Pastor Greg Laurie of Harvest Christian Fellowship in California and Hawaii has been preaching and inspiring others to become closer to God for decades.
Now, he’s suddenly very much in the news because the new hit film, “Jesus Revolution,” covers aspects of his life story from the late ‘60s and early ’70s.
The film is based on the book Laurie co-wrote with Ellen Vaughn, “Jesus Revolution: How God Transformed an Unlikely Generation and How He Can Do It Again Today” (Baker Books, 2018).
Fox News Digital spoke to Laurie this week as the film — just released at the end of February — continues to garner rave reviews.
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“When director Jon Erwin approached me about making a film about the last great spiritual awakening in America, known as the Jesus Revolution,” said Laurie, “it was surprising to me that he wanted to build it around my life story. I was just one of many that came to faith in that time.”
He also told Fox News Digital, “Having said that, I was honored to think that my story could inspire others.”
Here’s more of Fox News Digital’s original interview with Laurie about the film, his faith — and the larger meaning for all those struggling today.
‘Hope my story can inspire young people’
Fox News Digital: Tell us more about what it means to you personally that your story’s been made into a film. As we all know, many great ideas and stories never make it to the big screen — but this one did.
Pastor Greg Laurie: I was conceived out of wedlock and never knew my biological father. My mother was an alcoholic and was married and divorced seven times.
That was a pretty radical story back in the early ’60s. Sadly, it is more typical today.
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I hope my story can inspire young people in difficult circumstances to know that God can intervene in their life and change their story.
We don’t determine what hand we are dealt in life — but we do determine how we will react to it.
Your mess can be turned into a message and your test into a testimony.
‘God is still in the business of changing lives’
Fox News Digital: What do you hope people take away from the new film?
Pastor Laurie: I would hope people realize that God is still in the business of changing lives. What happened to us some 50 years ago can still happen for people today.
This movie tells an honest story of God working in and through flawed and ordinary people.
Pastor Laurie (con’td): A number of years ago, I asked Chuck Smith, who is played in “Jesus Revolution” so powerfully by master actor Kelsey Grammer, a question: “Would we ever see another Jesus movement?”
Chuck said in response, “Greg, I’m not sure [that] we are desperate enough.”
I think we are finally desperate enough right now.
“The year 2023 is so similar to the late ‘60s and early ’70s when this story in ‘Jesus Revolution’ happened.”
We have crime out of control, drug overdoses, self-harm and suicide at an all-time high.
The threat of nuclear war looms large.
People are getting scared.
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The year 2023 is so similar to the late ‘60s and early ’70s when this story in “Jesus Revolution” happened.
There is no other time in history that more closely parallels the present.
Pastor Laurie (con’td): The talk of “revolution” was in the air, and we had one.
Not a political revolution, not a moral revolution — we had a “Jesus Revolution.”
It literally changed our nation and the world.
“I have heard stories of people praying in theaters after the film ends.”
The effects of it are still felt in the Church today. And we need another one soon!
‘Film seems to be resonating with everyone’
Fox News Digital: As the film continues to gain traction among audiences, what else do you feel others can learn or take from its messages?
Pastor Laurie: I would say this film seems to be resonating with everyone. Believers and nonbelievers. Young and old.
I have heard stories of people praying in theaters after the film ends.
Pastor Laurie (con’td): People are coming to put their faith in Christ.
I have never seen anything like this in 50 years of ministry.
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Art imitates life — and in this case, life is imitating art!
I hope people will see it for themselves.
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It is entertaining; it is funny; and at times, it is sad.
But most of all, “Jesus Revolution” brims with hope.
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And that is something we all need a lot more of right now.