UPDATE (Aug. 8): In an email blast sent to Harvest followers with the subject head, Seeing Spiritual warfare before SoCal Harvest Greg Laurie writes:
Please be in prayer in these days leading up to the crusade. “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.” Fight alongside me in prayer, will you?
I encourage you to bring your Bible to the SoCal Harvest. There we will read it together and show the world that the Word of God is indeed living and powerful!
If you are not in the SoCal area, you can stand with us by attending online at socal.harvest.org.”
An image of the Bible was apparently the issue that started the process of removing the promotional banners at Fashion Island as reported below:
Pastor Greg Laurie responded to news that broke on Monday that SoCal Harvest promotional banners were taken down from a Newport Beach mall by asking, “Why are people so frightened of the Bible?” in his blog on Tuesday.
“The reason we used this image of me holding a Bible was a bit of a throwback to the old photos of Billy Graham (a personal hero and friend) holding his up while saying, ‘The Bible says . . . !’
“If you look closely at the book I am holding up, it does not say ‘Bible.’ There is no cross on it. Yet, the image of someone holding a book up is now offensive to some. (It is indeed a Bible.)”
Talk show host and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee tweeted, “Pastor Greg Laurie forced to take down billboard over ‘offensive’ image. What image? He was holding a Bible. In America. Well, almost America…in California.”
Pastor Greg Laurie forced to take down billboard over “offensive” image. What image? He was holding a Bible. In America. Well, almost America…in California. https://t.co/llPfi9CqQi
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) August 7, 2018
In his blog post, Laurie continued:
“Everybody needs to just relax a little bit. I see images on billboards and displays in stores that I find offensive all the time. I do not complain or boycott. I just think as Christians we ought to have ‘equal time’ and a voice in the marketplace.
“Why are people so frightened of the Bible?
“Think of the words of George Washington, ‘It is impossible to rightly govern a nation without God and the Bible,’ and President Abraham Lincoln’s thoughts on the Bible: ‘In regards to this great Book, I have but to say it is the best gift God has given to man. All the good the Savior gave to the world was communicated through this Book. But for it we could not know right from wrong. All things most desirable for man’s welfare, here and hereafter, are found portrayed in it.’
“So, we have gone from that to not even being allowed to show a Bible?”
Harvest Executive Director John Collins told CBN News, “We feel it is just unfortunate that people are complaining. It’s sad that our culture is at this degree of intolerance…There’s such intolerance against Christianity that we aren’t allowed to state that or to publicly advertise this event. That’s amazing.”