Jamie and I just got done watching the highly publicized documentary An Inconvenient Truth. I had been meaning to see it for a while but apparently catching up on Will Ferrell and Adam Sandler is more important than the apparent demise of the planet.

While I greatly appreciated the message on a whole, I think Al Gore lost some validity by throwing in an assortment of political overtones. Had it been just straight facts and repercussions, I think it would have been much more accessible for the masses.

The real point of this post though is the burden I feel this movie should have on all Christians (not just environmentalist liberal sorts). As much as I agreed with Bono when he said, “How we respond to the AIDS emergency [in Africa] will describe us for posterity,” I think that there is a much larger issue here.

As Christians, we are called to be the caregivers of the oppressed, widowed and orphaned. We are called to be the wise stewards of gifts and talents. We are called to protect the creation God has give us dominion over.

It is a high bar for sure. When we are doing our best to make the most of this life and to simply try and understand the life of Christ, it can be difficult to even make the token trip to the local soup kitchen once a year. It’s no wonder the world often has a hard time differentiating Christians from non-Christians in most aspects of life.

But what if we responded to this great obligation in simple ways. What if we were more careful about the resources we used? What if we didn’t automatically vote Republican on all issues simply because we once were told it was synonymous with Christian? What if we didn’t just do a once a year fund drive for AIDS in Africa, but did a rolling collection that was always reemphasized with achievable goals?

It’s a lot of what-ifs, and I know I have a lot of work to do in my own personal life. I guess this movie just started me questioning if God would really be pleased with what He sees from me here on earth and if there is something more I can do to glorify Him more.

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I actually meant to do this a while ago, but I figured I would start reviewing my Netflix selections for all of the world to appreciate. I’m far from an expert movie critic, but at least you have an average guy’s analysis.

So Anger Management. When I first saw the trailer for this movie several years ago I figured it was nothing more than another vehicle for Sandle-esque shenanigans. For this reason I wasn’t really motivated to see it in the theater. Now that I have seen the movie I am glad I went with my gut instinct.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Sandler movies. I own a few and can quote most of them. However, when you have Sandler opposite Jack Nicholson, you sort of have expectations. For…how do you say…a good movie?

The plot for this movie is pretty weak. It was pretty obvious where this was going from the start and no real surprises along the way. The only saving grace is the expected one-liners from Sandler and a surprisingly funny Nicholson. It was also interesting seeing Nicholson in a therapy group reminiscent of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

I gave the movie 4 out of 5 stars, but I don’t think I’d want to see it again for at least a year.

Jesus Camp

September.18.2006

I was updating our queue on Netflix yesterday and saw a banner that caught my eye. Apparently there is a new movie coming out called “Jesus Camp.” It’s actually more of a documentary, but anyways…

Since I work at what could be labeled a “Jesus Camp” it of course caught my eye. The sad thing is that even before I investigated it I knew what I was going to find. Go check out the trailer here and then come back.

So really I can see both sides of this. On the one hand, yes, Christian camps are meant to strengthen the youth of America in their Christian beliefs. I don’t think that is anything too earth-shattering.

On the other hand, the comparisons to Palestinians and the military-style performance were kind of off-putting. If I were on the outside viewing this film, I could certainly see how Christians could be labeled fanatical and even closer to Islamic extremists than I think we would like.

It’s funny (and sad) how Christians are often portrayed in mainstream media.

The Pop Culture Hook

May.19.2006


After reading Tim’s blog (http://www.timschmoyer.com/2006/05/17/tired-of-da-vinci-code-hype/), it has really helped me realize how desperate Christian culture can be at times. Is it just me or does it seem like Christians are constantly waiting for the next big Hollywood hit that can be used as a ministry tool? Granted, it does make it easier to convey a gospel message, but I wonder why that is?

Really, I have come to wonder if it is more a matter of Christians becoming lazy or the rest of the world becoming so jadded towards the gospel message. Let me explain.

First, the laziness. In general Christians are lazy. Then again, in general, non-Christians are lazy too. To commit to doing straight up evanglism the way Jesus did it would not only be scary, but also tiring. But then again, it worked. Jesus never waited for some great artisitic movement to hitch his message to. He just proclaimed love and grace. Why don’t we do that?

Well, we usually don’t do it because no one would listen. The rest of the world is so sick of hearing the gospel that they typically won’t even hear you out. They just move on as if what you are saying is some annoying telemarketer conversation. As if the gospel had a timeshare attached to it…

But we can’t change the way people are. We can change the way we present our message though. Rather than waiting for the next great Hollywood blockbuster, why not spread the gospel the way Jesus did?