Friday, March 09, 2007

My review of "Facing the Giants."

I finally watched this movie last night. I had high expectations for a great movie about faith. Facing the Giants is a feel good movie. It presents a one sided picture of a god who is more like Santa Claus than the God that I worship. I am disturbed that churches are using this movie as an evangelical tool.

As I was watching this movie, I thought of so many people that I know or have known of in my life where tragedy and sorrow hit them like a boxer in a ring with an opponent that was intent upon drawing blood. I knew that they had stood strong in their faith. I knew that they prayed without ceasing. I knew that they never turned from God and yet, their desires or wants were not answered or seemingly met.

We live in a world where people do not understand the Spirit and they are constantly looking for a sign. If God loves me, then He should do the following. I should have a car given to me. I should suddenly become very successful in my job. I should find the dead mouse in my house. I should get a several thousand dollar raise. I should get pregnant. And, everyone that I have any contact with should change because of my influence toward God in their life. All these things should happen if I stay up all night and read my Bible and pray and share my faith.

What happens when we do stay up all night to communicate with God and nothing happens? What is the message for those of us who daily live with disappointments and challenges? Is the message that our faith is weak? Is the message is that God doesn’t love us?

Sometimes, the only things that we see God do in some situations is hold us and give us strength to continue. The ability to continue on when life hasn’t allowed us to win the big game is an amazing gift. Everything in this movie was a sign – it was a physical thing. Wow! The movie shouted. Look how blessed that I am. I now have all these blessings in my life simply because I have rededicated my life to God, pray, and read my Bible.

Where was the message of Christ? This movie reminded me of that popular name and claim it doctrine. No, it wasn’t as obvious because the coach did say, "We will praise you no matter what." Honestly, losing a football game isn’t like losing a child, a spouse, or one’s health. I would hope that most people could still praise God if they lost a game! But, the message of this movie was only good things will happen to you once you make God first in your life.

I need to say, to those struggling in their faith, or those new to the faith, or to those who are thinking about coming to God, this movie was a farce and not reality. God will change you and hold you and love you but you probably won’t get pregnant or a raise or an expensive truck given to you. God does bless His people; however, sometimes that blessings are being able to experience a true and real joy in life regardless of your life’s circumstances, sorrows, and disappointments.

This movie did not make me feel joyful and happy. This movie made me think about my life’s biggest sorrows and losses and then wonder why God hasn’t stepped in with my miracle. This movie saddened me because many people may decide to come to God because of the things that they are expecting to receive from Him and not because they are sinners in need of a Savior. Will these people then question their faith when sorrow overwhelms me? Will they judge others faith by worldly success and possessions?

The story was sweet and fun but I didn’t receive a blessing from this movie. The message that I got was that my faith must not measure up. It told me that all of the days and nights that I have spent in prayer were not useful. And, that I am not one of God’s beloved.

Okay, church. Let’s present a lie to the lost. Let’s tell them that if you do a, b, and c that God will give you a bunch of news toys, more money and career success. Then when these same people experience sorrow, tragedy, or disappointments in life, we can quietly whisper, “Oh, by the way, God will give you strength to endure.” However, we have already set the precedent that the way God answers prayers is by giving you everything that you want.

I am afraid that these people will then walk away from the church and never look back. To them, the church and God will be just one more thing that disappointed them. Maybe, the church’s message needs to center more on Hebrews 11. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen….” Maybe, the message needs to center on the best gift in the world, the work of Jesus Christ and his death and resurrection.

The truth of life is that we will experience happiness and sorrow. God makes the rain to fall on all. We are called to live in faith. Faith that Jesus Christ is doing exactly what he said He would do. He is preparing for us a place in heaven where sorrow and tears will no longer exist. Maybe, the message should be Christ and his sufferings and his triumph.

The sad fact is this movie will do great because Americans want new cars and worldly success more than they want a Savior and His Spirit to equip them live a life of joy regardless of what their eyes see. They are not interested in real faith. They are interested in things.

5 comments:

Blueberry said...

Great review!! You said:

"I am afraid that these people will then walk away from the church and never look back. To them, the church and God will be just one more thing that disappointed them. Maybe, the church’s message needs to center more on Hebrews 11. “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen….” Maybe, the message needs to center on the best gift in the world, the work of Jesus Christ and his death and resurrection."

I appreciate your honesty.

Debbie B said...

You are welcome.

Anonymous said...

Debbie, I would like to talk with you please. I was shocked and horrified at your interpretation of "Facing the Giants". If you are going to post this type of review, please at least talk with me to get my side of the story. You can email me at alexk@sherwoodbaptist.net. Thank You.

Alex Kendrick
Writer, Director "Facing the Giants"

Debbie B said...

Alex,

I emailed you at the address you left.

Blessings,
Debbie

HomeschoolingMomto3 said...

I absolutely agree with you! We just saw this movie tonight. I was really looking forward to it because so many friends had told us how wonderful it was. It is a good movie, but not at all what I expected. It certainly portrays Christian life as something that it isn't. When we turn our lives over to the Lord, we don't get everything we want falling right into place. It had me thinking that maybe my husband and I don't have the right kind of faith. We certainly don't have everything we want! We struggle financially. We aren't having new vehicles bought for us or $6000 raises. I can't help but think of the faithful couples desperate to have a baby, but can't. How is this movie going to make them feel?? Like their faith isn't good enough or strong enough for God to give them a baby?