How can I not see a movie when it is both said to be “well done” and a subject I write about? A movie LONG overdue in being shown to the public? I battled with this. My hesitations had to do with the same reason I’ve hesitated to watch “The Chosen”. (Which is why I struggle with the fact that many Christian organizations are using it as small group curriculum.) By doing so, am I supporting Angel Studios and therefore funneling money to the LDS community and their very-focused, recent concentration on becoming mainstream and attractive to the general public? And if so, how is that being responsible as a Christ-follower?
Not that my two tickets (and the purchasing of a “God’s Children Are Not For Sale” t-shirt – YUP, you know I HAD to get one of those) will make a drop of difference in their financial pot. It’s the concept of it, of course. And knowing where my responsibility lies – and where it ends.
I expect there will be push-back on this post. And as I have said to many, I have several LDS friends from school and I have nothing against them. They are good people. I even suspect that some are indeed followers of Jesus and I will see them in heaven someday. But the theological differences are still there, as they always have been, the most integral one being that the Bible says it is the one and only Word of God (Revelation 22:18-19), written by man but inspired by God (2 Peter 1:21). Whereas, the LDS church believes that The Book of Mormon is also scripture from God (see #8 here). And the second being that LDS believes the Father and Jesus Christ are separate entities – Christians believe in what we call the Trinity. More on that here. Of course, there are other beliefs they have that I do not have, and do not find biblical (being a spirit before birth, levels of heaven, eternal marriage and more).
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the Mormon church has been trying very hard the past few years to become “mainstream” – appearing to accept all, a wonderful place to raise a family, excelling in wisdom and maturity, having access to things of God that no one else has, etc. The master of lies. And as Christians, in our desire for quality programming that speaks “Jesus”, we’ve rushed to not only support them, but to join the efforts of spreading the word. This is extra complicated as the writer and director of the Chosen series is none other than Christian Dallas Jenkins, son of author Jerry Jenkins. We are indeed, confused, but have no doubt of the LDS goal – to recruit more. So for me it comes down to that, can I support Angel Studios by bringing the “Chosen” into my home? No.
Would my brother Rick, who worked in the Christian film industry, was the most detailed (and blunt) critic I know (next to Barbara Nicolosi), who craved and worked towards excellence in Christian films and was a staunch and firm lover of Jesus have watched “Sound of Freedom”?
I suspect he would have. And I finally did as well. You know, the older I get, the more I realize there is more that unites us as human and less that divides us – at least that is what I want to see. As many of you also know, I have family members in the LGBTIQA+ community. Do I believe that they won’t see Jesus someday? No, because very simply, it is not my place to judge. That job is for God and God alone. The assignments He gave ME are to 1) Love God and 2) Love my neighbor as myself. I do and I do.
I especially love this verse:
As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
Well doesn’t that about say it all? I’m thinking so.
I believe that God does not want us to appear “preachy” to those who do not believe as we do. Here’s an example: I was raised to avidly “call people out” (errr, “show them the error of their ways”). In other words: MAKE SURE THEY KNOW THE TRUTH SO THEY DON’T GO TO HELL. I might, after all, be the only Jesus they ever see!!! Well guess what folks, if we are preaching, pushing and condemning others and that is indeed the only Jesus they ever see, we ARE in trouble! No wonder Christians get a bad rap. The Lord flat out tells us multiple times in the Bible that He is the only judge. The only ruler. The only King of the entire WORLD.
Who am I to stand on a platform and say “shame on you” (and particularly when I am also a sinful human)? It is none of my beeswax as we said in the old days. (Sorry to the LDS friends with whom I held great debates with in junior high and high school).
If I choose to stand on a platform and choose to say “shame on you”, then I am also choosing slavery. And not only that, but I am placing others that I am judging into slavery as well.
So back to “Sound of Freedom” (sorry for the distraction. I actually got distracted twice and decided the second one was another full post so took it out) …yes, it was very well done. It is the quality (mostly) that I hoped for and it does (finally) have enough backing to bring attention to the very subject that has eaten away at my heart for years. I disagree with the people posting “going to see a movie doesn’t change things” because at the start of it all is education. We cannot make changes until we educate. Which of course, is the purpose behind “Innocent Lives“. I absolutely agree with and appreciate the sad stats at the end because they are important!
-More people are enslaved now than when slavery was legal.
-The UNITED STATES is the top consumer of sex slavery.
Those facts, my friends, are the sad, sad truth. This is WHY I felt so called to write “Innocent Lives” and “Innocent Voices”. I was once one of those who thought human trafficking only happened overseas. Thank goodness that people in Hollywood fought the masses to call attention to human trafficking, kidnapping and sex slavery. I am praying that a multitude of people will now understand, and seek change.
At the end of the movie, Jim Caviezel shares with us from real life. “Steve Jobs once said the most powerful person in the world is the storyteller,” He said. “Abraham Lincoln credited Harriet Stowe when she wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin – this powerful story inspired millions to rise up and fight against slavery. I think we can make Sound of Freedom the Uncle Tom’s Cabin of 21st century slavery.”
Let’s do it!
#soundoffreedom #soundoffreedommovie #innocentlives #humantraffickingawareness