Jonathan Edwards resolved “never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can and “never to do anything, which I should be afraid to do, if it were the last hour of my life.” 1
I’m Not Ashamed, from Pure Flix, teaches the same concept. I strongly recommend you see this movie if you are able!
Let’s start with the positive elements:
I’m Not Ashamed is “based on the inspiring and powerful true story and journal entries of Rachel Joy Scott- the first student killed in the Columbine high school shooting in 1999.” 2 Rachel Joy Scott’s story is about far more than her stand for God she is known for taking at the end of her life, though. This movie is raw emotion!
Watching the film, it seems like a random array of chopped up scenes. The scenes do not always have the best transition from one scene to the next. But when you realize you are viewing events as described in a teenage girl’s private journals, it makes sense. It is Rachel’s story you are viewing, and it seems the move makers kept things true to her journals. For this reason you will be taken down the emotional valleys that Rachel really experienced. I’m not sure you could make a movie like this up. The emotions are too raw.
When we make Christian movies or stories, we usually highlight the good things. We make heroes out of men and women. When, in reality, I’d argue that most of the history of Christianity has been filled with average men and women who simply serve a great God. Rachel Scott’s account seems to have very little whitewashing. She is caught up in sin, doubt, and a lack of affection for God at times in a way that many other Christians have experienced but are afraid to talk about.
The insight this movie gives into the pressures and difficulties facing a young Christian lady in 1999 are startling. I can only imagine it is even harder to walk the Christian talk in 2016! Praise Jesus for His saving grace.
This movie really shows the reality that none of us really lives as if it could be ours or our loved one’s last day. The depiction of the events of April 20, 1999 prior to the Columbine High School shooting will leave you wanting to kiss all your relatives and tell them you love them. And the reality that people young and old may be standing before God, even today, is enough to motivate me to more urgently dispense the gospel.
I really hope you will see this film about Rachel Scott. Her life is worth hearing about.
A Word of Caution
Unfortunately, there is an aspect of the film I must criticize. I can overlook the bits of bad theology. I can accept that a recently converted 17 year old girl who didn’t appear to have solid discipleship espoused some errant ideas about God which are depicted through the story. I hope you, too, can overlook bits and pieces of things that aren’t perfect teaching.
What I can’t understand is why a movie that is supposed to be about Christianity would have young men and women locking lips to act out kissing. I understand it is a biography and not everything in this girl’s life was ‘holy.’ But you can depict beer drinking without actually drinking beer; you can depict an argument without having a heart full of anger. You can depict lots of types of sin in a story without actually sinning against God in the process, since sin starts in the heart.
But you cannot depict sexual acts by actually performing them and say, “it is just acting.” My heart aches for the people who gave away a piece of themselves in the name of acting, in order to make this move. And, aside from that, the depictions were more than a bit sensual. I fear that someone who is weak in the area of fighting temptation to lust could easily be led into sin, even if only in their mind, as the result of the sensuality displayed.
I will make a plea. A final argument that if you are performing a play or a movie or whatever it is: you can find a way to show that someone kissed without actually compromising the purity of the actors.
The little research I’ve done has yielded wonderful faith that the movie really was an accurate depiction of real life events. I have to be careful drawing assumptions about Rachel or other characters in the movie who the movie wasn’t about because, as well done as it was, the movie is only a part of the story.
I do believe that a discerning Christian can enjoy this movie for what it is, a biography of a young lady who, amidst struggles and temptation, was kept faithful by our Father in Heaven, and by our Lord and Master Jesus Christ. It is truly by faith alone that we are justified and by God’s Spirit that we are sealed. Rachel’s private struggles-made-public teach us that even the faintest of us will be made strong for the day of battle by His grace.
John 10:27-28 [Jesus speaking] My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.