The universal Christ
If you believed everything you heard in the secular media today, you might conclude that religion, and in particular, Christianity, is on the way out. But nothing could be further from the truth.
All you have to do is look at the success of four Christian movies written and produced by the Kendrick brothers, Alex and Stephen, and their church, the Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, Georgia. Their first movie, Flywheel — the story of a dishonest car salesman who turns to God in order to turn his life around–was done on a budget of $20,000 and ended up being shown across the nation.
The second one, Facing the Giants — the story of a losing coach and football team who find their strength when they recommit their lives to serving God first — grossed $10 million and became the best selling Christian DVD of 2007. Their third film, Fireproof –the story of a marriage saved and what constitutes true love — grossed $33.5 million, making it the highest grossing independent film of 2008. It won Best Feature at the 2009 San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival, as well as the Epiphany Prize at the Movieguide Awards in Los Angeles.
Their latest movie, Courageous, is in movie theaters nationwide, on Netflix, and on airplanes and in hotel rooms. When I mention it to people in my travels, it seems everyone has seen or is waiting to see it. I even hear things like, “My brother, who is not religious, loved it!”
Courageous is about the importance of fatherhood and what constitutes true manhood. It tells the story of several cops who are fathers with varying degrees of neglect for their children. When tragedy strikes one of their families, it wakes them up to their need to be more than just “good fathers.” They want to be role models, guides and protectors for their sons and daughters, and to help their children put God at the center of their lives.
Having been a criminal defense attorney myself with a focus on juveniles and single moms in prison, the story rings true to me. When I developed a program to keep mothers out of prison and with their children, two things became evident — the need for committed fathers and the need for God in their lives. The first thing the women asked for was a Bible study program.
All four of these movies, then, are powerful, realistic examples of humility, integrity, tenderness, unselfishness and commitment based on the teachings of Christ Jesus. They illustrate that committing one’s life to God enables anyone to succeed in the face of challenges.
Though many people mistakenly believe that Christianity and Christ Jesus belong to certain religious denominations, true Christianity transcends all religious or philosophical identities or divisions — it’s the message that God is Love itself embracing all creation. And that when we allow divine Love to guide our thoughts and actions, it brings peace to our lives.
St. Paul said, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free, male nor female, but you are all one in Christ.” When we think of Christ as Mary Baker Eddy did — as “divinity embracing humanity” - Christianity becomes an inclusive teaching with value for all humanity. 1
Rather than proselytizing or judging, the Christian message of these movies is gentle, inspiring and universal — and the demand for this message is growing exponentially!RSS feed
Topics: Interfaith, Practical Spirituality | Tags: Christian films, Christian movies, film industry, movie industry, movie review, putting God first