Sunday, April 5, 2009
Movie review: The Cross, On the Move and Very Moving
One of the fun things that I had a chance to do on vacation was head to the theater. That may not seem like a big deal to you, but I haven’t seen a movie outside of my TV set since 2005. On early Friday, March 27, my friend James and I made our way to Downtown Disney in Lake Buena Vista for a pair of movies. The second one was an animated movie that would probably be for older kids, Monsters vs. Aliens, but the first movie is one that I have to be glad that I made the time to see.
I’ll be honest. I’m not big on documentaries as a genre. Usually, they are skewed to a point of view to get you to buy into something. However, what I got was a refreshing, realistic view of ministry in The Cross, the movie about the life of Arthur Blessitt.
I kept asking myself before the movie, what would possess a man to carry a 12-foot wooden cross around the world to showcase the gospel. I had a picture of some rich guy that had oodles of money to burn and do it as a publicity stunt. What I got was a man that seems not to have such airs and was sincere about getting the Gospel to the whole world. Truthfully, I had no idea that there were 319 countries in the world. That was the first educational lesson of many that I received by taking my hour and a half to sit and enjoy the story.
After the time in the movie theater, I wanted more. I actually wanted to meet the man and have him tell me more stories of his life around the globe. As much as the producers tried to say that it wasn’t about the stories that make the journey incredible, it was the stories that made the journey interesting. The movie achieved comedy when Arthur looks into the camera and says that every movie has to have struggle and tragedy. The movie broke several comedic pieces that had a downside into a reel of stories being intertwined which made it even funnier.
The part of the movie that I think everyone that is considering ministry should have to watch is the portion of the movie immediately after that reel of funnies. He tells the story of how he was traveling across Africa and how many missionaries longed for an air conditioned site along the journey. He spoke of how many spent time there and were relieved from the heat. Afterwards, they were able to continue their work refreshed and with new energy. However, when he reached the site, he could not stay there because he didn’t have ministerial credentials. Not only did it break his heart, but was wearing on his spirit. There is a happy ending to the story, but I won’t ruin it for you. That is something that should be considered on both sides of the equation. Too many churches are worried about obtaining credentials to be legitimate and the real truth is that it takes one to give the credentials necessary. I’m not saying that we take people willy-nilly, but being overly concerned that people jump through tons of hoops might be something we should worry less about. It might be nice to have someone with a Ph. D. or a B.A. or a B.S., but sometimes those that have the Bachelor of Sciences or other letters have a completely other set of B.S. inside their heart.
I just loved the stories of where he had been. Most of these places, I can only dream about going to physically. The story of his walk through the Amazon jungle was just remarkable. Even when professionals that traveled the area turned back, he pressed on with The Cross. Those kind of things just amazed and impressed me. Thinking about putting the cross above him and climbing to it and slipping with the potential to injure himself or die is the kind of adventure a lot of us wish for.
The other parts that impressed me were the witnessing walks in America. He walked up to people to have some reject him. It shows what most of us are afraid to do. Yet, here Arthur Blessitt is with a cross with a wheel on it walking and trying to make those type of contacts. I would love people to see this movie just to gain courage to walk up to people they know, much less strangers.
I came out of this movie wanting to walk around Downtown Disney to talk to people of Christ’s love. That’s why I think it is so important that people see this film. Unfortunately, there are a lot of areas that might never get the film. I live outside the Chicago area by three hours, but the Chicago area is the only part of Illinois that is going to see the movie at this point. There are some states that won’t have a showing.
However, there is something you can do if you wish to see the film in your area. You can go to thecrossfilm.com and click on the Buy out a Screen link. Now, I know that you can’t buy out a screen yourself. I can’t either. However, you can encourage your church leaders and your local theaters with a phone call saying that you’d like to see the film. If enough call or if local churches get involved and buy larger blocks of tickets, the movie could come to your area. There is also an email address that you can contact and they will send you information on how you can help in your local area.
This is a great movie and I even recommend it for teenagers. The movie could inspire a new generation to live their dreams for Christ. This movie gives an honest, no limit ceiling to being an influence for the Heavenly Kingdom.
I am thinking about picking up the paperback book edition to see if there is more in the read than at the movies, If you click on the Amazon info to the right, you’ll see a link to the book and its availability. It should be a great read.
Also, this will tell me if you are paying attention to what you are reading. This week, One Man Revival Ministries is celebrating the fact that we’re back from vacation. We are giving away two CD’s. One winner from the readers of all our locations (Blogspot, Livejournal, Shoutlife and MySpace) will receive a copy of Group One Crew’s debut CD. One other reader will receive a copy of Orlando’s own Mandisa’s True Beauty CD. This will be the first of several giveaways over the next couple of months. So what do you have to do, respond to this thread by Monday, April 13. The drawing will be from all readers that respond on all four webpages and announced on April 15. So good luck and tell your friends to go see The Cross and come read the pages of our ministry here at One Man Revival.
Thanks and I love you guys!