Live wisely among those who are not believers, and make the most of every opportunity. Colossians 4:5
Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 1 Peter 3:15
In our post 9/11 world, we have all become all too familiar with the concept of “monitoring internet chatter.” Increased chatter among terrorist groups is an indicator that something is brewing.
With the growing use of social media, I cannot help but take notice of what I call Christian internet chatter. And, as chatter increases about a particular topic or issue, one can be sure that something is brewing in Christian circles. Sometimes the brew is good, but so often it runs a dark and negative course. So often it seems that we Christians like to talk more about what we are against than what we are for.
Recently, there has been increased chatter over the release of the Son of God movie. I have been somewhat disheartened, though not surprised, by the negative criticism towards the movie and those who produced it. Now, full disclosure – I have not seen the movie. So indeed, it may very well be laced with inaccuracies. And now with the release date of Noah less than two weeks away, I anticipate similar chatter about that movie to pick up. I imagine the accuracy of this movie might very well be lacking as well. But focusing on all that robs us of incredible opportunity.
Here’s what I don’t’ get. Why when Hollywood takes upon itself putting on film anything related to biblical stories or topics do we go on the attack? It seems that we go into a fear mode – we better runaway from this because it isn’t fully accurate? We saw the same kind of fearful reaction several years back when The DaVinci Code was both on the bestseller list and then put on the big screen. Sorry, I just don’t get it. Why do we feel so threatened even if they get it wrong? Much of the chatter not only critiques the content, but warns Christians to stay away implying that somehow a less than perfect portrayal of biblical stories is hazardous to one’s spiritual condition.
How about we take this approach? Why not look at it as an opportunity to strike up a conversation? See this as an opportunity to dialogue with others. Here, how about we try this? Invite an unchurched friend to see the movie(s) with you and if they ask, “Did that really happen?” – whether what is portrayed is accurate or not – it is now an opportunity to talk about spiritual things. View the potential inaccuracies as an opportunity to talk about (and find out for yourself) what the truth really is! In doing so you will be making the most of every opportunity and being prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks.
I am reminded of the account in Acts 17 when Paul is in Athens and sees an altar to “The Unknown God.” The Athenians, fearful of excluding and offending a god they were not aware of were covering all the bases. Paul was not judgmental, condescending, dismissive or defensive towards their attempts at religion. Instead, he used it as an opportunity to tell them more about the God they didn’t know. That is making the most of every opportunity (and might just make a good movie too!).