Another book preview.
The golden age of biblical epic films may be over, but the golden age of Christian persecution films may have just begun. Eric Brown of the International Business Times reported that an independent film titled Godâ€™s Not Dead has grossed more than $34 million in its first three weeks in theaters. Moviefone reported that the indie film was the fifth highest-earning film on the weekend it opened, in March 2014. The highly promoted Divergent and Muppets Most Wanted were among its competition.
The film, which I have not seen, depicts a college student whose philosophy professor demands the class write â€œGod is deadâ€ on a piece of paper, sign it, and hand it in. The student, a Christian, refuses. I assume several other things happen to fill the filmâ€™s running time. Eric Brown writes,
â€œRussell Wolfe, CEO of â€œGodâ€™s Not Deadâ€ distributor Pure Flix, admitted in an interview with the Blaze, the Glenn Beck site, that the film is, by and large, â€˜preaching to the choir,â€™ saying that â€˜Godâ€™s Not Deadâ€™ helps â€˜people know more of why they believe what they believe.â€™ But what values is the film teaching? Between the filmâ€™s abusive Muslims and angry atheists, the biggest take-home is that everyone is out to get Christians.â€
I read that not just one, but two indie Christian persecution films are scheduled for release later in 2014, both named Persecuted. This is from a press release about one of them:
â€œPERSECUTED tells the story of a modern-day evangelist named John Luther, played by SAG Award-nominated and Saturn Award winning actor James Remar ( X-MEN: FIRST CLASS, â€˜Dexterâ€™, DJANGO: UNCHAINED, WHAT LIES BENEATH, RED). Luther is the last hold out for a national endorsement to make sweeping reform in freedom of speech. As the government is mandating political correctness while covertly waging a war against religious organizations, a U.S. Senator, portrayed by Oscar-nominated actor Bruce Davison (X-MEN, â€˜Lostâ€™, â€˜Castleâ€™), and his political allies create a sinister plan of denial and scandal to frame John Luther for murder. Suddenly his once normal life is turned upside down as he becomes a fugitive vowing to expose those responsible. It is a mission that brings him face-to-face with the coming storm of persecution that will threaten the moral ethics and freedoms of America.â€
Since â€œmandating political correctnessâ€ usually is code for being called out for telling jokes involving black people and watermelons, I attempted to find out what awful thing is being mandated. It appears to be a hypothetical â€œFaith and Fairness Actâ€ that would require religious broadcasters to present all religious points of view when presenting their own point of view. Well, yes, that would be dreadful. I shudder at the thought of anyone on the Christian Broadcasting Network attempting to present a Buddhist point of view.
The other Persecuted is set in the old Soviet Union and involves Evangelicals being pursued by KGB agents, but Miranda Blue at Right Wing Watch says the film is â€œclearly meant to be an allegorical tale about the United States today.â€
But if thatâ€™s not enough Christian persecution porn for you, a â€œStories of the Persecuted Churchâ€ boxed set of six more Christian persecution films on DVD is available from ChristianCinema.com.