What Movies Point You Toward Jesus?

Christians have a particular problem when making choices about our film intake. Some proclaim that only the movies with a distinctly “Christian” label and plot are allowed – they will watch only films like “Facing the Giants” or the “God’s Not Dead” franchise. Others swing in the opposite direction and watch anything indiscriminately. 

While not quite indiscriminate, my film habits could use some finessing to follow the Phillippians 4:8 mandate – films that are lovely, true, just, commendable. Thus, the film-watching path I’m striving to walk centers around a question: What movies point me toward Jesus?

This doesn’t narrow my options to be just movies that may have sub-par cinematography, but at least the characters quote Scripture. In fact, this question points to a lot of films. And, not all of them are happy or allowable around children – some of them are gritty, hard to handle. 

I recently saw Liam Neeson’s “The Marksman” in theaters. This movie, while hard to stomach, made me think hard thoughts about how I as a Christian should approach our immigration system and how I should love my neighbor. It made me want to “do justice” like the call of Micah 6:8. It pointed toward the fact that God is just.

One of my favorite movies of all time is “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” While I don’t walk away from viewings of this movie with hard questions or grand thoughts, I walk away still thinking about Christ. That is because the cinematography of this film is astounding – beautiful shots, the perfect soundtrack, a creative plot. The visual storytelling makes me think of my creative God, the one who spoke into being the very places in nature the movie shows us. 

There are certainly movies that Christians should avoid – movies riddled with explicit sexual content, gratuitous violence for the sake of gratuitous violence, and that only exist to numb the soul and kill the brain cells. But that doesn’t mean that we are limited to Kirk Cameron movies for the rest of our lives. Even the gritty films that expose realities of mankind that we would prefer not to think about can point us to Christ. We should seek to watch stories that point to a better Storyteller in some way, shape, or form.

Fight For The Lovely, Now More Than Ever

At surface level, there’s not a lot that’s lovely or beautiful surrounding us as we begin 2021.

A global pandemic.

Well-documented racism and corruption. 

Seditious actions and a political sphere in turmoil. 

Division, anger, hostility. 

What’s lovely about that? 

It’s easy to succumb to the gloom and fury that are thrust upon us during this time by our friends and family, our digital landscape, and the media. But now more than ever is the time to resist succumbing to those things, and instead, to fight for the lovely. 

A well-known passage of Scripture, Philippians 4:8 (emphasis mine) outlines the things that should be sought out in this world: 

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” 

It makes sense that these things are not easily seen – we live in a fallen world that is broken beyond belief and corrupted by sin. If we want the lovely, the true, the pure, the just, it must be FOUGHT for. 

Senator Ben Sasse (R-NE) recently admonished, “Don’t let nihilists become your drug dealers.” His comment is spot on. This world wants to suck all the joy and meaning away from life, leaving nothing but brokenness. We must push back. 

Fighting for the lovely looks like being kind to your neighbor, even when (especially when) you disagree.

Fighting for the lovely looks like a refusal to allow the agenda of the political class and the media to dictate your life, your joy, your priorities. 

Fighting for the lovely looks like ordering your life according to what really matters – God and people. 

And yes, fighting for the lovely expands to include the grim fight against the abuses of people that break God’s heart. Fighting for the lovely is the fight for justice, for dignity, against abuse and corruption. But loveliness brings happy warriors to these fights, not bringers of gloom and doom.

We are not called to just lay down and accept the darkness of the situation. We are called to be light. We are called to seek the lovely. That is exactly what we must do – now, more than ever.

Why it's okay to be absolutely hooked on a fictional story.

You’ll Get Hooked On The Story – And That’s Okay

Have you ever lived a day without actually living YOUR day?

And by that, I mean have you ever lived a day where you were so wrapped up in a story that it didn’t seem like you were actually in your own life? Continue reading “You’ll Get Hooked On The Story – And That’s Okay”