Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

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Experiencing Scripture

May 29, 2009

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“We sit in the same padded pew, week in and week out, listening to stories about Jesus calming the wind and the waves. The disciples had a totally different experience. They were in the boat on the lake when the skies grew dark and hurricane winds started to blow. They walked beaches, climbed mountains, and trekked across the wilderness with Jesus. Their experience was four-dimensional, while ours is one-dimensional. So when we read the Bible, we tend to focus on theology, overlooking the Meteorology, the psychology, and even the geology that shaped the stories we read.” “Wild Goose Chase” by Mark Batterson.

 When I first began my ministry I spent a lot of time studying proof texts for what I believed. I wanted to be prepared to take on all comers and be able to wow them with my rapid fire quoting of scripture. I love to read those of our fellowship who seem to have all questions answered and knew exactly the right way to present their case for their cause. For a while I missed the real power of Scripture. I missed the experience of Scripture.

 Today my study is very different. I have such a hunger to taste, feel and experience the world in which this powerful book was written.  I want to try to see what they saw and feel what they felt. I know this has it limitations, but there is a wealth of information out there for anyone who wants to add new dimensions to their study.

 Ray Vander Laan has done a wonderful job putting together study helps that bring the scripture alive. There are wonderful videos where he takes you to the places the scripture speaks about and brings them alive. If you are not aware of his site you need to go there and spend some time looking around. It is called “Follow the Rabbi”.

 I am presently teaching the Gospel of John on Wednesday nights. One of the helps I am using in class is the movie, The Gospel of John. This movie is word for word based on the Good News Bible translation of the American Bible Society. The acting is filled with reality and very well done. While obviously not perfect (I didn’t direct it (-:), it is a great help to add another dimension to your teaching. Many in the class have bought their own personal copy. (I bought one for $5.00 at a local Family Christian Book Store.) We are becoming more and more a visual society. People learn more and more quickly when you can allow them to experience the scripture and not just see it as words on paper.

 I still remember my early days growing up in church. The teacher gave us a booklet with a story for each week. We were to read the story and then fill in the blanks at the end. More often than not, I would give the story a quick read on Sunday morning as I was getting dressed and then filled in the blanks as quickly as I could. When class time came I was ready. The teacher then proceeded to ask each question and if discussions arose they were often not about the story at all, but some rabbit someone wanted to chase.

 We live at a great time in history with so much at our disposal. Let me encourage you to take advantage of it. It will truly add new dimensions to your study and understanding of the Scripture.

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The Attractive Jesus

August 29, 2008

I happened to be channel surfing last evening and happened upon a clip from the independent film, “Bella”. It is being promoted among Christian circles as a “pro-life” movie, though I have not seen it yet, others say that is not its major thrust. The trailer I watched has a scene it which the staring couple happens upon a blind man sitting on the side walk in New York City with a sign beside him that reads, “God closed my eyes…now I see. The sign alone carries a powerful message…but I digress.

 

The blind man senses the couple’s presence and says, “Today is a beautiful day…right”?

Then without hesitation he says, “Describe it to me.” The young lady responded, “Just an ordinary day in New York City…you know. People rushing back and forth, everybody’s got some where to go, somewhere to be. Nobody cares about nothing. Like a human driven clock…never stops”.

 

The blind man answers, “Oh…wish I could see that.”

 

As I reflected a bit on this brief portion of the movie I was struck with the feeling that her description could fit most any city of size anywhere in the world. Cities filled with people with places to go, people to see and deadlines to meet. Jesus came to a world, although separated by centuries from our own, that had pretty much the same mind set. But it was not long until Jesus not only stood out in the crowd, the crowd had assembled because of Him.

 

What was it that made Jesus so attractive? What was it that set Him apart from the” crowd”, so to speak? Some would say His miracles, others His radical teaching. If I had to choose just one it would be His compassion. Jesus was compassionate about people. He was not just conscious of the people; he was compassionate for the people. In Matthew 14 a multitude of people are following Jesus and the disciples tell Him to send them away to find food. Jesus responds by telling the disciples, “You feed them.” The disciples were conscious of people, Jesus was compassionate for people.

 

In Matthew 19 people are bringing children to Jesus to have Him bless them and the disciples told them not to be a bother to the Lord. But Jesus tells them to allow the children to come to Him and He blessed them. The disciples were conscious of people, Jesus was compassionate toward people.

 

When Jesus told the parable of the Good Samaritan He taught the lesson that often religious people are conscious of others and their needs, but often are not compassionate about those people and their needs.

 

Maybe one of the reasons that people are not interested in hearing us talk about Jesus is that they have not first seen Jesus in us. The problem with using words when talking about Jesus is a problem of communication. There are at least three messages that may be present in our words: (1) what I intend to say, (2) what I actually say and (3) what others hear. When we act with the compassion of Christ toward others they realize that we are more than just conscious that they exist, we are compassionate about them as well.

 

People who go around coercing people into “decisions” for Christ are not only doing a total disservice to Jesus (IMHO), they are presenting a distorted picture of Jesus. The Jesus that was “attractive” was not some “in your face” sort of teacher when talking to the non-religious. He compassionately touched, healed and met the needs of those who came to Him.

 

I am trying to learn to be more compassionate. I don’t want to just be conscious of people I want to be compassionate about people. I think the longer I hang around Jesus the more that will happen in my life.

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“Their Go’na Put Me In The Movies”

June 27, 2008

Madison is blessed with a lot of talented people. One of them is our Director of Media Operation, Todd Hibbs. I was a part of a shoot that Todd did at Panera Bread in Madison, TN yesterday morning.

Madison just began a new ministry to hurting children. Dr. Frank Scott our counseling minister heads up this program that will begin July 1st.

Bible Camp has been going on for the past few weeks and is now in the home stretch. Here is a video about senior week.

To see more of Todd’s handy work click here.

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Golden Compass…one more time.

December 19, 2007

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Regardless of your opinion of the movie, “The Golden Compass”, it is based on the first of three books with a defanant agenda to discredit the God of Heaven. Patty Slack has written an insightful article about this trilogy in the latest issue of Wineskins Magazine. Here is a quote from her article about the third book planned in this series.

The Third Book, The Amber Spyglass, offers the clearest picture of all. Consider this description from Balthamos, a rebel angel:

The Authority, God, the Creator, the Lord, Yahweh, El, Adonai, the King, the Father, the Almighty—those were all names he gave himself. He was never the creator. He was an angel like ourselves—the first angel, true, the most powerful, but he was formed of Dust as we are, and Dust is only a name for what happens when matter begins to understand itself…. He told those who came after him that he had created them, but it was a lie.iii

Read the complete article by clicking here.

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Golden Compass

October 26, 2007

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Today’s post is a follow up to John Allen Turner’s…and others…thoughts on the New Atheism from yesterday.  “The Golden Compass” is a new movie soon to be released that is the creation of an avowed atheist and is directed toward children. With the popularity of “fantasy” type flicks, this one seems to be designed to go a step further in its Godless bias. It probably won’t have an effect on many “church folks”, but I think it will add another building block in Satan’s agenda to erode the faith of the weak…both parents and children.  Here is World News Daily’s Dr. Ted Baehr’s take on the movie.

An atheist’s ‘Narnia’ knockoff


Posted: October 26, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

On Dec. 7, 2007, the movie “The Golden Compass,” based on the first book in the fantasy trilogy entitled “His Dark Materials” by atheist Philip Pullman will be released in theaters throughout the world. Pullman wrote his fantasy trilogy because he was so upset by the Christian evangelism of C.S. Lewis in his wonderful series of Christian tales entitled “The Chronicles Of Narnia.” Pullman is an avowed atheist who has dedicated his life to undermining Christianity and the Church among young readers. The film’s release is only another example of a culture spiraling away from faith, a culture into which we must step in and declare truth. Pullman represents God as a decrepit and perverse angel in his novels, who captures the dead in a “prison camp” afterlife. As one fallen angel tells one of the novel’s young heroes:

The Authority, God, the Creator, the Lord, Yahweh, El, Adonai, the King, the Father, the Almighty – those were all names he gave himself. He was never the creator. He was an angel like ourselves – the first angel, true, the most powerful, but he was formed of Dust as we are, and Dust is only a name for what happens when matter begins to understand itself.

When the hero finally finds this “god,” he is ultimately described as a “demented and powerless” creature that “could only weep and mumble in fear and pain and misery.” The boy then kills this “god” by breaking him out of his crystal cell, thereby evaporating him. The only “god” in this universe is matter.

Meanwhile, the Church is depicted as an organization bent on power, control and the torture of children by cutting. One-character notes of the Church:

Killing is not difficult for them; Calvin himself ordered the deaths of children; they’d kill her with pomp and ceremony and prayers and lamentations and psalms and hymns, but they would kill her.

Click here for the rest of the article.