"I'm not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ." I can stand with the apostle Paul and make this statement of faith unequivocally. Well, almost.
Perhaps the only time that I am ashamed to be a Christian is when a "Christian movie" is released in theaters. Let's be honest...most of them just plain stink. With a few exceptions, they are poorly written, funded, made, and acted. They are often an embarrassment to the cause of Christ.
But there are a few mainstream movies that reflect the gospel beautifully. While they are not "Christian movies," they certainly portray Truth in an accurate way.
Our theme this week is adoption. And the Bible uses adoption in numerous places as an analogy of our new life in Christ. So, I thought that, since Friday night is often "movie night," I would recommend four excellent movies that have an adoption theme. (They aren't necessarily "Christian movies," but they are a whole lot better than what the guys at PTL are putting out.) I will also point out a real stinker that you should avoid.
The Blind Side
I will start with an obvious choice that most have probably already seen. The story of high school football player Michael Oher and his eventual adoption by the Tuohy family is pretty inspiring. The movie caught some flack from some stodgy reviewers for being too formulaic, but apparently nobody told them that it is true story. You cannot argue with the simple beauty of a comfortable, well-to-do family choosing to invest themselves in a homeless teenager.
When my kids were little, we had this one on VHS. The tape got shredded because we watched it so many times. Babe is an innocent little piglet who is "adopted" by an aging sheep dog once his parents are converted to bacon. It's a sweet story that is very well-made. What makes this a great adoption movie is that the "parent" is an entirely different species from her child. It's a great reminder that a family doesn't have to look alike to be a family.
Anne of Green Gables
I know...it's more like a mini-series than a movie, but it is still awesome. Jenifer introduced me to Anne Shirley when we were dating. Even thought I am, in fact, a guy, I confess that I honestly enjoyed it. (I didn't know it at the time, but if I had not enjoyed it, I would not be married to her today. Apparently, the proper appreciation of Anne of Green Gables was a pass/fail test on whether I was acceptable husband material in her family. Thankfully, both my brother-in-law and I passed.) Anne of Green Gables reminds us that every adopted child is full of joy, and they are just waiting for someone to love it out of them.
You may not have seen this one before. If you haven't, run (don't walk!) to your car, get yourself to Blockbuster, and rent it tonight. I love this movie. It is simple, emotional, and beautifully made. It celebrates life, family, and the fact that every tragic episode of our lives is just a few good decisions away from being a picture of God's redemption. He is still in the business of taking bad situations and making them wonderful. That's who He is. Bella illustrates this perfectly.
And now for one "bad" adoption movie...
Like Dandelion Dust
I haven't seen this one personally, but my wife and oldest daughter did on opening weekend a few days ago. They were not impressed. Wouldn't you know it, this one was adapted from a "Christian novel." I'm not sure if the author (who I have a great deal of respect for) had much say about the movie, but it apparently contains just about every "Lifetime Movie of the Week" cliche about adoption there is. I could go into detail, but I would advise you to read Michael Foust's review of it. And if you are considering adoption, please don't waste your time. Foust says that "watching it before you adopt is tantamount to watching 'United 93' before you fly." Enough said.
Can you think of another great movie where adoption plays a prominent role? And that is a pretty good reflection of our God's adoptive love for us? Or do you disagree with my suggestions? Let me know your thoughts.