My husband claims that I can name a movie title under 5 seconds or even with a passing glance walking through the living room. I love the movies. Tuesday nights are “Stimulus Tuesdays” at the local theater, so I invite my new daughter-in-law often and head to the cheap show when finances and time permit. It has been particularly wonderful that more and more movies are coming out with biblical topics.
I had the chance to see a pre-screening of Courageous, Facing the Giants, The Lost Medallion, even The Passion of the Christ. Just last week I was invited to a pre-screening to see Heaven Is For Real. It comes out across the country on the Wednesday of Holy Week. Our Tweener Saints Book Club chose the book for this month’s reading. My kids are already talking about it. The Youth Director and I are planning to have a Good Friday event for 3rd graders and higher to watch the movie, walk back to the church, and dive into the scriptures as a followup.
It thrills me to hear the conversations that get started as a result of these movies. I can’t make movies. I can’t publish books. I can’t write screenplays. But I can support anything that encourages conversations about the scriptures. Our family watches The 10 Commandments every Palm Sunday and each year I take a day (it takes me that long to get through it) during Lent to watch The Passion of the Christ.
After a fellow Christian blogger posted his thoughts about a pre-screening of a similar movie this week, some of his blog followers started tearing the movie apart. It broke my heart. I will not slam those who have access to such influence because their interpretation of the Holy Writ may be different than mine. I recall reading multiple negative comments from my own Christian community about The Bible mini-series. Frankly, I kinda liked the idea that the angels that came to deal with Sodom and Gommorah in the mini-series looked like ninjas. I won’t publicly criticize the efforts of those who offer me and others the opportunity to pull out our Bibles and have meaningful discussion because the biblical topic wasn’t dealt with “completely,” or over a character’s costume, or…or…whatever.
I will spend my money to show my support so that more and more movies come out relating to Jesus. And I will bring my kids out to go instead of waiting until it comes out on dvd. This is a perfect way to grow their discernment muscles. I will act and speak with joy that the testimony of our Christian community can be one of unity. It breaks my heart when we turn on one another. What kind of testimony is that to the lost and the hurting? Lord, please remove any critical spirit in me.
In James Bryan Smith’s The Good and Beautiful Community, he writes, “It is misguided to think that we Christians are always going to agree on every issue. Accepting our differences is imperative, but they are not grounds for division. The true narrative, I believe, goes something like this: If you do not look, act, worship, or believe as I do, but your heart beats in love for Jesus, then regardless of our differences, we can and must have fellowship with one another.” I would add that because a movie is not “spot on,” doesn’t mean I have to place it in the same bin as those that have nothing at all to do with Jesus or biblical topics. It’s hard enough to find entertainment that is clean. Need it be biblically perfect? I don’t think so. I am no bible scholar, only a satisfied customer of the scriptures.
There are other movies coming out that I want to see with my kids and my family of faith: Noah with Russell Crowe, Son of God, and Mom’s Night Out. And I hope they keep on coming.
“In essentials, unity; in doubtful matters, liberty; in all things, charity.” – Saint Augustine