Harvest Crusade
Starting Friday (8/6) night, the Harvest Crusade will return to Southern California’s Orange County for the 21st straight year. When Lynn’s son Bryce went to the annual Harvest Crusade, a Christian music and evangelism event, she had no way of knowing he would be lured into a cultic group known as the Twelve Tribes. The 2010 Harvest Crusade will bring some of the top names in Christian music, including David Crowder Band, Phil Wickham, Sanctus Real, Steven Curtis Chapman and MercyMe, and The Katinas.

The Twelve Tribes regularly field teams of proselytizers to intercept new converts and their friends as they leave the Crusade. Dancing and distributing literature around their brightly painted “hippie bus” in the Angel Stadium parking lot, Twelve Tribes members invite passerby’s to commit themselves to a more authentic Christian lifestyle in their “messianic communities.”

Also featured will be a message of hope from with evangelist Greg Laurie, senior pastor of Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside, Calif., whose Harvest events have drawn more than 4 million people to stadiums and arenas around the world since 1990.

This weekend’s three-night evangelistic “crusade” at Angel Stadium of Anaheim is being hosted by some 300 churches throughout the Southland.

Despite the musical performances, Laurie has stressed that the event is not a festival or a concert but an evangelistic event that is “designed from beginning to end to present the Gospel."

Seventh-day Adventists are among the other groups that chase down Crusade attendees. These followers of the prophetess Ellen G. White emphasize end-time themes, especially the observance of Saturday as the true day of worship, in order to avoid the coming wrath of God.

“Churches need to inoculate their members against ‘love bombing’ by predatory groups at crusades and concerts,” says Gretchen Goldsmith, CEO of Rose Publishing. “Christians need help in discerning truth from error so they can recognize and resist counterfeits–and this is especially true of new believers who have just responded to an invitation to trust in Jesus.”

Goldsmith recommends that churches educate their attendees on a regular basis on key beliefs and doctrines, and be familiar with the way these are twisted or denied by groups claiming to be Christian but actually rejecting the 2000-year-old message.

To help bridge the gap for Christians, Rose Publishing has just released a new 6-session DVD-based course called Christianity, Cults & Religions. It covers the key Christian beliefs and why Christians hold them. It also goes into detail on the beliefs of six groups that aggressively proselytize today and how to answer them.

A new pamphlet, 10 Questions and Answers on Seventh-Day Adventism will be released in October. It directly evaluates the Seventh-Day Adventist cultic background and beliefs, while comparing them to Christianity.

Lynn grieves for her son, who now refuses even to receive visits from her at the sect’s rural compound in Vista, California. Alienation from family and friends is common for converts to the Twelve Tribes, who support themselves through their “Yellow Deli” cafes and other businesses.

She prays that God will rescue Bryce and reconcile him to his parents and to the Body of Christ. “I don’t know if I’ll ever know why God is allowing this to happen to my family, but I’ll still praise His holy name and believe that He will make all thing work together for good,” said Lynn.

Looks like a lot going on this weekend for free or cheap besides Del Taco’s new 39 cent taco.

It’s also your last chance to get a $400 cordless electric lawnmower for $100, thanks to the AQMD, to enjoy some free family fun in a nearby community, and to catch Pastor Greg Laurie’s annual Harvest Crusade at Angel Stadium, among other things.

I always enjoylistening to “Pastor Greg,” and he always has some top notch contemporary Christian musicians, like Mercy Me, Stephen Curtis Chapman, The David Crowder Band and the O.C. Supertones this year. It’s a little like going to church outdoors with 35,000 – 45,000 of your best friends.