It has been said that “religion is box office poison.” Mel Gibson disproved that 11 years ago with The Passion of the Christ.
But what about Noah? What about Exodus: God and Kings? They did badly, but they were not faithful to the Bible — neither in letter nor spirit.
Meanwhile low budget Christian films made by a church from Georgia show over and over that religion is not box office poison. I refer to the Kendrick brothers, who made the recent independent film success, War Room, which I saw recently and enjoyed and found uplifting.
It is still in the theatres — nine weekends after its opening on 8/28.
War Room is an explicitly Christian movie. The title is in reference to one’s prayer closet, where true prayer involves true spiritual warfare. The film is the latest product of the Kendrick Brothers, who made Facing the Giants, Fireproof, and Courageous, among other films.
The production quality of Christian films is on the rise.
I interviewed Ray Comfort recently, who has made Internet films seen by several million people, including 180 the Movie (about abortion) andEvolution vs. God. His latest movie deals compassionately and well with how to share the gospel with those trapped in homosexuality. That movie, Audacity, has already begun to be widely seen.
I mention Comfort because of this statement he made on my radio show: “We used professional actors because I know five minutes of cheesy acting would sink the whole ship. In past years, Christians have put up with some bad acting because [the film’s] got the gospel in it, but non-Christians won’t. They’ll just tune out right away. So we got professional actors, and I think they did a great job.”
Alex Kendrick directed and co-wrote War Room. His brother Stephen produced and co-wrote it, as with all their films.
War Room became the number two box office film in America the weekend it was released and number one its second week. Not bad for a movie essentially made by a church. That church is Sherwood Church of Albany, Georgia, for which Alex and Stephen have served as associate pastors.
I spoke with Alex Kendrick many years ago, on the eve of his pro-marriage movie, Fireproof (with Kirk Cameron). Alex told me: “Sherwood Pictures has been around since 2002 …. With each project, we enter into a season of prayer, asking God for a God idea not just a good idea.”
Sherwood Pictures is in some ways a reflection of the pastor’s vision to use stories to reach hearts.
Kendrick told me, “We were challenged by our pastor, Michael Catt, to think in terms of reaching the world from where we were. And Jesus told parables. He told stories to engage people and then impart truth. This is a modern way of telling stories to engage people and impart truth. So, [using] movies has worked for us. We’ve loved that avenue since we were young, and it’s exciting to use it now to minister to people.”
Kendrick continued, “We want stories that impact and engage the culture — stories that will change lives in presenting the Lord’s truth.”
How did all their movie-making begin?
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SOURCE: The Christian Post
Jerry Newcombe is an on-air personality/senior producer for D. James Kennedy Ministries. He has written/co-written 25 books, including The Book That Made America, Doubting Thomas (w/ Mark Beliles, on Jefferson), and What If Jesus Had Never Been Born? (w/ D. James Kennedy) & George Washington’s Sacred Fire (w/ Peter Lillback). djameskennedy.org @newcombejerry