Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Fireproof: Just more entertainment for Christians?

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If the theater is our culture’s arena in which the big questions of life get asked, then the movie, Fireproof, could be one of the most strategic opportunities you have to impact your neighbors, coworkers, relatives, and friends!

Why? Because the big question that Fireproof dares to ask is this: Is a marriage really worth fighting for?

Take a look around you. This IS a question our culture is asking, but until now the answer from the Hollywood—on and off the camera—has been a resounding NO.

Fireproof challenges that erroneous Hollywood assumption.

While many are weighing in on the pros and cons of the movie, I want to simply ask you this question:
Will you dare to seize the evangelistic potential of this window of opportunity or will you simply be satisfied with the mere entertainment of going to see the next Christian movie?
Thomas Rainer, author of Surprising Insights from the Unchurched, says “Ninety-six percent of the unchurched are at least somewhat likely to attend church if they are invited.” Please stop and think about that for a moment! Rainer estimates that there are 160 million people in the United States who are unchurched—and he defines unchurched as attending church two or less times in a year. If his 96 percent figure is correct, the implications are staggering: Over 153 million people in America would start attending church if they were invited!

This begs the question:
If people are apt to come to church when they are invited, how much more might they be open to catching a movie when invited by a friend?
You—yes YOU—will decide by your actions whether or not Fireproof is just another Christian movie.

Will YOU dare to ask someone—just one person in your sphere of relationships who hasn’t yet trusted Jesus Christ as his/her Savior—to go to the movie with you? After the movie, will you dare to sit across from your friends over coffee or ice cream and ask, "What did you think of the movie?" If money is an issue—pay! It would be a strategic eternal investment during a strategic window of time for our culture.

After all, the ultimate passion of Fireproof isn't marital in nature. It's about God’s passion to have a relationship with people who don’t yet have a relationship with him. And once we have a right relationship with God through Jesus Christ (as the movie so clearly points out), we have a foundation for having a growing, albeit, an imperfect relationship with others... including our spouse.

While I'm generally an optimistic fellow, I do have my cynical moments. Here's one. I sadly predict that, for most church goers, Fireproof will be just another weekend at the movies... mere entertainment for ourselves... again.

I'd love for you to prove me wrong. I really would.

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* To find a theater near you, GO HERE.

* To check out Bill's review of the movie (his first ever movie review), GO HERE.

* Need training to learn to build credible relationships with the non-Christians in your life? Do the people in your church/ministry need this training as well? Check out Cadre Ministries’ Evangelism Is Relationships training workshop.

5 comments:

Ron said...

you're right...if Christians sit back and "ho hum, another Christian movie." As if this is Bella or Expelled...
Marriage is the one area that personally affects or has affected nearly every person in America and the world. it is one of the single greatest points of connection with unchurched and churched people...and something we are all looking for help, whether actively or inactively.

But too many Christians will not see beyond the sheer personal entertainment value of the film or even worse, do nothing to support the film.
what ticks me off is that I was at Willow Creek's leadership Summit this year and found out that there was a screening of Fireproof at the AMC theater 1 mile from the church the day after the screening!!! I asked the guy at the Fireproof booth why they didn't announce it at the Summit (i've seen a movie there almost every year). He said that WCA wouldn't approve announcing it. They had a HUGE, very cool fireproof banner up before the conference started but it was down by the time th conference was under way. I asked why they took it down. He just said that they were asked to by conference officials, but wouldn't elaborate. I asked an acquaintance who has worked with the Church for some time and turns out Hybels has issue with Fireproof for some reason...again no elaboration. I later asked the Fireproof gentleman if he had heard of Hybels issue with the film. He said Hybels couldn't have an issue with Fireproof because he'd never seen it though there was some previous issue with Facing the Giants being to simplistic of a faith message for him.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!!???! This is the church that screened American Girl AT THEIR CHURCH premises earlier this year and the same association touting the glory of POLAR EXPRESS at the Summit a couple of years ago (as if Santa will get anyone to bow their knees to Christ), but they decapitate a truly evangelistic AND good film because faith was presented too simplistically in the producer's previous film?!?!?! Is Willow Creek still wondering why they aren't making disciples?
I used to be such a huge fan of the Willow Creek model, but it is a broken, self defeating model that is so typical of the unaffected and ineffectual church that cares little for the lost and more for the mental and financial peace of the suburban utopia. I'd love nothing more than to see Fireproof outpace Hollywood's films on opening weekend. We need to support this film with our money and by inviting at least one couple with us.

Pheaney Lindell said...

Thanks for giving us a higher calling than our personal entertainment.

ridge765 said...

My husband and I loved this movie--we saw it in a pre-screening. He enjoyed all the action and the "real" marriage portrayed, not just a fluffy Hollywood-ized relationship. The resources available for this movie are great; the Love Dare book that Kirk C. uses is a real book you can use in your marriage. The people who did the screening gave us a copy, and we LOVE IT. I found it online at www.thelovedarebook.com. Hope this helps.

Jeff said...

I saw a clip during a talk that Dr Gary ROssberg was giving at "Men At The Cross" Once I got past the (isn't that the guy from...) The message this movie carries about fighting for our marriages and being MEN OF GOD is sooooo needed today (and tomorrow). We'll be promoting it at our local (one screen) theatre.

Jeff said...

P.S. I love how other men challenge him in his walk