Welcome back for my first Christian movie review of 2019! Today I’ll be reviewing the third film in the God’s Not Dead series, God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness, which I recently watched with my sister on Netflix. I loved the first film and found the second to be a good continuation in the series. This one, however, I think I liked more than the second. Here are my thoughts:
Focus on the War on Christianity
The main plot of this movie, like the others, is the focus on the hatred of Christians and Christ-like values in modern America. The film shows how laws are often interpreted to harm Christian institutions or pastors, and how many college students are straying from their Christian beliefs once they reach campus.
However, the film is not biased to how Christians are persecuted for their beliefs; it is also discussed how “Christians” badmouth non-Christians and issues they are against both in person and on social media.
In a cameo by Judge Jeanine, she says something about our political and religious divide in America that speaks volumes: “Everyone’s yelling, no one’s listening.” This is a message the film reminds viewers of throughout, and I feel it’s timely for today’s society.
Message of Hateful Displays of “Christianity”
It was mentioned that Christians often show the world what they’re against more than what we’re for: spreading the love of Christ and His message of redemption and salvation. The characters discuss how this turns both non-believers and believers off more from God’s Word, which is not what Christians are called to do at all. Yes, we must let them know our beliefs don’t adhere to certain worldly aspects, but we must do so in a respectful way. Overall, we are to be a light in the darkness, not a reflection of the darkness.
Pastor Dave’s Brother
In this installment, we are introduced to Pastor Dave’s brother, Pearce, played by John Corbett (Ramona and Beezus, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before). Pearce is a non-believer who helps Pastor Dave fight for religious freedom on the college campus. He is hilarious and offers comic relief throughout the dark and more serious moments of the film.
**Please be aware that this section contains spoilers for how the film ends.**
The only thing I did not particularly agree with was how the conflict was handled at the end of the film. After spending three movies working to maintain religious freedom for Christians, Pastor Dave ends up succumbing to the will of his oppressors to avoid further conflict. The film argues that it’s better to sacrifice in love than being right in hate. While I don’t disagree with this message, it makes me wonder what the purpose of fighting for Christian rights in the first two films was if they’re going to roll over in the third. Yes, we are called to be light, share the love of God, and not hate those who challenge our views and freedom, but that doesn’t mean that Christians should give up their religious freedom in order to please a secular society.
Though I struggled with the ending, I’m granting God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness 4 out of 5 stars. In terms of entertainment value, I liked it more than the second film, but I don’t believe it’s as good as the first film. Overall, I disliked the ending of this film more than the others, but I still feel that it is a notable film for Christians.
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What are your thoughts on the God’s Not Dead trilogy? Let me know in the comments!
Be sure to check back in on Wednesday and Fridays for regularly scheduled posts, and explore the Character Names by Letter series with new posts every other Monday!
Aim high, stay strong, and always hit your mark.
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