by Tammi Kurmel, Special Contributor
“Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before my Father in heaven; but whoever denies me before others, I also will deny before my Father in heaven.” (Matthew 10:32-33, NRSV)
So it was a rainy Saturday where my 12 year old daughter and I were looking for something to do. We decided to see a movie. After watching trailers for Noah, God’s Not Dead and Divergent, we agreed on God’s Not Dead. It turned out to be a great movie filled with heroes of many kinds.
Kevin Sorbo (who once played “Hercules”<-- see hero) is a philosophy professor and an atheist. One of his freshman philosophy students, Josh, refuses to complete an assignment to affirm that God is Dead. So he challenges Josh to then prove the opposite…that God is Not Dead.
This movie makes you think about your beliefs in science (eg Big Bang Theory, Evolution) and in God. Since I’ve been an analytical since birth, I appreciated having to consider various points of view. Then again, I am already a believer so I didn’t need much convincing.
The movie hit home though because my goddaughter recently wrestled with these very questions at the time of her confirmation. She felt caught between what she believes and who she believes in. And this is a girl who is being raised in a Christian home but still questions what to believe. I think she’s brave to be asking these questions and seeking the answers. I’ve tried to encourage her and would be interested to know what she would say about this movie.
I think that is exactly what I appreciated most about this movie…the struggle. The struggle to know what we believe. The struggles we may face every day in living what we believe. Those parts are very real. Don’t we all go through this? This wondering. This questioning. Struggling with choices? Maybe we question things in the dark times of our lives or maybe just when new information is introduced that challenges our point of view. I know I have had questions about faith. I know I struggle with the answers some times to why things happen. Don’t you?
There are several other sub-plots in the movie that show the struggle including scenes with Dean Cain (who once played “Superman” <-- another hero), with Willie and Korie Robertson of "Duck Dynasty" fame (maybe heroes to some), with a young Muslim woman, with a young man from the People’s Republic of China and even with a pastor who seems lost.
My 12 year old liked it a lot. She said, “It was a great movie. I liked the way it was explained and it changed the way I think about God.”
I found the movie inspirational which is exactly what I may have been looking for on a gloomy Saturday. It didn’t hurt that some of my favorite Christian musicians were also featured in the film, including the title track “God’s Not Dead” performed in the movie by the Newsboys. I also loved the beautiful “What I Know” by Tricia Brock, formerly of Superchick:
“I could throw my fist in the air demanding answers
But in spite of all the questions
I’m still giving You my life
And if it doesn’t turn out like I think it should
It doesn’t change the fact You’re always good
Your ways are higher than mine
What I know
Is that You, my God, are real
No matter how I feel
You’ve never let me go
And what I know
Is there will never be a day
You aren’t just a breath away
And through it all I’ve gotta hold
To what I know”
Despite all the questions and the struggles, I put my faith in God who is my hero and the hero of this movie.