Saturday, October 21, 2006

Of Grief and Guilt

Tonight, I took my wife to a free movie. Yep, we were told to bring an unbeliever back to the Christian Film Festival and I brought my wife. :-(

Well, this Film Festival Tour is the premier showing of this new movie starring John Schneider. It is not a "Hollywood" producton though it is definitely a professional film. It contains the gambit of emotions as old friends return to the hometown for the funeral of a childhood friend. The character played by John Schneider sees Christians facing conflict and resolution in a manner that is faith assuring.

The name of the film is "Hidden Secrets" and it features a judgmental Christian among other Christians with secret sins that have nearly detroyed their lives. The story is how these Christians face those sins and find forgiveness from God and from each other. The "hypocrite" sees her error and the unbeliever comes a long way toward salvation (last line of movie, unclear). The gospel is presented fairly clearly but not in a harsh or overbearing way (except by the "shrew").

The movie is rated PG-13, mostly on "thematic" grounds. There is no violence, or profanity, and no sexual situations. However, specific sins are mentioned and dealt with. Therefore, a PG-13 is definitely appropriate. I would give this four stars out of five.

My wife believes. Help MY unbelief.

That is, I am probably "taking advantage" of this ministry. It is supposed to reach out to unbelievers, but I am not sure it is an effective tool. In the end, it is the preaching of the WORD OF GOD, pure and simple, that effectually leads God's remnant into fellowship with their Savior. I am afraid, as is my wife, that the heart-felt appeals at the end of these films work cross purpose with the message of the true Gospel. An emotional revivalism abounds: Jesus saves, BUT. Jesus saves, now IF... What about: "Sinners, repent. Jesus saves, are you saved?"

The point, I guess, is that Salvation is a GIFT. As such it is NOT CONTINGENT on our actions, not even our response to an "invitation." Two questions: "Do you believe Jesus saved you?" and "Does your life show that you are saved." Heart and Hands, it's what you believe AND how you live.

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