developed ..."

Resurrection: Fact or Fiction? Did Jesus ..."
"Hi. I am a former evangelical Christian. I now advocate for science and a non-supernatural ..."

Jesus Revolution Fruit: Calvary Chapel and ..."
""Streeting lives in Redbridge, London, with Joe Dancey, a communications and public affairs adviser..."It's impossible ..."

UK Health Minister: Cancer Patient, Christian, ..."
"This is the climate Trump cultivated since 2015 when he first entered the Political arena.This ..."

Assassination Attempt: Trump and Biden Must ..."

Browse Our Archives