“I Can Only Imagine” Why Christian Movies Are Doing So Well
By the time some of you are reading this post today, my Tuesday Night “Missional Community” (Small or Cell Group) from my church will be in their movie theater seats watching a great new movie whose popularity is taking off like a rocket.
I would be there too, but I have work on Sunday afternoons.
But, I digress…
According to Variety.com…
“I Can Only Imagine” tells the backstory of how a song came to exist. Not just any song but the best-selling Christian single of all time. Relatively unique among faith-based films, it’s a decent addition to Hollywood’s most hit-or-miss genre — the music biopic — that abruptly ends where the first-act break typically occurs in such movies: before the once-humble singer gets too big for his britches, caves in to temptation, and starts using drugs and/or cheating on his wife (since, for once, those tiresome clichés don’t seem to apply). Instead, this movie’s message is all about inspiration and forgiveness, which should satisfy a decent contingent of the moviegoing public grateful for a wholesome story with a happy ending.
Fans of the title song already know how “I Can Only Imagine” turns out — that is, what happens once MercyMe front man Bart Millard writes the lyrics to the track that will launch their debut album to triple-platinum status. But even newbies (such as this critic) may be impressed to learn how Millard (embodied by musical theater actor J. Michael Finley) managed to give so many Christians the words to express a love they find more powerful than any earthly romance: the anticipation they feel for the day when they will get to meet their heavenly father.
About that “taking off like a rocket”…
Breitbart.com reports that
The big news is the Christian film I Can Only Imagine, which was expected to bring in just $6 million from 1,628 theaters. By the time Monday rolls around, this little $7 million movie starring Dennis Quaid will have earned a whopping $14-plus million.
Why do you suppose the reason for this and other Christian Movies’ growing popularity is, gentle readers?
And, why do well-known stars such Dennis Quaid, Cloris Leachman, and Trace Atkins want to appear in them?
I mean, just the other day, on March 15th, MSNBC Anchor Stephanie Ruhle said the following about President Donald J. Trump’s new Economic Advisor, Larry Kudlow’s, Christian Faith…
“If you noticed when Larry Kudlow spoke on CNBC yesterday, he ended by saying, ‘However things work out, it will be God’s will.’ That’s an interesting way to talk about being the national economic adviser to the president. ‘God’s will?’”
She has since apologized, much in the same way that The View’s Joy Behar was forced to.
So, if the “Smartest People in the Room” on the East and Left Coasts believe that Christianity is something to be mocked, why are these movies doing so well?
We live in a time in our country where Traditional American ethics and values, including our Christian Faith, have been ridiculed and mocked by the Left and their public messengers as being antiquated, restrictive, ignorant, and even, bigoted.
And the majority of the movies which Hollywood has expectorated out in the last few years have reflected this skewed and intolerant view of Traditional American ethics and values.
Is all this upheaval our nation is feverishly attempting to recover from, with no help from “The Resistance”, “Antifa”, , or whatever you want to call the Anti-American immature idiots, due to some sort of Satanic Influence attempting to tip the scales in the fight between Good and Evil, across our land?
A man, who would be considered a cornball by the standards of today’s Socially-Liberal Fiscally Conservative Liberals, Moderates, and “Libertarians”, wrote a prophetic analysis of today’s current events.
This speech was broadcast by legendary ABC Radio commentator Paul Harvey on April 3, 1965:
If I were the Devil . . . I mean, if I were the Prince of Darkness, I would of course, want to engulf the whole earth in darkness. I would have a third of its real estate and four-fifths of its population, but I would not be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree, so I should set about however necessary to take over the United States. I would begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: “Do as you please.” “Do as you please.” To the young, I would whisper, “The Bible is a myth.” I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what is bad is good, and what is good is “square”. In the ears of the young marrieds, I would whisper that work is debasing, that cocktail parties are good for you. I would caution them not to be extreme in religion, in patriotism, in moral conduct. And the old, I would teach to pray. I would teach them to say after me: “Our Father, which art in Washington” . . .
If I were the devil, I’d educate authors in how to make lurid literature exciting so that anything else would appear dull an uninteresting. I’d threaten T.V. with dirtier movies and vice versa. And then, if I were the devil, I’d get organized. I’d infiltrate unions and urge more loafing and less work, because idle hands usually work for me. I’d peddle narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. And I’d tranquilize the rest with pills. If I were the devil, I would encourage schools to refine young intellects but neglect to discipline emotions . . . let those run wild. I would designate an atheist to front for me before the highest courts in the land and I would get preachers to say “she’s right.” With flattery and promises of power, I could get the courts to rule what I construe as against God and in favor of pornography, and thus, I would evict God from the courthouse, and then from the school house, and then from the houses of Congress and then, in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and I would deify science because that way men would become smart enough to create super weapons but not wise enough to control them.
If I were Satan, I’d make the symbol of Easter an egg, and the symbol of Christmas, a bottle. If I were the devil, I would take from those who have and I would give to those who wanted, until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. And then, my police state would force everybody back to work. Then, I could separate families, putting children in uniform, women in coal mines, and objectors in slave camps. In other words, if I were Satan, I’d just keep on doing what he’s doing.
Paul Harvey, Good Day.
Christians are fighting back against the surrounding darkness by supporting those movies which reflect the Light and which do not spread the Darkness.
The song which inspired the movie “I Can Only Imagine” was not just popular on Contemporary Christian Music Radio Stations. It was also popular on Country and Pop Stations, as well.
The song remains popular to this day because of its reassuring and uplifting message of everlasting life in His presence.
In these turbulent times, when evil is lauded as good and abnormal behavior is glorified as normal, Christian Americans must take time to focus in on what’s really important.
Christian Movies provide that opportunity.
And, it is important that we spend time in contemplative thought about our Faith.
For as the lyrics to the song tell us…
I can only imagine when all I will do
Is forever, forever worship You
I can only imagine…
So, gentle readers, stay strong and keep the faith.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. – Ephesians 6:12
Until He Comes,