No, I haven’t seen the movie God’s Not Dead, and I don’t plan on seeing it anytime in the near future. After spending a life of being dragged through Left Behind, Fireproof, and nearly every other Christian film; I’m yet to be swayed.
Allow me to be clear: God’s not dead.
You’re not going to find Him munching on popcorn at your local theater though. My wife encouraged me to watch the trailer of God’s Not Dead because she thought I’d be interested in it. Within a couple minutes of the video there are a few key points that I walked away with:
- Of course the argument would take place in Philosophy class; we all know these conversations never take place in Biology, Political Science, Theater, etc…
- Clean cut, cross wearing Christian…yeah…
- I’m not overly sure if he was the pastor, but a 5 o’clock shadow, longer grown hair of a blonde individual could easily have been the pastor of the movie…or the youth pastor
- Duck Dynasty…
- I appreciate the Newsboys; growing up they were one of my favorite bands, but that felt…pushed. [I’m aware that they made the song ‘God’s Not Dead’]
Now, feel free to throw tomatoes at me for not watching the movie before critiquing it. That’s a fair point to establish for point of argument.
However, show me the movie that shows the college kid just trying to survive in college. Show me the college story of a man trying to hold onto faith and at the same time understand what it’s like growing up in this world. Let him make mistakes, get drunk, pass out, fight the demons of temptation. Don’t pass it off on just another individual with built up aggression, accept the fact that the Christian struggles. It’s not just some voice in their head that they have to converse with on what’s right and wrong; it’s violence, cheating, sex, drugs, lying, gossip, etc…
Tell a story about a failed businessman; a person to believe that God has shown them the right direction to build a new enterprise. Only to see it fail, to be deceitful, evil, and greedy. Show the image of their ‘come to God’ moment where they see the light, and at the end of the movie, by the worlds standards; they lose everything [Maybe Toby Mac could show up in this one].
When the Christian movie industry [is that real?] begins to capture a story line that actually reflects a life that could be deemed real, could be deemed acceptable, and could actually be related to outside of the students that went to the ‘Christian college’, and I’ll spend money on a ticket.
Perhaps I’m just the bitter hypocrite, but there’s got to be a way to follow God without being the ‘Christian’ of today. As Switchfoot said [a long, long time ago];
There’s a new way to be human. It’s something we’ve never been.
There has to be more to living the life, living the belief of what we put faith in, then what we consider ‘good enough’ today.