Pastor Greg Laurie delivered a strong message against racism and called for a “spiritual awakening” at SoCal Harvest at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California on Friday night.
In his message titled “A Second Chance for America,” Laurie spoke about the tough issues facing the nation, particularly the violence that ensued during a white nationalist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia earlier this month.
Laurie, the lead pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, California, urged the crowd of approximately 26,000 people to reject every kind of prejudice and hate they see in this world.
“Our country is divided,” Laurie said, according to the OC Register. “For a follower of Jesus Christ, there is no place for racism, bigotry or prejudice of any kind. I see these people carrying crosses, wearing swastikas, talking about white supremacy. There is no superior race. We are all part of the human race,” he added.
The pastor recounted that he himself was “filled with hate” when he was young, and revealed that he used to smoke a lot of pot in Laguna Beach. He said that the nation needs a second chance now, just as he needed it back then.
“We are being threatened by terrorists. North Korea wants to nuke us. America needs to turn to God,” Laurie said.
He noted that he was one of many people who turned to Christ during the “Jesus Movement” in the 1960s.
“Thousands of kids who were strung out on drugs and filled with hate were awakened and I was one of those kids. We need another spiritual awakening right now,” he said.
Laurie concluded his message with a call to action, prompting hundreds to move toward the stage to proclaim their faith.
Keith Schnekenburger, 58, of Huntington Beach, said that he attends the event to “feel the love,” adding that he is frustrated by people fighting on social media and being unable to engage in civil dialogue.
Norma Losoya, who was at the Crusade for the third straight year, said that she attends the event for the music and the “Christian atmosphere.”
This year’s SoCal Harvest included performances from Lecrae, Jeremy Camp, Jordin Sparks and Crowder. The event was broadcast live on the Harvest website as well as the Harvest Channel on ROKU.
According to the website, more than 8.6 million have participated in Harvest events since 1990, with 499,030 of them making professions of faith. At last year’s event, nearly 12,000 people committed their lives to Christ,