Over 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.
As 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).
Don’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.