Monday, September 26, 2011

180 - Changing Votes or Hearts?

This is a review on the movie "180" that was released just this week. It is a movie about seven individuals who make a 180 degree turn in their views in the matter of a couple minutes. If you have not yet seen it, it is powerful and worth watching.

Now I am torn on this movie. Rather than simply sharing the film on Facebook and sending it on without comment, I felt it necessary to point out some of the flaws in the movie, and hopefully point people to the deeper point that the video hits but nearly misses.

First, because of the history of the making of this film and the original intent of the movie makers, it focuses greatly upon the Holocaust for the opening 10-15 minutes including several minutes of gratuitous air time to the ranting of a neo-Nazi that really should have been trimmed back (he is essential to the film as we witness his own transformation, so his inclusion is important if over done). The movie also makes the statement that the Holocaust was the worst crime against humanity, but this simply is not true. History is replete with examples of similar atrocities. We cannot sugar-coat the depravity of man.

"There is no one righteous, not even one, there is no one who understand, there is no one who seeks God.  All have turned away, together they have become worthless; there is no one who shows kindness, not even one.  Their throats are open graves, they deceive with their tongues, the poison of asps is under their lips. Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.  Their feet are swift to shed blood, ruin and misery are in their paths, and the way of peace they have not known.  There is no fear of God before their eyes."  (Romans 3:10-18 NET)

Because of this bias, too much focus ends up being about reminding people of the holocaust instead of the real key: changing the way people view life and God.

And that brings me to the second, and probably weakest, flaw: the take away. The concluding statement is that we should "never vote for someone who supports abortion." While I certainly agree with the sentiment, there is far more to the issue of life and abortion than simply how we vote or even the single issue of abortion.

We need to come to grips with one fact: simply voting pro-life has done nothing to end abortion in our nation.  While many politicians claim to be pro-life, very few of them are willing to actually do anything meaningful about it.  Even when both the White House and Congress were Republican, no legislation was passed to bring an end to this tragedy.  Our answer is not and has never been in politics.  It begins in the heart of people.

In this way, the middle of this movie is absolutely golden.  It causes people to really look at the depravity of their own souls -- to realize that they are participating in their own holocaust right now in 21st century America.  Even better, they are then directed to consider the afterlife and their standing with God.  The Gospel, that Jesus Christ came and died for our sin so that by believing in Him we can be forgiven and set free, is presented clearly and effectively.

But then the focus is shifted again toward the Holocaust, abortion, and voting. being pro-life means far more than just not voting for certain candidates or even being against abortion. It is a complete transformation in the way one views the life of all people and their intrinsic value as being made in the image of God for whom Jesus died. Until this happens, the Holocaust will not only be a historical event but a future and present reality. 

So what should the take away have been?  In regard to abortion, there are many non-political ways that we could help the problem:

  • Give time or money to a local crisis pregnancy center that helps expecting mothers throughout the pregnancy and early years of child-rearing so that they will make the choice for life.
  • Look to adopt or assist others who wish to adopt "unwanted" children.  
  • Either become a foster parent or offer to help (free babysitters would be huge for foster parents eager for a little break).
  • Look for ways to serve and minister to the poor and downtrodden in our society.
  • Encourage and teach young men to take responsibility for their relationship and treat women with utmost respect and dignity.
  • Combat pornography and sex trafficking (this is a subject I will explore in more detail later)
And finally, the big take away is our desperate need for Jesus Christ.  Inside each and every one of us is a Holocaust just waiting for an opportunity to surface.  If we are honest with ourselves, we recognize that any one of us could commit the crimes of Nazi Germany -- either actively or passively. We need the blood of Jesus Christ to wash us clean, and the Holy Spirit to empower us to live lives of true love and goodness.

"For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world should be saved through him."  (John 3:16-17 NET)
If you do not know or have any doubt about where you will go when you die, I urge you to be reconciled to God.  Make your peace with God by accepting the sacrifice of Jesus for your sins, and enter into a new life as a child of God.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

But everyone repented from their original viewpoint. We should not be condemning good works but encouraging.

I am confident that Matthew Aznoe could do it better. But I have yet to find the his videos.

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