There is always so much buzz when a movie that seems positive to the Christian worldview comes along. There are several out or coming out recently that I wish I could have supported, but I've come to the conclusion that as for me and my house, we're going to pass on them. I'm really not trying to make anyone angry or to be a jerk, but I find myself perplexed, and at the risk of being thought a curmudgeon or worse, I'm sharing this post. I always feel like I'm so out of step with pretty much, well, everyone, and I almost didn't even post this, but here are three movies that I'm hearing from lots of people that they are just awesome and we just have to see them but that I am not planning to see or take my kids to see. I'm not dictating to anyone else what you should or shouldn't do regarding watching these, so see them and like them or not if you wish, but please at least be discerning about them and understand what some concerns with them are, and at least understand why I can't join you and why I'm not joining in with the celebration of them on Facebook and elsewhere. The first two fall into the category of I wish they had been something I could have supported but I just really can't and don't, the third falls into the category of I thought the book was concerning and disturbing, so I sure am not going to support the movie.
1. Son of God….based on the miniseries that I also couldn't, in good conscience, watch. Putting aside for a moment that I am squeamish about Passion Plays and movies like this anyway ever since many years ago I had to start sitting out of certain choir Easter productions because for months afterward I would see the actor who portrayed Jesus in my head when I prayed and that just was not something I wanted and because there were always things I found problematic in our portrayals which is probably something for another post and beyond what I want to delve into here, there are even graver reasons I don't want to watch this one. I'm linking to some reviews, and they spell out why I don't want to see this thing. Please, why is God's Word not enough for us? Why do we feel we need a movie? Why are we not satisfied that God gave us the information He wanted us to have in the way He wanted us to have it through His word? I felt the same way about The Passion of the Christ, and I chose not to see that one, either. Even though at the time we were being told we'd never really understand the crucifixion if we didn't. Really? And I sure don't want to fill my head with an anemic portrayal of Jesus that misses the mark of the gospel, so I sat this one out.
Answers in Genesis' review
"Writing Checks to Mel Gibson"
"Son of God Will Show Crucifixion, Not the Cross"
Movie Review: 'Son of God' Is Most Certainly Not The Son of God
2. God's Not Dead…..When I saw the trailer months ago, I so much hoped this would be one I could support, though I have to confess that even then I didn't hold my breath and didn't join the band wagon of linking to the trailer, since I couldn't endorse something like this without knowing more about it. Now that I've read some reviews, I'm glad I waited. I'm not saying it's wrong to go see it if you want to, but I am saying I think we will pass and just sit it out, and the more reviews I read, the stronger I am in that decision. I don't think I will be taking my kids to it right away. I guess with this one, I might not put my foot down and say they can't see it, but I don't believe we'll go out of our way to, either, and we'd have to have some discussions about what they see. Wish they had done better. I really, really do.
God's Not Dead Review: A 'feel-good' movie that sadly did not make us feel good at all!
God's Not Dead Movie Review (Answers in Genesis)
God's Not Dead…But Christian Films are on Life Support - Movie Review
God's Not Dead but Christian Screen Writing Is
3. Heaven is For Real…..No. Just no. Not going to this one and really do not understand why this book is all over our Christian bookstore in various formats. I'm sharing reviews of the book, which should be enough reason to know why we will not even attempt the movie. (And for good measure I'm also sharing a review of a similar journey to Heaven book that I did read and was very concerned at how popular it had become also).
Heaven is For Real - Book review by Tim Challies
90 Minutes in Heaven - Book review by Tim Challies
Books I recommend: Heaven Tourism - Tim Challies
This blog is, obviously, me sharing my opinions. I'm not looking for an argument or a fight, but I'm just sharing what I honestly think here. I really do think that movies like these can actually be more detrimental to the sharing and understanding of our faith than others that are more obviously not biblical, like, say, the awful Noah movie that is coming out soon. We aren't going to that one, either, emphatically not, but at least the director is honest enough to say it's not even meant to be biblical in its portrayal. I'm more concerned, however, with movies that intend to be 'Christian' but which do not present the gospel correctly. In my opinion, that is more damaging than watching a secular movie that we don't expect to get spiritual things right. So, that's why I shared this. Like it or not, this is where I've come to in my thinking on these movies. It's not that I want to be hyper critical. I really don't. I would love to like and support movies that are done well from a Christian perspective. Really, I would. Problem is, I just can't with these. It's the same problem I have with a lot, not all, but a lot of Christian fiction I've come across. It's often hard to do Christian fiction well. I understand that. But I have qualms about these movies and that's just how it is. Do with them whatever you will.