Why Christians Shouldn’t Watch God’s Not Dead 2

I recommend reading this post first: Everything I’ve Written About God’s Not Dead 2, All In One Place

First:

To anyone who thinks I’m an atheist for writing a post like this:

I’m a Catholic.

To anyone who thinks I just like “R-rated Hollywood trash” because I don’t like God’s Not Dead 2:

My favorite movie is a G-rated foreign film.

To anyone who thinks I am committing the sin of Slander in this post:

In order to slander Pure Flix, what I say about them would have to be proven to be false. I provide evidence to back up everything I say about them. Therefore, what I say about Pure Flix is questionable at worst — not outright false. Give me proof that what I say about Pure Flix is false. If you can’t give me proof, than you can’t say that I am slandering them.

Now:

Here are all of the reasons why Christians shouldn’t watch God’s Not Dead 2:

Atheists are not out to “prove once and for all that God is dead.” Atheists don’t believe in God. Why, then, would atheists want to prove that a being they don’t believe in is dead? I know I shouldn’t take the words “prove…God is dead” literally, since what the atheist means is “We’re going to drive Christianity out of the public square.” But I’m not judging what the atheist meant. I’m judging what he said. And what he said makes no sense.

God17

A teacher wouldn’t get into trouble for quoting Scripture in her classroom if it was relevant to what she was teaching. Which, in God’s Not Dead 2, it is: Grace Wesley is teaching about non-violence and quotes Jesus, a historical figure famous for his teachings on non-violence. One of my  teachers, when I was a Senior at a public high school, did the same thing, and no one batted an eyelash. Why? Because we, the students, understood that the teacher wasn’t proselytizing.

God19

“…the most most basic human right of all is the right to believe.”

I thought the most basic human right of all was the right to life.

God18

The movie is overtly political. What is Mike Huckabee doing in this? Do you want proof that politics and Christianity can be a poisonous combination? Then click here.

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“How do we make this go away and not get blood on our hands?”

“We let the ACLU do it.”

Demonizing an organization is committing the sin of Slander.

If Pure Flix isn’t demonizing the ACLU, than what do you call this:

God21

God’s Not Dead 2 promotes an “Us vs. Them” worldview.
Which, at worst, leads to tribalism.
Which, at worst, leads to extremism.
Which, at worst, leads to this (WARNING: Graphic violence):

Pure Flix, the company making God’s Not Dead 2, is using Christians for their money. Pure Flix is manipulating Christians’ emotions in order to increase ticket sales:

There are better movies that the whole family can watch together.* Like, for example, The Secret World of Arrietty.

Thank you for reading.

*I believe that there are better movies than God’s Not Dead 2 to see with the whole family, despite the fact that I haven’t seen God’s Not Dead 2. Why? Because my favorite movie is one that’s appropriate for the whole family, and it is a movie that I can say, with certainty, is better than God’s Not Dead 2. Why? Because even if everything that wasn’t in the trailers for God’s Not Dead 2 blows my mind, what is in the trailers left a bad taste in my mouth — a bad taste that will offset any positives, whatever they may be. In contrast, other than a few mistakes regarding subtitles, I consider my favorite movie to be as close to perfect as a movie can be in this imperfect world. What is my favorite movie? Whisper of the Heart.

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24 thoughts on “Why Christians Shouldn’t Watch God’s Not Dead 2

  1. My sister, a teacher in the Montgomery County Schools, was in a similar situation. It did not lead to court, but she almost lost her job because it was her word against the students. Teachers are not alud to refer to the Bible,Jesus, or God in this school district and she was reprimanded. This may be a dramatization, but it is very realistic. This is becoming more and more a reality. Should we become witnesses? Yes, we are not the ones that want to us v. them. They are.

  2. Nonsense “God is dead” is an illustrative phrase meaning not that God has already died but it means that God didn’t exists in the first place. This article is so ridiculous

    1. You’re right about the phrase “God is dead”: I was critiquing the atheist’s words — not what the atheist’s words meant.

      If you don’t mind me asking: How is this article “ridiculous”?

  3. As both a teacher and a parent of a High Schooler in a public school I have to disagree with you in your premise that this type of thing is not happening. It is happening. Sadly, many teachers are bowing to the pressure to not even come close to using Jesus’ name in the classroom without coming under either extreme scrutiny or being written up.

    Secondly, it is not slandering the ACLU if you look at the majority of the cases that involve Christians being sued in the public square. The ACLU is involved in many of them. The other group that is taking an active role in legal attacks on Christians is the Freedom from Religion Foundation. Both of these organizations are instrumental in taking religious groups to court, or suing, hoping that it will be settled prior to going to court in a monetary manner, or in liberties being stripped to avoid the financial impact it will have on the entity being sued.

    You state that you are a Catholic. I believe that more than that is necessary to explain what your religious beliefs comprise. There are many people who call themselves Christians who, according to the Bible, do not fit the definition of a Christian. Mormons call themselves Christians, yet their god and the God of the Bible are different, and the Jesus they believe in is not the same as the Jesus in the Bible. I know several Catholics who were christened in the Catholic church, yet do not have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. They go to confession or mass1-2 times a year. If you ask them what they believe, they state that they believe in God, and Mary the mother of Jesus. They will say that they believe that the Pope is God’s representation here on earth, yet do not follow the teachings of the Bible in their daily lives. So what do they believe? Pure Flix is presenting films that primarily comprise an evangelical Christian view of the Bible, which is extremely different than a Catholic view. In fact, according to Catholicism, we are not Christians. So, why would your statement that you are a Catholic make me trust your viewpoint from a Christian perspective if I don’t even know what form of Catholicism you ascribe to? I have family members who attend Catholic mass, and consider themselves Catholic, but also have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and pretty much just like the liturgy that the Catholic church brings to their faith. That would be much closer to what an evangelical Christian believes.

    You have a perspective of what the phrase “God’s Not Dead” means, that is not necessarily what the producers of God’s Not Dead believe. Furthermore, there is a lot of confusion into what modern day atheists believe. Many modern day atheists are more like agnostics in their beliefs than the traditional atheist. The concept of a universal “god” is a dead concept to them, thus “God is Dead” They would rather embrace a humanistic approach that denies the authority of God, and allows them to live life as they choose without any repercussions. How do I know this? I have spoken to many of them over the course of my life.

    When God’s Not Dead (the original) came out, many of your arguments were made by others stating that no teacher would ever give ultimatums like that in a course. That is another fallacy. As a student at UCI, I had a sociology professor who ridiculed anyone who mentioned the concept of God or Christianity in his lectures/discussions. He would frequently use the insult of “Why don’t we all agree that Christianity is irrelevant to true knowledge, so we can all start actually learning in this class. If you disagree, you are ignorant and should probably not be taking college courses. Go back to your fairytale world of make believe and leave the real learning to us adults!”

    I also had an English teacher there who gave me a poor grade on a paper that was an OPINION paper in which I incorporated my Christian beliefs into the response. Every single comment written on the paper was a disagreement with my beliefs. When I challenged her, she disregarded my request to show me where my paper did not meet the requirements of the writing assignment. I finally had to take it to the Ombudsman who reversed the grade based on the fact that the only written criticism was based on a different worldview. If I encountered it 2 times in college back in the early ’90’s, how many more would have been affected since then? I was the only one who fought back that I knew of, as many of my friends just produced what the teacher wanted to hear, to avoid getting a bad grade (their admission.)

    Your comment about an “Us vs. Them” worldview is inaccurate. The movie is based on warring ideology, not people. Christianity teaches that God’s wish is that NO ONE SHOULD PERISH, and that Jesus came to bring salvation to all, first to the Jew and then to the Gentile. There is a warring ideology. Sin vs. Holiness. God vs. Satan, Truth vs. Lie. That is what is at the core of all of this. Our founding fathers escaped England so that they would have the right to pursue God, Holiness, Truth, and freedom to believe as they chose. They based this country on those freedoms. This movie exposes how those who wish God’s truth to be a dead ideology have twisted our legal system and misrepresented the Constitution to try and achieve that. Scripture often refers to those who are in the dark as being opposed to the presence of the Light, as their true selves will be revealed. If there is any “us vs them” it is in reference to those living in the light exposing what is done in darkness.

    Lastly, your comment about how Pure Flix is using Christians for their money is flat out ridiculous. Every non-Christian movie out there is using the content to make money. It is not unbiblical to make money. They are providing an entertaining venue in which to share the Gospel of Christ. Why is it okay for other studios to share their ideology with the world in a certain venue, but not allow Christians? Why did you state that you were catholic in this blog? Were you not trying to manipulate your reader to give you religious credibility? Why do you have a public blog if not to gain more followers? Isn’t that a form of manipulation? If you are going to hold one group accountable for something, shouldn’t that same standard be applied to all groups? Including yourself? The people behind PureFlix are using a platform to reach people for Christ, and get conversations going. Making quality films costs a lot of money. Therefore a profit must be made. Paul was a tentmaker to make the money to live, and yet, also had a ministry. God saw nothing wrong with that, so why do you? Most of the Christians I know that watch films by PureFlix do so because the majority of the films made in America are full of filth and a humanistic worldview. They are offering something better!

    Lastly, the movie itself explains the Huckabee inclusion. Being a follower of Christ impacts every part of your life. If you are into politics, it should impact your policy decisions. If you are a CEO, it should impact how your run your business, etc. Faith is not something you pull out at Easter and Christmas, it is something that is to permeate your entire life, every day! Maybe, before criticizing something that you haven’t seen, maybe watch it and see if you learn something about Christianity. . .true Christianity, not just the fact that you acknowledge that God exists. I wish you the best, because that it what God wants for you!

    1. The ACLU is being “slandered” in the sense that, in God’s Not Dead 2, the ACLU lawyer is portrayed as, basically, the Devil: He has no redeeming qualities and he hates Christians for reasons that are never explained. He is a caricature.

      “Every non-Christian movie out there is using the content to make money.”

      That doesn’t mean it’s right. If everyone was jumping off a bridge, it wouldn’t be right for me to jump, too.

      “It is not unbiblical to make money.”

      Tell that to the money changers whose tables Jesus overturned in the temple.

      “Why is it okay for other studios to share their ideology with the world in a certain venue, but not allow Christians?”

      Because God’s Not Dead 2 isn’t art. It’s propaganda.

      Art: The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power.

      Propaganda: Information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.

      1. How are you making all these assumptions/accusations when you claim you haven’t seen the movie? That would mean that it is okay to judge someone you have never met by standards that you “heard” about, which in essence is gossip.

        Regarding the ACLU’s involvement, I have met some ACLU attorneys and they are pretty evil in the manner they behave in the legal world. They have blatantly lied to a friend of mine who was pursued by them to file charges against an organization. Something to understand about movies: you cannot show the entirety of a character in 1 1/2 hours. And actually, there are a few scenes where his humanity comes out and he is not “all evil”.

        So is your premise that Christians should not pursue making money? Can you show me where that is in the Bible? A business exists to make money, otherwise it is ministry or a non-profit. Do you know who funds the non-profits? People who make money! Making money is not evil, nor is that why Jesus upset the money changers in the temple. The issue is in the heart and how you are conducting yourselves in the making of the money. The moneychangers were taking advantage of those who came to the temple. They had to exchange the Roman money for temple money, and they were charging an exchange rate that was not fair, or equitable. They were taking advantage of people who were coming to the temple to make sacrifices for their sins and were being fleeced by the moneychangers. That was what made Jesus angry.

        I find it interesting that you are the judge of what is art and what is propaganda. Avatar: art or propaganda? Spotlight: Art or propaganda? The Revenant: Art or propaganda? Every film has an agenda to it in some form. Some is subtle, some is glaring. A film like God’s Not Dead 2 is to expose what is happening in America to our religious liberty. At the end of the film, they show 22 legal cases that were behind the making of the film. It’s not “made up” without any background. It is a fictional account based on actual court cases that are being fought by the Alliance Defending Freedom legal team. By your definition, propaganda is based on misleading information.

        Even your clip on the Secret Life of Arietty is making generalizations about humans- the evil adult captures the little person in a jar like a bug. That sure looks like she is portrayed as “all evil”. Arietty even says “Sometimes you have to fight for the things that are worth fighting for,” That quote is something you could easily have heard in God’s Not Dead 2.

        I am assuming that you are not responding to my comment about what your personal beliefs are based on a reason you don’t wish to share, which actually makes my point more valid regarding your use of your Catholicism to garner credibility for your critique of a movie you haven’t even seen. Typically, if I have a deep concern over a movie’s content that I think other people need to know, I actually go see it so that I can be accurate in my assessment. If the trailers are your only info, you are basing a full critique on incomplete facts.

        Had you said you didn’t want to see God’s Not Dead 2 because you don’t trust faith based movies, or because you disagree with Christianity, that is one thing, but you are telling other people that they shouldn’t see a movie that you haven’t seen, based on your personal opinion on things that you don’t really know about.

        Point of Reference: I was not in favor of the movie Magic Mike and my friends that planned to see it questioned my reasons. I indicated that I really didn’t want to see a movie that glorified the life of male strippers (based on the trailers I had seen). After one of them saw it, she challenged me on my presupposition. How did I know it glorified the life of male strippers? How did I reach that conclusion?
        She told me that the trailer left out the critical part of the story, and only showed the parts that would entice women to see it. I caved and allowed her to show it to me, and I found out that it actually did the opposite. It showed that the “glamour” of the life of male exotic dancers is a fallacy. Most have lost the ability to connect with women in the real world, have lost the ability to be intimate emotionally, have fallen into deeper and darker parts of the world involving drugs, alcoholism, gambling, etc. They didn’t show any of that in the trailer. I still didn’t like the movie, just because I don’t think it is wise to expose yourself to soft core porn, but I can now say the real reasons I disagree with a movie. For a movie like Magic Mike XXL, I can say “I am choosing to not see the movie. I saw the first one, and while it told a story I was not expecting, I also was subjected to images I was not comfortable with, and choose to not subject myself to more of that. Instead I will ask others for the storyline if I am interested.” That is a truthful expose on why I will not see it, and why I would caution others against it. Even the trailers show that it has sexual exotic dancing, so I am not having to fabricate that.

        If you had taken the time to actually watch the movie God’s Not Dead 2 and then written a critique about it, and urged others to not see it, you would have a basis for your opinion, but you aren’t willing to base your blog on fact, instead, I am assuming you are listening to liberals who don’t want their darkness exposed, or you yourself are afraid you will see the truth in the midst of the story. I challenge you to go see the movie, and then re-write the blog, based on a complete set of facts to base your opinion on, rather than conjecture.

      2. “How are you making all these assumptions/accusations when you claim you haven’t seen the movie?”

        I’m judging the movie by the trailers. The trailers are supposed to tell a person what the movie is all about. I see the ACLU being slandered in the trailer, so I make the conclusion that the ACLU is slandered in the movie. A conclusion that is backed up by critics I trust. Like this guy: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/filmchat/2016/03/review-gods-not-dead-2-dir-harold-cronk-2016.html

        Christians should make money. But what they shouldn’t do is have no respect for God while making it, like the money changers in the temple. How can I say that Pure Flix has “no respect for God”? Because Pure Flix clearly didn’t take the criticism that God’s Not Dead got into account. Many of the issues that people had with God’s Not Dead — for example: unrealistic characters — are present in God’s Not Dead 2.

        Nice story about Magic Mike XXL. Seriously. I had a similar experience with the movie Watchmen. Thank you for telling me that story.

        “…I am assuming you are listening to liberals who don’t want their darkness exposed, or you yourself are afraid you will see the truth in the midst of the story.”

        You know what they say about people who assume, right?

        You say “liberals” like it’s a swear word: Like liberals are demons out to devour souls. That’s the danger of movies like God’s Not Dead and God’s Not Dead 2: They teach you to see people you don’t agree with not as your fellow human being, made in the image and likeness of God, but as your enemy.

        I never stated, anywhere, that my blog was based on facts. Look at the top of the page: It says “My thoughts on movies and popular culture.”
        The key words being “My thoughts” — my opinions. If you don’t like what I have to say, than say what you want in response — I won’t delete your comments or not approve them — and go and read someone whose writing you do agree with.

      3. One more thing:

        To address some of the points you made in your comments that I unknowingly skipped over (from where I was reading this, it was hard to see everything you’d written):

        “I find it interesting that you are the judge of what is art and what is propaganda.”

        I am not judging what is art or propaganda — I am using the dictionary’s definition of what is art and what is propaganda.

        You’re right: Every film, to some extent, has an agenda in some form.

        “Even your clip on the Secret Life of Arietty is making generalizations about humans…”

        The adult who captures the little person isn’t evil. She isn’t trying to kill the little person: She’s trying to prove to her employer — a sick boy’s caretaker — that little people exist, and are thus responsible for things going missing in the house the sick boy is staying at.

        “I am assuming that you are not responding to my comment about what your personal beliefs are based on a reason you don’t wish to share…”

        My personal beliefs are based on The Catechism of the Catholic Church. You can read it right here: http://www.vatican.va/archive/ENG0015/_INDEX.HTM

        Despite the hostile way I might have said everything I’ve said, I am grateful that someone took the time and effort to tell me what they thought about what I’d written. I appreciate it. I really do.

    2. Kathy,

      Having finally seen God’s Not Dead 2, I can confirm that the film was exactly what I thought it would be based on the trailers I had seen and the reviews I had read.

      The film perpetuates the attitude of “Us vs. Them” from the first film by continuing to portray non-Christians as the worst kind of people.

      For example: The ACLU Lawyer has no redeeming qualities at all; he is basically Satan in human form. Which goes against the Bible’s command to see the good in everyone — even atheists (Matthew 25:31 — 46).

  4. By the way, are you aware that you are violating copywrite law by including images owned by PureFlix without their permission? Just thought you should know!

      1. You might want to read the following article: http://artlawjournal.com/fair-blogging-bloggers-copyrighted-images/ as your use of these images actually violates the “fair use” as you are using them to dissuade people from seeing the very thing they were created for, you do not have a license to use them, you do not give credit to where they came from, and you are using more than just a thumbnail. I am stating this as a blogger friend of mine was actually sued by someone for using a photo found on the internet in her blog. She had to spend a few thousand in attorney fees to “settle” and had to remove the image. I am trying to protect you, not get you in trouble. The Fair Use issue is getting to be tougher to prove. You are not using the photos to explain anything. You also have 9 images (2 youtube which you may need permission to repost- I don’t know) in your blog. One (the one go the wolf in sheep’s clothing) is an artistic representation created by someone without getting credit. Just trying to help here!

      2. I am not breaking the law. Because of Fair Use.

        Fair Use allows me to use pictures or YouTube videos if I use them in order to help me make a point. Which I do.

        For example: I talk about Mike Huckabee, so I include a picture of Mike Huckabee. I talk about Pure Flix’s shady marketing, and I include a video from Pure Flix, about their marketing for God’s Not Dead 2, in order to make my point.

        I am allowed to use copyrighted material if I am critiquing that copyrighted material. Regardless of the fact that I’m dissuading people from watching the movie where the copyrighted material comes from.

  5. All the reasons you give have a basis. And UN-judging I say we all have ideas and standards which are erroneous mixed in among our logical and correct ones. So yes, I would say the Movie, your points, and some of my own opinions are flawed, but to me these are reasons we should see such movies. Even the first movie. We Christians puff up with pride over a kid winning a debate in philosophy. Really philosophy, why not the deeper subjects of archeology or the sciences. I will tell you, because in a fact for fact competition. their list outweighs ours. And not because their right but because we hang to interpretations of the Bible passed down which make us comfortable. We present to our people only the answers we think satisfy our inner questions, and miss what Jesus came to teach us on reading the scripture.(Too long to get into). We need to stop avoiding things thinking they will influence us. What influences our ideas are the day to day patterns we live and pursue not the worldview suggested in a movie or idea someone wants to share. Movies like this may impact 2 groups. Those already on the same page and those at the other end this way of thinking who while they also like us all are blind to many clear facts. Take supposed affirmations of our truths such as this and easily see our blind spots, using this as another source by which to distract from theirs’.
    I am not sure any of us can be truly unbiased but avoiding thinking contrary to our own only encourages our bias, both correct and incorrect.

  6. Your post does not make sence. If you hate that movie keep it to yourself. Nobody wants to know. Or why would the movie make that much money. How do you know its bad for christians if you are not even a christian? lol got you. An inspiring movie.

    1. “If you hate that movie keep it to yourself.”

      Why?

      “Nobody wants to know.”

      There are people who do want to know, though.

      “How do you know its bad for christians if you are not even a christian?”

      I believe that Jesus is the son of God and that salvation, ultimately, happens through him. So, I am a Christian.

      “An inspiring movie.”

      I’m glad you thought the movie was inspiring.

  7. I saw the movie and would recommend. The part that sticks out most on what you have said is “it promotes us agaist them” In case you have not really looked around at the Government and watched the news and looked at a few of these comments it is US agaist them… Not in a Hate way like Christians should hate but in a way that our freedoms to practice our beliefs are being undermined

    1. I recently watched the movie.

      I thought it was OK. Not as awful as I feared it would be, but nowhere near what I would consider “good.”

      Regarding the government undermining my rights:

      Jesus said this would happen — Matthew 10:22 — so I’m not surprised or concerned about it.

      If God is with me, than who can be against me? (Romans 8:31)

      And what’s the worst the government can do to me? Kill me? Because, Jesus has conquered death — death is nothing to be afraid of.

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