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A Movie for Our Time | Ed Stetzer Interviews Greg Laurie on ‘Jesus Revolution’

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
March 11, 2023 3:03 am

A Movie for Our Time | Ed Stetzer Interviews Greg Laurie on ‘Jesus Revolution’

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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March 11, 2023 3:03 am

In this riveting conversation, author and radio host Ed Stetzer interviews Greg Laurie on his testimony and the film, Jesus Revolution. Pastor Greg shares his own story of coming to faith and they discuss parallels between the 1960s and our very own cultural moment. 

They also answer questions about the film and talk a little bit about using it as an evangelistic tool to reach friends and family. 

This interview is a selection from the conversation that took place on Ed Stetzer Live, heard on Moody Radio.

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Let's get on to our guest because he has a fascinating moment right now. So again, let me tell you about Greg Laurie. So Greg is the senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship. It's got campuses in California and Hawaii.

And by the way, fun fact, people in California think of Hawaii the way people in Chicago think of Florida, but that's another story for another day. Anyway, in 1990, Greg began holding large-scale evangelistic events called Harvest Crusade. Some of you probably have seen those. Almost 10 million people have participated in those, and Greg has a weekly television program, a nationally syndicated radio program, A New Beginning. This month, the movie Jesus Revolution has been released, which is the story of Greg and his wife's life and the Jesus movement of the sixties and the seventies.

And it's actually based on Greg's book of the same title. So the last time I think Greg and I were together, we were actually going to get together this morning, but I had to come back to Chicagoland where I am right now broadcasting from the studios of the Billy Graham Center. But we were supposed to be together this morning. He's graciously joined us from his home as well.

But the last time we were together was actually at Biola University. So we were doing a reunion of the Jesus people movement. Greg and I and several others were speakers. We had them on the radio.

We did those things as well. And we were talking about... He kind of told me this movie was coming.

So we're all super excited. Again, it's based on his book, but it is a kind of a cinematic telling of that. So at the Wheaton College Billy Graham Center, we did a huge research project, 60 what are called oral interviews. Greg was one of them, but lots of other people who were there told the story of the Jesus people movement. And he kept telling me he's a major motion picture coming, but I'm an academic nerd.

So having 60 hours of archival footage is, to me, a major motion picture. But now he's with us and the movie's out. And I'm just so glad he could fit us in, because he and Kelsey Grammer have been all over everywhere. So Greg, thanks so much for taking the time this Saturday to join us. Ed, thank you for having me on. Great to be here with you. Super.

I imagine you're tired. You've been going to premieres and you've been going to news programs. And like I said, I've seen Kelsey Grammer and more. And so, okay, so for some people... Now, for me, this is like... For you, it's like where you came to Christ. For me, the people who shared the gospel with me were part of the charismatic movement of the Episcopal Church, but they were kind of leftover hippies 10 plus years after the telling of this story. But I still trace my spiritual heritage to the Jesus people movement, because that's where they came to faith, and that's where you came to faith. So the movie tells part of the story, and you can start there.

But I want you to start telling us a little bit about the journey, how it begins, how the Lord works in Greg's life, and how ultimately the Jesus people movement births. Well, it started... It's hard to pinpoint the exact day it started, or not day, but month or year, probably around 69. For me, it all happened in 1970. So I was on my own trajectory. My mother was married and divorced seven times. She was a raging alcoholic, and so I had to grow up really quickly as a young boy and be responsible for her. We lived for a time on the East Coast and the West Coast. We lived for a little bit of time over in Hawaii because of the various husbands.

She would marry. So when I got into my teen years and I started to experiment with drugs, because it's the late 60s now, and the messaging is turn on, tune in, drop out. And I thought, yeah, maybe this is the answer. And so I began to smoke marijuana pretty much every day, and I was taking LSD usually on the weekends. And for me, I'm only 17 years old, but it was like I was already disillusioned with the choices I'd made. I'd looked at my mother's lifestyle, this drinking, partying kind of life, and I thought, that's not the life for me. I looked at my own poor choices leading me to drug use, and I could see how it was sapping my creativity, how it was having a destructive effect on my life in every way.

So it was almost like a process of elimination. It's not here. It's not there.

Where is it? Like, I was literally looking for the meaning of life at a very early age. And so I transferred to a high school called Harbor High School in Newport Beach. I'd been going to another high school called Corona Del Mar High School, which was sort of a high school with a lot of very affluent young kids attending.

Harbor was a little more, you know, a lot of people went to Harbor from different backgrounds, but the thing on Harbor was a big drug culture over there. And you could pretty much get high and no one would bother you. So I thought, oh, this is the school for me. So I transferred over with the sole intention of becoming a different person. I thought, I want to change my life.

I want to go to a school where nobody knows me, and I want to become a different person. Little did I know that that's what was going to happen, but not in the way I thought. So I was using drugs there and living that bad life. And one of my friends warned me, hey, Greg, be careful. There's a lot of Jesus freaks in this campus. And there were very outspoken Christians. And then they said to me, you know, they're everywhere. And I said, well, don't worry about it.

The last thing Greg Laurie will ever do is become a Jesus freak. But one day a friend of mine was talking to this girl. She was kind of attractive. It's not that she was incredibly beautiful, but there was something that drew me to her.

And I walked over waiting for a break in the conversation. And I'm just kind of looking at her and I see her textbooks for class and a notebook. And then I noticed one of those Bibles that have, or one of those books that have a black cover and gold pages of Bible, of course. And I thought, oh no, she's a Jesus freak.

What a waste of a perfectly cute girl. Why would she be into that? But then later that day, I'm walking across my high school campus and the Christians are meeting on the front lawn. Now I just found this little detail out recently after reading the autobiography of Lonnie Frisbee. So Lonnie would visit this campus. He was a preacher over at Calvary Chapel, long haired guy, represented in the movie and played by Jonathan Rumi.

Just great performance. But anyway, normally they met in the science room, but it was really hot that day. So they decided to go out on the front lawn. If they'd not made that decision, I would have never found this group. So I'm walking across the campus and there are these Christians singing these songs about God. And I sat down close enough to sort of eavesdrop on the conversation, but not so close that someone would think of as becoming a Christian. And I just looked at them. And the problem was I knew a couple of them. I used to hang out with them. I knew they were normal people.

Why would they be into this? I still don't understand it. That girl that I'd seen earlier was there. And then Lonnie stands up to speak and he looks like a guy that just walked out of the pages of the Bible.

His hair is long to his shoulders, parted down the middle beard, kind of a tunic-y type shirt. And I don't remember most of what he said, but one statement hit me in like a lightning bolt. He said, Jesus said, you're for me or you're against me. And I looked around at the Christians and I thought, well, I'm not one of them. Does that mean I'm against Jesus? I mean, I always believed Jesus was out there somewhere. I'd seen all of his movies, but I'd never been to church. I knew nothing. I'd never read the Bible. And then he said, if you wanna accept Christ, get up and walk forward right now.

And some kids get up and walk forward. And I thought to myself, there's no way I would ever do that. And next thing I knew, I was up there praying with these kids.

And that was the day I asked Christ to come into my life, and it was in 1970. Wow. Wow. What a great beginning.

What a great story. And of course, the book, the movie is based on the book and we're gonna talk some about how that kind of leads to these conversations. By the way, I should mention as well, I've just looked up here on Deadline. I don't know much about movies, but here's what Deadline is saying about the movie right now. It says, Lionsgate Kingdom Story Company, faith-based title, Jesus Revolution, respectively open to $21.1 million, originally projection the high teens.

So, an estimated 14.5 million projected single digits. So, great. Big news. People are listening. We're gonna continue our conversation and take your calls about Jesus Revolution in just a moment. Stay with us.

Hey, we're back at Central Line. We're talking to Greg Laurie. The little promo we did that moment ago, we talked about reappearing church for Mark Sayers. That's a pre-recorded thing.

I'm not pre-recorded right now if you're listening Saturday at our normal time. But it's interesting. Even there, it talks about some of the spiritual renewal things.

Mark wrote about that. We've all been sort of hopeful towards a spiritual renewal. And I often tell people that in our lifetime, in my lifetime, I was born in the late 60s, in our lifetime, we have seen spiritual outpouring. We've seen a spiritual awakening. And again, we're walking through times right now that are tumultuous and turbulent.

I mean, the issues are different, but not totally uncommon. History doesn't always repeat itself, Mark Twain once wrote, but it tends to rhyme. So here we are in a time that feels a lot like maybe the late 60s, early 70s, different issues, but a lot of tumult, a lot of turbulence. And we're praying for such an awakening.

And what a great time for this movie to come out. So this, I mean, the Jesus Revolution is based on your book, tells it through kind of your real life experience, points us to some of these things that take place to the Jesus movement. So we started with kind of your conversion experience. And I love that.

I never get over the fact that I was dead in my trespasses and sins and Jesus made me alive. But then, I mean, at some point you're like, something's going on here. It's more than just a bunch of hippies. I mean, I love the fact that you have hair in the movie, for those of you who don't know Greg.

It's been a long time since he possessed such follicles. But at some point you realize something significant is going on here. My heart has changed, but there's a movement.

Tell us when you start to see what's going on. Well, when I became a Christian, so I'm brand new in the faith, that weekend I actually went off to do drugs. No one told me what to do. No one gave me a Bible.

No one explained it. So I prayed this prayer at lunchtime on my high school campus and had my plans for the weekend. So I go out there with my low life druggie friends and I had a bag of marijuana and I was packing my pipe, getting ready to smoke it. And that same still small voice that spoke to me only hours earlier simply said, you don't need that anymore. And so I said, okay, God, I don't understand this.

I don't know what this is, but if you're real, you got to make yourself real to me in a way that I can understand. And I threw away my pipe. I threw away that weed, which is a big thing for me back then. And then, so I go back to school and some guy comes up to me, his name is Mark.

He says, hi, my name is Mark. I saw you accepted Christ the other day, last Friday. And I was kind of defensive.

Yeah. So he says, well, I want to take you to church. And the only Christians I've been exposed to were the kids on my high school campus and this little Bible study. I said, oh no, that's okay. And he goes, no, you need to come to church with me.

No, I don't really want to. He goes, where do you live? And I ended up giving him my address and he shows up at my house.

I really don't want to go. He picks me up and he takes me to Calvary Chapel. So I walk into this packed out little chapel. And the first thing that happens is some girl that I don't know comes up and throws her arms around me and says, God bless you, brother, welcome. And I'm thinking, what is going on here?

And all these people are singing these songs and they're like, they've got their arms locked around each other and they're swaying back and forth. And honestly, Ed, it was kind of overwhelmed me. And let me explain. I came from a home where my mother never told me she loved me. She never hugged me. So to be in an environment where people are loving each other, hugging each other, actually was so foreign to me, I didn't want to be in it. I was uncomfortable. And so I was in, I realized the place was packed. There were no seats. Well, there's no seats. So I'll just go. And someone in the front row from my little high school Bible study recognizes me, gestures for me to come. And I joined them and I'm sitting in the front row now of this church with all these people worshiping and it's just washing over me.

I've never seen anything like this before. And then out walks Chuck Smith. Now up to this point, I'd seen Lonnie, this really cool hippie preacher.

Chuck walks out. He's a middle-aged guy. He's not a hipster kind of a preacher.

He just sits on a stool. He opens up the Bible and I'm immediately resistant because I was always having problems with authority figures and adult figures. A lot of that was due to my mom marrying all these guys and expecting me to call them dad. So I just was rebellious against adults in general and got into a lot of trouble because of it. Out walks this adult.

And I look at him and I think, this can't be very good. And he begins to speak and man, he won me over in a couple of minutes because his teaching made sense. It was understandable. First time I'd ever heard the Bible before. Well, I didn't know it, but I had literally walked into the middle of a spiritual awakening. And it wasn't until later I realized, oh, well, that was an actual revival. In fact, it was the last great spiritual awakening in America, the Jesus movement. And it was not until some time later that I realized how significant that particular time was. Fascinating.

And I think that when you're in something, you think it's normal. This is what Christianity must be like, but it wasn't. And we long for that again. It'd been interesting to see people talk about the Asbury revival and what does that mean? I think we're all sort of hungry, Greg. We wanna see the advance of the gospel. We wanna see men and women changed by the power of the gospel. We wanna see our nation and the world transformed by the gospel. I do wonder when you wrote the book and then you see this movie come out in the time, I mean, gosh, movies don't happen in three weeks. This has been going on for a while.

I often... I do a seminar for pastors and church leaders and I contrast 1968, which is, I think, when Lonnie... When Chuck's daughter introduced him to Lonnie with 68, I think those... But somewhere around there.

Yeah, that's about right. You know, 68, there was a pandemic in 1968. There was called Hong Kong flu, age two, we'd say now.

There were protests, there were riots, there were assassinations. And here we are in the 38th month of 2020, it does feel like we're in the middle of a cultural breakdown. Do you have any hope that we might see something again like a Jesus people movement today, or do we just need to stay faithful and continue to make incremental gospel progress, or could we hope for a breakthrough, an awakening like that?

Well, I think both. I think we should press on and just do what we do as Christians and fulfill the great commission to the best of our ability. But having said that, I have hope for another great spiritual awakening. And I would add to your comparison to 1968, a drug epidemic that we're seeing repeated today now with fentanyl and meth and other kinds of drugs that are just destroying lives. And also the fear of nuclear war. We were talking about that before.

We were talking about that back in the day. I remember when I was a kid, we had bomb drills where we would hide under our desks in case a nuclear bomb went off. And I'm thinking, would a desk really... Yeah, exactly. That three-quarter inch press board will save you. But those desks were very sturdy back then.

They're probably still around today somewhere. Probably. But with all that's going on in Ukraine and with Putin's threats and with the talk of Armageddon, when the president uses the word Armageddon in a sentence, that's alarming. So yes, there are parallels, but I do see hopeful signs.

I mean, just in the last few weeks. So we have the Super Bowl and we have these ads for He Gets Us. People may take issue with some aspects of that campaign, but I love the fact that Jesus was being talked about on Super Bowl Sunday. Then we have this movie that's coming out. And by the way, this movie has already been seen by 1 million people.

It just opened a few days ago. This movie is really on fire right now. And the best kind of promotion for it is word of mouth. And it got a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. People love it. Some critics like it, some critics don't like it.

Doesn't matter what the critics say. This movie is connecting because it's a real life story. And I think it connects to people of all ages, of all backgrounds, men and women, boys and girls, people connect to the story. But I think what's happening in Asbury is a very hopeful thing. And I think people maybe overly mystify this concept of revival. Revival can be local, it can be churchwide, it can be citywide, statewide, nationwide. It can even be just something that happens personally. But an awakening, a big awakening, like we've seen four great awakenings in America, well, time will tell if we're having that.

I don't know. But I think what is happening in Asbury or has happened is revival-like without question. And there was a live feed for a while and I would watch it. I see a lot of young people worshiping God, repenting of their sins. I saw someone get up there on the stage and talk about the importance of sharing the gospel and obeying the Word of God.

And I'm thinking, okay, this all looks good to me. So I think people that want to play armchair quarterback and nitpick who haven't been there and haven't seen it, why would we not be totally supportive of and thankful for a bunch of college students with all they're going through today, with their escalated suicide rates and their depression, especially as you look at that new CDC report that just came out about how sad and depressed teens are, and especially young girls. Why would we not rejoice in something like that? I, for one, thank God for it and I hope we see more of it. It'll be interesting to see, this is the first Twitter age revival or outpouring.

Yes. And it'd be interesting to see... Greg Laurie, he got saved, but he went and did drugs the next day and you'd be all over Twitter and it would be... I can't imagine the Lonnie Frisbee comments or the Chuck Smith comments. So yeah, I wrote a tweet, just leave these kids alone.

Let them lean in to... And at the same time, our mutual friend, Nick Hall's doing a meeting at the Roop Arena in Lexington tomorrow on February 26th, which Lexington just north of Wilmore. So we're praying, we wanna see that kind of outpouring. But I do wanna encourage people to see the movie. Again, the movie is called Jesus Revolution. And again, it's based on the book that Greg Laurie wrote by the same name. And I think it's an important conversation to say, what would an awakening look like today? And it's interesting because that was kind of the hippies and Lonnie Frisbee is just such a fascinating character.

And you can't tell the whole story in a two-hour film, but there's such a fascinating journey that goes there. But he was this hippie. And when you look today, who were the hippies today? Where would be those kind of marginalized places where we might see some sort of spiritual outbreak?

And what do you think? Well, I think the hippies are just young people. Not all of the kids were hippies. The funny thing is I grew my hair out after I became a Christian. No, really?

Oh yeah. I had kind of just sort of surfer hair, parted on the side. But I noticed that all these people had long hair.

So I grew my hair out and grew a beard out. And there were people that were very conservative looking. We have one friend that was there and she had her hair nicely quaffed in her little very preppy type outfit. So it wasn't just hippies.

It would be a businessman sitting next to a hippie, sitting next to a nurse, sitting next to a student. So it was really very diverse. So I think it was largely a youth awakening.

There's no question about that. Older folks were involved. Older folks were there to help. In fact, Ed, if there had not been a Chuck Smith, I fear to think of what it could have been if Lonnie Frisbee was running the whole thing. But if there had not been a Lonnie Frisbee, I don't think he would have had that explosion. When Lonnie and Chuck met, it was like nitro met glycerin. It was something about the two of them together.

They brought out the best in each other. You know, I think Chuck kind of restrained Lonnie from his more charismatic impulses. But Lonnie, being the evangelist he was, had such an appeal to young people.

And so I think it was a dynamic combination that frankly did not last that long. And I read people there, everybody likes to opine about Lonnie. So I knew Lonnie. I came to Christ when he was preaching. He baptized me.

And I've read his biographies, his autobiographies. And so, you know, he, I've read it, heard it, said, oh, he was pushed out. He was pushed out. He left of his own accord to move to Florida. He was there for maybe a year and a half in the Jesus movement. And he wanted to work in his marriage among other things. But so he kind of was there for the explosion. Then he moved on, but then Chuck raised up other young men to start preaching. And I was fortunate to be one of those young men.

Fascinating. We're going to continue our conversation with Greg Laurie. We see your calls. Glenn, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, going to come to you in a minute. We're going to get Ken in Delray Beach. We're going to get Gal in Georgia. We got lots of calls coming up on the line, but you can still call in as well.

Our number is 877-548-3675. Talking to Greg Laurie about Jesus revolution, 877-548-3675. Hey, we're back at Stetser Live. Continue our conversation with Greg Laurie about the movie, Jesus Revolution. I encourage you to see it this weekend. It just came out last night and you can see it today.

You can see it tonight and more. Actually, I got a caller on the line who actually saw the movie and he's kind of maybe a fact checker. We might actually call him a fact checker. His name is Brian Broderson.

He's the pastor of Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, Chuck Smith's successor there. And we were, so fun fact, Brian and Greg and I were supposed to all be together at the K-Wave studios until I had to make this emergency trip back. Brian, you are on the air and you've got your own radio show.

So does Greg. I don't even know. Like we're three radio show hosts here. We're on K-Wave, which is right there in the campus of Calvary Chapel. So Brian, thanks for calling in. I mean, so how much of this, like when do you become part of this conversation, this story?

What's the timeline? Well, it's great to be with you guys. I was hoping that we could have been together today at K-Wave studio, but obviously, Ed, you had to go do some plumbing. It is true.

Yeah. I've been listening in great conversation. I came in a few years later, so I came in about mid 1970s, 1975. So I kind of missed that whole, you know, first part of which Greg was obviously a real part.

But there was still plenty of stuff going on a few years later, you know, that brought me and a whole group of my friends into the faith really as well. And when did you guys meet? Did Greg have hair when you met him the first time?

Not much. I was already combing it over long. Like I was doing what is called a comb over. So when I think when I met Brian, I was already in the comb over face.

No, no, no. Well, you know, you still have long hair because I think it was 70. I think it was like 1976. I think you were doing you were doing like Monday night, I think. Yes. And I was coming to Monday nights occasionally in 1976 when you were doing that. And you did have hair and a beard then. Yes, that's so great. That's so great. And here we are.

We were a few decades after after that as well. Brian, I wonder you saw you saw the movie. We need it. We need an endorsement of the movie right here.

And any question you have that flows from the conversation today? Yeah, I did see the movie actually. Greg invited me a few months ago to see the movie when it wasn't totally completed. And then the other night, I went to see it with a friend. And yeah, I just I loved it. I just feel like it is. Greg and I were having a little text conversation last night. I just think the timing of it is really extraordinary because, of course, you know, John Irwin had a plan much earlier to, you know, do the movie and get it out there.

And then the pandemic came and shut everything down. But I I just feel like there's a providential thing here for the timing of the release of the film. So, yeah, I think it's great.

You know, you know, lots of... I was saying to you last night, Greg, it's fascinating to me how many unbelievers are going to see the film, and not even being taken by their Christian friends. They're just simply... there's an interest, and they're going, and I think that is fantastic. Yeah, maybe they went to go see Cocaine Bear and got redirected by the... I love the fact that you're, like, taking on Cocaine Bear. Cocaine Bear was a little ahead, but I think we're gonna we're gonna beat Cocaine Bear.

I think ultimately we will, yes. So good. Well, Brian, thank you. Thank you so much for calling in and having a little fun with us. We owe each other a visit.

So now I'll be back in SoCal soon. We'll have to all get together. Right now, you know, Greg's spreading the word as a movie star.

And so we're just glad to be able to jump in. So thank you, Brian. Thanks, Greg. So, Greg, back to you. So, I mean, right now, it is interesting that the other movie is...

I watched some of the Kelsey Grammer interviews, and he talked about, you know, his goal was to beat Cocaine Bear, which I don't really fully understand what that movie is about. Maybe I don't want to. But how has the response been? You know, you mentioned that the critics have their views, but what I was interested was in some of the critics who were actually, like, not Christian critics. Like, you know, I tend to like things because I see Jesus represented.

But Dennis Harvey in Variety said one of the most appealing faith-based big-screen entertainments in a while, polished and persuasive without getting too preachy. Now, you know, that's not in Outreach magazine where I serve as the editor-in-chief. So you saw the critical response. That's great.

And that's fine. But what are you hearing from people who are seeing... I know you're getting texts from people like me and others. What are you hearing out there?

Well, I'm hearing a consistent message. And the message is people are saying... One person said, you know, the one disappointment in the film was when it ended. And people are saying, we laughed, we cried. People cheered at the end of the movie.

John Irwin told me he's never directed a film where people cheered in the middle of a film. But I think it's because it really connects to our world as Christians. It's authentic. It's real.

It's accurate. But I think it connects to non-believers because it shows us as Christians at our very best. Meaning, here's a pastor, Chuck Smith, who opened his heart and opened his doors to young people who were searching. And there was love there.

We talked so much about love back then. And a person could come in and feel loved and feel welcomed. And I think that resonates with our culture today, especially with young people. They want to be loved.

They want to be welcomed. Now, that doesn't mean that we remained in our sin. The idea was you come to Jesus and then you're going to be changed and you're going to repent. So I quickly turned away from that drug lifestyle I'd been living in. And it was replaced with a passion for God and a hunger for the Bible and a desire to share my faith and to grow spiritually. And ultimately when I got married to be a good husband and father and a responsible person. And then there was a call that came on my life from ministry.

But here's just one little story someone sent to me. They said, so we saw the movie and after the movie was over, the staff was cleaning up. So we were leaving. And then there were some college kids listening to us talking and they followed us to the hallway and started asking questions like, all you have to do is pray?

Do you have to go to the beach to be baptized? What happens next? And this person says, at any rate, they all accepted Christ. And now we're going to help them get plugged into a church and we're going to go back tomorrow night and be available for other people.

And so this is the kind of story I'm hearing of people. On the Wednesday night that we released it, Ed, I filmed an eight minute gospel presentation that I did on the beach, sort of filmed in a cinematic way so it would fit the film. And so we had people accepting Christ in the theaters. I had one person say, I heard people around me praying out loud, asking Jesus to come into their life. We had pastors on hand, we had Bibles on hand.

So we're doing our best to try to keep up with this thing. But I've never heard of anything quite like this, doing evangelism in movie theaters on this scale. And you have a major studio, Lionsgate, that's throwing their complete weight behind this. And as the film performs well, which it has in its opening weekend, they will spend more on promotion and they will add more screens. So more people will see it. So in its theatrical release, I think 10 million people will see it.

And when it goes on streaming platforms, I'm totally told upwards of 100 million people will see this movie. Oh, that's so great. That's so great. Okay, good. We're gonna take a call from Virginia in Cleveland. Let me mention regarding Cleveland that we're coming up to the Walkworthy Men's Conference, Cleveland, and it's March 4th.

So it's super, super soon. And I want to encourage you, I'll be there speaking, several other team members will be as well. It's really, they say Cleveland, it's not really Cleveland. It's down in Canton. But either way, our caller is from Cleveland, Cleveland radio station. Virginia, you're live on the air with your question or your comment for Greg. Go ahead.

Hi, picture Greg. I was at the movie Wednesday night, I saw the pre and the post of the movie, the whole thing. And I thought it was just so moving that you prayed for and with the audience. I went back to see the movie again Thursday night. I just thought the movie is fabulous. The only thing is I was disappointed that you didn't do that prayer at the end again. I thought it was phenomenal. And why can't you add that to it?

Yeah, I would love, you know, Virginia, that's a great question and I agree with you. But it's not, it's out of my control. So Lionsgate, you know, Hollywood studio that I mentioned, this is their thing. So let's just put it this way, it was highly unusual for a Hollywood studio to allow us to put an evangelistic appeal after a feature film that they paid for, produced, and distribute. But they agreed to do that on the Wednesday release only.

So unfortunately, that won't be in all the releases. But listen, this is where we come in as Christians. So we can do that. There's nothing I did that any Christian cannot do.

And by the way, I took that appeal I did, that video I shot, and it's posted on my Instagram so you can go and show it to anybody you'd like to show it to. It's there for you. But, you know, to me, Virginia and Ed, I would say this movie is a gift. It's a gift to the church.

It's a tool. And the idea is you take someone to the movie, and after it's over with, you can have that conversation with them and say, do you understand what happened? And would you like a relationship with Jesus? I mean, just the fact that the movies in the theaters is a great conversation starter. You walk up to a person cold and say, have you heard about that movie, Jesus Revolution? Yeah, I've heard about it. Or, no, I haven't.

Well, here, check this out. Show them the trailer. There's three trailers out, and they're all really good. Just Google Jesus Revolution trailer.

Show them the trailer and say, why don't you go see it? Or come with me as my guest or whatever you choose to do. So this is John Irwin, the director, puts it this way. He says, my job is to get the volleyball ready to be spiked.

And so he's got it all set up. What we've got to do now is take it home. And so believers can use this as a tool, and they can share the same things that I shared in that little video presentation that you saw on Wednesday, Virginia. Love it.

Love it. Great question, Virginia. Helpful answer, Greg, as well. By the way, Greg mentioned earlier that he gets this campaign, and I think I've been pretty transparent. I've been engaged and involved with that. That answer, kind of similar to what Greg would say.

People see ads. You can't always tell the whole story, and it is a very big deal. Greg got to do that at the end of the movie. But this is an opportunity for Christians to show and share the love of Jesus, to announce the good news of the gospel, right? It's not Greg on the screen.

It's not a Super Bowl commercial. It's us telling the good news. We're going to continue our conversation with Greg Laurie in just a moment.

Hey, we're back having a conversation with Greg Laurie. We're talking about the film Jesus Revolution. This is the weekend. When you talk about premiere, it's sort of like there's an early premiere, and then they get a preview, and then the movie comes out.

I came out the 22nd. But this is the weekend. So I want to encourage you.

This is the premiere weekend, and that's when these numbers all get reported. So I want to encourage you to go see Jesus Revolution. I've been fascinated about the Jesus people movement, largely because some of these people 10, 15 years later deeply influenced my life. And so we did this study that if you go to edstetzerlive.com, you'll find jesuspeoplemovement.com linked at the bottom in addition to Greg's bio, the movie links about Greg.

That link's at the bottom. Greg did an interview with us a couple of years ago, and that's their audio interview, Brian too, that I called a little while ago, and then lots of fun video interviews with people like Odin Fong and all people Greg would know. I won't go through them all, but Greg would know them all because they walk through some of these things together. Let's go to the calls. Let's go to Eve in Chicago, Illinois.

Listen to WMBI. You're live on the air, Eve. Go ahead. Yes, my question was, well, my statement was I saw the movie last night, and it was just fabulous.

I give it a 10 plus. I was wondering if you guys, why it wasn't mentioned in the movie about the messianic movement that started with Juice for Jesus and chosen people ministry during that 70s movement. Yeah, yeah, no, super question, super question, Eve. So, and again, I would add too, I want you to address that, Greg, but I mean, there's all kinds of things like, I mean, Lonnie Frisbee's story is complex. There's all kinds of things that I wanted. I want it to be like a documentary of 15 hours, but how do you decide what, like in answer to Eve's question, how do you decide what, like that didn't make it in there? What else didn't make it in there?

How do you decide that? Well, first of all, I would say that, you know, John Irwin is the one who wrote the script and directed the film. So it really wasn't my film to direct or, I mean, and so, you know, and timelines are compressed and stories are changed a little bit. Sometimes two people become one person. For instance, my wife, Kathy has other siblings, but she only had one sister in the movie. So we can't cover everything. Are those other sisters unhappy with that?

No, I think they're fine. But, you know, basically this is just the story of what happened in a, in a certain place at a certain time at Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa. This is not about the whole movement. Yes, there was, and is a messianic movement that was happening at the same time.

Another thing that happened was like a Catholic charismatic movement and, and being filled with the Holy Spirit. So there were all kinds of things happening all over the country. It happened on the East coast. It was happening in Texas. It was happening in the UK, like little fires popping up.

So we're just telling a very specific story of what happened here in California in, in our little piece of real estate. But there's so many Jesus movement stories of what God did and what God is doing. And like you said, Ed, we're still being influenced by it today. So it's alive and well. Yeah. And the charismatic mood of the Episcopal Church, right?

That's where I hear the gospel and it kind of flows in and out of there. So I wanted you to... Because you have some connection even with that in your own early journey. And I wanted to include that part. So all of us, I think, who know the history, wanted more. I guess that's always the case though when you see a movie. Yeah.

Okay. We've got about a minute left, Craig, but I wanna hear, our country, our world is in need of Jesus' revolution. Tell us how you hope this movie and stirs up the hearts of God's people.

About a minute left. Well, it's been said that the theme of revival spreads the flame of revival. We're hoping and praying that by seeing a genuine revival story that actually happened, that people will be inspired to pray, Lord, do it again.

I would also add, Ed, that this is a great tool. It's in a theater near you, wherever you're listening. There's a theater showing this movie. Grab someone you know that is not a Christian, buy them a ticket, take him to the movie, and have an evangelistic conversation when the film is over. And I think you just may see a person come to know Jesus Christ.

Love it, love it. Well, let me just say, Craig, I just can tell, I'm very excited about the movie. I'm excited about the Jesus People movement, and I'm just glad to have my friend, Greg Laurie, on. And so I hope you have been encouraged today. One of the things you can do, if you listen to this program, like I want others to hear this, send, you can actually go to edstestralive.com, click the link, send it on, because within about an hour after this program is over, it's available there. But again, go to the movie this weekend.

I mean, again, this is not the worst thing in the world. Go to movies, sit down, relax, enjoy it. As well, see Greg Laurie with hair and so many other great things that'll be there as well. So again, thanks again for listening to here. Thanks to my guest, Greg. Thanks to our callers as well.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-11 20:10:47 / 2023-03-11 20:27:50 / 17

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