I got to the theater an hour and a half early yesterday for the first showing on opening day and was thrilled to see a line rivaling any other ‘hot’ new release waiting outside the theater door for God’s Not Dead. 11 of my friends and family went and we were glad we had gone early because 30 mins before show time the tickets were sold out! Reading the box office reviews this morning has been more thrilling because with less than half as many theaters showing God’s Not Dead as other opening movies, this movie has already brought in over $2 million in one night, remarkable for a Christian release, making it rank in the top 5 release titles for number of views per theater!
As the movie began I was literally squirming in my seat because, the geeky apologist that I am was dying to see how they would portray my field! I was hoping beyond hope that I would be able to contain myself when Josh, the freshman student, dropped his arguments for the reality of God, as I was afraid I might applaud or cheer out while the rest of the theater sat silently watching. When the waited for moments appeared, I couldn’t contain myself, but the even more amazing part to me, was that the entire theater errupted in applause and cheers when finally the philosophy class filled with rising students, all professing that indeed God is Not Dead! The reaction in the theater can only be compared to watching ones favorite sports team stomp the opposition at the final moment of the game! It was a triumph, everyone was excited, the air literally teemed with the energy of seeing that when faced with a person who is by all standards more intelligent and well versed than you, it is possible for you to stand up for your faith intelligently and reasonably and that even though some may still turn away, by defending your faith you can change the lives and eternities of so many who otherwise would not know! It was incredible and exciting!
The really exciting thing about this movie is that it has set the stage for apologists everywhere! So many Christians live their life with doubt about their faith. They don’t share Jesus much or often because they fear that if a situation like this arises they will be hog tied and embarrassed and so they silently sign the paper saying ‘God’s Not Dead’ in public and justify that ‘God can’t really expect me to give up or risk X by speaking up’ privately in their mind. Matthew 10:33 reminds us that Jesus said that those that deny him here on earth before men, he will also deny before God in heaven. This movie made it clear that denial takes on many forms, Josh was faced with the option to sign the paper denying the existence of God, drop the class and avoid the whole situation or stand up for his faith and risk his future. Only one of those choices fit with Matthew 10:33, so Josh stood firm in Christ and shared his faith and the evidence that supports it to the best of his ability. Yes he was humiliated during his first attempt, he was relentlessly mocked and intimidated by his professor both in and out of class during the whole ordeal, he lost his girlfriend of 6 years over his choice to stand up for Christ and his convictions drove a wedge between he and friends and family. Yet when it all played out a Chinese boy who had never heard about God learned about Christ and became a believer, a Muslim girl who had given her life to Christ the year before but who had recently been disowned by her family was encouraged and strengthened to stand firm and move forward, and countless other classmates who heard the message changed their answers from God is dead to GOD IS NOT DEAD, boldly standing for their new convictions in the face of a cruel and hostile professor who had made it clear he would not hesitate to flunk anyone that disagreed with him.
American culture has been attempting to relegate Christian faith to the category of private and personal, something that should be left at home and kept out of the public sector for some time now, but if God really is the creator of all, if Christ really is the Savior of mankind then Christianity is not private and it cannot be relegated to the home, because God’s fingerprint is on every facate of existence and cannot and should not be silenced by mere creatures of the creator! Will you be bold enough to stand up for your faith? Will you be bold enough to share who Christ is and what He has done in your life? Start by taking your friends to see this movie! GOD IS NOT DEAD and this is a great way to start the conversation with your family and friends!
If your not sure how to defend your faith, www.doubtlessfaith.com has links to countless apologetics resources or Google Christian Apologetics. Lee Strobel has many easy to read resources to defend your faith and many Christian apologists teach classes at churches all over the country. As my pastor always says, fear paralyzes us but faith moves us forward! Put whatever amount of faith you have in the one that can move mountains, The Lord Jesus Christ! There may still be pain, difficulty and loss, but you could be a part of changing the eternity of countless people in the process! Will you pick up your cross and follow Christ and make a difference in the lives of others by introducing them to the one that can save their soul? Be bold! Stand firm! For YOUR God is WITH YOU until the ends of the earth!
Image from: http://www.christianfilmdatabase.com/review/gods-not-dead-the-movie/