Greg Laurie on The Beatles' Claim of Being More Popular Than Jesus: Beatles Gone Now, Christ Is No. 1

(Photo: Courtesy of Harvest America)Evangelist Greg Laurie shares the gospel at the Harvest America event at the University of Phoenix stadium in Phoenix, Arizona on June 11, 2017.

Megachurch pastor Greg Laurie looked back at a controversial statement made by British rock band The Beatles in 1966 when they suggested they are bigger than Jesus Christ, by pointing out that the band has long since disbanded now, while Christ is still the most popular figure in the world.

Laurie reminded readers on Facebook Saturday of 1966 comments by John Lennon in an interview with the Evening Standard, where the music legend said:

"Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now: I don't know which will go first — rock 'n' roll or Christianity."

Lennon's comments stirred outrage when they were picked up in the U.S., with promoters on the verge of canceling concert dates due to the controversy that ensued.

In a later interview, Lennon tried to add context to his initial statement, by suggesting that it was not a good thing that people were becoming more interested in other things than Jesus.

"I'm not saying that we're better or greater or comparing us with Jesus, as a person, or God as a thing, or whatever it is. I just said what I said and it was wrong, and now there's all this," he said, adding that he's not "anti-God, anti-Christ, or anti-religion."

As Catholic Herald pointed out in a 2010 article, members of The Beatles held various religious beliefs, and several of their songs used Christian imagery and motifs.

Laurie, whose comments were also published in his weekly column at World Net Daily, pointed out that the Beatles have long since broken up, however, while Jesus is now "more popular than ever."

"Jesus was popular in the first century as well, especially after he raised Lazarus from the dead. The name of Jesus was on everyone's lips. Wherever he went, crowds of people thronged him," the Harvest Christian Fellowship pastor wrote.

"Matthew 12 says that large crowds gathered to him, so he got into a boat and sat down because the crowd was standing on the beach. In effect, he needed a floating pulpit to get a little distance from the crowd. We read in Luke 12 that so many thousands of people gathered to hear Jesus that they were stepping on each other."

The evangelist noted that Americans are living in a time in which "a lot of monuments are being torn down."

"But this is one monument that never will be torn down. It's memorialized in time by Jesus himself. Jesus said that wherever the gospel is preached, the story of what this woman did would be told. This was a big deal to Jesus, and therefore it should be a big deal to us," he added.

Laurie most recently teamed up with Christian filmmakers the Erwin Brothers to release the story of American icon Steve McQueen and his journey to Christian faith on the big screen.

"In a significant turn toward the end of his life, ironically, just before he found out that he had cancer and while still the top movie star on earth, Steve did something that showed me that he really was 'the coolest of them all.' He put his faith in God and became a believer in Jesus Christ," Laurie told The Christian Post about McQueen.

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