Thursday, March 27, 2008

REBELLION OF THOUGHT... GIDEON FILM FESTIVAL


Rebellion of Thought will be screening at the Gideon Media Arts Conference & Film Festival in beautiful Asheville, North Carolina.

DATE: Wednesday, April 16, 2008
TIME: 1:15pm

The film will be followed by Q&A (if the crowd is civil) or Tar & Feathering (if it gets out of hand). If you know anyone in the Asheville, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Knoxville, or Atlanta areas, tell them to head to Ashville for the screening. In the mean time, start planning your trip... it matters not where you live, cause like Steven Wright would say... "Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time."

FYI, a portion (if not all) of the Brothers Williamson will be on the receiving end of the "Pitching to Producers" event on Tuesday the 15th, where a select group of published authors pitch their latest ideas.

Also, keep your eye out for two new Rebellion of Thought trailers to be released soon...

2 comments:

Rick McGough said...

I purchased your DVD "Rebellion of Thought" to learn more about postmodern thought. As a pastor I desire to minister effectively to the culture we live in and seek to learn and grow. I thank you for the information that was in the film. I would have to say that I was very disappointed to find that the apparent purpose of the film was not to help people within the church minister more effectively, but rather was to encourage people to leave the church and set out on their own. I felt that the DVD cover was a bit misleading. I did not expect an anti-church film by the cover. I certainly do not think that the church in perfect nor have I been perfect in ministry over the almost 30 years I have been involved, but I definitely do not think that your view of the church is accurate in all cases. I have challenged people many times to live through the week according to the Word of God and I strive to do so myself. I regret that you must have experienced some very disapointing things in church. It was very frustrating to me that you encourage people just to "jump off the train". Anyway, thank you for the part of the film that did give information that the DVD cover indicated. I encourage you not to judge all church ministries even though there is much room for improvement. By the way, I believe that you can have meaningful conversation with your neighbor many other times other than Sunday morning during church service. I thought it was interesting (and frustrating) that you paralleled the two as though if a person goes to church on Sunday morning they can not be a good, loving neighbor.

Brad Williamson said...

Well, Rick, I appreciate your sharing your thoughts. I am always reminded that 75 minutes of film is totally inadequate to communicate the things we think, feel, and believe. It only begins the conversation.

In the film, we are sharing our thoughts on a subject that is all over the map, and each individual's experience and perspective color his response to the film in ways we could not and did not predict.

First, the film is not a primer on how organizational churches can reach a post-modern world. Although we had ambitious hopes of providing that kind of guidance, the film became the story of our journey, the struggles we personally encountered, the issues we wrestle with, and how it impacted us during the five years we were on this journey. You are not seeing some carefully scripted, well planned dissertation on post-modernism, but rather raw, candid, and transparent conversation on the real issues that followers of Christ find themselves caught up in as they live in a post-modern world.

Second, we have to be careful when we talk about church. Not to avoid the risk of offense so much as to be precise about what we mean. You use the word 'church' as if everyone knows what you are talking about, and our experience has revealed that to be an unfounded assumption.

Perhaps we make the same mistake in our film.

You say you were disappointed to find us encouraging people to leave the 'church' and set out on their own. If by church, you mean the collective group of followers of Christ we call the body of Christ, then nothing could be further from the truth. As we often find it said in the Scripture, may it never be.

If by 'church' you mean a specific group of people who meet routinely to worship in a specific building, the 'Church at Spring Hill' for example, then again, no, we make no call or cry against that. But if by church you mean the 'organizational' church, the way of 'doing' church prescribed by men and tradition, that in practice occupies our hearts and minds with the business of 'doing' church, with programs and 'ministries', with obligation and commitment, with consumption of our time and resources, all directed towards making the experience of fellow church-goers more real, stimulating, convenient, comfortable, and accommodating, then, yes, we are encouraging you to leave that.

It's not that what the organizational church does is necessarily bad. Many good things are done within the construct of the organizational church. It's just that we are not called to do those things. Christ did not commission us with serving the 'found', turning inward to care for ourselves, and isolating us from the world, He called us to seek the lost, and serve those who suffer because they do not know Him. And today's post-modern organizational church has a practice of blinding us to this call.

How do you change this? For some people, it will be necessary to 'jump from the train', as Bonhoeffer implied. There are some organizational churches that just need to be left, because they are train wrecks waiting to happen. For others, as we go on to discuss in the film, it will be more like crossing a bridge, a bridge to a different future and calling, and one that I speculate you will not be able to return from.

And of course, there are some who already get it, who have seen the drift of the post-modern world, recognize the opportunity that has been created for followers of Christ to take off their organizational blinders, leave the four walls of comfort and familiarity, and actively engage on a day-to-day basis with the very people Christ called us to reach.

I'm not talking about 'evangelism'. I'm talking about living Christ, that Christ is seen in my conversation, my service, and my actions toward the people, my neighbors, that do not yet know Him. Some of that will take place on Sunday morning, because that is when many in the post-modern world around us become available. Some will take place during the week.

But this is the post-modern distinction, that very few of those life changing conversations and Christ-revealing behaviors will take place in a church building, because in the post-modern world, the people who need Christ will not commonly be found there.

Can a person who goes to church on Sunday morning be a good, loving neighbor? Absolutely.

But not when their pre-occupation and engagement with the organizational church makes it impossible for them to live Christ with the 'neighbors' around them.