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Harvest Crusade forced to take down billboards in California


Harvest Crusade Billboard that was pulled down: Credit CBN

The Harvest Crusade Billboard that was deemed offensive and pulled down: Credit CBN

Pastor Greg Laurie revealed some disturbing news about several billboards that he was forced to take down earlier this month advertising his SoCal Harvest evangelistic meeting to be held in Anaheim’s Angel stadium between August 17 to 19.

With a seating capacity of 45,000 people, Greg Laurie has held his Harvest Crusades at the facility since 1990. The evangelistic meetings draws between 90,000 to 100,000 people and typically result in nearly 10,000 people becoming Christians.

To promote the August crusade, Harvest Crusade booked several billboards with a real estate company called Irvine Company. The billboards contracted by Laurie were at a popular mall called Fashion Island in Orange County.

The billboards featured Greg Laurie preaching and holding a Bible up in his right hand along with the dates and location of the crusade.

According to Todd Starnes, a columnist with Fox News, a representative with the Irvine Company contacted Harvest Crusade stating the company had received several complaints about the billboard and even one “serious threat.”

There were no crosses on the billboard and there was nothing indicating the book Laurie was holding was a Bible. Even though the billboard was not overtly religious a handful of people were offended and Irvine Company said Harvest Crusade needed to modify its design.

Laurie agreed and removed the Bible from the billboard. However, even this was not enough and Irvine decided to cancel the contract citing a clause that allowed this if the artwork was deemed offensive.

In interview with CBN, John Collins, the Executive Director for Harvest Crusade, said they don’t blame the Irvine Company for the cancellation. He says the problem lies directly with the intolerant culture of the day who aggressively oppose anyone they disagree with.

He told CBN:

“There’s such intolerance against Christianity that we aren’t allowed to state that or to publicly advertise this event. That’s amazing. It’s a sign where our society is headed. It’s sad that intolerance is gaining momentum. We are tolerant of many other lifestyles and choices and tolerant towards many other religions, but when it comes to Christianity for some reason, there is an intolerance.”

Though there are those primarily on the left trying to shout down Christianity, it is a problem that Jesus also faced.

When Jesus was riding into the Jerusalem on a donkey on what some refer to as Palm Sunday, the people gathered to witness the Lord’s triumphant entrance and were praising God because of all the miracles they had witnessed. However, there were also pharisees in the crowd and they began to shout demanding that Jesus tell everyone to be quiet.

Jesus responded:

40 But Jesus answered, “I tell you, if these become silent, the stones will cry out!” (Luke 19:40 NASV)

Christ said that even if the pharisees and others bullied Christians into silence, God would find other ways for the Lord’s message to get out. Even the rocks would cry out.

I have written in the past of the remarkable transformation taking place in Justin Bieber’s life who now regularly sends out Christian messages to tens of millions of his followers on social media. I find it ironic that as some try to shut down Christians in the public square, God is raising up “rock” stars, or more aptly “pop” stars to get the message out.

So the more people try to intimidate and shout down Christians, the louder the Lord will roar out of Zion.

Sources:

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