“Respect” is a term commonly thrown around family circles, churches, ministries, businesses and the political realm. Check out this blog post which asks and answers some good questions about the reality of respect. Rather than post my own blog; I am encouraging you to read this one and check out the comments where I add my own insight to the ordeal.
Breakaway, The Movie.
I will proceed with the same three measuring sticks I have used in the past to try to judge the merit of this movie. Ultimately, the question is, should you spend the resources God has provided you with to see this flick? Or would your money be better spent elsewhere…there is certainly need all around us.
I offer the three criteria I will use to discern the worth of Home Run in order of importance.
- Is God glorified?
- Will the movie tempt someone to sin?
- Is there a practical application to the lessons learned within?
I will consider them in reverse order:
Is there a practical application to the lessons learned within?
Breakaway, by Word Entertainment, caught me by surprise. I was asked to review the movie, and so I requested a Vimeo link. I was pleasantly shocked when I was mailed a DVD including deleted scenes, bloopers, behind the scenes and more!
The other thing that caught me by surprise was the fact that Breakaway was not based in the US! Immediately, when we started watching the movie, the accents were nearly intolerable! But The characters were likable and once we got used to the foreign accents, we settled in to see the show.
It starts pretty quickly with the main character, Francois, a former professional athlete being laid off from his job. Francois has no success in finding employment, and the tension mounts. Seemingly on a whim, he begins a courier business, riding his bicycle all over the city to deliver mail for companies.
While riding his bicycle around town, the competitive nature in this ex pro-rugby player shines. He cannot help but race other bikers! With a desire to ride faster he visits a bike shop where he gets wisdom, friendship, and help with the bike from someone he met on a chance meeting!
The movie is about overcoming obstacles, maintaining faith in God throughout, and working together with others to achieve these goals! There is also a nicely balanced level of relying on hard work and effort to succeed which is taught throughout. I found it truly inspirational and believable.
There is an excellent underlying theme of the supportive and necessary role of a wife. Francois’ wife, played by Leone Pienaar (also the production manager), plays an integral role in his success and persistence. It was refreshing to find in the behind the scenes that this was quite intentional, and to see the honesty exhibited by the actors as they discussed their own personal lives.
Will the movie tempt someone to sin?
Now we all have different sin-tendencies, I know, but I can only speak of a few of the more obvious ones. I saw no areas of the movie where a person would have a problem with sin. This is truly a well done movie safe for kids and families to enjoy! I recall no blasphemy, nor vulgarity, and the women were modest throughout.
Is God glorified?
I believe that this movie brings glory to God. There are several references to the bible, Jesus Christ, being a Christian and a clear reference to the fact that not everyone is a Christian. We see examples of marriage, forgiveness, humility and utter reliance on God for strength. If the movie was lacking in any way, it was the lack of a clear gospel presentation – particularly man’s problem with sin.
Now, every movie doesn’t have to have the gospel, but, in the behind the scenes it was said that the gospel is in it. I don’t doubt the faith of the makers, but hopefully if they continue to make movies we will see them grow in boldness and clarity like the Flywheel –>> Facing the Giants –>> Fireproof evolution Sherwood Pictures saw.
but hopefully if they continue to make movies we will see them grow in boldness and clarity like the Flywheel –>> Facing the Giants –>> Fireproof evolution Sherwood Pictures saw.
In conclusion, I highly recommend you try to see this movie. It can be ordered on Amazon.
Enjoy the trailer now!
I received this movie free from Word Films as part of their Blogger Review Program, via Blogger Gateway. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Moderation in everything…except moderation, that must be exercised extremely!
Isn’t that the implication of the first half of the statement?
Makes you wonder if it is true or useful…
This is Michael Coughlin’s presentation at the first ever Psalm 117 Mini Conference held at Berean Baptist Church in Pickerington, OH. This conference was a preparation time of fellowship, teaching, prayer and strategy for our first leg of The Biggest Project. Our task: To distribute 2,500 The Biggest Question DVD’s at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure.
Witnessing to folks with compassion for their condition and the condition of their loved ones.
Why should we have compassion when evangelizing? Is that the same as friendship evangelism?
Join Michael Coughlin and Berean Baptist Church at the first ever Psalm 117 Mini Conference and hear from Luke 10, the story of the Good Samaritan!
Thanks for listening.
If the player is not appearing or you prefer to download the mp3, Click here.
I will add that in the message I share that I do not think our small team would possibly distribute all 2,500 DVD’s provided by Wretched…and we ended up passing them all out so quickly that we had time to pass out tracts as well.
3 John 4 – I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.
What is truth? (John 18:38) If we are looking for a scriptural basis for the answer to this question (and, by the way, we are), then my mind immediately takes me to John 17:17: ‘Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.’ Jesus is speaking to the Father in Heaven in this passage. He is not saying, “your word is a truth.” He was declaring God’s Word to be truth. Literally.
Here’s another scripture to contemplate concerning truth:
Psalms 119:160 The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.
John is advanced in age at this point. He is leaving his final legacy, for the Christians that remain in the world, through his letters. He has spent the final 5 or 6 decades of his life waiting for the return of the Savior. I can only guess that in his old age, even though he certainly awaited the imminent return of Christ, he must have started to believe he would taste death.
Put yourself in his place for a moment. You spent a few years of your young adulthood walking with Jesus. You witnessed the miracles, the teaching and the compassion He had. You spent countless hours of alone time with him. You are so confident of His love for you, a love you know you do not deserve, that you call yourself the disciple that Jesus loved throughout the biography you wrote.
Aware of the hopeless state of the world and sinners without Christ, you’ve now spent your life spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ and discipling others: “teaching them to obey all that [He] has commanded.” Matt 28:20
Ultimately, let me put it this way. The apostle John must have understood the ravaging effects of sin better than almost anyone who ever lived. Seeing firsthand the power of God in Christ to heal, the transfiguration, the crucifixion and the resurrection could not have allowed John to be lazy in his Christianity. This is my opinion, but I do not believe John could have been lackadaisical in his Christian life. I cannot imagine a John with besetting sins. I do not imagine John indulging in his Christian liberty so he could ‘enjoy sin for a season.’
No, my dear Christian reader. John desired holiness. He longed for the holiness of Jesus Christ until his death and was utterly aware at all times that Jesus paid for the sins of those who would believe. No Christian who believes that Jesus paid for every sin should want to enjoy the pleasure of sin. This is called grace-abuse and is condemned by Paul. (Romans 6:1-2)
So John is looking at his children in the faith, those men (and women) who he has led to the Lord or has been teaching the apostle’s doctrine. John sees them walking in the truth. There are two components to this I find striking: walking and truth.
James says to be a doer of the Word and not just a hearer only. James 1:22-23 It is important to understand that justification by grace through faith is not an excuse to act any way we want. The regenerate man will have an aversion to sin. A forgiven creature will walk in obedience…not to produce salvation, but as the fruit of salvation. So first of all, it is important to know that John’s spiritual children are walking. They are doing the work of God. They are working. They have energy and are putting forth effort to please the Lord and fulfill His commands.
Secondly, they are walking in truth. Back to the earlier paragraphs, “thy Word is truth.” John 17:17 God’s Word is truth. It is the only basis for truth. Denial of God’s Word has been the source for more heresies, false scientific beliefs and pain and suffering in this world than any other single event. Ignoring God’s Word is as dangerous as denying it, by the way; look at Eve in the garden…she chose to believe things outside of God’s Word, contradictory to God’s Word…and the result was disastrous. You cannot be indifferent about the bible any more than you ought to be contrary to it; you must believe it.
So John has NO GREATER JOY than to hear that his children walk in the truth. He is HAPPY because he knows these believers are actually doing the work of God. They are really being obedient to God’s desires. They are worshiping in spirit and in truth. John 4:23-24
This is a vital point. There are many today who are worshiping God in spirit. People who are emotional about God. People who really want to serve something outside themselves. A good example is the program of Alcoholics Anonymous. In this program, men and women are encouraged to rely on the god of their own understanding in order to quit drinking. Tens of thousands of people have found hope for their life. They’ve gotten jobs and families back, and they’ve started to be productive members of society, especially compared to their old selves. But at what cost? By being taught to trust the god of their own understanding, these men and women have been led into idolatry: sin they readily enjoy as the fulfillment of the lust of their own heart…but this is quite contradictory to the biblical gospel which commands people to repent and believe the gospel.
When you have worship with spirit, but without truth, you have idolatry. When you have worship with truth but no spirit you have cold orthodoxy… or nothing but religious ritual.
As well as doing the correct work of God, walking in truth includes a description of what you are NOT doing. As a Christian walking in truth, you ought NOT be sinning. You ought NOT be violating the very commandments of God, the violation of which put Jesus on the cross. Yes, walking in truth is not just doing God’s work part of the week and enjoying secret sin the rest. It requires a life dedicated to Christ-likeness, self-denial and sin eradication!
Are you walking in the truth? Do you walk in the Word of God? Do you test your actions and your thoughts against the Word of God? Or do you worship the way you want to worship? Do you choose your activities and trust that God will approve of you because you are sincere?
I’m afraid this is a problem for many Christians as well as non-Christians. We don’t expect non-Christians to walk in truth, but if you are saved by grace through faith today, you do not have an excuse. You’ve been given revelation from God in the bible, the Holy Spirit to guide you and teachers to help you. Do not be like the world. Worship God the way He wants. Walk in the truth.
Trust me, if you do, you will be the cause of much rejoicing.
John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
Leviticus 19:2 Speak unto all the congregation of the children of Israel and say unto them, “Ye shall be Holy: for I the Lord your God am Holy.
Leviticus is not an easy book for many to read. It seems to confuse a lot of people. I recommend taking it slowly and understanding the context and always keep in mind that the Old Testament is pointing forward to the cross, and your understanding should increase.
I find it to be an amazing account that God commands all men to be holy. Sure, this was written to the children of Israel, but I’ve been told by people who’ve taught me that when God repeats himself we should listen. Peter provides for us an example of this in his first letter.
1 Peter 1:15-16 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
This letter was written to New Testament believers. We are to be holy.
It is our distinct lack of holiness that condemns us. We all fall short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23) and stand in condemnation (John 3:18,36). You’ll note these two verses are glaringly close to the oft quoted John 3:16. I’ll go out on a limb here; people who do not love and adore God for His wrath do not truly know Him. For, to His own, all his attributes are adorable. We know we are regenerate when the most reprehensible attributes of God to the natural man become lovable to our souls.
I use this verse in evangelism when people deny that God is just to punish them, for even one sin. A frequent question you may encounter is, “How can God punish a person eternally for sins committed temporarily.” The basis idea is that men in general believe that their sins are finite, because they are committed in time. I used to lament that a good and just God could not punish me for eternity for my sins. My opinion was that I had sinned for 30-70 years; sure, I could accept hell for 70 years, but not forever.
But our God is infinite, is He not? There is no end to God, nor any beginning. And His perfection is unparalleled. Imagine this: God cannot improve. Yes, that’s right. There is something the all-powerful God cannot do, “get better.” (He also cannot sin) He is already fully perfect, and as a consequent, perfectly, completely and infinitely holy. The practical implication of this is that sins committed in our finite lifetime, all of which are committed against the same holy God, are deserving of infinite punishment.
This is why Jesus must be God himself in order to be able to provide a complete sacrifice for sins. If Jesus were nothing but a man, his blood would not be able to atone for the sins of other men. Even if he had been a sinless man (which he was), if he was only a man, and not fully God in the flesh, then we are all dead in sin. The fact that Jesus is God, and thus, perfectly holy and sinless, makes substitutionary atonement possible, through faith in Him alone. Not only does it make the atonement possible, but it makes it sufficient for all to whom it applies. Nothing can be added to the finished work of Christ. If Jesus’ perfect, infinite, holy righteousness is not enough to cover your sins, then a ritual here and there isn’t going to put you over the top! Nor will your sin detract from that. You can neither add nor subtract from His work. All you can do is rest in it, or ignore it completely.
So Jesus Christ is Holy, and commands us to be holy. This is to say we ought to be set apart for use by God. We are to live in the world, but not be of the world. Holiness is characterized by a desire to be like Christ. Those who truly want to be holy will not be looking at how close to sin they can get without crossing the line, but rather how far from the line they can be. God’s wrath was poured out on His perfect Son because of His utter hatred for everything unholy. His Holy anger toward sin, and sinners, should be a warning to us all. Why would you want to enjoy sin for a season, when that is the very thing that put the person you are supposed to love most on the cross? We protest when the government tries to tell us we can’t have military memorials because it bothers us that is dishonors the lives that were given to purchase our freedom, yet we indulge in the very sin Christ suffered to pay for to buy our freedom from sin and death…often under the guise of Christian liberty.
So are you holy today? I’m not talking about sinless perfection. I’m talking about the direction of your life. Are you overcoming sin and conquering your flesh? Is this your earnest desire? Are you trusting in the cross? Is Jesus the author AND perfecter of your faith? If you are struggling with holiness, it could be a sign of a deeper issue, especially if you find you really don’t care. Real Christians will struggle with sin, but there will be repentance! False converts will justify sin, and turn grace into licentiousness. Read the warning to the Hebrews. Failure to grow in holiness is a terrifying symptom of the unregenerate. Examine yourself today!
Hebrews 12:14 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: