f The Wittenberg Door: Don’t be Bamboozled by “Christian” Movies

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Commenting on Christendom, culture, history, and other oddities of life from an historic Protestant perspective.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Don’t be Bamboozled by “Christian” Movies

Over at Gospelspam.com, Marcus Pittman has written a review of the film, "Heaven Is For Real." In the review, he decries the pandering of Hollywood to its evangelical consumer base. The saddest part, he goes on to elaborate, is that evangelicals eat it up. Some seem to think as long as Hollywood is making movies with so-called Christian themes it's a good thing in and of itself. What is overlooked, however, is that it is the content of the message, not the intention of the producers of the content, which matters most.

Paul expounded on this truth in his letter to the church in Philippians. In verses 15-18 of Chapter 1 he says the message of the Gospel is effective, irrespective to the motives of the proclaimers of that message. Notice how differently this reads when current reasoning is applied: "Some, to be sure, are preaching a different Christ than the one revealed in Scripture (in fact the message they preach is absolute heresy!), but some preach Christ accurately. Both know that I am appointed for the Gospel and both mean well. The latter proclaim carefully exegeted truth with good intentions, while the former proclaim their heresies with similar good intentions in mind. What then? Only that in every way, whether falsehood or truth, as long as some sort of Christ is proclaimed, and that from good intentions, in this I will rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice."

The whole of the law is to "...love the Lord your God with all of your heart, all of your soul, and all of your MIGHT" (Deuteronomy 6:5, ESV - emphasis added, Heidelberg Catechism question and answer #4). If the heart and soul were all that were mentioned, one could entertain the thought that consideration of intentions alone would be sufficient; but , when all of one's MIGHT is added, actions have to be taken into account. So, the ends no longer can be a justification for the means. It is of utmost importance that WHAT is done and WHY it's done are harmonious with GOD's commands. The second chapter of the book of James is dedicated to the idea of one who proclaims to believe but whose actions do not conform to that proclamation. The Prophet Joshua, in his last recorded address to the Israelites, exhorted the people to serve God in "sincerity and truth" and also to conform their practices in accord with GOD's commands (Joshua 24:14).

Be mindful of the content of the media you consume and avoid being bamboozled by the Christian window dressing. The entire movie review can be read here.

Grace & Peace - The Deacon

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