In February 2023, Jesus Revolution hit the movie theaters. My pastor and fellow church members went to see it in its first week of release. He was so impressed by it, he gave my husband money to buy tickets for our whole family. We had been unable to go with everyone else, but we took the opportunity to go when he offered to pay for our tickets.
Who would pass up free movie tickets? Definitely not me!
My Long-time Fascination with the Hippie Movement
I was intrigued by the prospect of seeing this movie. I’ve long been fascinated by everything related to the 1960s. During my preteen and early teen years, ‘60s music was all I listened to. I even watched a lot of movies from the ‘60s.
I loved the idea of being a hippie. The focus on peace and love went right along with the Christian values I’d grown up following. The drug culture? Not so much. But I understand the fascination with using drugs, even as I understand the dangerous hold drugs can have on a person because of the work I’ve done in recovery ministries.
My Introduction to the Jesus Revolution
Surprisingly, even though both my parents graduated from high school in 1968 and were raised in Christian homes, I never heard anything about the Jesus People Movement until this movie came out. I’d heard of Greg Laurie because of his radio ministry, but Jesus Revolution gave me a greater understanding of how Laurie’s ministry began. I love a good backstory.
The Jesus Revolution was a transformative movement that swept across America in the late 1960s and early 1970s, impacting the lives of many people. It was a time of spiritual awakening, cultural change, and radical transformation.
Jesus Revolution takes us on a captivating journey into the lives of three key figures who played pivotal roles in this movement: Chuck Smith, Greg Laurie, and Lonnie Frisbee. As I discuss my reaction to the movie, I will explore the lasting impact these three men had on the Jesus Revolution. I will also take a look at the impact this historical event had on them.
Chuck Smith was a visionary pastor who founded Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa, California. He became a central figure in the Jesus Revolution, attracting young people to his church with his unconventional approach to worship and his emphasis on studying the Bible.
Chuck Smith’s teachings and his focus on the love of Jesus resonated with the counterculture of the time, and his church became a haven for those seeking spiritual truth. Jesus Revolution delves into Chuck Smith’s life, highlighting his passion for reaching the lost and his commitment to teaching the Word of God. Until his death in 2013, Smith never wavered from this commitment.
Greg Laurie, a young convert during the Jesus Revolution, found his faith through the ministry of Chuck Smith. Inspired by Chuck’s teachings, Greg became a key figure in the Jesus People Movement. He dedicated himself to organizing large-scale evangelistic events and reaching out to the disillusioned youth of the era.
Jesus Revolution sheds light on Greg Laurie’s journey, from his early days as a troubled teenager to his encounter with Lonnie Frisbee, and later with Jesus. By following his transformation throughout the movie, we gain a deeper understanding of Greg’s impact on the Jesus Revolution and his subsequent ministry as the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship.
While Chuck Smith and Greg Laurie are well-known figures in the Jesus Revolution, Lonnie Frisbee often goes unrecognized, despite his significant influence on the movement. Lonnie was a charismatic evangelist who played a crucial role in spreading the message of Jesus among the counterculture. His unorthodox approach to ministry, coupled with his genuine love for people, drew many to the faith during the Jesus Revolution.
Sadly, Lonnie’s contributions were overshadowed by controversy and misunderstandings. Jesus Revolution aims to rectify this oversight by bringing Lonnie’s story to the forefront, shedding light on his impact, and recognizing him as a catalyst of the movement.
The Impact of the Jesus Revolution on Christianity
The Jesus Revolution was not just a passing fad. It made a lasting impact on Christianity as a whole. The movement revitalized the church, bringing a renewed focus to having a personal relationship with Jesus, the power of the Holy Spirit, and the importance of community. It challenged traditional religious structures and paved the way for a more inclusive approach to worship.
Jesus Revolution captures the essence of this transformative era, reminding us of the power of revival. It also points us to the need for genuine spiritual awakening in our own lives today.
Why I Love This Movie So Much
My favorite part of this movie was the scene in which Greg and his future wife, Cathe, go to a drug party. Cathe’s sister almost died from whatever she took that night, and that was the moment Cathe decided she no longer wanted anything to do with the hippie drug culture.
As she watched that scene, my younger daughter turned to me and whispered, “I never want to do drugs. Not ever.”
I wasn’t at all sorry to hear her say that. As I said before, I’ve seen how drugs can wreck a person’s life. I don’t want that for either of my children.
See the Movie for Yourself
Jesus Revolution provides a compelling and thought-provoking exploration of a pivotal period in Christian history, reminding us of the power of God to transform lives and change the course of nations. It offers a message of hope, love, and redemption that transcends time and continues to impact lives today.
As I mentioned, just viewing the movie had a major influence on my own daughter’s thinking. I wholeheartedly recommend Jesus Revolution for anyone who is interested in history, religion, or stories about growth and transformation.
The film serves as a powerful reminder that God can work through flawed individuals to bring about extraordinary change. As we watch Jesus Revolution, may we be inspired to seek God’s presence, embrace His love, and become catalysts for revival in our own generation.