Tuesday, February 28, 2023

'Revolution' Proves Critics Wrong

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"Jesus Revolution," a movie from the Irwin Brothers that was released on Friday, defied film critics' reviews over the weekend, taking the #3 spot at the box office despite showing on less than 2,500 screens.

The faith-based film surprised Hollywood observers by packing theaters and crushing its projection over the weekend, soaring to No. 3 at the box office.

While the movie takes some liberties in the storyline, it tells the story accurately---as it should be told.

I was a youth pastor in North Hollywood during the time of the "Jesus Revolution." 

It was real.

Could it be happening again?

Be informed, not misled.

The movie surprises Hollywood.

The movie, which tells the true story of a hippie-led revival in the 1960s/70s, grossed an estimated $15.5 million – more than double what Box Office Pro said last week was at the bottom of its projected range ($7-12 million).

On its release day, Boxoffice Pro reported, "Lionsgate’s Jesus Revolution is off to a roaring start as well with $940,000 reported from Thursday previews alone. Combined with Wednesday’s early access screenings, the studio reports a strong $3.3 million in the bank so far before the weekend proper even begins."

The industry had predicted Jesus Revolution would take in about $7-12 million. 

Early reports showing the $15.5 million---greatly exceeded Hollywood's estimates.

Movieweb says, "Rotten Tomatoes critics declared Jesus Revolution to be rotten, but its audience scores are practically perfect."

"Critics haven't been very kind on Jesus Revolution," they report, "but audiences don't care. Directed by Jon Erwin and Brent McCorkle, Jesus Revolution was just released in movie theaters by Lionsgate. Based on true events, the film respectively stars Joel Courtney and Kelsey Grammar as a youth minister and pastor who partner up with teenage hippies in the 1970s to create a spiritual awakening that continues to this day."

Interestingly "Jesus Revolution" has been given a rare A+ grade by CinemaScore, which quizzes filmgoers on their opinion upon seeing a new movie. Not very many movies manage to rank as high as A+, making this quite the accomplishment for Jesus Revolution. Only two movies received the coveted score last year: Top Gun: Maverick and The Woman King.

It's an impactful movie. 

Some of our relatives who live in Yakima, WA. learned the movie was not scheduled to be in the local theaters, so they drove to Seattle to see it opening weekend.

They were so moved by the film, they called the company that owns the local theater urging them to show it in Yakima. It was then booked locally, so our family members went to see it again.

Could what happened in the late 1960s and early 70s be happening again in 2023?

I've mentioned what is now being referred to as the "Asbury Revival" a number of times in the past couple of weeks.

While the news media has moved on---and I think that's a blessing--- the revival continues. And it's expanding.

Just weeks after an outpouring began at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky, several other schools across the US have reported revivals.

In several videos posted to Facebook, Corpus Christi, Texas-based New Life Church lead pastor Michael Fehlauer showed people getting baptized in a public fountain at Texas A&M at Galveston.

In another video, one young man claimed that an A&M student who was lame was able to walk 20 steps after students prayed over him.

Grant Bynum posted on social media: "2nd night! Jesus is JUST GETTING STARTED. This is REAL. Worship, repentance, prayers, no leaders. Physical healing. Baptism. Crowds bigger than last night. It's not religion. It's just meeting JESUS. Jesus! Had to leave at 1 am, but it was still going on! GO TO: Aggie Park 8:30 every MONDAY night (weekly)."

CBN is reporting, "Revival Spreads to Texas A&M, Indiana Wesleyan and LSU: 'It's Not Religion. It's Just Meeting JESUS."

Writing for CBN, Steve Warren says, "As the outpouring that began at Asbury University continues to spread, some of the signs may not involve massive worship services in an auditorium. There's still plenty of proof that God is on the move, like outdoor prayer gatherings and baptisms at more colleges, even secular ones that don't have regular chapel times."

Jim Lo posted, "Students at Indiana Wesleyan University (IWU) in Maron, Indiana, have also been experiencing a revival."

He says, "I've been at IWU since 3 am. As I sit in the chapel auditorium, involved in reflective prayer, the words of Robert Coleman come to mind. 'Anytime you see a revival, you can be sure it started with prayer'."

Jim Lo, is a professor at IWU's School of Theology and Ministry.

"Students have confessed how they have asked God to help them release anger and bitterness. Students are prayer-walking the campus, claiming her for God. It's been neat how spontaneous worship in song has taken place in classes," he explained.

"There has been an increased concern for others. Teams of students are praying over dorms, asking God to do a mighty work in the hearts of fellow residents. Tears for family and friends who are not 'saved' have been shed," Lo described. "One of my classes turned into a prayer meeting."

"Why am I up earlier than normal? I have been sensing God working at Indiana Wesleyan University... Something wonderful is happening... I sense there is even 'more' that He wants to do!," Lo concluded.

Be Informed. Be Discerning. Be Vigilant. Be Engaged. Be Prayerful.