In an age where an increasing number of young people under 30 are now starting to walk away from the One True Faith, it is fitting that those of us with a large megaphone, speak up with solutions. This is precisely, one of the major takeaways from the brand new movie (released March 30, 2018) - GOD'S NOT DEAD 3 - A LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS.
In a sense, one of the major solutions reminds us that the old must become new again. That particular solution is Love and a great message coming out of this new movie by David AR White and his Pure Flix production company. We live in times of extreme hatred, bullying, permanent division and upside down morals. GND 3 attempts to address some of this division, in light of everything else, with the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and some strong human emotions from both sides of the conflict, in the movie.
At the end of GND 2, released in 2016, the scene was set for this sequel at the end of the credits. David White, as Pastor Dave, was taken away in cuffs because he refused to submit his sermons for review by an oppressive city hall. At the time, this issue was heavy in the air with the overreach of the former Houston Texas Mayor, in real life, who had subpoenaed the sermons of five Houston preachers in 2014, over the pastors teaching directly from God's Word. This unconstitutional act backfired nationally, as it should.
However, GND 3 - heads off in a completely direction. The arrest of Pastor Dave brought up another issue, which while related to the freedom of religion and to preach the Bible, tested the limits of the so-called "separation of Church and State". Religious liberty is still a potent issue with atheists attempting to remove chaplains from NCAA football teams in recent years, in the Bible belt of all places. Here in this movie, the increasingly liberal and narrow thinking of an anti-God society led to the accidental burning down of a historic church on the "Hadleigh" college campus.
The secular staff, of this once Christian school, used that tragic occasion, which resulted in the death of a visiting African pastor, to kick the burnt out church (St. James) off campus for good. This, obviously, did not sit well, with Pastor Dave and his congregation or friends. He decides to travel to Chicago in his Prius to seek legal help from his brother, Pearce, who is a social justice advocate. Pearce is not a believer even though both he and David grew up in the same home with dad as the pastor of St. James. Pearce is played by John Corbett, who just a year ago, had the lead role as the real-life Pastor Michael Spurlock, who became renowned for rescuing a Tennessee church, which he was assigned to close down. Corbett is one of the well-known star-studded cast of God's Not Dead 3.
The amazing thing, from the casting point of view, was how all cast members appeared in sync with both the screenplay and the execution of their roles. Christian movies with controversial themes are difficult enough for an authentic Christian to bring off the role with believability. David White did this perfectly here. I have seen his movies from the early evangelical short films of over 20 years ago, up to now. This role was his best ever, as all the nice happy church days of God's Not Dead 1 and 2, disappeared with the reality of late 21st Century American attitudes towards church and God.
This movie is full of drama with a well-written screenplay, which was obviously keyed in on current real-life events, and how it affects both the Church and young people. One particular scene involves the coed lead Samantha Boscarino (Keaton) telling Pastor Dave off about the reason millennials are not interested in Faith (Christianity) anymore. While Keaton character has a point, this did not happen in a vacuum. The "NONES" - the increasing number of people who do not believe in God etc. - got that way because of school indoctrination, parents who did not raise them with the Bible and THEN a church which is still playing games, instead of reaching souls and making disciples of their members.
All of us in strong ministries which focus on discipleship, prayer, and families should go see this movie. It will also remind us in ministry, especially the pastors and church leaders among us, that the Church of Jesus Christ is NOT theirs to do as they/we please. It is God's and He will do as He pleases. It is also a good one to take an unsaved friend to, because those who doubt or walk away, need to come around to the Truth that is an old-fashioned concept like Love, is still answer. However, more importantly, this Love has only one Name - and His Name is Jesus! His Love is victorious over all.
MOVIE WEBSITE HERE
PURE FLIX WEBSITE HERE
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