Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel."
- Mark 1:14-15

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Facing the Giants

Hey, I haven’t abandoned the blog, I am still doing research on the recent Gospel series posts and adding verses and thoughts, so check back on those (I just added a lot to the Holiness of God - part 1).  I will put the date updated on the top of the page.  Anything else on this blog will be secondary in importance to the Gospel story of how God redeemed sinful mankind.  

I recently watched the movie Facing the Giants again.  I saw the movie when it first came out on dvd five or so years ago, and seeing it again after some time away has given me some new perspective on it.  Football coaches and people in the church raved about this movie when it first came out, in that it promoted Christian values and was something to show to your players.  I probably watched the movie twice the first year I had it and liked it a lot, but after watching it recently, I don’t like it nearly as much.

The movie is a bit too “white” for my taste, which makes it difficult for African-American football players to relate to if you ever wanted to show them the film.  Well, “there was the one black coach.”  Did they even say his name in the film?  And don’t even get me started on the scene where that coach is using a Bible analogy to teach the kid how to kick—the one where the other assistant coach is yelling, Well!” and other comments to add some “black church culture” to the movie.  That’s too little, too late, in much too poor taste.  Just like the movie, I coach in Georgia and we have played against private schools with African-American players—it’s not impossible to depict.

No, my main issue with the movie is that it is unrealistic.  People, especially young people, who watch this movie will think that adversity may come, but everything will work out great in the end because you are a Christian.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.

In real life, Christian coaches that start 0-3 don’t always (if ever) turn the season around to finish 7-3 and then win a state championship—even those coaches whose football program is based on glorifying God.  Couples that struggle with having children don’t always get to have children.  Christian coaches, even those who are faithful, shouldn’t expect to someone to buy them a new truck and to get a raise from their school.

The reality is that those who are faithfully following God will not have everything work out for them.  Our home is not of this world, and neither is our treasure.  If we value the things of this world, we show that we love the world more than God.  Christian missionaries are persecuted and killed every day.  True believers struggle every day and barely get by, making it day to day only by the grace of God.

The part of the movie that mattered most was the player who gave his life to Christ and the revival that broke out at that school.  I enjoyed the head coach and his wife learning to trust in God and put him first, but most else that happened in the movie was pretty superficial and telling of what we esteem most in our “Christian” culture.  If we “serve” God only for what we can get out of it, we deceive ourselves and are not truly His people.  Satan “comes as an angel of light” and deceives and satisfies many by giving them the nicer things of this world with a “little religion” added to it. 

There are many in our country that are moral people and upstanding citizens, who go to church, identify with Christianity, and listen to Christian radio, but are not saved.  Salvation is more than praying a one-time, magic little prayer.  The Bible says to “examine ourselves and see if we are in the faith.”  I challenge you to do that by reading the series of articles on the Gospel on the top right of the page.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to post those or email me.