Lonnie Frisbee and Messy Revivals
I just finished reading the three-book series by Lonnie Frisbee describing the inside story of his involvement in the "Jesus Revolution." The revival was exhilarating, messy, and led by imperfect people. This would appear to be the norm for revivals throughout history. Lonnie was a hippie who became an anointed evangelist in the Jesus Movement of 1970 (see blog 1 in this series). https://www.cwgministries.org/blogs/can-i-live-continuous-revival
Understanding Lonnie Frisbee
In childhood, Lonnie suffered severe rejection and ongoing sexual abuse, which led to drug abuse in his teens. Lonnie loved sharing things he felt were valuable and, before his conversion, he purchased and freely passed out drugs to his friends. Lonnie was sovereignly saved by God while high on drugs, and with his passion for sharing good things, Lonnie began sharing Christ the day after he was saved. So Lonnie began evangelizing with no training, no personal healing from his childhood traumas, and no shepherd to guide him. Lonnie was born with the gift of an evangelist who simply wanted to share the good news.
Lonnie had Native American heritage through his mom and this DNA probably contributed to the prophetic flow that was a part of his destiny. His prophetic bent opened him to visions and words of knowledge which helped facilitate the miracles of healing that God performed through Lonnie. This resulted in some pride issues as he was being mightily used by God.
The traumas from his childhood and teen years clung to him throughout his life. Rejection was fed and intensified when he was rejected by several spiritual fathers to whom he was related, including Chuck Smith, John Wimber, and Bob Mumford. This threw Lonnie into a deep depression and sin, leading to his tragic early death from AIDS at age 43. I wish that early in his Christian experience Lonnie could have been taken through inner healing and deliverance (https://www.cwgministries.org/blogs/inner-healing-prayer-heals-painful-scenes-your-heart-and-mind) from his horrific childhood traumas. Had that been done, things could have been different. God uses us because of our availability and hunger for Him, through the natural and supernatural DNA that is deposited into our beings and the destiny He has purposed for us. Lonnie was unhealed but totally available to God. I wish he could have been taught two-way journaling (https://www.cwgministries.org/blogs/your-worship-moves-me-journaling-prayer-lawanda). It could have provided a daily flow of the Father's love which would have worked to heal the wounds in his soul.
It is a message to us all. Get healed up! Be humble. Ask for and receive ministry. Take the time necessary to be healed. Do the work. Find a skilled, healed, biblical, spiritual counselor to take you through the healing prayers that you need. I found that discovering how to have communion with God was the foundation for ongoing transformation in my life http://www.cwgministries.org/4keys).
The pain of seeing Lonnie's life crumble through a spirit of rejection and accompanying sin made me decide to go back and see Jesus Revolution a third time, so I would leave these three weeks of investigation with a wonderful picture in my mind of Lonnie in his glory days. No anointed individual should be written out of God's history because of sin in their lives. If we were to look in the Bible for people who were anointed and yet sinned, we could include Abraham (sent his wife to a harem to save his own skin), Samson (Judges 14-16) and David the King (committed adultery and mass murder to cover it up). In fact, if God removed everyone from the Bible who sinned, it would be a very skinny book indeed.
Things that make me uncomfortable about revivals
• Lonnie Frisbee, after 20 years of anointed ministry, summarized his approach this way: “Here’s how it works for me: a little bit of testimony, a little bit of teaching, a little bit of preaching, a little bit of showbiz, ... AND A WHOLE LOT OF ANOINTING!” Frisbee, Lonnie; Sachs, Roger. Not By Might Nor By Power: Set Free (p. 148). Kindle Edition. Lonnie often shouted to release the anointing. So yes, shouting and showbiz are a couple of things that make me uncomfortable, in addition to his broken marriage, homosexual tendencies, etc.
• In John Wesley's revivals, people were "treeing demons." That meant that after demons were cast out of people, the demons were then chased up trees. Yes, that would also have made me uncomfortable.
• Some of the healing evangelists in the 1900s would punch people in the stomach as they were praying and delivering them from infirmity and demons. Yes, that too would make me uncomfortable.
• Though I totally supported it, there were manifestations at the Toronto renewal that also made me uncomfortable.
We should remember that each of us release various expressions of the anointing of the Holy Spirit. We've discussed Lonnie's gifts and anointings already (prophet and evangelist).
• Chuck Girard, a musician who was a contemporary to Lonnie, released anointed music that takes people into the presence of the Lord. I LOVE listening to Chuck Girard's anointed music!
• Chuck Smith had the gift of an apostle, as 1000 Calvary Chapels were birthed as a result of the revival.
• My anointing would be that of a teacher.
• Other anointings in the Bible: "And He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom, in understanding and in knowledge and in all craftsmanship" (Ex. 35:31-35).
• Additional anointings of the Spirit: Romans 12:4-8 and 1 Corinthians 12:4-11.
• What are the anointings God has woven into your life?
Fear and pride can inhibit us from wholeheartedly and honestly exploring new things
• Revivals are received by some and resisted by others. I have written previously on why we tend to resist new ideas and often reject new moves of God. You can read that blog here (https://www.cwgministries.org/blogs/why-are-some-people-not-open-exploring-new-theological-positions).
• Obviously religious leaders have killed many of God's prophets throughout Church history (Acts 7:52), just as they killed Jesus.
• The LAST thing any of us wants to do is to be resisting the new thing God is doing in our midst!
How to explore something new without fear or pride
• "He who gives an answer before he hears, It is folly and shame to him." (Prov. 18:13)
• "The first to plead his case seems right, Until another comes and examines him." (Prov. 18:17)
• "You shall not fear man, for the judgment is God's." (Deut. 1:17)
• Go to the Bible asking, "Lord, are there verses or principles in the Bible that would lend support to this new thing?" Note: Phrasing the question this way helps ensure you have an open heart and mind searching for truth.
Let's choose to explore new things with a non-fearful and non-judgmental attitude.
This allows us to embrace the new thing that God is doing (Isa. 43:19).
• Lord, what "new" thing do You want me to explore with an open heart and open mind and a heart passion to discover the truth through the illumination of Your Spirit?
• Who is in the lost generation of youth today that You would have me open my heart to and share the good news of release from sin, guilt, and hopelessness, and the new identity they can have in Christ?
• What is the anointing that is strongest within me?
• Greg Laurie, the young preacher who searched for his father who had left when he was a child - In this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r1XSTVzGTNM) shares how he found his father and led him to Christ.
Greg Laurie Opens Up About Lonnie Frisbee's Tragic End (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjoKdlParx4)