Movie review for American Gospel

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I just recently heard about the documentary, American Gospel, while listening to Allie B. Stuckey’s podcast, Relatable. I really like her podcast and decided I needed to check this movie out. I don’t sit often for movies for obvious reasons (really, nine reasons!), but I thought I’d make the effort for this one.

I’ll have to say, I thought it was excellent and well worth the over 2 hour run time. I loved how it brought real people into the movie, and weaved their stories into the various topics it covered. The movie’s focus was sharing the gospel of Jesus and what that looks like, and how it’s been skewed or warped often in our society. The movie called out several “Christian” off-shoots from Biblical Christianity (and all its various forms) but did not dwell on any one of them. The point of calling them out was to clearly differentiate where their teaching was false and why.

There were many different leaders in the Church that were interviewed and spoke as well. I appreciated the diversity of perspectives with the commonality centering around Christ and His Word. It was refreshing to hear what was wrong with the message being given by many churches today, while also being reminded of God’s sovereignty and goodness throughout history.

So what is the message of God’s Word (not based on people’s opinions but on what the bible teaches)? Well, the most important message is the gospel. We can’t hear it enough. But we can’t even begin to get a good understanding of it until we understand who WE are. We ALL fall short. We’ve all sinned. There is no one, not one, that is righteous. None who does good (Rom 3:10-12). We’re all guilty of sinning in some way throughout our lives, whether that’s lying or lusting after someone or stealing (to name just a few things). If we’re honest with ourselves, we know we fail daily. The 10 Commandments are a great starting point of showing us how we fall short since the Commandments reveal our sinfulness. They are not solely a list of rules to keep, since like I’ve already mentioned, we are incapable of keeping them. And since we fall short and fail, and God is good and just, there must be a payment or a sacrifice given. We have offended the God of the Universe. We’ve transgressed His laws. We can’t argue our way out of them since we are His creation; and since we are His creation we need to respect His rules. And we’ve broken them.

But here’s the good news. Here is the gospel. Christ came while we were sinners, and HE paid the sacrifice because we couldn’t. Only a perfect sacrifice would do. So because He is infinitely just He demanded a perfect sacrifice for our sin. And since He is infinitely good, He provided that sacrifice. That is Christ on the cross. The cross shows BOTH His goodness and His justice. This is what Scripture teaches when we read it, as Albert Mohler suggests (and I’m paraphrasing), not only rightly but obediently. Jesus is Who the entire bible points to. And when we repent of our sins and accept Him as our LORD and Savior because of His goodness and sacrifice on the cross for our sins, then we are saved. It’s not about us at all; not about what we do or how “good” we are (since again, none of us are good). It is all about Jesus and what He has done for us in His grace and mercy and again, His goodness. This is a free gift to anyone who will receive it with a repentant spirit.

Christianity can seem full of inconsistencies if you only listen to the media. But just as I don’t know, for example, Bill Gates, and I can read various articles and books about him and still not really know him, you can also read lots of books about God’s Word and still not really know God’s Word. You need to read it for yourself. When you approach Scripture with a humble and obedient attitude of truly trying to understand, the LORD will meet you wherever you may be. God’s Word is eternally applicable, always pointing us to the good and just God of the universe, no matter the culture or the time in history. It’s nice to know that in this life of uncertainties and instability, you can always walk boldly and confidently, in the Truth of Scripture.

I strongly encourage everyone to watch this movie. It’s not just for the traditional, biblical Christian, but for anyone who wants to better understand and navigate the often confusing and contradictory religious waters of those who identify themselves as Christian.

©2024 Mud Hen Mama


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