Does Greg Laurie’s Harvest Crusades Produce False Converts?

In a piece over at Pulpit & Pen, Jeremy Roten tackles the “false convert” issue.  Many people believe that by saying the “sinner’s prayer” or simply raising their hand during a church service to indicate they wish to have Christ in their life or going forward during a Billy Graham or Greg Laurie crusade means they’re born again (regenerate…saved).  In other words, doing these sorts of things means a person can say with certainty, “I’m a Christian.”  But do such methods save a person from going to hell?  Or have we been sold a bill of goods by well-meaning evangelists, pastors, church leaders, teachers and friends? Sadly, we have.  Thus, the visible Church has become rife with false converts. You ask, “how is this possible?” Jeremy Roten offers an explanation for what has been going on in Christendom…

Crusade -- Billy Graham

Harvest America, with Greg Laurie, is coming to AT&T stadium near my house. This has sparked a lot of conversation lately for me. The conversation tends to end the same way each time. It ends with a question similar to this one, “If there are people that get saved what is wrong with calling people to walk an aisle and pray the sinner’s prayer?” I have had responses like this, “What does it matter if only a low percentage is saved that actually come forward if people are getting saved?” Other statements have gone like this, “If God saves people at these conferences it seems to be of God right?”

Before I go any further let me just say that, “It does seem that some fruit has come out of the Harvest Crusades.” I rejoice at the people that God saved out of these events despite what they do at the end!

Now, if people are getting saved from this crusade what is the problem? The problem is not with the people who are getting saved but with the false conversion it makes. Events like this make so many people believe they were saved because they made a decision. In a 1990 interview with PBS, Billy Graham thought that only about 25% of those who come forward at one of his events actually became a Christian. Not too bad right? In recent years, studies have shown that only 3% to 6% of people who “come forward” at an evangelistic crusade are any different in their beliefs or behavior one year later. Looks like 25% was a little too high of a guess.

What are the opposite numbers or statics of those who are false converts? By Billy Graham’s calculation, it would be 75% and by recent studies, it would be 97% to 94%. This is why I wrote this. Just look at the percentage of people who go forward that become false converts or fall away. Here is a Question to ask yourself. If your method of calling people to respond to the gospel is giving people false hope and does not save should you really do it? Where is the altar call or sinners prayer in the bible? If these things are not biblical why would you do it?  Continue reading


Our Church, Our Children and the “Sinners Prayer” by Amy Spreeman

Who Are the Genuine Children of God by Mike Ratliff

No, We Are Not All God’s Children by Bill Muehlenberg

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11 Responses to Does Greg Laurie’s Harvest Crusades Produce False Converts?

  1. Darrel June 23, 2016 at 3:23 pm #

    The last paragraph of Mr. Roten’s piece is the most disturbing of all. Mr. Roten considers Greg Laurie to be a legitimate “minister of the Gospel” which he is not. GL is just another money hungry huckster adept at duping people of their money, their time, their allegiance (to GL) and their souls. Anyone who thinks that their eternal soul’s fate was sealed for heaven because of some “decision” they have made (and prayer they have prayed) has fallen prey to the age old lie of the devil. Notice that no where in all the great speeches they deliver is there any mention of repentance AND faith. Nor will they ever mention that both are gifts from God to the believer; gifts that no one has ever requested prior to salvation because they don’t have enough sense to know what they really need—to be made alive again by the Spirit of God because they are dead in their trespasses and sins and don’t even know it. It’s called being born again, a totally foreign concept to GL and all his henchmen who care only for your money and praise with co concern whatsoever for your eternal well-being.

    A question for Mr. Roten: where in the Bible does it say that a man is saved by listening to a false gospel, delivered by a false prophet (GL & company)?

    • frank October 28, 2016 at 1:15 am #

      I just watched a GL crusade. He certainly did talk about repentance and even explained it in depth. Not sure where you are getting your information.

  2. Manny1962 June 23, 2016 at 6:17 pm #

    Anytime you have these mass “conversion” rallies, red flags should be waving. Even when Christ spoke to the masses most would wander off, or they would follow Him because He gave them bread to eat! That was with JESUS CHRIST! Laurie, Graham, and all those that fill stadiums, plead with the masses to raise their hand or walk down an aisle are selling cheap grace, where’s the repentance? Where’s the turning to Jesus, the brokenness, the new birth, the faith…… these are conditions the masses don’t want, they want to stay in their “fun” but want a golden ticket to never enter hell.

  3. Nellie June 23, 2016 at 7:03 pm #

    One man followed up on a crusade by Bohnke, where he claimed 250k accepted Christ. After 6 months, the man find less than 10k still in church. The reason is we tell people the Cross and heaven without telling people they are hopeless in sin without Christ. And so, we do the same today, many living as the world with no repentance or holiness.

  4. tbsbet June 23, 2016 at 11:38 pm #

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  5. lyn June 24, 2016 at 12:14 am #

    Excellent comments.

    American Christianity is cheap, it cost nothing. Many have neglected the ministerial work of the Holy Spirit and opt to persuade sinners to ‘accept Jesus’ as though they have the ability to do so. There is no brokenness, no power of regeneration, no evidence of a changed life.

    Laurie is just another huckster using religion for his own personal gain. Multitudes who attend these religious festivals get hyped up on emotion and think themselves saved when, in reality, Christ will say ‘depart from me, I never knew you’. Duping sinners into believing they’re saved because they walk an aisle, raise a hand, make a decision, etc. is a lie from the pit of hell. Most want to ease their conscience but they do NOT want to forsake their sins and leave all for Christ. Laurie and many others just like him will pay dearly for their false gospel.

  6. Manny1962 June 24, 2016 at 11:01 am #

    Amen Lyn,

    The apostasy is so flagrant, there’s no shame left in these false pastors, not that they ever had any. I wonder if these fools understand what they’re doing, it’s so blatant against the word of God! I’d be petrified! Especially after what the bible says about adding and taking away from the Holy Words of God! And the poor, undiscerning deluded sheep that follow these wolves, that’s why I always say the most fertile field for evangelism is the “church” right here in our own backyard!

  7. lyn June 24, 2016 at 1:11 pm #

    Exactly Manny, they flippantly twist God’s truth with no regard to the consequences of such a horrific act. The day of reckoning is oh so close!!!

    It’s good to see you posting here brother, I appreciate your comments very much :^)

  8. Manny1962 June 24, 2016 at 11:20 pm #

    Thank you Lyn! I always appreciate your thoughtful comments and insights! May the Good Lord bless you!

  9. Chaplain Bill - IPOC Ministries June 26, 2016 at 8:40 am #

    Thank you for your article. I was a false convert under Greg Laurie’s unbiblical sinner’s prayer. Hence I wrote a comprehensive article on this. More importantly I do address his soteriology (or lack of).

  10. Maggie June 26, 2016 at 4:25 pm #

    In a true conversion, the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit brings the believer to conviction, repentance, justification, and regeneration. In a false conversion, this action of the Holy Spirit is missing which could lead a person to seek a self-help path of spirituality and sanctification—hence, explaining the current widespread popularity of the spiritual formation movement, with its man-made spiritual disciplines and unbiblical contemplative spiritual practices. If the visible church is full of unconverted people, it explains the pervasive lack of discernment or desire for holiness, etc., etc.

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