I put out a challenge for those who got upset by Noah to give as much weight as to what they thought about that movie as to the other movies with a Christian/Biblical theme that are out or will be coming out. In particularly Heaven is for real, God’s not dead, Son of God. A friend of mine lovingly challenged me to watch all 4, and so I’m in the process of doing that.
I’ve seen Noah and God’s Not Dead, Heaven Is For Real so far, but will see the other 1 in due time. I’m not a professional movie reviewer, so I’ll just be pointing out what I observed and picked up and out of the movies. And “2 Litas” – Litas is the currency of Lithuania, my father’s country of origin, and I would be lying if I stated I like that country despite not having gone there…yet.
So, here’s my take on Heaven is for real…enjoy, or don’t, but hey- my blog my rules! ;-)
P.S. I will be looking at the movie as a movie. I’m going to give my insight and thoughts, what I liked and what I didn’t like, but I’m not necessarily going to be making about the validity of the director’s vision whether or not it is “accurate” or not. Sure I have some issues with movies, but again, it’s a movie and not the be-all end-all to discussions theological, biblical, or other.
Heaven is for real
One thing that I liked about the movie is that if portrayed life as a pastor, a small-town one, and how his reach in his community goes beyond his pastoral Sunday morning role. There is the part where he is working manual labor, there is also the nature of him being a volunteer fireman, and there’s also him helping out at the local high school. What makes this important to me is that it shows a multi dimensional character. He is known as community for wearing all these hats, him like for diversity and authenticity.
I also liked that the pastor and his family are visible in the community. That they aren’t cloistered away and are only visible on Sunday mornings. I have never been in a pastoral role, but if I were I would be transparent and in the community with my family in a similar fashion.
I also liked that one the tough gets going with this pastor, he doesn’t slap on a spiritual bandaid, he suffers and gets angry with God. He makes it known to his community that all is not right with him and his family. I for one cannot stand when Christians think that they have to put on a :-) when life’s shit has hit the fan.
I however did not like the nature of the boy’s perspective of heaven. The reason why I did not like it was because it made heaven out to be too small, too static, too easy to wrap my mind around. Sure we’re dealing with only a four year old and what he supposedly saw, but to some extent it’s what he learned from the church and his family.
I also did not like that when the church was going through some troubling times, because of what the pastor brought up to his congregation. They were having a mini meltdown, and at times they made the church out to be pastor centric instead of Christ centric. I have been unfortunate to have observed this take place in a church I once was a part of, and if Christ is not at the center of a church, rifts will occur.
I also did not like that at times the movie leaned towards belief over faith. Following Christ is not about having all the answers, nor is it about finding pegs to fit all the holes life has to offer. And unfortunately sometimes we get bogged down with thinking we need to have the answers, I recognize that sometimes that is very much the nature of just being human. Because if we can come up with an answer, we will have what we need whether we like it or not. But some things in this life transcends answers, that transcends belief, and I think that is faith. It is walking a path in the dark sometimes, and I think part of our journey is sometimes wandering off the path despite the darkness and sometimes even not being able to see any recognizable landmarks and still walking.
And my last issue with this movie is that they made heaven “out there”, that is that they made it to be somewhere off in the distance, and I for one have always leaned towards one direction of the two verses that say “the kingdom of heaven is inside you” and “the kingdom of heaven is near”.
All in all, while not a movie spun for a particular audience like God’s not Dead, it did make heaven to comprehendible and subsequently found a niche to fill, a place and understanding that some people take literally word for word in English. Heaven may actually exist, but I think it’s closer to Earth than the movie gave credit.