Tonight my wife and I watched the movie, Jesus Revolution. The movie looks at a time of revival in the 1970’s around the hippie movement, Chuck Smith, Lonnie Frisbee, Greg Laurie, and Calvary Chapel. It shows broken people looking for answers in things that feel good for a moment. Things that give a temporary high but ultimately leaves many broken and feeling increasingly empty. In their search for meaning, many found the ultimate meaning of life in Jesus and the gospel. The movie balanced showing the challenges and positives of following Jesus and the challenges that can come with working with people going through their own struggles.
I loved how the movie started, Chuck Smith is depicted as a typical, highly conservative pastor. His church was unwelcoming to people not exactly like them. If you wasn’t dressed in your “Sunday best” suit and tie you were looked down on. Sadly many churches are still like that today. Chuck and his wife were discussing their issues with the hippies and passingly Chuck said he wanted to have a conversation with one. The hippie that had that conversation with Chuck Smith was Lonnie Frisbee. Lonnie pointed out how as a church they were not open to people, to helping people, and showing love to people. It was an absolute great message to watch in a movie. Chuck invites the hippies into the church despite push back from some members. Two of the greatest scenes in the movie was when Pastor Chuck washes the feet of the congregation, mostly of hippies come into the building, and when an older gentleman who was originally against having the hippies in his church welcomes them.
From there the movie shows the growth of Calvary Chapel and the lives of thousands coming to Jesus. It depicts a group of people living with all things in common supporting one another, worshipping, outreaching to others, and leading even more to Jesus. It moves into showing the struggles that continued in peoples lives, theological differences between Chuck Smith and Lonnie Frisbee, and struggles that Greg Laurie was dealing with. To be honest I had to think on these for awhile but what I came to was I love the honesty of the movie. Just because you become a Christian does not mean all your problems, all your struggles, and temptations go away. There may be times when you have to separate yourself from others because dealing with people and ministry can be hard. It was uncomfortable to watch at times, but an honest look at things.
The overall message I took away was we can be more open and welcoming of people in order to point them to Jesus, but I also love that Chuck while he learned to be welcoming and inclusive to people, stuck to theological things that mattered. It’s important that we evaluate our beliefs to what is bible based, and what is man made tradition and preferences. If means showing love to and helping others to Christ, putting aside our preferences to make a difference in others lives.