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Posts Tagged ‘movie’

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As the movie “Heaven is for Real” comes out on DVD, there is a renewed interest in the story of four year old Colton Burpo. While I am more a fan of the book than the movie, I will admit the movie is very entertaining and uplifting.

That said, let me address a couple things.

The main concern I have with the film is that it leaves out the most important point. The answer to the question “How do I get to go to Heaven?” They came close a couple times and in one scene had a great opportunity but missed the boat.

When Nancy from the church came to Pastor Todd, she asked him about her son that passed away and if he thought he might be in heaven or not. Pastor Todd’s answer was “Do you think God loves your son any less than he loves mine?”

The answer, of course, is God loves them (and all of us) the same. However, the implication is if God loves us, we all go to heaven. This is simply untrue.

God loves us all so much that He sacrificed His Son for us but it is up to us rather or not we accept His gift of reconciliation of reject it. Here’s the answer of how we not only go to Heaven someday but how we have a relationship with Him now….

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.  For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10: 8-13

The movie is a good start to the conversation but if we as the church do not complete the conversation, many will walk out of the movie not only with an incomplete thought but a dangerous one.

Here’s the second thing I want to throw out there….

I had a friend a couple weeks ago ask me if I believed the story was true. He asked me all kinds of questions about if I believed people looked that way in heaven, if they would act that way in heaven, and the like.

I do not know if Colton went to heaven or not. If God wanted to take him to heaven, He certainly could. However, that’s not the only answer.

Luke tells us in Acts  on ear2: 16-18 “And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams; even on my male servants and female servants in those days I will pour out my Spirit, and they shall prophesy.

Colton could have had a vision from God for multiple reasons including the book and the movie. God could reveal himself in a way that not only a four year old could understand but that would bring confirmation to his father Todd to bring him closer to God. While “pop pop” may or may not look like the  young man he was on earth in his heavenly body, God could surely reveal him that way so that Todd could later understand that there was confirmation within the vision.

So, am I against “Heaven is for Real”? Not at all! Go see it and/or read the book. However, bring bigger thinking and have deeper conversations about the message behind them.

Heaven is for real…. and God wants to bring you home someday. However, that is really up to you.

If you have any questions about heaven or having a relationships with Jesus Christ, feel free to touch base with me.

Pastor Tom Hypes

theshepherdsfellowship.org

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The Bible is the gauge in which we as Christians gauge our life. It is very black and white on many topics that apply to our lives today.

However, what about issues the Bible is not as clear about? How do you find the path to holiness in areas like what entertainment we partake of, political issues, some denominational differences, and the like?

In this study, we dig into the teachings of Paul on this very thought process. We will explore how to find our personal way through topics as well as how to find unity in conversations that begs for division in our worldly selves.

As drinking alcohol (from non-drinkers to social drinkers to those who struggle) is a big topic in many lives, we will be using it as our example of how to make sure our views in all areas are Biblical, honoring to God, and lead to unity and love.

Sound like a conversational minefield? That’s why it’s the perfect focus point for Biblical living.

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While I have heard a lot of negative about the movie “Noah” before it came out, I tend to keep my mouth shut until I see something for myself. In the past, certain sections of the Christian community has been quick to bash anything Hollywood does for the smallest of details so I wait until a release. Usually, there are “artistic license”  moments but the movie can serve as a starting point for some who are more visual and then enter into study or conversations.

That said, I really do not recommend “Noah”. While I am sure the Holy Spirit can and will work in spite of Noah IF we as Christians will enter into the conversations around us, the following is why I suggest you save your money (unless you are seeing it to enter into the conversation with others).

To accomplish this, I must review this film in two lights. First, from a Biblical standpoint. Second, from a movie for general entertainment.

Biblical Stand Point – The biblical account of Noah is found from Genesis 5-9. There’s a lot of details in those four chapters but not enough for a full length movie so I expected them to take “artistic license”.

Last fall, I was at a church leadership conference where they had the writer and director of the movie (Darren Aronofsky) there to share about the upcoming Biblical epic. He talked about how the story of Noah impacted him as a youth in Sunday School and how he wanted to bring it alive for the culture we live in. He fell short.

A good 95% of the details in the movie are fiction. Some were written to fill the gaps. Some are in direct contradiction of the Bible (many of the characters and events). I will not list them all because much of it doesn’t matter past that point of making sure people know it’s fiction. However, there are two major ones I want to address.

– God did not destroy the earth because man did not take care of His creation. Genesis 6 is clear that it was due to man’s sinful actions.

– God did not have the goal of destroying mankind so creation wouldn’t be messed up again and then Noah went against Him. After God took Noah into account, He decided to start again with Noah and his family.

Why do these matter? Besides historical accuracy, because there are great truths in the Noah account that point us to truths about Jesus. It teaches us of the ugliness of sin, God’s mercy, and metaphorical understandings of how you can have peace with God through Christ. If you would like to understand those better, touch base with me and I’d love to talk more.

Movie for Entertainment – If you put the Biblical point to the side, there is one positive and one negative (take this with a grain of salt since this part is subjective).

One positive – Much of the special effects were spectacular when it comes to the nature. The animals and “rock angels” were a little lame but the nature parts were cool.

One negative – For me, it was simply long and boring. My wife and I are movie people but often found ourselves laughing when we were not suppose to.

So that’s it…. babbling for whatever it’s worth. The final thought would be this. While you won’t hear me say this often of a movie, it would be better to read the book.

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OK, first let me state a couple of things….

– I’m a couple of days behind the curve on this one
– I like Kirk Cameron on his own, not too big of a fan of him and Ray Comfort together
– I know several people who may see this post and start blowing up the comments just because Kirk Cameron’s name and you don’t like his conservative beliefs
– On the other side, some of you might want to blow this up because you feel we as Christians are under fire and our country is no longer a Christian nation
– For these reasons, I tend not to post things like this because publicly I am more interested in things like grace, salvation and  love and hate providing platforms for ugliness …so please keep civil.

OK – that all said…..

I saw an article today saying that Facebook and You Tube had blocked any posting of the preview to Kirk Cameron’s new film because it was “abusive, unsafe, and spammy”. My first thought was either it was a fake story or Kirk Cameron had gone off the deep end. It appears it was neither.

(At this point, a campaign brought a change to this and it is now available on both. However, I was curious how bad the preview was to start all this. You can see it above.)

It is pretty hard not to see that this banning on the film’s trailer as anything less than targeted discrimination. I have seen so much worse on both Facebook and YouTube that you have to wonder what they were thinking. The challenge is defining the target since I have also seen a ton of Christian videos on both so there’s not a war on Christians per say through the two mediums on a large-scale. It’s perplexing on why they choose this one to ban.

I could go on about that with observations and speculation but don’t really care to. The simple fact is if you deem this as prejudice against Christians, you may be right but it’s not the main point of the post believe it or not. (Not to mention, Christ told us not to be surprised when there is persecution and this is an example of “persecution light” in comparison to what our brothers and sisters around the world face.)

I just want to get the word out on the film itself in my little corner of the world. I won’t judge it until I see it like others on both sides might do. However, I do want to see it for the following reasons….

– Again, I like Kirk Cameron when he’s on his own
– I think this is a vital topic he is attempting to tackle
– I do have a sense in me that if two of the largest media outlets tried to ban its message…. I want to get the message out there

If all works out, I think I’ll try to go see this one. Might even take a friend or two. Maybe I’ll see you there…….

Random thoughts on a Saturday morning….

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I saw a movie last night that I wanted to give you some more info on called Fireproof. It is from the makers of “Facing the Giants” and “Flywheel” which have been popular Christian fiction movies on DVD over the last year. This new one chronicles the struggling relationship of a firefighter (Kirk Cameron) and his wife and how God makes a difference in their relationship.

I am going to be honest that I though “Facing the Giants” was good for a “Christian” movie. Great message but at times the acting was a little half/ half and the writing suffers if you compare it to “normal” movies from Hollywood. I also a bug Kirk Cameron fan as far as his commitment to the Lord but half/ half on his acting skills.

(more…)

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