Monday, February 08, 2010

Beware of Christians

The title alone could be a great discussion, no?

Last summer a college guy walked into our home. Small groups had started up at the church we attend. A new group of people were coming through our front door.

One of the girls sitting across the room from me caught my eye, looked over at this new guy and mouthed the words "He was in a movie."

I mouthed back..."A movie?"

she nodded her head.

"A real movie?"

she nodded her head again. Then she moved closer and said, "Like he makes real-life movies that are in the movie theater...and he's in them."


Try as I may to not really care about those kinds of things, the truth is, I do. I thought it was super cool that a movie guy had decided to join our church and become a part of our family's life. Judge me. Whatever.

Now the movie coolness has worn off. This guy is no longer "the guy who makes movies" to us. He's Michael Allen. Not Michael. Michael Allen. Because some people are "both names" kind of people. Michael Allen is one of those people. It feels good and right to say both names, so we do.

We love Michael Allen. We love his heart. We love his honesty. We love the 5 million questions (per week) he's asking about living a life that honors God. We love seeing him work this junk out with "fear and trembling." It's always refreshing to see anyone looking deep into scripture on a hunt for Jesus and the Way, desiring to live for the know...the real Kingdom, not this earthly one.

There are times we think Michael Allen might be crazy. There are times we are sure of it. Every time we are around him we are thankful that we get a front row to hear his heart, and his convictions. We love listening as he hashes out hard topics with the Lord and God's people.

Long story short, Michael and his friends have made another movie.

coming to theaters soon!

I'll be honest (I hope you don't expect anything less).

My first reaction to four college guys trying to figure out life and tell the rest of the world how to live it was an eye roll.


It can almost seem comical.

How can four college guys, unfamiliar with the real world, providing for themselves or others, going to discover anything monumental about living for God by traveling around Europe for a summer (how did they pay for this)? Seems like idealism on steroids. That sounds kind of mean, and my many assumptions may be way off, but I said I was going to be honest...I have my own questions.

One of the questions I've been asking is...when did I get so old that these guys seem so young? If I start using the phrase, "whipper snapper" please...someone...for the love...put me "down" or something.

Aaron and I watched their first documentary, "One Nation Under God." We went into it with the same sort of critical eye, yet hopefully willing to learn. We may not have walked away with all the messages that we were intended to walk away with, but we did leave that film with a lot of treasure. It was refreshing to see a group of believers asking real questions, trying to live out the beauty of scripture.

We're excited to watch Beware of Christians.

The trailer makes it sound like this is a group of four renegades who want to chunk out all the things their parents and the church have taught them about following Jesus and find their own way. If we didn't know Michael we would walk into this film very skeptical because of some things they say in the trailer. We are probably pretty skeptical of anyone (or four someones) claiming to have discovered anything worthwhile without the influence of older, godly people and apart from the church that Jesus loves so much He gave His life up for it. We have our own questions that hopefully the film will answer. We're all for challenging tradition, and really rethinking the reasons why we do what we do (or don't do what we should do) but we also love community and the body of Christ. I hope all those elements come out in the film.

Because we know Michael we will watch this movie ready to understand where these guys are coming from and find out how we can walk this road with them as one body. Michael loves Jesus. He loves the gospel. He's not afraid to let Jesus totally jack his life up as he learns to follow Him.

I think these guys will ask some hard questions. I hope they do.

Questions can sometimes be threatening, but I try to remember that the Bible is a huge story, and it is filled with people asking questions...asking God questions...asking Jesus questions...and so I want to be more comfortable being questioned and asking them myself. For the Bible to be a big book of people asking hard questions, sometimes the church is one of the hardest places to ask them.

I think everyone who loves the church should watch this movie, if not to ask the same questions, then to know what questions parts of our body are asking. Maybe after we watch this movie, we'll see some areas where these young men need more wisdom or their perspective challenged and broadened. Maybe we'll see where we need more wisdom, more honesty, and need our perspective to be challenged and broadened.

For sure I think we can rejoice as believers that God has redeemed, in small part, the movie making industry with films like this. I'm praying the gospel is shared, that Jesus is seen, that "religion" like that of the Pharisees is mocked and confronted the same way Jesus mocked and confronted white washed walls whose hearts are filthy and far from Him.

Bottom line...

I love questions, and although I'm not expecting these young men to ask all the right ones or come to all the right conclusions, it does get me excited any time people look around this world, see how hypocritical we all can be, ask questions, look to Jesus for answers and begin to live out their convictions and CHANGE.


Looking to the cross for answers


All good things

Doesn't the last line in the trailer make your stomach hurt a little? or a lot?

Will you help spread the word about this movie?

Do you want me to get you Michael Allen's autograph? If he writes his name on his cup at our house this week, I'll save it for you. I already told him I'm saving all "Michael Allen" paraphernalia so I can sell it on ebay one day when he's big and famous.


Elizabeth said...

Love it, Heather. I'm so blessed he is part of our church. I don't even know him (how bad is that??), but I can tell he is definitely an asset to our church from what I saw in "One Nation Under God."

Karlen said...

I got here through a friends blog and I've heard some about this documentary, but never had the chance to watch the trailer. I'm super excited about this!

And yes, the last little bit of the trailer is gut wrenching.

Christina said...

Hey Heather! Did you rent One Nation Under God? If yes where did you rent it from?

A Lil Story (Bilslands) said...

Not sure how I came by, but I love your blog!...and the movie sounds interesting. Looking forward to reading more. =)


maddie said...

Have you heard of "How to save a life"? My family says it too is a good movie that at first you would go into thinking it was cheesy. I have not seen it yeat but want to see if what they said is accurate.