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p.2 Review of the Jesus Revolution movie -Details matter, the Movies accuracy of its important and crucial parts

In this next section, we are looking at some of the major events in the movie that are uniquely connected with one another which can’t be substantiated by Greg Laurie's book (of the same name) or real life.

The movie often goes back and forth switching scenes, with its main characters. So I need to skip parts that are sequential to bring these particular events into focus.

Greg at the time is going to military school. After school, we see him with a camera filming through a fence on a campus,. A Young person comes over asking him if he’s a narc? Greg: What. “I’m kiddin with you man, I’m Charlie nice to met ya. asks “Whatare you looking at, let me guess. Yup, you want me to call her over here? Greg says no, but Charlie calls her over anyway.

Charlie tells Cathe, “I think there’s a guy that wants to meet you, he’s a little strange so go easy. Cathe: calls him square. Charlie suggest inviting Greg with them this weekend. Greg asks What’s this weekend . He is told, “ Only the largest gathering of truth-tellers in southern cal. Charlie: “tells him Timothy Leary the prophet himself is going to be there, the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin’s coming, it's all happening.”

His mom had sent Greg off to military school. In the movie, Greg Laurie is attending his Junior Reserve Officers' Training Corps class when Cathe (who will become his future wife) and Charlie and the hippie friends whom he recently met knock on the window for him. How this happened seems questionable since it is not in his book,. and we find that he did not know Cathe until after he is a believer. Greg stands up in class and the officer says to him, if you leave he will not be allowed back, Greg says fine with me. He leaves the reserves class to join his new friends to experiment with the hippie lifestyle. They bring him to the rock concert with Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, featuring Timothy Leary who is preaching the experience of LSD for self-discovery.

This is supposed to take place in Laguna just before Greg is baptized, (1969) at least that is how the succession of events takes place in the movie.

Newport Pop Festival came to his area at the beginning of August 1968. The Grateful Dead was among the many bands but there was no Janis Joplin, nor Timothy Leary as the movie powerfully portrays (which did not happen at Laguna, nor did Greg Laurie attend a concert with Timothy Leary speaking on stage at this time. His book does not mention this at all) Timothy Leary on stage was at the gathering of the Tribes for a 'Human Be-In,' Golden Gate Park, San Francisco, CA, January 14, 1967.

The only time we found the Grateful Dead on stage with Timothy Leary was at Stony Brook, New York, on Jan. 7, 1969. Leary was also with Alice Cooper / Arthur Brown Oct 31, 1970, in Eastown Theater Detroit, Michigan. From looking into concerts the only time Janis Joplin accompanied The Grateful Dead was at the Fillmore West on June 7th, 1969, not at Laguna Beach; (Janis Joplin died on Oct. 4, 1970), nor with Timothy Leary.

In the Jesus Revolution movie, Timothy Leary is on stage: “Everyone is accepted here we love each other freely and without discrimination, there are no facades, no lies, no masks. Just a relentless pursuit of the truth by those who have expanded their consciousness.” The psychedelic experience is a confrontation with the divine, it’s a spiritual awakening. You come back and you define God the best you can. So turn on, tune in… and drop out.”

This is something he would say. But this movie is not focused on certain actual details of its real-life characters. Lonnie Frisbee was a real person as is Greg Laurie, but did the events occur the way the movie portrays them?

In the movie Greg is in the van afterwards with his new friends he went to the concert with. They appear to all be tripping. Greg and others are telling Charlie to slow down, as he is driving fast and erratically. Greg is scared and starts screaming slow down Charlie, he finally does and they are all laughing, except Greg. Greg jumps out of the car and starts wandering around in the pouring rain, repeating ‘I don’t want to die, ’out loud.

He then meets Lonnie in the pouring rain (this is not in Greg Laurie's book nor in Lonnie's book; is this left out? Presumably it did not happen but it does make for a great story of a divine appointment). Greg says to him I could’ve died, Lonnie tells him, “ your alive I promise you; Lonnie says that he heard him as “You ran past my house” screaming (Greg is apparently in a different location than Costa Mesa where Lonnie lived).

Again this meeting would be called a divine appointment but is not in Greg’s book, which makes it an made-up emotional story to be connected on the screen but did not happen.

It is later Greg sees his new hippie friends are a danger to him, being irresponsible (certainly bad drivers);along with the drama of Cathe's sister choking near death from drugs, that Greg realizes this is not what he wants to be part of.

The movie shows Chuck and only Lonnie baptizing (there were others, not just them). Here is a clip where Smith speaks the gospel to explain what baptism is about .

The movies baptism scene

Greg Laurie says in his book “I accepted Christ on my high school campus, and I went to a church called Calvary Chapel” but that is not how the movie portrays it.

In the movie we see Greg being hesitant to be baptized, as he thinks it may just be another thing he’s going through. His girlfriend Cathe convinces him if he wants to be with her this is the way she is going.

Chuck baptizes Cathe, Greg’s girlfriend first, on the beach, Greg claps and now it’s his turn, he is walking out to Lonnie in the water as he meets Cathe going back to the beach, he asks her “How did that feel?” (baptism is done by faith)

Greg meets Lonnie again in the water. Lonnie: “Hi, Greg right? Yea. Lonnie;I have been praying for this moment since I first met you. Have you decided? Greg: um I don’t know. Lonnie, you want to decide right now? In an immediate decision, Greg says; yea, yea I do . Lonnie: then pray with me. (grabs Greg’s head toward his) Lord Jesus I know I’m a sinner, ( Laurie repeats each portion Lonnie said ) you are the savior of the world. I ask you to come into my life. I repent from all my sins and I accept you as my lord and savior, my God and my friend, in Jesus' name, amen .’’ Lonnie says I baptize you in the name of the Father, of the Son, and the Holy Spirit . When he puts Greg under it’s as if he is dying underwater, sinking deeper and deeper looking up he sees the light of the sun shimmering on the surface. After nearly 20 seconds he is so far down that he swims to the surface to breathe gasping for air, he embraces Lonnie. Lonnie asks him how do you feel, and he says alive. So Greg is saved by baptism?

This presentation of believing and being alive at baptism borders on teaching baptismal regeneration, being saved by baptism. His baptism is so overdramatized, as the Holy Spirit has him born again.

The missing part from Lonnie is the resurrection which is a necessity in the gospel message for salvation. So far this is the only near full presentation of the gospel but it did not happen as the movie tells it.

At this point it is needed to interject what Christianity teaches; that water baptism is always a believer's baptism; it is a symbol of our previously receiving Christ, and what He has done for us, It can only be given and received upon belief from the heart. Water baptism is simply a public outward expression of the inward work that Jesus has already done in the person who believes, trusts in, and follows Him. It becomes a person’s public declaration of identification with Christ.

The problem again is what is recorded in Laurie’s book on his baptism. It occurs at the same Pirates Cove in the movie but he does not say by whom, he insinuates it's Lonnie.

A bearded pastor in a flowing tunic, sopping wet, dunks the young man down in the cold water for a long moment. It’s as if he’s been buried. Then the hippie pastor raises the kid up, and the teenager bursts out of the sea, water streaming from his face and hair and shoulders. His heart is on his face, and he is weeping. Joy. Release. Freedom. The first thing he gasps, though, is strange: I’m alive!”

Also “after Cathe’s first trip to Calvary Chapel, she was baptized at Pirate’s Cove in Corona del Mar. So it was not at the same time as Greg’s baptism as the movie portrays it. In fact, in Greg’s book, he states that she met him for the first time at his Bible study at Calvary, a completely different story than the movie. That “Gradually Cathe and her sisters started hanging out with Greg after Bible study.” It’s later on, after they are both believers that Greg invites Cathe to drive with him to a Calvary Chapel summer camp. This becomes a major change from what is presented in the storyline. What happened in the movie was not how it happened in real life.

So the events of them together at the concert or anything prior do not seem to be accurate, at least according to Greg’s words from his book.

One after another the movie presents touching scenes that elicit deep emotions. But did it happen this way? Why does the movie present the baptism as his spiritual birth when Greg did not actually get saved at his baptism but at Harbor High School from Lonnie at seventeen,1970? Again I have to ask why change all of this? (more dramatization, artistic license? Or just plain combining events of one place with another)

The movie makes it look like he meets Lonnie right after the fiasco in the van and goes to his and Cathe’s baptism soon afterward, which would be significant if it took place like this. However, there is nothing of this mentioned in Gregs’ book.

In Greg’s book Lonnie came to speak at Greg Laurie's high school, he “talked about how Jesus was the Son of God, that He had died for everyone’s sins, and that He had risen from the dead. For the first time in his life, Greg made a personal connection. He realized that Jesus had died for his sins, and that Jesus was alive and speaking to Greg through this hippie evangelist .” (Jesus Revolution by Greg Laurie)

However, Lonnie describes it quite differently, Greg is a mocker “ at Harbor High School, Greg Laurie got converted when he was struck by the power of God. He was struck down a mocker, but raised up a son of God. It was a very powerful Saul of Tarsus type of conversion with an experience literally from the sky. He became my little brother and spiritual son from that day forward. We were together almost every day while God had him in my school. Greg knew my schedule and followed me everywhere. He spent time with my family and came to my meetings.”

From understanding what Frisbee did often, this means Greg was ‘slain in the Spirit.’ The movie shows them as friends which is true but some of the actual parts are missing. What is interesting is that Lonnie’s conversion up in the Canyon is also conveyed like a Saul of Tarsus conversion, which it is not. Most are told Lonnie was a hippie who became a Christian, but Lonnie says he was a Christian who became a hippie for a short time.

This movie does give a few general events accurately but does not portray certain other details of its real-life characters and instead invents other details inserted into their stories. What we have are real names and partial or made-up stories to enhance the theme of the movie The Jesus Revolution. a movie that is presenting a Jesus revival to the public. This does not sit well when as believers we are told to speak the truth, that no lie is of the truth.

P3. Further contradictions in the movie to real life story


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