Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Movie Ministry

Those who know me, know I enjoy a good movie, and we have certainly had the opportunity to watch some over that past twelve months during quarantine. Have we not? I have a wide range of taste in films. Primarily, it has to be a good story. Special effects are awesome like in Star Wars or Avatar, and action is exciting as in the Jason Bourne series of films. However, I like a good love story too, like in The Notebook or I Still Believe. I am not generally a big fan of musicals, yet, my favorite movie of all time is The Sound of Music, so, go figure.

I mention this today, because I am waiting with great anticipation for the next installment of The Chosen, a crowd-funded TV series, by Dallas Jenkins that came out in 2017. Season One was absolutely incredible, and I cannot wait for the release of Season Two. In addition, just last week, I watched the TV miniseries AD: The Bible Continues again. This 2015 miniseries is the sequel to Roma Downey and Mark Burnett’s 2013 The Bible. AD begins with the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus and continues with the first ten chapters of the Acts of the Apostles. This series is truly amazing as well.

Now, I love to read, and as they say, “the book is always better.” That is true and no less so when it comes to the Bible. We should regularly be reading our Bible. However, watching the stories of Scripture come alive on film can be really moving. Inspiring. To see how the Apostles may have struggled with the loss of Jesus, His return, and the mission He called them to fulfill, makes them so real. So approachable. To see how much of a persecutor Saul was before his conversion is tough. You learn to hate him, and can fully understand why there must have been great suspicion in accepting him. Yet, eventually you are captivated by his candor and boldness, and soon find yourself cheering him on! 

There are other really good biblical films worthy of your attention. First, of course, is the classic The Passion of the Christ. Every Christian should see this 2004 film. There are also 2006’s The Nativity Story, One Night with the King, and 2018’s, Paul, Apostle of Christ. I still love the 1977 Jesus of Nazareth miniseries. It stands up today! Even some not exactly biblical movies like 2014’s Noah starring Russell Crowe and Exodus: God’s and Kings with Christian Bale are great fun. As are 2016’s Risen and The Young Messiah. There is a 2003, movie Luther, which tells the story of the German priest and “father of the reformation” Martin Luther. It stars Joseph Fiennes and is a wonderful, historically accurate portrayal of Luther’s story. I have not even touched personal stories like Heaven is For Real, War Room, Miracles From Heaven, The Case for Christ, and Breakthrough. All wonderful films.

My point is this. There are plenty of good movies available to watch. Choose wisely. Pick films that honor and glorify God. Additionally, remember, the Apostle Peter reminds us, “…if someone asks about your hope as a believer, always be ready to explain it. But do this in a gentle and respectful way” (1 Peter 3:15-16). The book (the Bible) is always better, but there are also movies out there that can inspire you and even perhaps help you explain your hope as a believer to someone else. They can be great evangelism tools. Use them as resources. During this quarantine time, when everyone is binge watching, and on the lookout for something good, recommend these movies to your unsaved family and friends. Most of them will watch a movie long before they will read the Bible. If they happen to still own a DVD player, buy them the movie or invite them over for a movie night and put in 2018’s I Can Only Imagine. Jesus told us all to, “Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone” (Mark 16:15), to “…go and make disciples of all the nations” (Matthew 28:18). Could evangelism be any easier than popping some popcorn and watching a movie with someone who has not yet accepted Christ?              


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