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California Evangelist Draws Thousands to RBC Center

Posted June 22, 2007

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— People came by the thousands, some lining up three hours early, just to see California Evangelist Greg Laurie at the RBC Center Friday night.

Laurie is hosting what he calls a Harvest crusade this weekend. About 250 local churches came together to invite him to the Triangle.

It took the churches 14 months of planning to get him, and most people who heard him speak Friday said it was worth the wait.

“He has always inspired me on the radio, so I had to come and see him,” said Alice Fenton, a Harvest attendee.

As many as 50,000 people are expected to hear Laurie speak over the weekend long crusade, which combines Christian rock and a message of faith.

“My mom has talked about Greg Laurie since I was a little kid,” said Christina Wood.

Guy Barrese said he’ll probably attend the Harvest all three days.

Some have compared Laurie to the Rev. Billy Graham. Graham’s daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, said he has been a friend of the family for 18 years.

The Graham family has supported him from the beginning. And even though it was a little more than a week ago when Lotz lost her mother, she says that's all the more reason she had to come.

“I thought of how many people would be coming tonight,” Lotz said. “And they’re going to hear about Jesus tonight and put their faith in Jesus. So when that time comes for them to step into eternity, their loved ones will have the assurance that they’re in heaven and they’ll see them again. So, it’s very meaningful for me to be here one week later and be participating in an event like this.”

Friday was just day one of the Harvest crusade. Laurie will be back again Saturday and Sunday nights.

About two dozen off duty officers are helping with crowd and traffic control. Organizers said they expect to fill every seat at the RBC Center.

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  • Harvey Jun 24, 2007

    I challenge ANYONE to show me one person who was a non-believer or on the fence about that god fella that went to see the heavy metal rock-n-roll preacher and came away 'saved'. Just another self-reinforcing show-off festival to try and brainwash the young people and stroke the egos of the adults. Oh, and a waste of 600K that could have helped New Orleans or Africa.

  • JC4JC21204 Jun 24, 2007

    Thank you mom2threecld! I wonder how much money that is spent on drugs/alcohol could be used to help those in need. I guess it is a matter of where your priorities are in life. I attended all 3 nights and not once did I see anyone being forced into the building, nor forced to accept Christ. We are all God's children. As for our household, WE BELIEVE...John 3:16, Romans 8:28....

  • Lissa Jun 24, 2007

    Steve, you got your labels backwards. Here, let me fix it for you.

    From a non-conservative point of view:

    Open-minded - a diligent search for the truth involving comprehensive study of an issue, reading a wide variety of works submitted by qualified researchers until one is satisfied that one has a grasp of the information needed to formulate an opinion.

    Closed-minded - there really is not such thing since a true non-conservative is always willing to listen to any valid viewpoint accompanied by facts and statistics.

    From a conservative point of view:

    Open-minded - the willingness to accept any philosophy that may come along or try any program regardless of the lack of substantiation and then continue on with that wavering choice without regard to successful outcome.

    Close-minded - Anyone who disagrees with a conservative regardless of how much proof is offered that the conservative is completely wrong.

  • Lissa Jun 24, 2007

    "A true conservative is always willing to listen to any valid viewpoint accompanied by facts and statistics."

    Now THAT'S comedy. Tell me then, why is it that the religious right is so against Darwin's theory of evolution being taught in school?

    And what "proof" and "scientific evidence" do you have that what you believe is true?

    I have no problem whatsoever with people practicing their faith. If it gets them through life, more power to them. I *do* take offense at the use of the phrase "The Truth," when in fact there is no way for anyone alive to know exactly what the truth is.

    The very definition of faith is "belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence."

    You believe what you want to believe, and so will I. However, do NOT hold yourself as superior to anyone who does not believe as you do, for you are no better than anyone else.

  • cherylcope Jun 24, 2007

    The time and money spent on this crusade doesn't matter when there are souls being saved. You can't put a price on changed lives!
    Greg Laurie ought to be added to the list of "helping take a bite out of crime", as, people turn away from their sinful ways and turn back to the one who created them!
    cheryl

  • Steve Crisp Jun 24, 2007

    To TarheelsDontLikeEdwards:

    There is a significant and world-changing difference between the Bakkers, Oral Roberts, Benny Hinn, Jimmy Swaggart, and their kind and folks like Greg Laurie, Charles Stanley, John MacArthur, Billy Graham, and Chuck Swindoll.

    The latter list preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ without apology and without twisting the Word of God.

    The former list preaches the gospel of personal enrichment and lustful hedonism under the guise of Christianity.

    And it is up to a Christian to develop the discernment to recognize the difference. Unfortunately, many Christians are Christian in name only, content to follow a false, non-Biblical belief system that is led by those who are apostate.

  • Steve Crisp Jun 24, 2007

    To mom2threecld:

    Now you've opened a can of worms by bringing in that dreaded term "closed-minded." Here's some definitions to ponder:

    From a conservative point of view:

    Open-minded - a diligent search for the Truth involving comprehensive study of an issue, reading a wide variety of works submitted by qualified researchers until one is satisfied that one has a grasp of the information needed to formuate an opinion.

    Closed-minded - there really is not such thing since a true conservative is always willing to listen to any valid viewpoint accompanied by facts and statistics.

    From a liberal point of view:

    Open-minded - the willingness to accept any philosophy that may come along or try any program regardeless of the lack of substantiation and then continue on with that wavering choice without regard to successful outcome.

    Close-minded - Anyone who disagrees with a liberal regardless of how much proof is offered that the liberal is completely wrong.

  • mom2threecld Jun 24, 2007

    elcid89 and others, so far as the money part, what's the issue? people pay LOTS of money for strip joints, sticking dollar bills, or twenty dollar bills in strippers undies, no one brings to light that money should go to the homeless instead of watching naked people. the point is preacher or porn, what ever people want to do with their money is their business, i think religion is great. never been to anything like this, but my son has been there all week end and has enjoyed it very much. if this type of money would have been spent to see other things, nothing would be said, whether is would be sports related, or whatever. i believe discussing religion scares people, but i learned a long time ago there are 2 things you can't discuss, religion and politics, because people are to close minded and into their own thought to listen

  • Kelv Jun 24, 2007

    As the USS Enterprise CVN 65-Big E Strike Group steams to the waters just outside of Iran it is so sad the evangilical community supports the war(s) our president are in and want to make larger and much worse. Seems the draft is right around the corner and I wonder if the evangilical support of all the killing might slip when it is their children in the fight?

    The Navy's largest air carrier, will join the USS Stennis and the USS Nimitz carriers, building up the largest sea, air, marine concentration the United States has ever deployed opposite Iran.

    My take, since no one from the community will address it, is that evangilicals are saved and others from other religious faiths are not. Hence, it is alright to kill them. The unsaved are going to hell anyway and, heck,the men, women and children can just be considered an "it" hit by a smart bomb on the evening news. No harm, no foul since they won't be seeing Jesus anyway. Really curious about this?

  • elcid89 Jun 24, 2007

    "No worries about the afterlife? No concern about what happens after you take your last breath? Man are you deceived. Here's one thing I'm confident of....when you breath that last breath and pass into eternity, you will be wishing you would have spent a bit more time thinking about the afterlife."

    Nope, not a single worry. I'm content to believe that death is the end of the road. When you boil it all down, that's really what religion is all about, isn't it? I mean, you have the social constructs that needed protecting (at that time) in the name of survival and the historical aspects, but at its core it's about man's fear of what happens when he dies. Humans hate unanswered questions, and that's the biggest unanswerable question of all. The obvious conclusion (you die, decompose and become compost) frightens the daylights out of man, so he invented an alternative reality (pearly Holiday Inn in the sky), convinced himself it was fact and now fights tooth and nail to protect it.

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