Are we shouting “crucify him?”
Finally, after decades of complaints, prayers, token support and watching “B” Christian movies barely funded and with the best intentions, but not always much in the way of acting, movie goers have been inundated with a plethora of positive cinema. All in this month before Easter. You’d think the Christian community would be thrilled and celebrating.
Of the famous four, “Son of God”, “Noah”, “God’s Not Dead” and “Heaven is For Real,” I’ve only had the privilege of viewing the first, so far. Plans to see the others are in the works. Kids are begging for them, especially after viewing all the trailers a couple of days ago. My opinions, therefore, are limited.
But the point of this post isn’t to give a review.
I saw “Son of God” with a girlfriend the second day it came out. I felt it was well done, and while it may not have depicted the intensity shown in “The Passion of the Christ,” it evoked deep emotion. I appreciated the scenery which created an experience for me of walking with Jesus, and the way he was portrayed in such a personable manner, as I imagine Jesus would have been. Woman followed him in the Bible, so I appreciated the inclusion of the female gender, not only the men who were his disciples.
While some of the scripture was re-ordered, omitted or changed (probably for cinematic affect), the message remained unscathed and potent. Jesus came to save us, sinners, through love and compassion and ultimately his death on the cross and resurrection. We weren’t blown away by the film, but liked it a lot in spite of its “creative license.”
The shocker to me?
The criticism these movies have garnered from the Christian community. I don’t expect reviewers who don’t believe to rave in a positive way about any of these movies. After all, they talk about God and the Bible, Jesus and Heaven—topics that often raise objections among the majority of folks. What I didn’t expect is the flak from Christians who have complained on a number of points.
The arguments seem to stem primarily from the pious protecting the Bible, or worse, their personal theological views. But the end result is cutting the throats of fellow believers who are living out their faith in a way they hope will make a difference by infusing the public with a taste of the Lord.
It may be presumptuous, but I choose to believe that each of the participants, who created, acted in, produced and directed, sought wisdom from God in what they did. Did they miss the mark? Probably in some ways. Are they human? Yes, which makes them potentially fallible. But did God use them to touch lives by showing people a bit more of him through these films? I’m betting, yes.
What’s the real point?
God created us, loves us and wants to be with us. Jesus died on the cross and rose again in order to make that a reality in spite of our free will leading to sin. We can have all kinds of theological debates(which we’re admonished not to do – see 2Tim.2:23 & Titus 3:9) over the “right way” to portray the truth, or simply be grateful that someone has the guts enough to do it. In some manner, these movies have the potential to bless believers and sow seeds for those who may not have thought about God before. Maybe some curious chap will choose to view and actually come away choosing Christ. It’s possible, regardless of what many are saying.
Today we celebrate what Jesus did for all of us, and look forward to symbolizing his resurrection in a couple of days. People do that in many ways all over the world. It means something different to each person, each year depending on their personal relationship with Jesus. In the same way, the message of a movie, book, blog, or work of art can inspire whatever God wants despite the human factor of the messenger.
But what does it matter? The important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached. And because of this I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice. Philippians 1:18
When will we lay down our agendas and uphold our brothers, the church, and join in unity to bless and not curse?
Oh gaze of love so melt my pride that I may in your house but kneel, and in my brokenness to cry, spring worship unto Thee.” Hymn by Jars of Clay
11 thoughts on “God’s Not Dead, but Maybe “Christianity” Should Be”
Amen sister amen!
Great post Laura. My husband and I loved the movie God’s Not Dead. It was awesome, and my husband and I were really looking forward to seeing Noah. But after learning the script was written by an atheist and every mention of God in the Bible was changed to “creator”, which I fully believe God is, the producers have lessened His authority in their meaning. According to them the creator is whoever you believe he is, Budda, Alla, ect. Once we learned this about the movie, the previews we’d seen made sense. So sad!
We will NOT waste our money on Noah!
Love you sweet friend!
PS Get a sneak peek of my next novel Where Darkness Dwells on my blog: http://www.DanieMariesMusings.blogspot.com
I’d love to know what you think. 😉
Thank you to both you and Gloryteller for the comments regarding “Noah”! I’m so appreciative of your insight which led me to do more research on the movie and the author/director. In the course of that research, I read an interesting interview with Darren Aronofsky that I feel puts things in perspective. You can see it here : http://www.theatlantic.com/entertainment/archive/2014/03/the-terror-of-em-noah-em-how-darren-aronofsky-interprets-the-bible/359587/
I want to be sensitive to all who read my blog, and in no way want to offend simply to make a prideful point. I hope I haven’t done that. I respect everyone’s choice in regards to how they live, what they watch or don’t watch, etc. I seriously considered “removing” Noah from my list, and I can see why some would think that appropriate, but after researching and reading this article, I’ve decided to maintain my opinion even in lieu of the possibility that “Noah” is not worth seeing. I haven’t seen it yet, so again, I may still be persuaded to change my mind. 🙂 Thank you again for your compelling insight and heart for our Lord. May he be glorified in every place, even in areas of darkness.
Saw “Heaven is for Real” on Easter. Our family was quite moved and encouraged by it. I hope it does the same for others. 🙂
Danie – I will totally check out your sneak peak!
Thanks, Laura. I get what you are saying, however, you might consider taking “Noah” off your list. Like Danie Marie, I don’t see how that movie can promote the kingdom of God; I’ll leave it to His miracle-working way and hope that He can use even this atrocious movie to win a soul. Good post, though, despite what may be that one “blind spot”.
Thank you so much for your comment and insight. I posted a response to you and Danie after her comment. I’m always open to suggestions and yours led me to researching more so I’m grateful. The information I found intrigued me and made me wonder about where we find information. There is so much positive and negative on the internet about everything. Sometimes I think we can’t really be sure what is truth or a lie anymore. But, I endeavored to search and pray that, as you say, God can use this movie to lead people to Him. 🙂
Here’s one link I found interesting:
Hi Laura, I haven’t seen any of the movies yet, but I plan on it despite reading about the comments about the Noah movie. God can use any vehicle to bring others to himself. I hope your Easter was a blessing. 🙂
Thanks for the comment! I think you’re right that God can use any vehicle. I’ve felt a bit tormented after writing the post – not wanting to be accusatory or judgmental either. I’m thankful for everyone’s gracious insights and comments. Let me know what you think when you see any of the movies. I’d love to know your opinion 🙂
Laura, I wanted to let you know, we have a good Turkis, Christian friend who saw Noah, and said it was a waste of money. that said, I know God can use anything, but I also believe we should be good stewards of what He has blessed us with. If you see Noah, I’d like to know what you think. 🙂
Thanks for letting me know! I agree about being good stewards. If I end up seeing it, I’ll let you know what I think. It’s interesting how differently people view things. For example, I had one friend tell me they loved “God’s Not Dead” – thought it was a great movie. Another friend said she thought it was a terrible movie and a waste of money. Go figure. To each his (or her) own. Right? Thanks so much for you input! 🙂
God uses tidbits and pieces of a movie, maybe something in each that reaches and touches a lost soul, thanks.
I believe you are right. No matter who makes the movie.