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The Jesus Revolution movie p1


 Review of the Jesus Revolution movie- Details matter, the Movies accuracy of its important and crucial parts

If you are a movie goer who likes feel good movies, you will have only good things to say about this movie. However, if you are into facts, accuracy, and history as it happened you probably will not have as many good things to say.

This has become Lionsgate’s highest-grossing film since 2019. Rotten Tomatoes users give “Jesus Revolution” a rating of 99%, but the critics do not, and the movie is receiving mixed reviews. The movie has grossed over $40 million and is still growing. It is just beginning to be viewed throughout the world.

Director Jon Erwin got the idea to make the movie seeing an old TIME Magazine on eBay with an image of Jesus on the front, underneath the headline, it read "The Jesus Revolution."

Erwin’s idea of making this movie was conceived almost years before making the film. Erwin "Seven years ago, I found this magazine on eBay," Erwin said as he held up the June 21, 1971 issue for the audience to see, "and I was like, 'What is this?' Jesus was on the cover of TIME Magazine, four years after there was a TIME Magazine cover that just was very bleak, it said, 'Is God Dead?' Four years later, Jesus is on the cover of TIME, and there's this 10-page article that just talks about how God swept this country at a time of despair and division, sounds pretty familiar, and I studied it for seven years. ... And we were just dreaming of being able to make this movie, and it's a miracle that Lionsgate let us make it, a movie called Jesus Revolution."

Many Christians, for years, have desired to see what has happened in past revivals, happen again, and in a recent Instagram post, Andrew Erwin wrote on a revival at Asbury University:

“God is bringing revival. It’s happening guys. It’s bigger than one group or a movie. It started at Asbury and has spread to 28 college campuses now. No super stars. No one can take credit. It’s His church spreading the good news to the broken. What a special night at @markburnett13 @romadowney house with other believers in the artist community… actors, filmmakers, musician, writers, many different types asking Jesus to do it again! Mark stopped in the middle to pray for what God is doing and that @jesusrevolutionmovie would be a part spreading it. Humbled to see God’s spirit move and know it’s so much bigger than any of us. A movement is coming y’all… a revolution. #jesusrevolution.”

We should not repeat again the mistakes but learn from them and avoid them. Unfortunately, many come into the Church quietly in sheep’s clothing, unnoticed. They are praying this film will be part of a new revival, which is why we are going to look at films presentation of its characters and events more carefully.

Roma Downey’s mix of New Age spirituality with Christianity! Roma is a graduate of John Roger's University in Santa Monica California, one of the most well-known New Age schools in the world. In her book: “ Box of Butterflies .” She quotes Catholic mystics and New Age gurus, and in them, through her popularity and the popularity of the television series: “Touched by an Angel” that entertainingly brought unbiblical teachings into the church. Yet the church is open to her views because of supporters.

What Erwin is doing is being unequally yoked, among Hollywood, this is no brainer for those willing to discern. In 'First for Women' magazine, Downey said, “I think we all have a responsibility to see God in each other. That’s how I’ve raised my children – that no matter whose face they look into, they’re looking into the face of God, who’s in all of us.” ( First for Women magazine, 03/31/14, pp. 44-45). It is known that the new age teaching theme that unites is ‘God is in everyone and in everything,’ so God is in Jesus too. This type of ecumenism does not help the cause of Jesus or the gospel but is actually detrimental to it.

The Jesus Revolution movie resonates with many (Christians) because most see it carrying a message of hope for our day – the marketing of the film suggests that the youth of today are creating the same type of division today as to what was taking place in the 1960s and 70’s, but, I would have to challenge this by saying, that it is not similar.

Back in the 1960s and 70’ people were rebelling, wanting to see more love and no war. Today, it is about hate, anger, destruction and causing war, itself; many young people have been groomed by the media and education of the day to be Marxist activists. While both generations saw division, there are Major differences between them - there are also major differences in the attitudes and mindset of the movements themselves.

We are told that this film is based on Greg Laurie’s book released in 2018 book Jesus Revolution: How God Transformed an Unlikely Generation and How He Can Do It Again Today . As we looked at it after seeing the movie we found major portions of the book's story completely changed.

The movie is produced byKingdom Story Company (formerly known as Kingdom Studios), an American film and television studio in partnership with Lionsgate specializing in the production of Christian films. That operates in Nashville, Tennessee, and Los Angeles, California.

So how accurate is this movie? Who are the main characters portrayed, did it take place as the movie depicts? This question should be asked Are they even moderately as accurate as the reality of the events that took place, or are they more as the movie depicts them to be?

After a time of research into the events being depicted in the movie, along with ourselves having been in ministry with Calvary Chapel for many years, we would say that the names of the people are correct and that the Jesus Movement did take place, but it is disturbing to see such a great amount of details have been almost entirely changed and replaced in the film.

So many details have been changed that it becomes uncomfortable to watch and difficult to understand that this movie was produced by Christians that are supposed to tell the truth. Artistic license which is how Hollywood rolls, but to say that the movie is based on true events, to change things so much, and to paint such a completely different account of history is another rendition of reality.

With Hollywood - this is business as usual, but it should not be so as a Christian movie company. As we learn about the stories, we should be confident to know that the places, and events of these people are true even if it is not said to be a documentary.

In this movie, the events have been changed to - not protect the innocent, but rather, it has been changed to protect the not so Innocent and make them appear to be the innocent, as one of the main characters is exalted.

When a person becomes a Christian they are to live in reality, they do not use their imagination to create other views of actual events that took place. It is the mind science cults that try to reinterpret or change reality to their liking.

Like so many movies in Hollywood many of the true events are exaggerated, embellished, and stretching the story that it becomes a rendition of reinterpretation for public consumption. As a movie, it is emotionally driven. What we should understand is God does not want emotion to lead or instruct believers.

The movie's intent is to capture the events that happened over 50 years ago that transformed a generation of hippies into Jesus followers, the year is 1969.

Kevin Downes reminded listeners that this event is not fiction but was an actual time in history. “Our calling is to make true stories that showcase the power of the Gospel,” he said. “(This) movie is showcasing the power of the Gospel through real-world events. ” (Quoted in Names behind new ‘Jesus Revolution’ film share stories about the Jesus Movement at Convocation February 3, 2023: By Jacob Couch)

We are addressing the inaccuracies of the movie because the 'truth matters,' especially presenting modern Christian history to the world.

History vs. Hollywood

Most of the acting is good and convincing, there are some touching moments in the film as one becomes invested in the characters and watches how things unfold. What I have as cons is not about the acting but the storyline, who said and did what, and when. based on his book of the same name, Greg Laurie seems to become the focus of the movie as Lonnie Frisbee is removed, but is any of what is told on the screen as it happened in Calvary Chapel 1969-1971?

The movie is from a script by Erwin and Jon Gunn adapted from a book by Greg Laurie and Ellen Vaughn. Gunn wrote the screenplay, and directing withGreg Laurie,Kevin Downes,

All the changes in the movie make me wonder if they are wanting to present what is true, what is factual, or mix it all up. The movie leads me to believe, that they have intentionally presented a mixture of what is true, untrue, factual, and unfactual, then mixed it with what they have created out of their imagination, labeled as an artistic license to be based on a true story.

The actors who play the characters in the movie

Kelsey Grammar says of Smith, “he's a man looking for his own faith and finds it as well, a man whose church is empty and he can't get uh traction then he's starting to think he's going to be fired from his job as a pastor and uh this hippie comes into his life and he found his new purpose and uh started a movement that is still going I mean it's extraordinary yeah it's a true story Chuck Smith is the guy, he died in 2014. (Kelsey Grammer Gets Emotional Talking About “Jesus Revolution”)

Mr. Grammar, What they told you to say or learn from them on this is simply not true. Unfortunately, you weren’t able to research Chuck and Kay's lives before taking the movie maker's interpretation of history, because you are unwittingly spreading what is inaccurate in your interviews to the world.

Chuck Smith was a successful pastor of a larger church before he took over Calvary Chapel. The movie erases this, which is an important fact in the story. Chuck Smith had pastored several other churches successfully, just before being asked to take over the small 20-member Church. Chuck Smith pastored a Church in Corona, California with a few friends, into a large thriving Church. When he told his wife Kay that he was asked to pastor the small Church of 20 people at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa that was about to close, his wife Kay said, “What are you thinking honey”? “We have never been doing so well, why would we want to go somewhere else?

What Kay didn’t know, is that Chuck before he took pastoring the closing church, was already teaching bible studies there during the week, and she understood that Chuck was being led by God to take over the small flock, Kay not only submitted agreeably, she also went on to work alongside her husband to help build the Church, and the rest is history.

The church was not empty (with 20-30 people) when Lonnie arrives as the movie portrays it. the membership was already growing to over 100 people. The point is that the Calvary Chapel movement would have happened with or without Lonnie Frisbee, or anybody else; it would have only been a matter of time, as young people were already attending there. (this was told to me by someone who was there and by Interviews of Smith posted on the web)

Besides the fact that they cast an actor that looks more like Chuck Smith near the end of his life, not in his 30s, made him look somewhat insecure, I find this to be somewhat humiliating. Chuck was youthful and vibrant, and everybody that met and knew Chuck Smith said that he was confident, strong, and a humble person.

Another point that is significant is who they chose to be Lonnie Frisbee. They wanted a known star for their film and chose Jonathan Roumie who plays Jesus in The Chosen, after all, he looks similar and he plays Jesus. What a choice! Roumie speaks highly of Frisbee whom he plays in the film. His being chosen for this part has some irony to it. Roumie talks about Lonnie, saying: “Before I started work I went over to Christ cathedral and I sat by his grave and prayed a Rosary with him . I sat down and I prayed with him.” (this being the former Crystal Cathedral of Robert Schuller)

“I even lied down because I thought it would be kind of interesting to try and connect in some way.” “I finished praying with him, and I said Lonnie, I wanna honor you with this film, and I really want to bring justice, and you know, the testament to the gifts of God's grace and the powers that you know, displayed while you were on earth, and so if this is a good idea that I do this film have somebody gimme me a sign, Give me a sign, have God give me a sign . And the minute the words left my mouth, behind was a door opened to the cathedral and this giant chord rang out for about five seconds and then…. So I heard that and said ok thanks for that” ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GC_YkOz37Ng 13.20)

This is what the Bible calls Necromancy and it is forbidden. You would think as Christians making this movie, someone would have something to say on this, especially Greg Laurie who is an evangelist, and has become personal friends with Roumie, an ardent Roman Catholic. Where are all the Christians involved in this movie on this matter of forbidden necromancy that directly involves one of the main characters in the movie?

Roumie further says, he saw this “as another opportunity that Lonnie was sort of from beyond the grave giving his blessing on what we were doing.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GC_YkOz37Ng 13.20)

I would think Roumie insisting on a sign like this is a sign for all Christians to beware. And what of those who chose him to be in the film in the first place; (who are they) and what do they believe if this is okay with them?

Speaking of those who were there, the Jesus movement of that time was not exclusive to Calvary Chapel though they were a major influence. There were many other individuals on the West Coast which spread throughout the United States, that had significant evangelistic success at the same time as Calvary Chapel.

It is understood that this is supposed to be from Greg Laurie’s perspective because of his being with the early Calvary Chapel movement. What is true is that there was only one known hippie preacher that was put forward emblematic for a younger generation at that time (who were anti-establishment and tradition) to come to church. The young people saw one of their own and were willing to listen. Lonnie was gun-ho from the beginning with barely any knowledge of the Word and God. something which is not discussed at all.

In an interview concerning Lonnie Frisbee with Bravely Daily, McCorkle revealed why the Christian filmmakers chose not to dive into Frisbee's complicated sexuality, saying” "There was a lot of talk about it," McCorkle shared. "During this era that we shot, we felt very very compelled and almost convicted to just be with Lonnie where he was at and not try to bring in other things."

Of course, these “other things” would have discolored his character and there would be no story as they portrayed in the movie. Regardless of this, the Internet has exploded with the stories they did not include, some true, some not true. The emphasis on Frisbee being the star of the movie (along with Greg Laurie) by denying his weaknesses and struggles with immorality is not honest in presenting modern Christian history of the year 1969 to the public.

How many events can be changed in a movie before it is no longer considered as presenting what took place? It’s so disappointing to see the purposeful changes that are supposed to be based on Greg Laurie's book in the movie. Why change the details of real-life events that have been told by the original eyewitnesses themselves? This becomes more than artistic license but changes reality itself, especially when some of these important events are nowhere mentioned in Laurie’s book.

The movie

The movie basically begins with a Reporter interviewing people at Pirates Cove where the baptisms occur, saying to Smith, “ Some say this is the end of an era, There are others that that say this is the beginning of something new maybe you can help explain it?

Chuck: “ it's not something to explain, its something to be experienced, what you are seeing is a symbol of new life. Every regret, every doubt is all washed away forever.”

I don’t see Chuck Smith answering like this, I never heard it; of course, it can be explained by the gospel, (and would be by him) upon belief in Christ, by simply believing in the good news of who Christ is, what He has done for us, those that are being baptized are a response to this. But from what I gather from this statement the movie presents baptism as the cleansing.

In the movie's next scene, we see Chuck Smith in his home with his daughter Jan, in a discussion about hippies where she says to her father, “ You know nothing about, you never even met a hippie.”

Chuck: “Tell you what when God walks in here and brings me a hippie, I’ll ask him what it's all about because I do not understand.”

Daughter: “Maybe that’s why your church is so empty

But again in real life, the church was not empty as the movie portrays it. Even before Lonnie Frisbee showed up at his door (1968) the small church that Chuck Smith took over called Calvary Chapel nearly quadrupled in size.

Chuck was called by God and led by faith to take leadership of the small Calvary Chapel church in Costa Mesa California. Kay Smith (Chuck's wife) was encouraging her husband to reach out to the young people that were being negatively influenced by the hippie drug culture of their day. Young people were already being drawn to the growing Calvary Chapel after Chuck Smith assumed its leadership.

Let me also point out; Calvary in its beginning was not a Smith/ Frisbee church enterprise to success as portrayed in the movie.

Chuck was the only Pastor in those early days, he taught the Bible by going through it systematically, verse by verse. Chuck allowed Frisbee to do the work of an evangelist for a short time and was later put on staff. But, when Frisbee began to do the Pentecostalism that he had picked up from others (like Kathryn Kuhlman and other hyper-Pentecostals he learned to mimic by going to their meetings) Chuck did not approve of, nor endorse this and Chuck had to talk with Lonnie.

But when Frisbee continued and began to artificially inflate the hyper-spiritual (which is briefly later seen in the movie why he leaves) practice of telling people of this or that in their life, and laying hands on them to be slain, it was with that and other things, that Chuck Smith had decided to let Lonnie go.

Frisbee was acting out and practicing that which false teachers like William Branham, Kathryn Kuhlman, and others were doing before him, It should be noted that Frisbee was engaged in what Benny Hinn would also begin to practice and inflate a few years after, he also being influenced by K. Kuhlman.

In the movie and real life, Lonnie meets Chuck in 1968 at his house. The movie has his daughter pick Frisbee up on the road while he is walking, and having her stay up all night talking to him; the actual real story is that John her boyfriend had picked up Frisbee, seeing he was dressed as a hippie John had told Frisbee that there was somebody that he wanted him to meet, and he took Frisbee to Chuck's house.

The actual story, “Their college-age daughter was dating a guy who’d come to know Christ out of the Haight-Ashbury scene in San Francisco. So Kay asked the boyfriend if he could bring a real live hippie over to the Smiths’ house. “We just want to understand their world,” she said. “We want to know how they think, what they believe, and how we can help.”

Soon after that, the Smiths’ doorbell rang. Their daughter’s boyfriend was standing on the porch along with a slender young man with long, brown hair, a mustache and beard, and a linen tunic. He had flowers in his hair and tiny, tinkling bells on his cuffs. He had a huge smile on his face. “Come in!” said Kay. “This is Lonnie,” the boyfriend said. “Lonnie Frisbee. I was driving the other day, and I always try to pick up hippies who’re hitchhiking so I can tell them about Jesus. So I picked up this guy here, and next thing I know, he’s telling me that he hitchhikes around the area so he can tell the people who give him rides all about Jesus. He’s our brother in Christ.” (from Greg Laurie's book) (see "Chuck Smith Interview: Icons of Faith Series with Greg Laurie" on YouTube https://youtu.be/a64YADx_Ymk )

In Greg Laurie’s book which the movie is supposed to be based on, Jan’s Boyfriend John, who Chuck said was a real soul winner picked up Lonnie on the road, but in the movie they have Jan picking him up, Why? Because it goes with the theme of making Chuck look somewhat disconnected from his family. Artistic license (maybe, or something else). This underlying theme of Chuck throughout the movie is on purpose and I find it disturbing (though at times he is presented correctly as he should)

In his advertisement for the movie, Greg Laurie says that the gospel is all through the movie, however, I’m sorry but it is not. Jesus' name is proclaimed but the gospel is spoken but a few times (twice in the first half by Lonnie at the baptism and Chuck at the Church at communion, who says thank you for shedding your blood for us, which cleanses us from all our sins.) The gospel is not fully, but only partially given.

Greg Laurie is one of the primary overseers of this film, and not having the full gospel put in consistently is intentional, maybe not to offend. Laurie knows the essentials and the priority of Jesus is presented as God in the flesh who died and rose again from the dead.

By not giving the millions of non-believers going to see the movie a full opportunity to hear who and why Jesus came to earth in the first place to be saved as a result of watching it is very disappointing. What a shame, not to put the most important message in a film that is supposed to be about Jesus, that millions of people would be watching worldwide.

p.2 Review of Jesus revolution- What is and is not true, or accurate



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