I understand that I'm a little late to the party on this whole God's Not Dead thing, but my motto is, better late than never. And late I am. Plus rumor has it that God's Not Dead 2 is coming out so maybe this post will still have some relevancy. Maybe? Hopefully?
When God's Not Dead first came out, I glided over the whole wave of popularity without a second glance. I'm a struggling Christian (although aren't we all?), and I had no real desire to see some cheesy movie about a God I didn't understand. A year went by quickly, yet before I knew it, my Sunday School class had decided to watch the movie together. I was among the minority of those who hadn't seen it. Actually, I believe I was the only one who hadn't seen it.
To be frank, I settled in each Sunday (it took a few of them to watch the whole thing) with a glimmer of excitement. I heard good things about the movie from friends of mine who I expected to give me the whole truth on it. They had told me it wasn't cheesy and that it was realistic. They had told me it helped them understand a hard to understand God. Every single person told me they had loved it.
Once the final credits rolled though, I can't say I had the same reaction.
Like most Christian movies, I felt it was cheesy and for the most part, unrealistic. I will admit the acting was pretty good (which is uncommon in Christian movies), but I felt like the addition of the Duck Dynasty clan was overrated and to be blunt, dumb. They couldn't act and they were unneeded. I felt like they were just stuck in there for association. Sorry Robertson family. Stick to the duck calls next time.
But it wasn't the Duck Dynasty appearance that has called me to pen this review, it was the stereotypes.
I wholly understand the need to create a film that portrays the Christian attitude and ideology, it's just that it never comes across well. Every Christian film I've ever seen does it. The Christians are brilliant, well meaning people. The atheist are blunt, rude, arrogant, and unhappy. By portraying the Christians positively and the atheist negatively, filmmakers try to get the point across that atheist are bad, bad people and Christians are, well, all things good and holy. I mean, why would you ever want to to associate yourself with the demeaning atheist when you could be with someone so great like a Christian?
The problem is (to be blunt once again) I've met a few atheist in my time. I know that not all atheist are this evil stereotypical characters that they are continually portrayed as in Christian movies. In fact, I've never met an atheist who acts like they are portrayed in these movies. I don't fall under the umbrella that many Christians seem to find themselves under where they think all atheist are horrible people who consistently undermine our God.
I've met many brilliant, wonderful, friendly, and caring atheist. The fact that movies rarely give a realistic portrayal of the people that they continually try to attack frustrates me. Also, I found it comical that one of the atheists ends up being hit by a car and the second is diagnosed with cancer, yet the worst thing that happens to any of the Christians is a car that won't start and a girlfriend breaking up with them.
Also, the strict Muslim family is inaccurately portrayed and simply reinforces the flawed Muslim stereotypes that filter throughout Christians and many Americans. I mean, how convenient is it that the Muslim dad is dark, cold, and hits his daughter? It's like the people who create these movies purposefully make the non-Christians so easy to hate and the Christians so easy to love when that's rarely ever the case in real life.
The movie's whole premise focuses on the fact that the main character refuses to sign a paper saying "God is dead" which one of his professors requires him to do, but I've never heard of such a professor or university doing such a thing. Ironically, I have heard of a university who makes their students affirm a statement of faith saying that they believe in one sovereign God, or another one who expects all their students to believe in core Biblical values.
And in a way, this is okay. The two universities cited above are private institutions and I'm sure the kids who apply and attend these colleges are Christians and know what they're getting into. Simply put, it's just ironic considering Christians are okay with the above colleges, but certainly not the fictitious college that pays a professor who forces children to sign a statement discrediting Christianity.
Yet, I digress.
Have a fabulous day.
Have you seen God's Not Dead? Did you love it/hate it/praise it?