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Greg Laurie’s “Jesus Revolution” Presents a False Gospel That Forgoes Real Repentance

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You’ve probably heard of the recently released Jesus Revolution movie that’s based on Greg Laurie’s book by the same name. The movie is being promoted by several high-profile Evangelicals including former Southern Baptist president, James Merritt and former U.S. Vice President, Mike Pence.

The movie is based on the life of Harvest Christian Fellowship pastor, Greg Laurie, and features several well-known actors including Kelsey Grammer, who plays Chuck Smith, Jonathan Roumie, who plays the part of Christian hippie, Lonnie Frisbee, and Joel Courtney, who plays Greg Laurie himself as they take part in the California “Jesus Movement” of the 60s.

But as with anything that claims to be Christian, it must be looked at with deep scrutiny to see if it actually is.

Greg Laurie has been a prominent figure in Christendom for quite some time. Many have touted him as being the next Billy Graham. In the likeness of Billy Graham’s crusades, Laurie has invested endless efforts in his Harvest Crusades since the early 1990s, reaching audiences in the hundreds of thousands at every event. Laurie’s popular style of watered-down preaching and making the adulterated Word of God more palatable to the world has helped his empire grow tremendously, and transform Laurie into a celebrity.

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As with nearly all celebrity Christian luminaries, there comes a time when the message they deliver has become so devoid of any convicting biblical substance that nearly anyone, whether they profess Christ or not, will be lured in by their seductive charisma. Their following essentially becomes a cult of personality, and their notoriety gains them indiscriminate immunity from nearly all criticism.

Statistics from Greg Laurie’s crusades show that among the thousands of people who touted their “decision” for Jesus at these gatherings, only 3 to 6 percent of them show any fruits of salvation one year later. Why could this be? Phil Johnson from Grace to You says that Greg Laurie’s current associations are representative of his theological drift, and that his “doctrinal boundaries are so hazy that there’s hardly any variety of popular religion or spiritual chicanery that he won’t align himself with, as long as it calls itself ‘Christian,’ and gains a large following.”

And the same is absolutely true of Laurie’s movie, Jesus Revolution. First off, the movie presents a false gospel. The gospel, that Christ, the son of God, who is fully God, came to earth in the likeness of man, lived the perfect life that God requires of man, yet, stood in our place on the cross bearing the punishment of God for us, died, was buried, and rose again on the third day and ascended into Heaven so that those of us who would repent and believe in Him would have eternal life. During Jesus’ ministry on earth, he never wavered on the message of repentance. His first words during his ministry were “repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand” (Matthew 3:15). And Jesus echoes his call to repentance all throughout, including twice in Luke 13:3-5.

There is no shortage of the call to repent in the New Testament so it cannot be a doctrine that is easily dismissed or overlooked. Yet, the entire theme of the false gospel presented in Jesus Revolution is devoid of any real call to true repentance. In fact, it’s an “inclusive” gospel that presents the bride of Christ as being filled with those who lack true repentance. For them, repentance is merely an emotion, a feeling, and the word itself a meaningless platitude, and does not involve becoming a new creation.

Other prominent characters in the movie include Chuck Smith, who is played by Kelsey Grammer. Chuck Smith was a charismatic false prophet who preached the funeral of Christian Hippie, Lonnie Frisbee (who is credited with starting the Jesus Movement) saying that Frisbee was a “Samson figure” who was powerfully anointed by God. Yet, Lonnie Frisbee was a practicing homosexual who eventually died of AIDS after his lifestyle caught up with him. Yet, Smith, in real life, preached to him right into Heaven at his funeral.

It should not be surprising that former Southern Baptist Convention president, James Merritt, who has an openly homosexual son who preaches at a progressive church in NYC whom he has praised as “faithful”, is a fan of this movie.

The entire Jesus Movement/Jesus Revolution that Greg Laurie and this movie are promoting is a false gospel devoid of any actual repentance and faith and it is a denial of the Holy Spirit’s ability to change the hearts and minds of those who come to Christ in faith. The reality is that anyone who is truly born-again should be able to see, according to Scripture, that this movie is not Christian and should be avoided at all costs.


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