Jesus Revolution, a Movie for the Masses-Tracy Caruso Says Jesus is Just Alright With Me 🎶

I saw the movie Jesus Revolution, having no idea what to expect. I’m not religious, and frankly, I’m a bit jaded. I thought I would be bored. It turns out that I’m exactly the type of person who should be seeing this uplifting historical drama. We all get lost in our world sometimes, and this film reminds us that life Is about more. 

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Jesus Revolution occurred in California in the late 60s during the hippie Jesus movement. It’s the story of youth minister Greg Laurie (Joel Courtney), Christian hippie Lonnie Frisbee (Jonathan Roumie), and pastor Chuck Smith (Kelsey Grammer). Two of the largest Christian fellowships in the county today are Chuck Smith’s Calvary Chapel Movement and Greg Laurie’s Harvest Christian Fellowship. The story is based on Laurie’s book of the same name. 

Kelsey Grammar as Pastor Chuck Smith in Jesus Revolution.

In 1969, Pastor Chuck Smith found that his church was losing membership and popularity due to the inability to connect with a younger new audience. Smith and his wife are critical of hippies and the movement in general until his daughter brings home hippie Lonnie Frisbee, who says he is traveling the country, spreading the word of Jesus.

Jonathan Roumie as Lonnie Frisbee in Jesus Revolution. Frisbee spread the word of Jesus and changed the lives of thousands of hippies.

Smith resists Frisbee but puts his judgment aside after hearing his message. He feels moved by Frisbee and has him speak at his Church. Smith loses some old-time members, but brings in so many hippies who crave a church home, that they end up outgrowing their current church space as their evangelical word spreads. 

Lonnie Frisbee lived a life of heartbreak, but he changed the lives of many.

The coinciding story is about high school student Greg Laurie who has had a lonely and troubled upbringing, always searching for more. He meets a girl named Cathe, who takes him to a Timothy Leary concert. The two become heavily involved in drugs to find a spiritual awakening. They connect with Lonnie Frisbee and Chuck Smith, and their lives go in a completely different direction. 

Pastor Greg Laurie then and now. Laurie wrote Jesus Revolution, which inspired the film.

The drug message was one of the most critical parts of the movie. Drugs, sex, and other destructive vices are just ways that people use to try to find meaning, hope, and purpose in their lives. It never works. That’s why many people who have gone down what turns out to be a terrible path turn to Jesus for healing. Jesus and religion, in general, are a path to spiral enlightenment, connection, and meaning without the hangover.   

Pastor Greg Laurie wrote Jesus Revolution, which the 2023 movie is based on.

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By 1971, Jesus Revolution sparks a worldwide movement and a big-time article in Time magazine. Lonnie Frisbee eventually breaks with Chuck Smith. The rest of his life story is interesting but sad. It’s not covered in the movie. Frisbee’s life story could be a whole other movie in itself. 

“Jesus Freaks” became a story that everyone knew. Time magazine covered it in 1971. Cover Credit: Stan Zagorski

As does Greg Laurie’s Harvest, Chuck Smith and his Calvary become huge. Chuck Smith is now deceased. Greg and Cathe are married to this day. They’ve been together for fifty years. 

This movie is about people coming together and accepting others as they are. We all want the same things in life, connection with other human beings and love. You can make mistakes, be forgiven, and start over. Jesus Revolution delivers this message in a beautiful way that feels authentic. I hope you all see this movie and experience the thought-provoking joy that I did. 

Other stories you may want to read:

Tracy Caruso Just Can’t Get Enough of Cocaine Bear 

My Pillow is the Best Thing Since Sliced Bread

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