april 2, 2014

 

This past week marked a unique movie-going event as three movies with religious themes were in the top box-office slots.

While the director of Noah is upfront about the non-biblical aspects of the epic, the film has generated much discussion about the old testament account of Noah.  Indeed, the film opens with the disclaimer:  "The film is inspired by the story of Noah. While artistic license has been taken, we believe that this film is true to the essence, values, and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide. The biblical story of Noah can be found in the book of Genesis." Whether you choose to see the movie or not, you can read Noah’s true story in Genesis 6-9.

Son of God  tells the story of Jesus by utilizing excerpts (aired and unaired) from the highly-acclaimed series The Bible which aired on the History Channel in March of 2013. Mark Burnett and wife Roma Downey worked with several key religious leader to bring as much biblical aspects to the projects. The film gives a good sense of the culture, geography, and daily life of Jesus’ time as well as presenting key events in his teaching and ministry, culminating in his death and resurrection.

The third movie currently released is God’s NOT Dead and is being released to a broader viewing area this next week. This movie is not a biblical reconstruction, but rather a personal testimony to the difference Jesus makes in believer’s lives today. It addresses several critical areas of the history of Jesus’ life as well as those who would challenge the reliability of the biblical accounts. It is a story of faith with reason. I encourage you to see this excellent film and learn more about it at www.godsnotdeadthemovie.com. For those at the Plainview campus, the film comes to Plainview on Friday, April 4.

In just a few weeks Christians around the world will celebrate one of the most outstanding historical events in history – the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. It is important that followers of Christ live daily in light of his resurrection, sharing a daily testimony of the difference Jesus can make in one’s live. Not everyone will see a movie but they can see your daily life as you demonstrate God’s NOT Dead through your personal walk with Jesus. Paul reminds early believers to live in light of Jesus’ resurrection as he writes to the church at Corinth.

“Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born…But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep…“Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15)

May you be blessed this week,

Micheal Summers
Director of Church Services / Assistant Professor of Religion / Assistant Director of Ministry Guidance