Wednesday, December 06, 2006


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.


Mrrzy said...

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?

Brad Williamson said...

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 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?