Archive for March 2010

Are there biopics about Jesus worth seeing? Yes, just not many. Most films based on the gospels fail to live up to their source material. The worst have come from Hollywood -- no surprise there! One of the best was made by a Marxist homosexual whom the Vatican has denounced multiple times. Strange bedfellows, indeed. Odds are, you have never heard of my favorite. This dead genre experienced a resurrection in 2000.

Different Drummer: Jesus of Nazareth

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In John 3: 19-20, Jesus said:

19 ”This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil.   20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed.” (NRV)

For many years I worked in movie theaters, and in college I had one of my favorite jobs: writing a movie review column for the school paper. Do you know the best thing about that job? You get to see everything, every movie. Want to know the worst thing about that job? You have to see everything, every movie, and some of them are not good. Sometimes you want to slip out the back exit when no one is watching and forget the whole experience. How good would your movie be?

Say the eternal “judgment seat” is actually in the middle of a movie theater where, after death, your life is on the big screen, there to be reviewed by the multitudes. I’m sure parts would be pretty cool. Then, in other parts, ouch! It would be very tempting, in the darkness of the movie theater aisles, to slip out the back way, into the shadowy alley behind the theater … to remain anonymous … to remain in darkness.

As the scripture says, it isn’t necessarily true that people who hate the light love the darkness. It’s more about hating the light because it exposes our sinfulness, our unworthiness, how far away we are from being holy. For Christians, there is nothing wrong with the fact that we share that feeling. All of us fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). Like everyone else, we know this movie of ours is not going to get rave reviews.

Why, then, should we be able to stay in our seats until the show is over and the lights come up? That’s a hard question, and the answer seems outrageous. But here goes: no matter how bad your performance is, how hopelessly inept your attempts at improvisation, not to mention the obviously gaping holes in the script, this movie is a guaranteed “thumbs up.” How can that be? Jesus Christ. Jesus is how.

As Christians, we make him director and executive producer of our project. That means incorporating his script changes, looking at scenes through his camera angles, and putting him in the editor’s chair. Yes, Jesus can make the raw footage you shot without him part of a masterpiece. Don’t get me wrong. None of this is going to make it easier to watch the movie of my life. My hope, though, is that I could stand in the spotlight when it is over, offer apologies for my role, and ultimately give all of the credit to the Master.

Men love darkness instead of light because their deeds are evil, and they fear that their deeds will be exposed. Let’s face it: our deeds will be exposed, and we’d better get used to the idea. The only decision we can make is this: Will we stand in the light of salvation that shines through our Lord, Jesus Christ? Or, will we attend the world premiere of “The Movie Of My Life” planning to take the credit, only to hide in the shadows to avoid taking the blame? We must never think such questions have easy answers. Examine (2 Corinthians 13:5)

Happy World Storytelling Day, March 20, 2010 (Light and Shadow)

March 20th is World Storytelling Day with the theme of Light and Shadow. Do we bring antagonists out of the shadow and into the light? Or, as a song by The Offspring discussed in its lyrics, do we "keep 'em separated"? Gangs don’t find peace by drawing boundaries; instead, those lines set the time and place for violence. Less overtly, when large parts of our society engage in quiet violence – denial of one another’s “right to exist” – it stops us from becoming the people we are all meant to be.

Different Drummer: Gordon Gano

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Different Drummer is the idea that unique individuals “march to the beat of a different drummer.” I want to identify those who take it further: actually being "the drummer" and laying down a rhythm for others to follow. I believe a great deal of good can be done in the world if you aren't too careful about who gets credit. That's the main reason I'm not seeking any credit. On the other hand, I hope to live within that mantra about "not being too careful" by spreading around some credit generously and recklessly on a weekly basis. After this show, you can anticipate hearing about a new Different Drummer on every show.

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Many times I heard an old adage when I was growing up. Certain topics were not acceptable at the dinner table. For example, it was always impolite to bring up discussion about politics, religion, or sex. That mindset is not serving us well. We have become so segmented as a society! Ignoring other people's views is far too easy. It must no longer be taboo or “politically incorrect” to open discussions about politics, religion, sexuality, etc.

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