God on Film
Stories have power, and almost nothing captures the power of story better than a good movie. With this in mind, Bethel’s “God on Film” sermon series will use scenes from Hollywood films to help illustrate God’s story in Scripture.
The whole idea of this series comes straight from the methods of Jesus. Just a quick glance through the Gospels will show you how many times Jesus used parables—captivating and culturally relevant stories that helped people more clearly understand the grace and hope of God. It doesn’t matter your age, gender or the culture you grew up in—everybody is captivated by a good story. In our modern world, movies are a primary form of story-telling.
But movies are more than just stories. According to film critic, Josh Larsen, movies are prayers. In his book, Movies Are Prayers, Larsen believes that movies are our way of telling God what we think about this world and our place in it. He states, “Movies can be many things: escapist experiences, historical artifacts, business ventures, and artistic expressions, to name a few…They are expressions of raw emotion, naked vulnerability, and unbridled rage. They often function in the same way as prayers, communicating our deepest longings and joys to a God who hears each and every one.”
Because of the power of movies, there aren’t many rooms where we will laugh, cry, cheer and boo with 100-plus strangers, but a movie theater is one of those, and all of a sudden strangers become united around a common thing: story. Jesus knew that well and would use an earthly story to help unite people around an eternal one. That is what we hope to do through this series.
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (From False Self To True Self)
In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
August 29, 2021
Pastor Mike Brown
Mulan (From Closet To Public)
Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
August 22, 2021
Pastor Mike Brown
Ready Player One (Topic: From Escapism to Engagement)
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
August 15, 2021
Pastor Mike Brown
Avengers: Infinity War (From Victimhood to Victory)
The seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, in your name even the demons submit to us!” He said to them, “I watched Satan fall from heaven like a flash of lightning. See, I have given you authority to tread on snakes and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing will hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”