The last few weeks have been interesting to me. I have watched, listened, and read as ministers and other prominent leaders in church ministry have turned into the Christian version of Siskel & Ebert!!! We (Christians) can watch this movie but probably not that one! We should know this one is fairly accurate and this one is not. We should know that there are errors in this one and our faith might be destroyed if we watch it! Really???
Here are some things that I ponder! When I go see a movie produced by the secular entertainment media, I certainly put it through my own “moral” rating system. I’m not going to go watch a “skin-flick!” I’m not going to watch a movie where practically every word is vulgar! This is not because my faith can’t handle it, it is because it is abhorrent to my faith. Christ has changed my heart so I am careful with what I take in!
That being said, I also go to a movie to be entertained! When I watch a Star Trek movie, I don’t sit there exclaiming that warp drive does not exist in the real world! When I watch “Top Gun” I don’t exclaim that the hero would have been court martialed for all his antics! When I watch “The Hunt for Red October,” I don’t point out all the incredible military “non-realities!” I go to be entertained.
So, now I have some people (my own kind – church folks) telling me it is ok to go see “God’s Not Dead” – but it is not ok to go see “Noah” – because “Noah” is not anywhere close to scripture! Well, really, I did not think it would be. What movie, based on any scripture, has been totally accurate. Even though “The Passion of the Christ” made a fair attempt to demonstrate the suffering Christ, I knew He suffered before I saw the movie. I know that heaven is real even before a movie comes out that says it is. I know that Noah built an ark and God destroyed the world with a flood no matter what the movie “Noah” purports itself to be.
My question is this – how well do Christians know the word of God? How strong are you in your faith? Is your faith and witness unable to withstand the rough and tumble of this world? And why are we so collectively easy to be offended at the lost, secular world? People who are without Christ are going to act like they are without Christ! And such were all of us before we came to know Christ! For many years Christians, instead of being powerful warriors and witnesses in the hands of God, have become holy huddlers – withdrawing from the world – hiding in our churches – scared that if we exercise, shop, entertain, and educate alongside the lost world our faith will be lost! Why? Is our faith that weak? Is our knowledge that thin? Are we really so weak and scared in our faith that one movie named “Noah” may rob us of all that is holy?
So, what am I saying? Go see these movies – don’t go see these movies! That is up to you and the Holy Spirit living in you! Everyone can and should run that decision through their personal, spiritual buffers. But don’t miss the opportunity to share the Gospel with people who may have their interest stirred in the spiritual through a secular movie! Don’t miss the opportunity to make friends among the unchurched at the gym. Don’t miss the opportunity to make friends among the unchurched at the ballfield. Don’t miss the opportunity to build relationships with those who have no clue about the claims of Christ. The American version of Christianity has a habit of getting all revved up over movies and such! It is sad that we are not just as revved up about our primary mission in the world – to go and make disciples. And I know we aren’t – because less than 5% of our churches are meaningfully reaching those without Christ.