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”

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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33 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.

    • Nancy L Levy June 8, 2017 at 12:18 pm #

      If one person gets saved from the Harvest Crusades, then it is worth it and it’s working,

      • lyn June 8, 2017 at 1:40 pm #

        Here’s the faulty thinking of your logic…..God doesn’t use false gospels and false teachers to save. Crusades to not save, God does by His grace and by the proclaiming of the Gospel – see Romans 1:16. You need to read this –

      • Manny1962 June 8, 2017 at 10:09 pm #

        No one gets saved in masse, saving is only done by God through His Son, I’ve yet to hear the unvarnished Gospels presented in these “crusades.” This is man’s way of “church building!” Not the biblical model in the least!

        • Maggie June 9, 2017 at 12:29 pm #

          The NAR uses the “en masse” method in “making disciples of all nations.” Obedience to Scriptures is stressed. As part of the NAR dominionist agenda, this is a way to “Christianize” society without true conversion. I believe this is a lot like Rick Warren’s PEACE Plan.

    • Timothy Nolan March 19, 2020 at 9:53 am #

      HE talks plenty repentance and faith. He’s good at what he does. And people who are good something tend to be successful. And when you are successful, there is always someone tying to tear you down.

      You are probably right about false conversions. People wallow in their sin, get tired of their sin, and repent of it and have faith they are forgiven. They overcome the sin for a while, but fall back into it. They subsequently repent again. That’s not the same thing as a false conversion. It’s backsliding, but backsliders can move forward again. And when you are sincere, you ten to sin less and make serious progress in faith.

      Greg L is a good pastor, not a prosperity Gospel huckster like Kenneth Copeland or Jesse Duplantis.

      It’s easy to be a hyper-critic; but look at the substance of what he does. He preaches a simple, digestible message – and people connect with him and what he does.

  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 #

    Copyright © 2016 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.

  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!

    • Timothy Nolan March 19, 2020 at 10:00 am #

      Of course he uses religion for personal gain! He wants to go to heaven when he dies, and he wants others to go to heaven.

      As far as an extravagant lifestyle, never heard that about him. His net worth is about $3.5 million.

      First off, he lives in SOCAL, where $3.5 is probably a modest amount of money. A simple home can cost $1 million in itself.

      His ministry is hugely successful, so if he wanted to be a Kenneth Copeland, he could do it; but he chooses not to.

  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.

  11. Saved by Grace June 12, 2017 at 1:28 am #

    What man can look into the soul of another man and know of he is truly repentant of his sin? I believe that these comments I am reading are judgemental and doubtful of the saving power of Jesus.
    Greg Laurie is an instrument and is used by God to spread the Gospel message to people who otherwise may not have attended a church. I have been to a few Harvest Crusades and support the work that Greg does.
    He makes the message of salvation clear and
    Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ does the rest.
    If a man doesn’t seem to truly be brought to repentance, you cannot blame it on the preacher.
    It isn’t in Greg’s power to save souls and he does not claim that it is. Thanks to Harvest Crusades many have come away from praying to Mary or saints and have learned to call on the name of Jesus.
    Greg Laurie is not the Savior, he is approved by God to spread the gospel message. How about you?

    • Manny1962 June 12, 2017 at 10:17 am #

      “Greg Laurie is not the Savior, he is approved by God to spread the gospel message. How about you?”

      Every single follower of Jesus Christ is approved and commanded, not suggested, to spread the unvarnished, uncompromised Gospel message. When Laurie stops mixing with Rome, ecumenism and the NAR, then perhaps he might be approved. Billy Graham surreptitiously taught universalism which is a false gospel, I dare you to ask any “Christian” if Billy Graham was an approved man of God or not………99% will say he was! Far too many cannot stomach the exclusivity of Jesus’ words! Or Christianity! Romanism is not another denomination.

    • lyn June 12, 2017 at 12:01 pm #

      The bible tells us to examine the ‘fruit’. Laurie’s fruit does not line up. His gospel is accursed. He is not being used by God because he preaches a different gospel, much like the Grahams do. It is a gospel that coerces and plays upon the emotion and doesn’t prick the heart. Telling sinners to come forward, to accept Jesus, to invite him into their hearts, etc. are all works of the flesh used to persuade the emotional side and leave the heart unpricked concerning sin and the need for Christ.
      Laurie is another one who is building the ‘ecumenical church’. These types mix a little bit of truth with their poison, and the undiscerning swallow it hook, line and sinker. So goats think they are sheep because of a work they’ve done, never understanding the necessity of the new birth by God the Spirit. They have an outward religion that doesn’t save. And Laurie gets richer and gains a ‘following’ as a result. Many defend him and forget we are to follow Christ and not man. Deception is a major sign of the end times…..and it is everywhere.

    • Thomas Schmelzer September 10, 2019 at 9:01 pm #

      Desperately wicked, who can know it?

  12. Manny1962 June 12, 2017 at 9:45 am #

    “According to the Catholic News Service in a August 17th article titled “Bishops designate Wisconsin site of Marian apparitions as national shrine,” U.S. Catholic bishops “formally designated the Shrine of Our Lady of Good Help in Champion as a national shrine.” The article explains that “Bishop David L. Ricken of Green Bay announced its new status at a news conference prior to the annual Mass celebrated at the shrine for the feast day.”
    The Catholic News Service article explains Bishop Ricken’s role in helping to establish this national shrine with Marian apparitions in Wisconsin:

    On Dec. 8, 2010, Bishop Ricken formally approved the apparition of Our Lady of Good Help to Brise, making the Marian apparitions that occurred some 18 miles northeast of Green Bay the first in the United States to receive approval of a diocesan bishop. His decree came nearly two years after he opened a formal investigation into the apparitions.
    For those reading this who have followed Understand the Times for any length of time, you know that Marian apparitions (supposed supernatural appearances of the Virgin Mary) are a sign of the end times great delusion. Our present concern, however, regarding this situation is that one of Calvary Chapel’s most popular and influential pastors implicated himself with Bishop Ricken in 2011 during the Lifest event in Wisconsin. As Lighthouse Trails reported, Calvary Chapel pastor Greg Laurie joined Bishop Ricken at Lifest that year. One news story reporting on the event stated:

    [Bishop] Ricken led 9 a.m. Mass from the Thrivent Café Stage on the final day of the 13th annual Lifest celebration at Sunnyview Expo Center. Hundreds worshipped as intermittent showers trickled down on the large tent. . . .

    Protestant devotions, a children’s service and the Catholic Mass each were held separately before joint worship at 11 a.m. on the grandstand featuring Lenz; Greg Laurie, senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif., and head of the international Harvest Crusades.

    To date, Laurie has never come forth with a statement acknowledging that such actions could confuse and mislead many Christians into thinking that biblical Christianity is not in conflict with Roman Catholicism and its view on Mary and Marian apparitions. In an article Understand The Times released in 2011, I explained:

    It was the name Bishop Ricken that caught my attention when I read the article about the Roman Catholic churches plan to use appearances of “Mary” to enhance the New Evangelization plan. I had heard of Ricken before from other articles I had read. Bishop Ricken shared the platform with Greg Laurie in Wisconsin at a city wide Lifest evangelistic crusade in the spring of 2011 in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. . . .
    So what does this mean? Will people who attended the meeting in Wisconsin where Laurie and Ricken both spoke on the same platform be somewhat confused? What if there are those who attended the Lifest ecumenical meetings who are now convinced that Ricken’s program to promote Marian apparitions is a good thing with regard to the New Evangelization? Apparently, Ricken and his colleague from Europe plan to promote Marian apparitions as a means of pointing people to the Eucharistic Jesus. As the article states:
    “Bishop Ricken has acted boldly in the United States, with his approval of an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In Europe, Cardinal Schonborn has acted fearlessly as well with his activities. Both men, charged with revitalizing the Catholic faith, have courageously taken action that acknowledges the supernatural presence of the Our Lady and importantly her motherly role in leading us to her son.”1
    Since Greg Laurie shared the platform in Oskosh, Wisconsin at the Lifest Celebration with Bishop Ricken much more has happened. Ricken has now been promoted to be a key player in the pope’s New Evangelization program.
    It is well known that Jesuits are behind the devotion to “Our Lady of Peace,” also called the “Queen of Heaven,” that leads to the promotion of the Eucharistic Jesus. This will be an important part of developing a One-World Religion for Peace that will usher in the Antichrist. Therefore, the questions that should be asked are these: Why would Greg Laurie endorse Roman Catholic Jesuit Bishop Ricken by sharing the platform with him at the Lifest gathering in Oshkosh? Is Laurie aware of the damage he has done by forming this association, or is this just part of a much larger game plan that has not yet been revealed?
    Isn’t it time that Calvary Chapel pastors who understand the times and the great delusion coming upon the world speak up and call out those pastors and leaders who are leading the flock in a direction that is away from the Gospel and biblical truth?”

    Why would Laurie even come near this?

  13. Manny1962 June 12, 2017 at 9:51 am #

    More on Laurie and Romanism:

    • berlorac June 12, 2017 at 2:57 pm #

      Now, why would Romanist Mel Gibson feel comfortable showing up on stage with Greg Laurie at this past weekend’s Harvest Crusade? Could it be because he knows Greg Laurie considers Roman Catholicism just another Christian denomination? Yup.

      • Manny1962 June 12, 2017 at 6:28 pm #

        Hi B!………..

  14. Manny1962 June 12, 2017 at 10:00 am #

    There are many, many fa!se teachers that hold or have been famous for their crusades! They all have the same formula, they all preach a universalist type of salvation, Billy Graham was famous for this, the Word of Faith hucksters are famous for this, Laurie is no different when he mixes the name of Jesus Christ with Rome! People don’t need to attend a church to be saved, as Phillip explainded the gospels to the Ethiopian his eyes were opened, he heard the word, the correct word! As for Laurie leading many away from Mary? Well, his position on that might have changed…………

  15. Manny1962 June 12, 2017 at 10:08 am #

    More on Mr.Laurie and Mr.Engle (NAR)

  16. Saved by Grace June 12, 2017 at 10:45 am #

    I respect your berean research. I guess you told me! Have a blessed day. I got saved in 1983 while listening to a gospel radio station. All things are possible with God. Have a fine day.

    • Manny1962 June 12, 2017 at 11:52 am #

      It’s not that “you have been told,” the issue is too many that look good on the outside are not preaching correctly, or if preaching 99% correctly are espousing a different Jesus and a different gospel! Rome is a different Jesus and a different gospel, the bible is extremely clear on what a believer is to do when faced with a “Rome!” We live in perilous times, many antichrist’s have gone forward naming​ Christ, but they’re not His, deceived in themselves and deceiving the biblically ignorant!ll God is amazing, glorious and unfathomable in goodness, mercy and love, but the other side of the coin is frightening! Judge, jury, executioner, it is a frightening thing to fa ll into the hands of The Living God! Thanks be to His Son Jesus Christ! As for you my friend, God bless you! Keep on the narrow path, there’s a lot of misinformation being peddled! Always reference scripture and be weary of what looks good! Rick Warren is doing a lot of damage in Africa with his demonic doctrines, many swear he’s a good man doing God’s work! Remember, a time is coming when someone kills another and thinks they’re doing God a favor! The first to turn on believers will be Churchianity! May our God be a lamp unto your feet! May He keep you and bless you!

    • lyn June 12, 2017 at 11:55 am #

      You did NOT get saved because of a ‘radio program’. Sinners are saved how? Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 
      Eph 2:9  Not of works, lest any man should boast. Grace is how sinners are saved. Yes, the preaching of the word must be given. Yes, the Gospel is the power unto salvation. Sinners are drawn by God {John 6:44}. They must be born again by the Spirit {John 3}. They are saved by grace – verses already given. Let us never give credit for salvation to a radio program, or a preacher. The messenger doesn’t save sinners, the God of the gospel message does. It is a work of the triune God and all glory goes to Him and Him alone.

      • Manny1962 June 12, 2017 at 12:17 pm #

        Amen sister! Amen! I was saddened he thought he was “being told,” which was not the case! So many think that pointing out wolves in sheep’s clothing or fallacies is tantamount to being rebuked! It isn’t always so! Information is information! We are all mandated to be Berean-like! It’s not exclusive to one person, site or organization! WE ALL must be Bereans! The sheep don’t realize just how perilous these days are! If more believers will start reading their bibles the difference will be huge. Daily I think about the ever growing Great Apostasy, reading through countless of web pages from economics to internatiinal politics, it’s so amazing to see the veracity of scripture on display! If people knew, if they cared enough to just research a little bit, it would shock them straight! We have a bunch of ostriches with their heads in the sand, they don’t want to know the reality of what is happening today! The Bible says don’t be caught unawares!

  17. Saved by Grace June 12, 2017 at 2:54 pm #

    Seriously? That is exactly what I was trying to say however you are so wrapped up in being right you didn’t hear me.
    That I heard the gospel and the good news of the saving grace of Jesus through a preacher on the radio and accepted the Lord. Take care

  18. Jess August 2, 2017 at 8:58 am #

    Greg Laurie is ecumenical, he works with people that preach false gospels that lead to hell. Also, the Bible says to believe in Jesus, to be saved (John 6:47). You cannot add any works to it (Romans 4:5). But Laurie and others insist that you walk forward at their events, in order to be saved. That’s adding works, so Greg Laurie is not preaching the true Gospel message.

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