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Loving Differently

“Hey Darren, I’m sure you get this all the time, but I know the next movie you have to make. Somebody needs to make a movie showing the Muslims for what they really are, not what the liberal media portrays them to be. I think you’re just the man to make that movie. We gotta show the world that God is not going to tolerate this radical Muslim agenda!

Sincerely,

Way too many people than I want to name”

I currently find myself in a strange position. As a producer of movies, I often encounter people pitching their ideas to me. As a producer of fairly hardcore Christian movies, I often encounter people pitching the kind of nonsense you see above.

While recently finishing filming on my latest movie, Father of Lights in Israel with my friend Todd White, I saw a slightly different approach than the one portrayed above. Let me paint the picture for you…

We had come to Israel with no agenda; simply to see what God would do when we turned on the cameras. We had never really lived this far out on the edge before (typically, when we go somewhere we are visiting a ministry and God-adventures just kind of happen organically), and we were relying on God to end this film series in a powerful, fitting way. Needless to say He did just that, and in spectacular fashion no less, but I want to focus on another event that happened while we were filming to illustrate that there might just be another way to go about dealing with those who disagree with us.

We had just entered the Muslim district in Old Town Jerusalem, and Todd was just talking and loving on people. He began praying for people, specifically for healing, and one after another, Muslims were being healed of all sorts of pain and problems in their bodies. He would pray for them in Jesus’ name, and I then watched as they tested their bodies and looked back at him in disbelief. The pain was all gone. But of course, that’s when it got interesting.

Without fail, these Muslim men (they were all men) remarked that all the pain was gone, but would then turn to Todd and say, “But you were praying in the name of Jesus. Jesus was just a prophet. Allah has no son.” They had just encountered someone who disagreed with a major tenet of what they believed, and, like most people, they wanted to debate. They wanted us to know they didn’t agree with what we believed.

To which Todd simply replied, “That’s cool. How is your back again?”

To a man, they were stopped dead in their tracks. They had no answer, and the debate fizzled before it even started. God had touched them—Jesus had touched them, and that was a fact they could no longer debate. Their minds wanted to, but their bodies were a testimony to something that flew in the face of what they believed. So some of them slunk away, unsure what to do next. Others grabbed nearby friends and asked Todd to pray for them. This was the kingdom of God in action. If we would have stuck with words, we would have gotten nowhere. Step into the power of God, and the world stands speechless.

When I look at these two approaches, one strikes me as inherently Christ-like, and the other as, well, a little arrogant. No one wants to be converted. Everyone wants to be loved. Too often we become a stop-gap to God’s love for others because we just can’t get out of the way—like we need to break down the walls in their heads as if that is the way to their hearts.

I’d love to start getting emails from people pitching their ideas for movies about radical acts of love and kindness and service and compassion. It is disheartening that most of what is pitched to me takes an adversarial approach to those who disagree with Christianity. Aren’t we called to love our enemies? If you truly see those who disagree with you as your enemy (which taking an adversarial approach implies), then what does Christ call you to do?

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs… (1 Cor 13:4-5)

9 Comments

  • Michael Morejon

    Ok! I got an idea lol. Here's my "movie pitch" for you. I'm not gonna say "God told me this is your next movie", but this is what I think would be a great movie after reading this blog. A movie that shows how the church in different countries (non-western ones like, China, India, Middle-East, Africa) is growing and moving in God's power. A lot of times we think that our brothers/sisters around the world are these poor little people who aren't very intelligent and don't know much about God, and we have to go and "teach them the way". But yeah, I've read books like the Heavenly Man by Brother Yun and read reports from Charisma Magazine that talk about how the Kingdom of God is moving around the world in South America, etc. So yeah, kinda like a Finger of God but more focused on the non-western church (poorer people, less resources, no big church building, etc.) If you actually read this, I'm happy! lol Thank you sir, love you, God bless ya, I'm praying for you Michael from Miami, FL

  • Dave Shearn

    That's beautiful Darren! There's nothing quite like letting love just hang in the air, it always shouts louder than any debating ever could. So glad you guys took the plunge and found another place to love, especially one so wounded by our religious agendas!! Happy editing time!! It's gonna be a whopper!

  • Yoko Speight

    Thank you Darren. So much of society instills condemnation and judging for wrongs as if Jesus didnt die for the sins of the world; not just believers but for all that they would come to know the Fathers love. I, too, was raised this way and through Gods grace He has taught me to hear His heart and given me His compassion. Society and the body needs to see God isnt anger but in love with His creation, in love with hunanity.

  • E

    Good stuff! You can't argue a miracle. The radical muslim agenda is scary, yes - but I'm not sure burning the Quaran or spending time talking about how scary it is will make us more fired up with love. Your article said it better, but I justed needed to say 'Amen'

  • Michael Styler

    Nice blog Darren, thank you for posting this. I love the international perspective that your films bring to us here in America, as well as your stories that you have shared with us, like this one right here. Thank you Darren for first and foremost giving yourself to God. The contrast between Light and darkness is clearly seen.

  • Josh

    I'm so glad to read this. It's sad to see so many believers more concerned with exposing evil than loving the person caught in the bondage of it. I can't wait until Father of Lights comes out. I have an idea for a documentary, that would be cool to see a documentary on the after effects of these films. I've met many believers who are now operating in the power of God's love because of the impact of films like this. That would be cool to see a documentary on the impact of things like this. Praying, God bless.

  • Eric

    Hey, I'm a big fan of both your documentaries and I can't wait till Father of Lights comes out. I would love to see a documentary made on some big evangelists oversees. I had in mind especially, Reinhardt Bonke and pastor Cho. Focusing on the generals of God's modern day army. Their testimonies are awesome, and it would be cool to hear what they believe makes their ministries so successful, what they focus on. Thanks for reading, God bless you all.

  • MStatler

    Very interesting @Michael Morejon....a friend and I were just discussing what the "statistics say" and we were laughing because we don't want to hear statistics...we want to know what God says. For example, statistics say that if a church is filled to 75% capacity, it will not grow and you need a bigger building. What about those churches that are held in concrete buildings with no ac and they are packed with standing room only? I agree...I think that's an awesome idea.

  • Bob Cooley

    Ok - movie ideas. In addition to the ministers talking about loving on people, how about a movie focusing on the healed and the loved on - the targets of the love!

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