You may also like...

33 Responses

  1. Alan says:

    The article from Connie was good and gives more perspective for everyone. As far as true…any perspective that the movie is told from will result in others saying it wasn’t true.

    Glad she gave the bits about Greg’s church … how it started… that was also on the Ruttkay video I believe. Anyway… thanks for posting it,

  2. Michael says:

    We have to keep in mind that this was an entertainment vehicle, not a documentary.

  3. UnCCed says:

    God Bless Connie for sharing her thoughts!
    I cringed that during that time she felt what she did form Chuck and Lonnie.
    I too have experienced the exact same outcome at several “big” and usual (tiny) CCs, much to the suffering of the wives and kids.
    Ironically, this “ministry first” (which can turn into “only”) doctrine is insidious not just for the obvious neglect of women, but like the MANY societal problems we must keep repeating and suffering the fallout of, men are damaged as well.
    “It is not good that he be alone,” I believe are some of God’s most loving and prophetic words often ignored and rarely respected for the deep well of truth it represents!
    “He made them male AND female..”
    The only temporal example God used to compare against His Church was marriage! NOT ministry/evangelism/logos/”models,” etc.
    I can think of no greater example the world needs, what would be more powerful, what people need to see more, and the best individually than BOTH the man and woman serving each other and family like Jesus served.
    After 26 years of marriage and all the “trainings” in the church, when I FINALLY served my wife with the right spirit, I felt closer and heard more clearly Jesus.
    I’ve NEVER felt time serving my wife was a waste or got puffed-up.
    However, just about everything else easily becomes a me-fest!
    We are all so broken, so hurting, and feel so hopeless at times.
    Sometimes the best treatment is the lowliest service you can find and let others do the same for you.

  4. Alan says:

    “A Selfie Movie!” The Roys interview is actually good but DI Sabatino majorly trolls Laurie with that blast.

  5. pstrmike says:

    I can’t believe they didn’t do enough research to find Connie Frisbee and have her consult on the movie. I haven’t seen the movie. I really doubt at this point that I’m going to. I remember reading some of Connie‘s story sometime after Di Sabatino came out with his movie on Frisbee. It’s sad.

    I was willing to ignore all the red flags that I saw at Calvary Chapel, both in the 70s and again in the 90s, because of the incredible outpouring I experienced at Calvary Chapel during the 70s. When I returned in the 90s, I knew it was not the same, and I should’ve left, but I was hoping for one more chance of being under the spout where the glory came out. I guess to some degree that parallels Lonnie Frisbee’s life, incredibly anointed, and also flawed. Perhaps the reason why we rarely see outpourings, revivals, heavy, anointings, or whatever else you want to call them is because we as people really lack the capacity to handle such a move God, and really cannot be in trusted with it. we lack the ability to sustain what we gain.

  6. Alan says:

    You gotta listen to the Di Sabatino interview… as one who researched this era and these people, this interview was powerful…. didn’t love it all but it was explosive.

  7. Michael says:

    Well…I listened to the Di Sabitino interview.

    I’m not in any hurry to defend Greg Laurie and David may be right…but I have a different take on him.

    Greg is the most insecure celebrity pastor ever.
    I never had any “dirt” on Greg…he had some habits that the rich accumulate, but nothing worth writing about.
    He agonized over my reviews of the Harvest Crusades in our early years, but would never contact me personally…intermediaries told me he never understood why I was picking on him.
    This site announced the death of his son…at his request.

    The loss of his son changed him…he has worked at a breakneck pace since that day as if running from his own grief.

    Laurie and Smith went for years without talking…the only reason they reconciled was because Franklin Graham told Chuck that Billy said to get over it…and he did..

    I have other thoughts… for another time…or not.

  8. Dread says:


    who knew

  9. Chris A says:

    Some good links, Michael. Two of them I found really interesting, one on Why Broken Friendships Hurt, Russell Moore and the other, Cohen’s Hallelujah by Katya Sedgwick.

    In Moore’s article, he states that some broken relationships are irreparable, as in the case with Judas. I cannot fathom how Moore could possibly know this to be true. While not a universalist, I do believe that God gives all of his children, at some point, and at some place, an opportunity to accept his love, forgiveness, and mercy. Judas’ own actions prior to his suicide speak to me of repentance.

    Which brings me to the article on Cohen. Very enlightening to learn of Cohen’s thoughts on penning this song. And then I had a thought that perhaps Cohen wrote the song for folks who more closely resemble Judas, than those who more closely resemble John.

  10. Pineapple Head says:

    I had a chance to meet Greg Laurie, but I passed. My wife and I were at a couple’s conference at a big hotel, and Greg was staying there with his family, holding over a few days from a conference that took place a couple days prior. We had taken a long walk to the edge of the hotel property where the was a big gazebo, garden area. Kind of a hideaway. As we walked under the gazebo, I noticed a couple guys sitting at a table with their laptops open, like they were having a planning meeting. Then I realized one of the guys was Greg. My first instinct was to go over and say hello, but I just let that thought go. I know well-known people tire of having people break into their lives.

  11. Michael says:

    Chris A,

    Interesting observations…thank you.

  12. Michael says:

    The other thing that has gone without mention is that over the last few years Greg has intentionally distanced himself from Calvary Chapel and the legacy he made a movie about.

    Lifeway is producing all the materials around the film…as he is also a Southern Baptist…

  13. Em Wegemer says:

    My late mother died in my arms as I was praying, “Oh, Lord Jesus we need You!” I have that small nugget to hold onto. Hopefully, she agreed – otherwise……. well…..

  14. bob1 says:

    Does anyone know if there are other CCs that have affiliated with SBC? Or is it just
    a Harvest/Greg Laurie thing? And can a church be affiliated with both?

  15. Michael says:


    There are at least a couple hundred…they are dual affiliates, usually with CGN and the SBC…

  16. DavidM says:

    I’ve known about all of the “dark sides” of the story for years. But, the film was not meant to be an expose. Only the most naive and simplistic would think that Smith, Laurie, and Frisbee would have no skeletons in their closets. They were flawed, sinful people, just like the rest of us. But that, to me, doesn’t take away from the incredible revival that took place back then. People love to pile on and proclaim that there is more to the story. Yeah, I think we all know that. Connie really did suffer, and Chuck did not pay Lonnie and was of the “ministry first” mentality. That was more than unfortunate. But, again, the idea of the film was to show the big picture of what happened back then.

  17. victorious says:

    Concerning Lifeway and the Jesus Revolution merch uhh I mean discipleship materials for sale. Is it really just a Hollywood movie when you are moving income generating merch through the SBA sunday school hub?

    I love the movie for the good that the Holy highlights and brings to remembrance for me but feel it us even better that all the other avenues of history and perspectives and critiques are resurfaced as well. Hope Greg does not mind that he does not get executive distributor rights on all the perspectives. The JPR was and is a whole body of Christ event.

  18. victorious says:

    On another note, anything concerning Stott resources warms my heart and brings a smile. The little book the “Preacher’s Portrait “ has solidified and shaped me for decades. Note it has everything to do with the relational identity and development of one who serves God and shepherds while among his people and nothing to do with exegetical skills or homiletic precision .

  19. Michael says:

    Stott was much easier to read than listen to…still a treasure…

  20. Michael says:

    I have no real opinion about the content of the movie, nor should I.

    I was ten years old when it happened and by the time it was something I was aware of, I had a keen sense of disgust toward hippies and hippy culture that has abated little in the ensuing decades.

    I looked at the JPM like Jonah looked at Nineveh…

    I still think wearing patchouli oil in public should be a criminal offense…

    Add to that years of conversations with some of the major players and my adversarial relationship with CC…and I’ll just wait until the next “Batman” movie comes out…

  21. bob1 says:


    I was tickled that you’ve benefited so much from John Stott.

    I met the man once at a “small group” Q&A at a missions conference. Erudite and kind is how I experienced him. I believe his writings will last on through the ages, IMHO.

  22. JimmieT says:

    “God uses sinners, there is no one else to use” Elisabeth Elliot

  23. Josh says:

    From the Disbaitino interview – Why does David Sloan ring a bell? Was he active here?

  24. Michael says:


    “Surfer 51″… he was here and a friend for a long time…

  25. Josh says:

    Yes, I remember.

  26. Duane Arnold says:

    Thinking of the movie, and the reactions to the movie linked with the article on Shiloh, I think that we are mistaken in concentrating on the individuals who were involved. By this I mean the leadership. Some of us were actually there. It was messy. I’m sure there were 16 kinds of heresy that could’ve been counted among the faithful! I think, however, that this is to miss the point that something genuine and remarkable happened that has born fruit, good and bad, over the course of the last 60 years. I am part of that fruit, as is my good friend DavidM.

    As for Chuck, we might do well to remember that when all of this was taking place he was all of 41 years old and had limited experience. Most of the rest of us were in our late teens and early 20s. How could we expect it not to be a bit of a mess. Nevertheless, I will go to my grave believing that God did something remarkable in those early years. Maybe it is one of those situations in which “you had to be there”.

  27. Willie Soke says:

    Michael – an overview (history) of your involvement with CC and others that you name in the course of your posts would greatly help give context to your posts & comments and other’s comments. There are onlookers that have some sort of past or present interactions with CC that would want that insight you can offer but need a historical context.

  28. Officerhoppy says:

    Thanks for that. And yes, ministry on any level is messy. Hell, revivals are messy! Doesn’t excuse people from responsibility, but if one enter the ministry expects it’s going to be a clean road will be sadly disappointed.

    It’s like one pastor said: “I love the ministry. It’s the people that make it difficult”.

  29. UnCCed says:

    The “right foot of fellowship” was one of my favorite vintage Michael analogies and pretty much states the point, but being his story, I’m not trying to answer of behalf of him.
    I just loved that saying when I read it and A LOT of us could relate.
    Also, one of if not THE major reason I lost/continue to lose respect for CCs and leadership is the near-papal gag rule they exercise regarding any past behaviors/policies THEY KNOW require repentance.
    I can no longer stomach romanticizing individuals who protected/condoned evil (at least by their silence/lack of action) while so vigorously working to promote stories/logos/models, etc.
    I’ve spent decades listening to (still have CDs-replaced by tapes) of several guys who mixed in with their teachings why God loved CCs more, etc., or at least what was wrong with everyone else.
    Ironically, I bet, as I think is already becoming clear, Greg’s book/movie opened the door to dig into Lonnie, which the world is spreading, next will be Chuck, then…..
    It would’ve been SO MUCH easier and God-glorifying if when everything finally comes out, if the church could’ve pointed to many necessary equally-public repentances.
    I sincerely someone who is a talented write, respect within/out the faith, writes either the other side or a fair assessment of “the movement,” including viewpoints from Connie, other leaders before/during/after Chuck, all the cast-offs like Michael, then the “bitter ones” – those of us who obeyed their “keep Jesus first” and “all you need is the Word” who weren’t about to join the Chuck (or now RNC) cult.
    THAT would be a great movie.
    One way or the other, it will all come out.

  30. Chris A says:

    I looked at the JPM like Jonah looked at Nineveh…

    I still think wearing patchouli oil in public should be a criminal offense…

    Michael, this is simultaneously both profound and comical all at the same time. It reminds me of one of my all time heroes, Ron Swanson..

    Kudos sir,and blessings on your weekend!

  31. Jeff says:

    It was well known in Calvary Chapel circles that, until he died, Chuck Smith would openly tell staff at Costa Mesa, “I’m going to pay you peanuts so that you learn to live by faith.”

    Like his infamous issues with caffeine, it a misguided philosophy resulting from one man having no elders who were equals.

  32. JD says:

    “one man having no elders who were equals.”
    Sounds like the definition of a king to me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Discover more from Phoenix Preacher

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading