Nancy and I went with friends on Saturday to see the newest and heavily marketed Christian film, called The Jesus Revolution. Whether you love this movie or hate it, it will probably get you to think (and maybe rethink) about how the events portrayed in it have reshaped the American church over the last generation. The story begins with a young man named Greg Laurie (Joel Courtney) and his mom, a struggling Pastor named Chuck Smith and a hippie-preacher called Lonnie Frisbee. For those of you younger than me, who think that these guys are strange and the plot line unlikely, let me assure you that it is not far from the truth. Not to reveal too much of the twists and turns of the movie, I will tell you that I really liked how the script probes beneath the surface of the success story of Calvary Chapel and uncovers some of the complexity of the people involved. I especially enjoyed Kelsey Grammar’s portrayal of Pastor Chuck Smith and it was interesting seeing Jonathan Roumie (who is Jesus in The Chosen) as the controversial Lonnie Frisbee. So, what are my take-away’s? First, the impact of this story will affect you differently depending on which of those major characters you identify with. I was definitely more like Greg Laurie and I briefly lived in Los Angeles right about the time of this film. My fellow blogger, Mitch Teemley probably remembers that besides those Calvary Chapel folks, there were all kinds of strange Jesus people groups like, The Children of God and the followers of Tony and Sue Alamo traipsing up and down Hollywood Boulevard every night. To me the miracle is that despite all the craziness and confusion, God was working above it all and in those who truly received the unchanging message of Jesus Christ. While I have my doubts that this particular movie will spark a revival, I do love the questions that it stirs in us. It gives me hope because it reminds me that just as Jesus didn’t give up on my generation, He also hasn’t written off the Gen-Z crowd today. If you have seen the film, I’d love to hear your perspective too.
5 thoughts on “Jesus Revolution – A Personal Perspective”
I saw it, too, and loved it. I remember that year, and although I was on the other side of the country at the time, I was impacted by the “Jesus Revolution” as a college freshman. Like you, I appreciated the complexities of the characters. About the time I thought the movie was going to end with everyone living happily ever after, it went on with some very human problems – marital trouble, human ego muddying the water and threatening the move of God, etc. I like that at the end it tells what happened to the people since then, reminding us that this is a true story about real people – the best kind, in my opinion.
On a less spiritual note, I enjoyed just indulging in a couple of hours of nostalgia, seeing the clothes, the beads, and the hairstyles, and hearing the songs and the ways people talked in those days. It took me back about fifty years. (I had a groovy time. *eye roll*)
Far out! Right on! Dynomite! Yup I said them all, wore the bell bottoms, did the psychedelic drugs and sadly lived a very selfish lifestyle and the Jesus came. Why He ever wanted me as His child I will never understand but I am so thankful that He did. Blessings
God use this movement to spread His Ways and Word towards the east coast. I was very successful, but mixed up rising senior in college. I found myself in a bad situation. What I deserve. I thought suicide was the answer. As I was unable to find way, I cried out to God and said, I believe in You. Who is Jesus? I was in a try tower apartment complex on the 14th floor in apartment C. Within minutes, and knock at the door, I picked through the people because I was alone in a strangers apartment. I saw too bright, shining angelic faces who asked, have you thought about Jesus today???
True story and I am going with another lady, actually widow, it was a member Chuck’s of Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa. She was baptized in the ocean. We are taking someone who needs Jesus….
I didn’t proofread this! Here is corrected comment:
God used this movement to spread His Ways and Word towards the east coast. I was very successful, but a mixed up rising senior in college. I found myself in a bad situation. I was hopeless and thought suicide was the answer. As I was unable to find a way to open the picture window, I cried out to God and said, I believe in You. Who is Jesus? I was in a stranger’s tri-tower apartment complex on the 14th floor in apartment C. Within minutes, a knock at the door, I peaked through the peep hole. I was alone in a strangers apartment. I saw two bright, shining angelic faces who asked, have you thought about Jesus today??? True story and I am going to see the movie with another lady, actually widow, who was a member Chuck’s Calvary Chapel in Costa Mesa. She was baptized in the ocean. We are taking a friend who needs Jesus….
Great story. Thanks!