Lonnie Frisbee and the Jesus People Movement
March 22, 2023
David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061
Lonnie Frisbee

Lonnie Frisbee

The new movie “The Jesus Revolution” documents the beginning of the Jesus People movement in California in the 1970s. It is a propaganda piece in support of Christian rock. It features the prominent role played by Lonnie Frisbee and Chuck Smith, founder of the Calvary Chapels. The following is excerpted from The Directory of Contemporary Worship Musicians,

For a video report on the Jesus People Movement, see
The Satanic Attack on Sacred Music video series, “CCM: A Bridge to Dangerous Waters # 2.”

Lonnie Frisbee (1949-1993) further illustrates the frightfully shallow nature of many of the Jesus People “conversions” that formed the foundation of the contemporary praise music movement. Frisbee turned to “Jesus” through LSD trips and began to receive “prophecies” while high on drugs. On his own authority the teenage Frisbee baptized a group of drugged up hippies at Tahquitz Falls after reading the Gospel of John to them and painting a picture of “Jesus” on the rocks. Later, in the same place while on an acid trip, he had a “vision” that God had called him to preach the gospel to multitudes.

In a video documentary on Frisbee, David DiSabatino observes that many of the Jesus People conversions involved drugs. “One of the ironic twists of the 60s was that many openly stated that drugs, LSD in particular, played a large part in their experience in Christian salvation” (
Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippy Preacher).

Sandy Heefner, for example, describes her salvation like this:

“I took my LSD, laid down on the floor a couple of hours and when I could get together to get up, I got up as a Christian. It’s just that simple.”

This is most definitely
not biblical salvation. There is no gospel, no repentance, no saving faith. This is a deluding spirit masquerading as Christian conversion.

Frisbee was not only using hallucinogenic drugs but was still living a homosexual lifestyle, practicing hypnotism, and dabbling in various occult and mystical practices (“The Son Worshipers,” video documentary edited by Bob Cording and Weldon Hardenbrook). In this condition, Frisbee joined a Jesus People commune in 1967. He never had a clear new birth conversion that involved a definite understanding of the gospel and repentance and faith. He never gave up homosexuality and partying. Even after he joined Calvary Chapel he would “party on Saturday night” and “preach on Sunday.” He would “go out and boogie down.” It was alleged that Frisbee’s ministry was accompanied by “signs and wonders,” but the devil can do miracles, and when measured by the standard of Scripture, Frisbee’s ministry was dangerously heretical.

Even so, Chuck Smith put Frisbee in charge of a Wednesday night Bible study, which soon attracted thousands (Randall Balmer,
The Encyclopedia of Evangelism).

That Frisbee had no spiritual discernment is evident in that he appeared with the false prophetess Kathryn Kuhlman on her
I Believe in Miracles show. Further, he lied on that program by claiming that his sin had been totally washed from his heart by the “baptism of the Holy Spirit,” when he knew full well that he was still sinning secretly in the most outrageous manner. (This appearance can be found on YouTube.)

By 1971, Chuck Smith parted company with Frisbee because of their different perspectives on Pentecostal signs and Smith’s desire to focus more on the teaching of Scripture. Smith was right to reject such things as “spirit slaying,” but the wild “spirit” represented by Frisbee and his charismatic mysticism already had a massive influence in the Jesus Music, including Calvary Chapel’s Maranatha music, and that influence has continued to this day.

What Smith failed to renounce was Christian rock itself with its powerful, sensual mysticism and its illegitimate merging of the unholy rock of this world with the holy Rock Christ.

Frisbee was divorced in 1973. His wife says,

“At the end of the marriage he told me that he had been staying late in some gay bars” (Connie Bremer-Murray, Lonnie’s ex-wife, Special Features section of Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippy Preacher).

In 1980, Frisbee became associated with John Wimber, who was seeking to establish a “signs and wonders” ministry at the Yorba Linda branch of the Calvary Chapels. Wimber called miracles “doing the stuff,” but he was unsuccessful in “doing the stuff” until Frisbee spoke at his church. After Frisbee asked all the young people under 25 to come forward and invited the Holy Spirit to manifest His power, the roughly 300 people fell on the floor “as if on a battlefield” and shook and spoke in unintelligible gibberish (David Roozen,
Church, Identity, and Change). Wimber asked God if this was of Him, and that night a Calvary Chapel preacher named Tom Stipe called him on the phone and said, “I have a word for you; the Lord says, ‘This is me’” (“Lonnie Frisbee and the Jesus People Revival,” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OgfmU13sPI).

Wimber should have tested the “Frisbee anointing” by Scripture, but instead he depended on signs and extra-scriptural prophecies.

Some of the elders of Wimber’s church called for a meeting to discuss the Frisbee phenomena, but the same confusion broke out to silence the protestors.

“All of a sudden, I’m seeing this guy next to me, this Ph.D. in Microbiology, begin to shake and he’s begun to shake under the presence of God. The presence of God’s coming. So I begin to stand up. The power of God knocks this guy down and he began to roll under my feet on the ground, screaming hysterically. The power of God came down on everybody in the room. And it was just absolutely mind-boggling” (John Ruttkay, quoted in Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippy Preacher).

Frisbee had a leather jacket with a picture of “Jesus” on the back that he used to “impart the spirit.” The transference of the spirit is a pagan practice but it has been a major element of Pentecostalism from its inception. Usually hands are used as the transference agent, but Benny Hinn often uses his jacket or his breath to transfer the spirit, and Rodney Howard-Browne has used a towel and other things.

Wimber interpreted all of this as the power of the Holy Spirit, but it was a deceiving spirit. The apostles and early church leaders didn’t fall down and shake and speak in meaningless gibberish, but the practitioners of pagan religions do those very things under the power of the devil.

Wimber’s church experienced massive growth and kids “started baptizing friends in hot tubs and swimming pools around town.”

It was at this point that Wimber left the Calvary Chapels and joined Kenn Gulliksen and the Vineyard Christian Fellowship. Wimber soon became the leader of the Fellowship.

Wimber had bought into the “latter rain” end-time miracle revival heresy and the new prophecy movement, and he and Frisbee traveled together to spread their “signs and wonders power evangelism” to South Africa and Europe.

“John would speak and Lonnie would minister. They were the dynamic duo. Lonnie got up there and he’d wave his leather coat and the power of God would come and people would be falling all over these old pews in these Baptist churches. And Lonnie would start climbing over the pews and start laying hands on people saying, ‘Speak in tongues! Speak in tongues!’ And he’d hit them in the forehead and they’d instantly begin to speak in tongues. So I was blown away by that...” (Steve Zarit, Vineyard church member, quoted in Frisbee: The Life and Death of a Hippy Preacher).

In one service in South Africa, Frisbee asked the children from 12 years old and under to come forward, and they all fell down “slain” (“Lonnie Frisbee in South Africa,” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYGXSac1TwM).

Wimber played a huge role in the spread of charismatic heresy throughout evangelicalism. He yoked up with C. Peter Wagner at Fuller Theological Seminary and taught a course called “Signs and Wonders and Church Growth.” Wagner traveled deeper and deeper into charismatic deception, eventually believing that he was one of the latter day apostles.

Under Wimber’s direction, the Vineyard churches took contemporary praise music to an edgier, more sensually-intense level. Lusting for “signs and wonders” and a tangible worship experience, they created powerful rock & roll music that would feed that lust.

Eventually Wimber parted ways with Frisbee over his homosexuality after learning that he had a six-month affair with a young man in his church.

(For more see “John Wimber and the Vineyard” in this Directory of Contemporary Worship Musicians.)

When Frisbee died in 1993 (age 43) of AIDS, a memorial service was held at self-esteem heretic Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral, where the hippie preacher is buried. At the service, Chuck Smith likened Frisbee to “Samson,” but Samson operated by the Spirit of God, whereby Frisbee operated by one who transforms himself into an angel of light (2 Cor. 11:13-14).

It was not only the Calvary Chapel’s Jesus People that were built upon a flimsy spiritual foundation. The field of Christian rock in general has been
rife with spiritual shipwreck, heresy, and such things as divorce, adultery, and homosexuality since its inception, as any honest history of the movement will acknowledge.


For a video report on the Jesus People Movement, see
The Satanic Attack on Sacred Music video series, “CCM: A Bridge to Dangerous Waters # 2.” - https://www.wayoflife.org/s3/satanic_attack/

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