At the Movies

heavenOver the last four months, movie theaters have been literally flooded by Christian-themed movies. First came Son of God, a re-edited version of the History Channel’s hit miniseries, The Bible. Then Noah floated in, followed by God’s Not Dead and finally Heaven is For Real. So far this year, those four movies alone have grossed over a half a billion dollars worldwide. God has become big business for Hollywood.

For some time I have wanted to write an article about this new trend in Christian movies, but was hesitant. A fellow pastor, writing about a different topic, was able to put into words my concern. “I’m a little afraid,” he said, “of giving the insinuation that a fairly good thing is a bad thing.”

You see, with the exception of Noah, which had little to do with the historical account of Noah in the Bible, all the other movies have good things to say. Son of God points us to our Savior Jesus and without hesitation declares him to be divine. God’s Not Dead is the story of a Christian college student who is not afraid to stand up for his faith even in the face of persecution. Heaven is For Real reminds us of the wonderful gift of eternal life Jesus won for us with his life, death and resurrection.

God's_Not_DeadAs Christians, however, we need to be careful. In the excitement of seeing Christianity presented in a positive light on the big screen, we can easily get swept up in the hype. We can find ourselves supporting and promoting movies that don’t accurately present what the Bible says.

Though the three movies mentioned above have many laudable points, they also contain subtle errors which don’t agree with God’s Word. Just because a movie is Christian or presents a positive message about God and Christianity, doesn’t mean we should buy into everything it says.

In Acts chapter 17, Luke tells us about the new Christians in the Greek city of Berea. He tells us the Bereans were of more noble character than the people in the previous city Paul had visited. Why? Simply put, because they didn’t trust the Paul. Every time Paul went to preach in their synagogue, they would go home and check in their Bibles to see if what he was saying was true (Acts 17:10,11).

sonofgodDon’t believe everything you see and hear just because you happen to see it in a Christian movie or hear it in a Christian church. Be a Berean. Open up your Bible. Compare what you see and hear with what God tells you in his Word.

As Christians, we celebrate the newfound interest Hollywood has shown in our God and faith. We rejoice that the good news of God’s love in Jesus is being proclaimed. Don’t be afraid to go see Christian-themed movies, but always watch with discernment. Open your Bibles. Make sure what you are seeing and hearing agrees with what God tells you in his Word.

We’ll see you at the movies.

 

  6 comments for “At the Movies

  1. May 26, 2014 at 12:24 pm

    Outstanding article. Your advice to check what we see and hear with the Word is right on. Please keep up the good work with your blog. I am going to subscribe today.

    • schroera
      May 26, 2014 at 1:55 pm

      Thanks!

  2. Louise Kerley
    June 4, 2014 at 12:00 pm

    Thanks for my new ‘catch phrase’ Pastor. “Be a Berean”! So glad that you are my Pastor and thankful for your blog!

    • schroera
      June 4, 2014 at 12:42 pm

      Thank you, Louise!!!

  3. June 9, 2014 at 11:59 am

    Hey,

    I gotta say, the full version of the Son of God movie, in The Bible series was much more compelling to me. I loved the homework they did on the whole time period. The opening with the Jews desperately trying to take the roman statues out of the temple was very meaningful.

    Crosses decorated the countryside… thousands of men were hung up there, and part of the impact of Christ’s death is that he died just like the rest of them. It was tragic.

  4. June 25, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Hi:

    Great work on the article, and I agree with you, especially with those “subtle” differences between what is sometimes portrayed in the movies, and the Biblical account.
    I am reminded of those who have told me that they know all about a certain story from Scripture, because they “saw the movie.”
    Our sincerest hope is that by watching one of these “Christian” movies, the audience will be driven to check the truth out for themselves … or, at the very least, will encourage them to ask questions, and allow us to share the truth with them. I can honestly say that I have had many people who have come to me with questions after watching a movie like this … there was something from the movie which they weren’t clear on, or questioned … which allowed me an opportunity which I may not have had, otherwise.
    So, I think that God still wants to use these events, as part of His “by any means necessary” plan to reach people. I also liked what you wrote about searching the Scriptures to see if “those things were so” (Acts 17:11).
    I think that Hollywood will continue to make these movies, because the audience has been proven to exist. A large part may be due to the fact that people are searching for the truth, and as time continues to go by, they will continue to search. However, as you know, the Bereans “received the word with all readiness of mind” (back to verse 11) … the danger is, as you touched on, that these very people who are searching for the truth will “receive the movie with all readiness of mind,” and accept the film as Gospel, instead of checking to make sure the Gospel is in the film.
    We’ll just have to accept that, and pray to make ourselves available when God uses these films to draw people to Him … even if that means going though us.
    Good job!

    Blessings,
    R.V.R.

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