Sunday, May 04, 2008

Missionary Movie

This is a phenomenal documentary about Jim Elliot's death in the jungles of Ecuador. It demonstrates how following Jesus is an amazing, unpredictable adventure.

I was a little disappointed when I hit play and found out this was a documentary. It put me in the wrong frame of mind. I looked forward to a movie with a building plot and twists and climaxing story. What I got was the story of normal people told by surviving family members as they were interviewed. But I was drawn in by the simple descriptions of the characters lives. They loved God, they loved life, they loved the work of the gospel. They did whatever they could to find people untouched by God's Good News wherever they may be or however they may live.

God doesn't need the strong or the wise. If you are faint of heart you can be used if your willingness to follow Jesus can somehow out weigh your fear. The work they did and the people they made contact with were dangerous. But the missionaries chose to be peaceful. They wouldn't carry guns. "They're not ready for heaven," they said, speaking of the unreached, "but we are." That's my favorite quote from the movie.

They were normal Christian college graduates. Not overly pious. Definitely zealous to change the world.

Here's the thing about missionaries: often the impact they make goes unnoticed by the world unless their blood is spilt. Nothing ever seems to get done that's lasting or makes a difference in the Kingdom of God unless blood is spilt. What makes the difference is whether spilled blood is avenged or if its forgiven. When blood is avenged, nothing changes and the cycle violence and hate is perpetuated. But when offended survivors forgive spilled blood, everything changes. The offenders' universe changes. It takes on new meaning. That's the Gospel in action. And this flick is definitely about the Gospel in action.

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6 comments:

okie preacher said...

Excellent movie. Jim Elliot is one of my heroes...

DaveAllen said...

Have you seen End of the Spear? It's the dramatic version of this story.

Bryon Mondok said...

i started watching end of the spear one afternoon but fell asleep... i need to give it another try...

Aaron Mondok said...

i thought that documentary was pretty sweet

okie preacher said...

end of the spear is excellent...

FeatherIron said...

End of the Spear is good but Beyond the Gates is WAY better. Life changing, amazing movie. I LOVED it!