The Legend of Lonnie Frisbee

Yesterday in the post I recieved my DVD copy of ‘Frisbee The Life and Death of a Hippie Preacher’ and I watched it this morning instead of my normal time in the Bible.

Its both inspiring and tragic – a story of a man so gifted by God – so wounded and flawed – and of a church that both embraced him for his ‘annointing’ and then rejected him for his homosexuality.

A constant theme of the movie is that God chose to use a ‘silly little man’ or a ‘clown’, someone who appeared so insignificant and yet when under the influence of the spirit of God was able to perform miracles and lead people to faith in multitudes. A man who came to Christ on an LSD trip was largely responsible for the igniting of the Calvary Chapel movement and the Vineyard movement.

Perhaps the most heartbreaking moment was his return to Calvary Chapel as a clean cut middle class boy rather than the wild crazy hippie who God was using. His time as a hippie both pulled crowds and put CC on the map, but it also created some chaos that made Chuck Smith uncomfortable. The solution was to ‘tame’ Lonnie by dressing him in a 3 piece suit and a tie.

The Lonnie Frisbee story is a reminder of a God who works in crazy ways and thru the most unlikely people – and sometimes that is good because it reminds us of who he is.

2 thoughts on “The Legend of Lonnie Frisbee

  1. What i have not yet heard from all of the story tellers about Lonnie, is the point that he was as close to a modern day apostle as we have seen.

    I don’t believe anyone including Chuck Smith or Wimber could see this though, and perhaps that was part of the problem. Lonnie didn’t know what he was either, and that might have been part of the problem.

    We all have failures just like Lonnie. In our down time from the anointing of the Holy Spirit we tend to go a little crazy into the flesh.

    What people do not understand, is that the heavier the anointing, the more tendency there is for failure in the natural man. Lonnie was just a prime example of this.

    It is a very tragic story indeed, and shows how wrong attitudes, motivations, and just plain human failing can wreck a movement of God, this is not just a comment about Lonnie, but about all who were players including Smith and Wimber.

    God had turned my life around in 1972, and i think the Jesus movement was just about finished by then. Of course many say it lasted until 1975 to 1980, but i don’t think so. I think it was killed by those who made this spiritual “happening” into a religious form, and this was started by Smith, but he was only the first.

    So, if someone really wanted to point fingers, and name names, i think this is where the downfall started, not only of Lonnie, but the whole movement.

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