The #1 grossing movie in 2013 brought in $423,647,000 – that’s $423 million for just 1 film! What movie was that? The Hunger Games.
Hollywood is not known for having the greatest of values, so what is a Christian to do? Personally I don’t go to the movies very often because there just hasn’t been material that I wanted to see. However I do recognize movies are a big part of our culture. I’ve never felt the need to be a part of that culture but I am always looking for ways to share the Good News of Jesus!
A TV mini-series was released last Easter 2013. It was simply called The Bible. It did amazingly well. It did so well that it got the attention of Hollywood. Because of the broad success of The Bible mini-series Hollywood has responded with films due for release in 2014 that have more Biblical values then in previous years. Now I am not endorsing these films nor am I endorsing what Hollywood produces. I am however looking forward to have conversations with those who do see these films.
2014 is being called the year of the Bible. The following list is some movies that are due to be released in the next few months.
Title Release date Theme
- Son of God 2/28 The Story of Jesus
- God’s Not Dead 3/21 College Philosophy
- Noah 3/28 The Ark / Flood
- Heaven is For Real 4/16 True Story of Pastor’ Son
- Mom’s Night Out 5/9 Motherhood: Meaning & Purpose
- Persecutors 5/9 Religious Freedoms
- Alone Yet Not Alone 6/13 God will never leave you
- When the Game Stands Tall 8/22 Virtues and life lessons
- Left behind Summer Rapture
- The Letters 9/5 Mother Teresa
- Ragamuffin Limited Rich Mullins
- The Unfair Movie TBD Corruption, Cover-ups-Abuse
Let’s take a closer look at each of these films:
The Son of God is from the producers of The Bible mini-series. While filming the mini-series they decided to shoot some extra scenes and produce a film for theatrical release. Will you see some scenes that are not 100% scripturally correct? Yes. The question is as a believer what do you do?
I do not look to Hollywood to tell me the story – I have read the book and the book is much better! However, we all have a choice. We can completely ignore these films because they do not perfectly conform to Scripture or we can use these films as tools. Because of the money the studios are putting behind these films – people are going to see them. What then? Can we use these films as a door to have deeper conversations? Can we correct any Scripture errors that these films correct? That is heavy on my heart. When people see a movie like Noah – and they will, I don’t want them to think what they are saw on screen is 100% Biblical! I want to be able to correct the errors and explain the truth. The movie may be an adaptation of the Biblical account but it is NOT totally Biblical.
If you see the trailer to Noahyou may have a desire to go see the film. If you do you may be upset. The trailer does not show some scenes that if you knew they were in the movie, you probably wouldn’t have seen it.
Noah has 3 sons who have wives. In the movie only 1 of his sons has a wife. She is pregnant and gives birth to twin girls. Wives for his brothers?
Only Noah and his family get on the ark. In the movie the villain breaks through the pitch and gets on the ark. He does not get off because Noah kills him.
There is an environment agenda (cutting down trees). There is an evolution theme and there are some magical arts.
Because Noah is a project of a major studio, because Noah has a major star, people are going to go see it. Please plan to engage these movie goers with the truth. Not engaging people after the film could be a huge mistake.
Another movie coming out is called God’s Not Dead. This is a story about a college student who has to take a philosophy class. In fact in order to graduate he has to pass this philosophy class. However in order to get a passing grade the college professor insists that every student sign a declaration stating that God is dead.
This young student is a believer and can NOT agree with such a statement. The movie then is based on this young man’s story of proving that God is indeed alive. There a great question here – if YOU had to prove that God is alive – COULD YOU do it? This storyline is happening across our nation on university campuses everywhere!
Another move staring Greg Kinnear is Heaven is For Real. It a story about a pastor’s son who sees into heaven. Obviously people have many questions about heaven. Thanks to Hollywood, here is a tool to have some wonderful conversations with friends, co-workers, neighbors and family about heaven.
There is a comedy coming out starring Patricia Heaton called Mom’s Night Out. Our culture has been attacking the family structure and especially marriage. The family is the foundation of society. This movie is funny but more importantly it highlights the value of the family and especially motherhood. Andrea Logan White also stars in this film and if you get a chance to hear her testimony, I’ve heard it and it is amazing!
I recently saw the trailer to a movie called Persecutors. This is a political thriller. It deals with our Religious Freedoms. The main character is the last holdout to sign the new religious equality bill and because he refuses to sign this bill he is set up and framed. If you like thrillers, this is going to be a fun film. More importantly if you were in his place – would you be silent or would you stand your ground?!
On June 13th, Father’s Day a movie called Alone Yet Not Alone is scheduled for release in 185 cities. This movie is based on the song. It is a true story about historical events. The main message of this film is that God will never leave you!
This August a film called When the Game Stands Tall which is based on the true story of the De La Salle Spartans, a high school football team. Coached by Bob Ladouceur this high school team had TWENTY undefeated seasons! This film stars Jim Caviezel, Michael Chiklis and Laura Dern. The message of this film is about what happens when adversity hits and when it is all said and done what is important. What has more value and purpose, winning or character?
There is a Left Behind film due for release. This NOT the one with Kirk Cameron. This one stars Nicholas Cage. If nothing else this movie will give believers a chance to have conversation about the Rapture and what happens to those left behind.
Just after Labor Day there is a movie about Mother Teresa due for release. The film is entitled The Letters. The film takes real letters that Mother Teresa wrote to friends and spiritual advisors. The letters will deal with the darkness she felt and the struggles of ministering to the poor.
Rich Mullins was a success. He was a musician who wrote songs like “Our God is an Awesome God”. But what does that mean? To some it means fame and fortune. Mullins achieved that however that was not what he wanted. He left the spotlight to live on a Navajo reservation. His story is told in the film Ragamuffin.
The Unfair Movie which is a film about a radio talk show host who exposes and highlights corruption, cover-ups and the abuse of power.
Why is Hollywood making all of these films? Simple. Because of the success of The Bible mini-series. Hollywood is going to produce movies that people will pay to see. The content is second, the box office is what drives Hollywood.
Now that you are aware of what is coming out over the next few months – you have some choices to make. You can ignore these films. You can go see these films. Whatever your decision, let me encourage you to engage people in conversation over these films. I have always believed before the end comes God will give the church a chance for revival. Can Hollywood be giving the church a few tools to have conversations that matter and may lead to others coming to the saving knowledge of who Jesus is and what he did? Maybe. If so, that will be revival!
God bless you.