Satan just made the most emphatic statement I have seen in my lifetime. I have been in the ministry 50 years and nothing else approaches this. And, it’s not just what Satan did—it’s where he did it.
In the birthplace of the Jesus movement—in the region where Chuck Smith launched Calvary Chapel—in the home of Melodyland Christian Center, and my pastor Ralph Wilkerson—in the place where Trinity Broadcasting and Full Gospel Businessmen’s Fellowship were headquartered…Satan finally did it.
Greg Laurie’s annual SoCal Harvest reaches out to hundreds of thousands of people. This year is the 29th anniversary of SoCal Harvest, making it the longest-running large-scale evangelistic event in America’s history.
The crusade typically draws 90,000 to 100,000 people, all of whom get a chance to hear the gospel.
As John Collins, Harvest Executive Director said, “We typically have about 9,000 to 10,000 people make a profession of faith,” Collins shared. “That’s 9- or 10,000 people coming forward and saying, ‘I want to know more about what it means to be a Christian. I want to give my life to Christ. I want to rededicate my life to Christ.'”
For the first time in history, they were ordered to take down their posters. CBN News reports, “Evangelist Greg Laurie has been forced to take down a series of billboards depicting him holding a Bible, advertising his upcoming “Harvest” outreach. The ads had been posted at a popular mall in Southern California.
Laurie and Harvest Crusade contracted Irvine Company, a real estate company in Southern California, to advertise the upcoming SoCal Harvest. The event will be held August 17-19 at Angel Stadium and is expected to draw tens of thousands of people. The company agreed to post large billboards promoting the crusade at Fashion Island, a prestigious outdoor mall in the center of Orange County.
However, after claiming the religious imagery on the ads provoked multiple complaints, including a “serious threat,” the Irvine Company mandated the billboards be modified. Harvest complied with the request and resubmitted new ad artwork without the image of the Bible. Ultimately, however, the changes were not enough to resolve the situation as the Irvine Company decided to completely remove all the advertisements and billboards for the crusade.
‘There was nothing overtly religious about it,’ John Collins, Harvest Executive Director told CBN News.
The Bible depicted in Laurie’s hand did not have a cross, religious symbols, or even the word ‘Bible’ on it.
‘We changed it to a more simplified ad that simply said ‘Harvest,’ giving the dates and some of the musical artists that are going to be with us. Then they came back and said they just wanted the ads completely removed and they refunded us,’ he explained.”
We feel it is just unfortunate that people are complaining,” he emphasized. “It’s sad that our culture is at this degree of intolerance…There’s such intolerance against Christianity that we aren’t allowed to state that or to publicly advertise this event. That’s amazing.”
The devil announced today that the culture of Orange County with a rich history of Christian faith has totally changed and will no longer tolerate the church. Beloved, they thought I was crazy when I began blogging warnings to the church that this was coming. Now it’s here, in all its hideous glory. And don’t tell me I am overreacting.
You need to wake up to the reality that we have crossed a very dark and evil threshold. Now, in any city where there is a crusade, someone can make a call and shut down soul winning.
If they can ban posters, what’s to stop them from banning arenas, television time or even churches renting schools?
The Irvine Company’s excuse does not pass the smell test. There is an undercurrent of animus toward Christianity in California. Today, with this act of censorship, California is announcing that we are now the underground church.
Satan did it here because it is the birthplace the Jesus Movement. He is making a statement.
The preachers of the Golden State should unify behind the SoCal Harvest. But that is only the beginning. There should be white hot outrage.
Face it! We are not good at boycotts. The proof lies in the fact that the Irvine Company felt no fear of a backlash even though millions of Christians live, work and buy products in Southern California. Wake up church!