A close friend and former roommate of Lonnie Frisbee is encouraging moviegoers to read Frisbee’s autobiography in order to better understand his life and to help counter charges that the deceased evangelist was gay.
Frisbee is the focus of the new faith-based hit movie Jesus Revolution (PG-13), which tells the story of the hippie-led “Jesus Movement” of the 1960s/70s. Frisbee died from AIDS in 1993 at age 43.
John Ruttkay roomed with Frisbee and considered him his best friend. Ruttkay and his wife helped care for Frisbee in his final days of life.
“Lonnie’s the real deal,” Ruttkay said in a new YouTube video that was posted Feb. 25 and has since gone viral, with more than 200,000 views. “… He had a Samson anointing.”
Ruttkay also addressed charges that Frisbee was gay. Ruttkay read excerpts from Frisbee’s book, Not By Might, Nor By Power. (Christian Headlines obtained a copy of the book.)
Frisbee, in the book, wrote: “I never lived the gay lifestyle.”
“I would like to add that I have never even considered myself a homosexual at all, even though I had been molested for years as a child, had sexually experimented as part of the rebellious ‘free love generation’ during my teenage years in the sixties, and there is also my disappointing backsliding days in the mid-eighties,” Frisbee wrote.
The “most important angle” when discussing the issue, Frisbee wrote, is to answer: “What does God say about homosexuality?”
“Well, God is not negligent about condemning all categories of sin and harmful choices that we make, and there is a long list that he warns us about, including the so-called gay lifestyle,” Frisbee wrote.
In Not By Might, Nor By Power, Frisbee quotes Scripture while expressing love and compassion for others.
“I must say that I have respect for many of my friends who have chosen the gay lifestyle. They are among some of the most gifted and talented and loving individuals in the world,” he wrote. “… I can honestly say that I love my gay friends. But there is a huge difference between love and approval.
“… I love all of my friends – Christian, non-Christian, black, white, gay, straight, young or old, but I also know from experience that people’s choices can lead them down a totally destructive path,” Frisbee wrote. “God is clear in the Bible that ‘the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.’”
Frisbee blamed his contraction of AIDS to his not following God’s ways.
“I am totally forgiven by my Lord, but I’m also paying for the consequences of my sin even right now,” he wrote. “If you see your rambunctious three-year-old who somehow escaped a watchful eye and is ready to run out on a busy street, you would run to the rescue out of love, but also discipline him and try to explain the danger! Sometimes God severely disciplines us when we stubbornly choose ‘to do our own thing’ and when we ignore all the warnings.
Frisbee believed he was speaking prophetic words about homosexuality for modern culture.
“The homosexual world is being revealed for what it is – a powerful counterfeit,” he wrote. “God has given me a prophetic gift, and if I do not warn you, your blood will be on my hands. … I am saying all this without wanting to condemn anyone, but to speak the truth in love. I’m saying, ‘Turn to Jesus because he is the only one who can deliver you!’”
Frisbee concluded the chapter (“Eternal Perspectives”) by writing, “Jesus loves you and died for you!”
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Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/FotoDuets
Video courtesy: ©Jesus Movement 2.0
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.