God’s Not Dead…but the movie is a swing and a miss

Crown of Thorns Pic

There seems to be a smorgasbord of “Christian” moves out this year from Son of God, Noah…I know, I know it was not Biblically accurate, and God’s Not Dead.  There is also one coming up called “Exodus:Gods and Kings” that I definitely want to watch.  If you have not seen the trailer yet check it out…

https://search.yahoo.com/search?ei=UTF-8&fr=crmas&p=exodus+gods+and+kings+trailer

However, the movie I want to talk about today is “God’s Not Dead”.  I know that just from the title of my post some Christians are probably angry, annoyed, or disappointed that a pastor doesn’t like this movie.  They may even be wondering, “Is he really a Christian?  Is he really a pastor?”.  I resisted watching this movie at first because of other Christian movies that I had watched in the past…cough…Facing the Giants….Love Dare…cough that I thought were very cheesy and super cliche. Yet, I had a lot of Christians ask me, “Have you seen ‘God’s Not Dead’?  It is so good!”  I was a little unsure but I was at the movie store and I thought, “Hey, why not see what all the fuss is about.” Well needless to say I was disappointed in many parts of the movie.  I know that they did not have near as much money for production as big companies, but that honestly is not my chief complaint about the movie.  Yes, the acting was kind of lame but here were some of my main issues…

  • Was this a movie about God or a promo video/infomercial for the Newsboys?  I know the Newsboys helped fund this project and I have nothing against their music or message, but throughout the movie I just felt with the posters, t-shirts, the concert that the movie’s focus was a little till much of an infomercial to buy one of their cd’s or go to a concert of theirs.
  • Are all atheists jerks?  One thing that really stood out to me is that every person who was in the movie who did not believe in God or did not follow God were either super condescending, insensitive, mean, or just plain jerks.  Is that reality?  I don’t think so.  There are plenty of people that I know who would not call themselves Christians that are kind, caring, and considerate people.  Are there atheists out there that are insensitive, condescending, and jerks?  Yes, just as there are those out there who unfortunately call themselves Christians who act the same way.
  • Super-Cliche!  As a Christian I sat watching this movie and several times I just shook my head and laughed out loud at the way they portrayed the professor, the main Christian guy, his girlfriend, and various other characters in the movie.  Does this mean that people in real life don’t act this way sometimes?  Of course not, but I think the movie portrayed those not of the faith and those who were Christian in a very stereotypical way.  It is funny that as Christians we get upset when movies portray us as “Overly judgmental, hypocritical, narcissistic jerks” but then we portray others in that same light.
  •  The freshmen student stumped the long standing professor?  Let me say that I believe God is Alive, I believe that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life, and while I believe there is support for these claims I also acknowledge that it requires us to have faith to follow Jesus.  The funny thing to me was that this 18 year old college freshmen was able to completely stump a long standing philosophy professor.  The illustrations that the young man gave in class were good, but I also think the professor would have had more significant rebuttals to those ideas.  I don’t think the professor would have let the student off the hook that easy. I know this is just a movie and they had to wrap things up so the movie wouldn’t be 4 hours long but I also believe they too easily tied a pretty bow on the topics and quickly solved all of the issues.
  •  Are people just atheists because of past traumas?  This seemed to be the case that the movie was making.  That it was not because of science or well thought out ideas that people were atheists, but it was because they had some hidden trauma that they had not dealt with in their life.  That they “really” believed in God but they were just mad at him.  As I said I believe Jesus is real, I believe Jesus is alive, I know that God has changed my life, yet I also know others still sincerely struggle with this or believe it not to be true.  While for some trauma might have caused those beliefs, yet for some it was because they do not believe there to be proof to support the claims of Jesus Christ.  Why did the movie have to portray people who do not believe in God as people with unresolved trauma and not just someone who disagrees with the Christian point of view?

I am a Christian, I love God, and I am a pastor.  I believe that God desires for us to be reconciled to him through Jesus Christ, and through Jesus Christ we are forgiven our sins and have new life in him.  Yet, I also believe this movie is a poor representation of Christianity and a poor representation of atheists.  God’s Not Dead but as for the movie I believe their are plenty of other movies out that give a better portrayal of God, Christians, and Atheists.

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