As Roger Kimball recently observed, Easter is “a holiday commemorating a miracle,” and back in April of 1956, three Manhattan skyscrapers illuminated certain windows to form crosses, a massive “public display of Christian affirmation.” That was then, Kimball laments, and “now things are different.”
The Biden Junta is the easily the most anti-Christian administration in U.S. history. Biden’s FBI infiltrates churches, persecutes pro-life Christians, and portrays Christian parents as domestic terrorists. Christians are targeted for believing that men and women are different, and so on. In the midst of this jihad, Christian affirmation has been on full display on movie screens across the nation.
Jesus Revolution, directed by John Irwin and Brian McCorkle, dramatizes a spiritual awakening during the late 1960s. Launched on February 24 at number three, Jesus Revolution remained in the top ten, and as of April 6 had taken in $50 million at the box office, a landmark for any movie. To its great credit, the film provides historical context, a previous religious movement headed by different brand of evangelist.
Timothy Leary promoted personal salvation based on lysergic acid diethylamide, LSD, a synthetic chemical made from a substance found in ergot, a fungus that infects rye. In 1966, Leary founded the League of Spiritual Discovery (LSD), incorporated as a religious institution in New York State.
In Jesus Revolution, Steve Hanks (JailBait) plays Leary, whose slogan, reportedly a suggestion of Marshall McLuhan, was “Turn on, tune in, and drop out.” By 1967, thousands were taking it literally and heading for California, where the magical mystery tour was waiting to take them away. It did, big time, and viewers might benefit from more detail.
People wore T-shirts reading “Better Living Through Chemistry,” and “There is No Hope Without Dope.” LSD came branded as Orange Wedge, Blue Cheer and such, and was sometimes bundled with other exotic substances. No refunds for bad trips, and there were plenty.
By 1968, many of the beautiful people were walking around, as John Kay of Steppenwolf said, “with tombstones in their eyes.” The people of the Jesus movement sought them out, but not just as an audience for preaching. A network of communes called the “Houses of Miracles” gave drug culture dropouts a safe place to stay, and grow.
The unofficial minister of the communes was Orange County minister Chuck Smith, played by “Cheers” veteran Kelsey Grammer. Jonathan Roumie (The Chosen) plays hippie preacher Lonnie Frisbee, a key figure in the movement. Lonnie and his wife Connie were veterans of the Brotherhood of Eternal Love, the “best known distributor of LSD,” as Jay Stevens explains in Storming Heaven: LSD and the American Dream.
Lonnie has a theatrical side that disturbs some of Chuck’s older church members. On the other hand, Lonnie brings in many from the streets. The ministry grows by leaps and bounds, with Lonnie conducting mass baptisms at Pirate’s Cove. Young Greg Laurie (John Courtney) eventually takes the plunge and soon becomes immersed in the ministry.
Greg meets Cathe (Anna Grace Barlow) also involved with the growing church, but her parents look askance at Greg’s career possibilities as a preacher in the style of Lonnie. Greg grows in the faith and expands his role. Young people come from far and wide to hear him and get baptized. The Jesus revolution winds up on the cover of Time Magazine and the rest is history. A two-hour film can’t possibly cover it all.
Timothy Leary got busted for drugs but in 1970 the Weather Underground broke him out of the California Men’s Colony, a prison in San Luis Obispo. Leary fled to Algeria, where Eldridge Cleaver and other Black Panthers had taken refuge. Leary moved on to Switzerland and Afghanistan, where he was captured and returned stateside. In 1976, California Gov. Jerry Brown released the LSD prophet, who passed away in 1996.
The Houses of Miracles expanded into the Shiloh Youth Revival Centers in the Pacific northwest. Some communards moved on to more conventional churches and lifestyles while others went their own way.
In 1973, Lonnie and Connie Frisbee parted company and Lonnie died in 1993. Chuck Smith, a mainstay in the Calvary Chapel churches, passed away in 2013. Greg Laurie and others continue to this day, preaching the gospel around the world.
With Hollywood so hostile to Christianity, it is something of a miracle that Jesus Revolution, based on Greg Laurie’s book, ever got made. The movie has earned $50 million, and that success evokes another back story.
As the late Paul Johnson noted in Modern Times, religion failed to disappear as the left had so confidently prophesied. Modern idols can’t deliver, and spiritual hunger runs deep. During the administration of a demented anti-Christian bigot, people flock to see a public display of Christian affirmation.
Meanwhile, it’s good that Easter signifies a miracle, Roger Kimball writes, “because we are going to need one.” Jesus Revolution hints at the possibilities.
The only hope for mankind is Christianity. Sadly the message of Christianity has been distorted thus leading many astray.
THX 1138 says
What is the precise message, the precise interpretation, of Christianity and how can you prove it? Christians killed each other, persecuted each other, threw each other in dungeons, burned each other at the stake, for centuries over differing and conflicting interpretation of Holy Scripture.
So who’s interpretation of Christianity is the right one? And how can you prove it?
Atheists killed by the millions during the last century. So who’s interpretation of atheistic Objectivism is the right one. And how can you prove it.
As always you cherry pick your “history” to fit your phony narrative.
When your intellect moves from your head to your heart the secret of Jesus Christ will be revealed to you.
We all have a heart condition we try to explain away with out brains.
Continuing to pray for your salvation my brother from another mother.
Blasphemy is not a Word heard much….Reader should be able to figure it out.
THX 1138 says
What is the common denominator between LSD use and Christianity? The wish to escape this natural world for a magical, supernatural, realm. Life is hard and can be terribly lonely and death is terrifying, many are tempted to escape those conditions of natural life with the magical thinking induced by drugs or religion.
Religion fails to disappear, first of all, because we are all born magical thinkers. Children are magical thinkers, it is a long and challenging process of discovery and learning to become rational thinkers. And second of all life is often hard, difficult, painful, disappointing, even sometimes tragic, and death is terrifying and crushing.
It is a common phenomenon that when things are going well and people are happy and successful they become lax in their religious devotion but when life turns painful they turn to religion, or drink, or drugs.
THX 1138 says
“Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.” – Karl Marx
Siddi Nasrani says
I personally spat on the grave of that Evil Bastard in London, He took away religion & replaced it with another religion ( Socialist Communism ) this became the opium of the communist party & hence the
people must follow the diktats of the party or you were murdered.
Due to his philosophy around the world, untold millions have been murdered & continuing to this day.
Mo de Profit says
Would you rather live in a Marxist society or Christian one?
THX 1138 says
That’s a choice without a practical difference. You’re asking me would I rather live in a Christian Dark Age or a Marxist Dark Age. Neither one. Christianity prepared the ground for Marxism.
“Nazism, Communism and, more broadly, collectivism are, as Ayn Rand argued, secularizations of religion.” – Objectivist philosopher Onkar Ghate
I want to live in a rational society where reason and the facts of reality are respected and accepted. I want to live in a Free Market, Laissez-Faire Capitalist society. A society where Objectivism is the guiding philosophy.
“Finding Morality and Happiness Without God” – Onkar Ghate
Mo de Profit says
I gave you two choices, two choices that reflect reality, there’s never been an objective society that I can relate to so please choose which reality you want.
THX 1138 says
“I gave you two choices, two choices that reflect reality, there’s never been an objective society that I can relate to so please choose which reality you want.”
You gave me two choices Stalin or Torquemada. I give you a real choice, Ayn Rand.
“In the history of mankind it is EARLIER than we think” – Ayn Rand
So the woman who cheated on her husband, and then threw Nathaniel Brandon under the bus but then got angry when she wanted him back, is the real choice.
A fine example of how to be a person we should follow.
I expect you are just like her….. loyal until you meet someone else.
No wonder you are so effed up.
So now you are asking us to take the words of Karl Marx seriously. I always knew you were, at heart, a totalitarian.
Really? You quote Marx? I don’t know that a more vile, cruel and miserable person ever existed. Here’s the thing. You immediately criticize religion. I’m with you. religion the world ’round has resulted in all manner of suffering as men try to force outward compliance to a set of rules and conduct. Religious men whom Jesus went head to head with were the ones also responsible for his crucifixion. What you miss in all of this is that Jesus was always talking about an inward change that affected outward behavior. When you focus on the failings of organizations you are only deflecting from the real message of the Gospel – Good News, actually too good to believe- You must be born again, not of water, but of the spirit. Man’s problem is one of the spirit, not of some external failing.
Wow, your most pathetic and whiny post ever.
One or two even turn to Rand and Peekaboo when life turns painful, especially you. Because the hill you have chosen to climb is a long and steep one. Trying to convince everyone to change their nature, which is really human nature, can be very frustrating. I guess that’s why Communism, and progressivism always fail, It’s contrary to human nature, as is the Objectivist religion.
But with younger people returning to faith according to the Wall Street Journal, a five week revival at Asbury University earlier this year, and now this film earning $50M, I would say that the folks doing the exact opposite of what you want.
But thanks for the downer lecture. We can always count on you.
Religion is the problem. It is man made therefore flawed. Always!
Jesus is looking for relationship.
Religion is always the stumbling block to entering into a relationship with Jesus Christ.
Set your intellect aside and talk to God. He sees us. He knows us. Inside and out.
He wants relationship! That is it in a nutshell. Nothing more complicated than that.
Kynarion Hellenis says
I went through the bible the first time with J. Vernon McGee. That is exactly what he said! It has stuck with me all these years.
Religion is THE MOST powerful force for evil. Most people do not understand this, least of all those who are enthralled in a cult, believe they are “rational” instead of “religious,” or think religion requires a belief in God or god(s).
Robert McClain says
LSD is the key to the discovery that much of what we’ve been taught in school is a lie. We were taught that only through the five senses can life be explained. There is no sixth sense, no psychic phenomena, no spirit world. Everything can be explained by natural means. LSD proved the existence of entities that cannot be measured or quantified. LSD proved that beings need not be visible to be real, to become one’s companions throughout life. And one didn’t need to be Carlos Castenada or Don Juan to discover the entities. You could be a kid from Pennsylvania and the spirit world opened just as easily.
Of course, I also heard the Jesus Freaks talk about Christ. A teenage girl witnessed to me, and before long I changed the counterfeit spirituality and the entities that accompanied me for the real companionship of the Holy Spirit available to all who enter into the blood sacrifice made on our behalf by Jesus Christ.
Lucifer, Satan, and the Devil may have intended to deceive us, but I had a grandmother who prayed me into the kingdom. LSD was no match for her and the Holy Spirit.
Spurwing Plover says
Way too many False Gods and False Religions out there we need a a alternative to it all
Cleanse The Temple says
As long as the Shepherds of Christ cower in the woods, Satan and his wolves will continue to devour His Sheep. And if the hierarchical frauds and blasphemers of the Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox Christian Churches don’t soon repent and attain the courage to condemn the corruption and evil engulfing our once GOD fearing nation, Satan will rule, be it via Communism, Fascism, Dictatorship or Nazism. GOD BLESS.
I am glad that many are waking up to reality of a nation that has abandoned God, and times we are in. There is the stunning rise of darkness and evil, predicted in II Timothy 3:13. At the Grammys, the Common Wealth Games, Hollywood in general, or during the Super Bowl halftime, Satan is celebrated. He is center stage! At the Grammys participants bowed down and worshipped a Satanic horned creature, the song was titled “Unholy.” Satan is trying to strengthen his grip on the church, and billions of people. The Common Wealth Games worship Baal in plain sight, the Gotthard Base Tunnel Celebrates Goat Man and this was attended by Europe’s most powerful leaders. Europe threw God out of their continent decades ago and they now seem to delight in honoring dark images, and occult ceremonies.
Thanks for that “trip” back through time, Lloyd. Crazy days.