Tsk, Tsk, Tsk…Mr. Wildmon, a movie critic you aren’t.
Okay, I’m sitting here checking my email, when I come across the AFA newsletter I usually get asking me to boycott something or contact my Senator. Well, I’ve learned when to take Mr. Don Wildmon seriously and when to see through a lot of the smoke. I’m not calling him a liar, I’m just saying that I feel that he sometimes resembles a Pharasiee more than he resembles a Christian. But hey, we all have our moments. But we all don’t also have an international organization. But I digress. Anyway, here’s the email:
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Since I’m not a fan of movies, I nearly skipped seeing ‘Facing the Giants’. I’m so glad I didn’t. It is one of the best movies I have ever seen!
Dear Robert, I am not a movie fan. I haven’t been to five movies in the past 10 years. When “Facing the Giants” came out, I was urged by several of my employees to go see the movie. I went, more to please them than to expect anything on the screen. I am glad I did. Because if I had not, I would have missed one of the best movies I have ever seen! As I sat through “Facing the Giants,” I cried and I laughed. I was entertained, and I was inspired. “Facing the Giants” is what movies can and should be. Let me say it again. It was one of the best movies I have ever seen! If we could see movies like this all the time, I wouldn€™t mind paying the more than $7 to see them. I wish everyone could see the movie. I want you to see it. No cursing. No sex. No violence. Just a great heartwarming, wholesome movie that made me feel good when I walked out of the theater. I was so moved by the movie that I wanted to offer it to you. So we approached the distributors of the movie and worked out an arrangement to offer it to you! I hope you will watch it. If you have children eight years old or above, I hope they will watch it. I hope they will invite their friends to watch it. I could write four more pages praising the movie, but I’m out of space. Don’t make the mistake I nearly made by skipping this one. Let me say it again, this is one of the best movies I have seen. Order a copy, invite friends over to your house, pop some corn and break out the soft drinks. Then sit back and get ready to laugh, cry and be inspired! It’s that good — and better.Click here to order “Facing the Giants.” Your order will be shipped within one week.Donald E. Wildmon, Founder and ChairmanAmerican Family AssociationP.S. Please forward this e-mail message to your family and friends!
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Okay, now you may be saying, “So what?” Well, I felt compelled to respond to this. Here’s my follow up email:
Just a bit of advice. I wouldn’t start out a movie review by saying that you “haven’t been to five movies in the past 10 years.” It kills all credibility for everything that follows. Not going to the movies is completely up to you, but you might want to leave off the fact that you haven’t seen much in the past 10 years. “How can you really have anything to compare it to?” was the first thing I thought of when I read that sentence in your email. I understand the approach that you are trying to take. The “don’t make the same mistake I almost made” approach, but it would, in my opinion, come across a little better if you had said something like, “Normally, I don’t care for what comes out in the theaters, but ….” That way, it gives you some credibility with the reader. No one is going to take movie advice from someone who hasn’t seen anything recently. I’m not trying to berate you or speak ill of you. This is just a bit of constructive criticism. Who knows, I may be the only one who thought of this.
Anyway, I agree that it is a great movie, especially seeing that it was produced by a church! Most Christian films have a tendency to “preach to the choir,” which is good for some, seeings how not everyone in the choir is saved. But, to compete with Hollywood and mainstream films, you have to present the Gospel in a way that is not “banging them over the head” with the Gospel. I believe Christian filmmakers will be a lot more effective if they just let the Message speak for itself. After all, we aren’t the ones that do the saving, that’s God’s job. We just plant the seeds, or water them, whichever God puts us in the position to do. When I share the Gospel with someone, I have been more effective when a conversation is started by someone else. Say, when someone comes to ask me a question about Christianity. How do they know I’m a Christian you may ask? Easy. Because I live my life trying to do what Christ taught us: love. So, when a person questions me about the Gospel, it is then easier to share the Gospel, because they approached me. At anytime, if they feel I am pushing my religion on them, I can always say, “Hey, that was not my intention. I was just answering your questions.” So, if we can get filmmakers to create films that will leave the non-believers in the audience asking their Christian friends or co-workers about Christ, I feel we will have a greater impact than going out on the town square telling people they are all gonna go to hell. (People used to do that in my home town.)
I will say that I wasn’t expecting much out of Facing the Giants to begin with, but I was pleasantly surprised. Just goes to show what God can do.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and may God bless you and your ministry.
How much you wanna bet that he singles me out Tuesday on his radio show, Today’s Issues, and calls me a moron in a nice Christian way? The reason I say Tuesday is because I will have to resend my response. Their mailbox was already maxed out. Maybe I’m not the only one who had something to say.
P.S. I hate WordPress more than you could ever know.