Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Monday, March 24, 2014

"God's Not Dead" Is Surely Alive

Hollywood is in shock (again) that a little independent Christian movie came out of nowhere to debut high on the list of top movies of the weekend. God's Not Dead debuted not just in the Top Ten, but in the Top 5 grossing movies this weekend. Debuting in only 708 theaters nation wide God's Not Dead earned an incredible $8,500,000, an average of $10,897 per theater, and when you look at the averages that puts God's Not Dead in the #3 place behind the Grand Budapest Hotel which averaged $22,039 in only 304 theaters and Divergent which averaged $14,227 in 3,936 theaters. Needless to say Hollywood is a bit shocked.
I'm not even sure the biggest story of the weekend is Divergent seeming to prove it's the first young adult franchise since The Hunger Games to prove profitable, though the "A" CinemaScore certainly has me questioning the intelligence of today's movie going audience once again. Instead it would seem the biggest surprise is God's Not Dead coming out of nowhere with $8.7 million and a fourth place finish. I hadn't even heard of the film until Saturday morning. Goes to show how much I'm paying attention to the faith-based movie market. - Rope of Silicon
When is the last time you were in a movie when the audience spontaneously broke out in applause? Or choked back tears of sorrow and of joy? Then again when was the last time you heard a character in a movie lecture another character that cooking a duck alive was cruel? 

As movies go, God's Not Dead is not a deep intellectual work, but the vast majority of movies released in America are nowhere near a mental exercise of any merit. However the issues that are presented in the movie are done well and although a non believer will probably not understand what is going on, a Christian will understand exactly what is happening; an Atheist professor attempting to crush belief in order to feed his own ego, an unevenly yoked relationship, an atheist suddenly faced with a crisis, how Christianity is treated in communist countries, how Christian converts are treated in a muslim family, and (my favorite subplot) what happens when you want to go somewhere and God needs you here.

God's Not Dead is about a Christian student, Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper) who is attending classes at a college and is required by his atheist philosophy professor (Kevin Sorbo) to publicly deny the existence of God in order to pass the class. Josh instead chooses Professor Raddison's alternative; to debate the existence of God in Raddison's own area. Professor Raddison lets his students know that the debate will be held in his classroom and he will not allow anyone to but himself to win. Intertwined with this plot are the subplots I've mentioned before and they all come together in the end. As bonuses one of my (very few) favorite Christians rock bands appears and my favorite rednecks, Willie and Korie Robertson, have cameos where they handle an ambush interview by a cold-hearted liberal with humor and love.

The plot exposes the feelings being stirred up against Christians in the secular world, especially the Christians who are being persecuted by secularism, particularly the Christian youth in a public college. This persicution isn't something that is happening only in popular culture (such as Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson's persecution and suspension over listing sins listed in the bible which was intentionally misrepresented by the atheist media as homophobic comments), but also in law (such as the current court battles over whether Christian-owned businesses can being unconstitutionally forced to provide employees with health coverage that includes contraception or abortion under Obamacare). In this film, academia is exposed as the primary arena in the US where Christians are being shouted down and punished for voicing their Biblical beliefs. The first five minutes of the closing credits is little more than a list of real law suits involving the attempt to crush Christianity on campuses, or the attempt to restore religious freedom on campus. 

 It's unbelievable that the liberal press actually thinks that this persecution complex is unwarranted; after all, even though we live in a country where the First Amendment protects all religions from government encroachment, it's the liberals that are leading the charge to crush public expression of love for Jesus Christ. In a world where so many Christians are being slaughtered for their faith in God, and now here in the US we are starting to feel besieged as the Government that is supposed to protect us is working to crush us, it's no wonder that this movie resonates among Christians. It's also no surprise that the meaning of this movie is completely and utterly lost on the Hollywood elite who are probably still stammering in confusion over the stellar box office draw of God's Not Dead.

If you're of the belief that the most important thing in Christianity is the Young Earth theory please stay away (personally I believe Young Earth VS Old Earth falls under Deuteronomy 29:29 and since it doesn't effect my salvation I don't worry about it) however I heartily endorse this movie for all bible believing Christian who will not storm out of the theater if the Old Earth theory isn't shouted down as heresy. God's not dead is well written, very well acted, and will elicit chuckles, tears, and if you don't find yourself applauding at least once, you probably nodded off. By all means go - watch - enjoy, and reflect on how marvelous is our Creator.
32 “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 10:32-33)

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