The screening Sunday night was good. Probably about 80 people in the audience including three area pastors and an elder from another area church that I know were there.
Pastor Hopkins of United Methodist Church started the evening by telling the audience a story that he had told me a week or two earlier... it goes something like this... "I saw six films at the Virginia Film Festival. Five of them I liked. Rebellion of Thought wasn't one of them. But Rebellion of Thought was the one I couldn't get out of my head!"
He went home that Saturday night and tore up the sermon he had written for next morning and started over. He told me later that he didn't sleep a wink that night. That's how much the film impacted him.
Following the screening Sunday night we had much discussion... great, tough questions and I did my best to answer them, admitting that I myself don't have the answers, that I'm just a man on a journey and this is the view I'm granted along the way.
After the show Leslie and Josh did some on-camera interviews with people leaving... An atheist asked, "why do you need God at all if you are going to go outside the church?" I wish I could have been there to respond to her...
First, I would have said that I rely more on God outside the traditional church than I ever did inside. But more importantly, I would have said that we are not trying to go "outside the the church." Part of what we are about is trying to do is get the church to get outside of the church. Meaning to get believers to truly begin living their faith in the streets outside the walls of the church where it can have an impact of a post-modern culture!
I don't know if "fun was had by all" at the screening but I do know that it seems that many people are hungry for the dialogue that this film promotes... now let's see if we can get broader distribution... in the mean time, if you would like to arrange a screening in your area, please contact us.
I thoroughly enjoyed your movie when I saw it on Hinton Ave (I wish I'd known who you were when I walked in with you!). However, I kept waiting for the next natural step - if you're going outside the Church, why stay inside Christianity? I mean, if you don't need the priesthood [loosely speaking] to be a good Christian, why do you need Christ to be a good person?
I was expecting to post another comment, but after ready mrrzy's comment I thought I should respond to this question. Why do we need Christ to be a good person?
Well, I guess if one was trying to be a good person, perhaps you wouldn't need Christ. I know many good people - especially when they define goodness in their own terms. However, what if good isn't good enough at the end of the day? Or what if some one is truely honest and tries to be "good" but realizes that within themselves they are not able to?
We need Christ precisely because even in our best efforts we are not good enough. We can not stand before a holy God and say that every thought we think, every action we do and every word we speak is not only honoring to Him, but is loving towards our neighbors. On our own we easlity get on a performance oriented track and start running realizing we are never going to be good enough, seeing people falling out all around us - but we keep going. It is only in Christ, that we can be released from this race, take on His goodness and live within His limitless love towards us.
I think the point of the movie was not to go outside the Church, but to live within a church community outside - in and amongst people just like you ... so you can see and feel and hear how we need Christ and what this means in tangible ways. The point is to LIVE church, be it in a building on Hinton ave or in a home in Belmont.
Well, enough rambling. This is a good question. I am sure Kent and others could answer it better. Hoping this helps.
I would like to see the film get wider screening and discussion amongst a truely post modern generation. One idea is to see if you could get someon e to sponsor a screening at UVA. What if the Center for Christian Studies co-sponsored a screening and had Drew Trotter lead a post viewing discussion? These comments, coming from students who's world view is likey very post modern would be valuable.
I continue to be amazed by the conversation this film provokes.
An atheist asked, "why do you need God at all if you are going to go outside the church?"
This statement landed on me like the proverbial ton of bricks. That this question could even be asked at all is a crushing indictment of the current state of Christianity. How can it be that our relationship with a living God has become so constrained within the walls of the church that an 'external observer' could conclude that outside the church God is irrelevant?
What do you think? Has the contemporary American church become so withdrawn and isolated from society that the world cannot even see the relevance of God?
And mrrzy's comment...
if you're going outside the Church, why stay inside Christianity?
Here again, I feel that the film remains inadequate in communicating my thoughts. My argument is not to abandon Christianity, if by Christianity you mean a following of Christ. If by Christianity you mean the contemporary rituals and practices of the church today, then by all means abandon it. It is the construct of the church today - the buildings, the programs, the non-sacramental traditions and practices, that has become the walled fortress in which the typical Christian lives in America, that prevents the non-Christian from ever experiencing an encounter with God through the life of a believer, and even more importantly, misleads the believer into thinking that his or her church experience is an encounter with God.
Why stay in Christianity? Because without Christ we are condemned men. sheff said it well...we are not good enough. My call is not to leave Christ...it is to leave an artificial construct created by us that distracts and deceives us into thinking we are serving God.
If I leave the church today, it is not my intent to leave the body of Christ, but to find it, and to take Christ to a world that cannot see God because of the barriers we have built.
What do you think?
Post a Comment