Column #392       March 3, 2023Lonnie Ray Frisbee

The movie, “Jesus Revolution,” was released to theaters nationwide on February 24, 2023 and, on that day along with friends, Linda and I stepped out of our normal routine and actually went to the movies. We all truly enjoyed the movie as it was an emotionally charged and captivating story.

Beforehand I had no idea what the movie was about or even that it was a true story. Afterwards I researched all the characters and ended up wishing I had known more about them before watching the movie. That would have made the movie even more entertaining.

The movie, which only covers a two-year period, generally follows the book of the same name that was written by Greg Laurie and Ellen Vaughn. As it was, while watching the movie I was thinking it was a Lonnie Frisbee story. I had no idea it was about Greg Laurie’s and Cathe Laurie’s role in the humble beginnings of the Jesus Movement of the 1960s and ’70s. Knowing that in advance would have given me a different perspective of the movie from the beginning.1 2 3

For example, in real life and in the movie, Lonnie prophesied over Greg as they were praying for some other people. Lonnie turned to Greg and said, "The Lord just told me you're going to preach to thousands of people around the world." At that time, Greg hadn't even preached a single sermon. It was a pivotal moment in the movie that was lost on me at the time because of my original perspective.

For those who don’t know or have forgotten, the Jesus Movement sprung from the hippie enclave of Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco, California. The Haight-Ashbury hippies were into drugs and about every other dissident form of deviant thinking and behavior. That’s where Lonnie Frisbee, a “deeply flawed” individual, came from with his new-found Christianity. As it turns out, Lonnie was to be the spark that God worked through that ignited a massive religious movement that’s still being felt to this day.4 5 6 7

Since the movement sprung from the American-hippy-way-of-life in the late 1960s and early 1970s it was full of unlikely people. Even though they all sought out Jesus for salvation, they rejected the stuffy religion of their parents' generation. So it was an odd fit when the hippies started attending Chuck Smith’s straight-laced Calvary Chapel church. For example, drums, electric pianos, and guitars quickly relegated grand pianos and organs into second fiddles which was the beginning of contemporary church music.8 9

Today, many churches cater to praise music which is often one phrase repeated over and over and over again to the beat of a drum and a strumming guitar. The musicians and pastors wear jeans and in some cases feelings mean more than scripture in the sermons. Robes are passé.

Those of us who lived through the Jesus Revolution will find that the movie reminds us of the times and people that shaped our lives and faith. Younger folks, especially those who believe they are full of new ideas will discover real history and learn they aren’t the first rebels on the planet. They may also get a sense that God’s work is never finished.

There is no question that Lonnie played a key role in the last great spiritual awakening in America, but so did Chuck Smith and eventually Greg Laurie. The movie is focused on a pivotal time and the actual progress of all three men over the years that followed is not addressed. But for certain, the real life story didn’t end with the movie. This is why I think that researching the characters in the movie in advance is important. Then go to the movies and enjoy while keeping in mind that what’s good for the soul is good for one’s health.10 11

To find “Jesus Revolution” showtimes and tickets near you, you can check out the movie's official website or the website of your favorite local theater. Fandango is also a source that will show you every theater in your area playing the movie.12

To your health.

Ted Slanker

Ted Slanker has been reporting on the fundamentals of nutritional research in publications, television and radio appearances, and at conferences since 1999. He condenses complex studies into the basics required for health and well-being. His eBook, The Real Diet of Man, is available online.

For additional reading:

1. Jesus Revolution Paperback – February 7, 2023 by Greg Laurie from Amazon

2. Greg Laurie Senior Pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship

3. Ellen Vaughn New York Times Bestselling Author and Speaker

4. Jesus Movement from Wikipedia

5. Haight-Ashbury from Wikipedia

6. Lonnie Jay Frisbee from the Freedom Crusade by Roger Sachs, a close friend of Lonnie Frisbee

7. Lonnie Frisbee from Wikipedia

8. Chuck Smith from Wikipedia

9. Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa from Wikipedia

10. Jesus Revolution ~ Now Playing In Theaters Everywhere

11. History vs Hollywood About Jesus Revolution (2023)

12. Fandango