Amazing Grace (Not A Movie Review)

There is a new movie that came out yesterday called Amazing Grace. It is not about how the song came to be penned, but instead it is about a Briton named William Wilberforce. But what is so special about him that someone would write a movie about his life? It is because he helped lead Britain’s Parliament to have a historic vote in 1807 to abolish the slave trade throughout the British Empire.

The connection with the song Amazing Grace is that the man who penned that song, John Newton, was the mentor of William Wilberforce. John Newton wrote this song while on board a slave ship on May 10th, 1748 returning home during a storm when he experienced a “great deliverance”. And so that is the connection with the song and the movie.

I am really looking forward to seeing this movie. Here is the movie trailer for Amazing Grace.

I read an interesting article in the USA Today on Thursday. It was entitled Evangelicals rally around — and disagree on — ‘Grace’. It made me so angry! I sometimes just do not get Christians. Why do we have to be so flippin’ stupid and shoot ourselves in the foot.

Christians are complaining that Wilberforce’s spirituality is toned down, which is what they did intentionally. According to the article….

“The spiritual side (of Wilberforce) has been extremely toned down,” says associate producer Bob Beltz, one of several evangelicals involved in the project. “The purpose of the film is to introduce him to a new generation” by appealing to a broad audience that is not necessarily religious.

I can see their point and besides that I am sure that there will be a lot more people who would go and see the movie because there is no religious bent to the film. I can understand the view that by not emphasizing Wilberforce’s spirituality you are in many ways taking away a part of who he is, but I honestly do not have a problem with this. I think that Christian’s mainly complain about this because they do not want to have to get up off of their lazy butts and witness to people. They would rather just have the movie do it.

So instead of them talking with their friends about their faith after watching the movie and giving them that important connection, they would rather have the movie witness to them so that way they don’t have to do the work. It is a lot like how many Christians complained about The Passion of the Christ and how they didn’t show more of the resurrection. They wanted it all to be done for them, so they wouldn’t have to do more work. We would rather just see people who are not Christians come begging us to tell them about our faith cause they saw a movie or whatever. But it is not that simple and it shouldn’t be.

I like movies like this that help give an open door and make it a little easier for us to share our faith. So instead of seeing the problems, we need to see these things as opportunities. So I encourage you to go see this movie and look for a way that you can maybe use it as an opportunity to share your faith with another person. After all William Wilberforce used his faith to change a nation and set captives free, maybe you can use it to set a captive or two free.

I am a follower of Jesus, a husband to Kim, father to Hannah & Caleb, and the connections pastor at The River Church. The thoughts expressed here are my own and not The River Church's.

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