Today I’m going to give a kind of controversial message. Most have a complete mental separation where the Church and the world never meet. Some believe that God ONLY speaks through His Word, while this is emphatically false. While everything must bow to the Truth of the Bible, God isn’t relegated to only speaking via the words in the Bible. Again, He never contradicts His Word because He is the Word, but His speech isn’t solely confined to opening the Bible. The Lord speaks in many ways and on many fronts. In actuality, He is continually speaking to us, it is our job to be listen. So will we accept His Voice if He uses Hollywood?
Hang with me and see if this doesn’t bear witness with you. Today I’m going to give the reason why the Lord can sometimes use Hollywood to speak some of His most impactful visual aids? You know the Lord Jesus loves a good parable. He proved that when He lived physically among us. He used common everyday experiences to communicate divine and eternal Truths of the Kingdom. From backyard buried treasure, wheat and tares, laborers in the vineyard, talent servants, tenant farmers, new and old wineskins, and the list goes on and on. Jesus loved connecting His deep spiritual Truth with our living reality.
Why did Jesus use parables? Think about it, to communicate most effectively you have to speak in the language of the hearer. And Jesus did just this. He spoke to an agrarian culture with agricultural terms and object lessons. It is absolutely fascinating! Tying deep spiritual meaning to common occurrences makes the message more understandable and sticks in the mind of the hearers so much better.
God Speaks How He Wants
I believe the Lord speaks through nature, situations and circumstances, and uses many object lessons to connect His messages to us. He speaks to us in our common lives using everyday things because this is what we know. And actually the more senses that are activated in His telling, the deeper the impact. For instance, if I am shown or given a mental picture in the telling of something, I am more likely to remember it over just hearing a message. Frankly, the Lord isn’t limited to our religious sphere to convey His spiritual messages. From the mouths of babes comes praise (Matt 21:16) to the rain (and wisdom) falls on all the earth, irrespective of people’s beliefs or practices (Matt. 5:45). The fact is God speaks beyond our acceptable religious structures. Why? Because Christ promised if His people did not praise God, the rocks would cry out (Luke 19:40). So is Hollywood a crying rock?
Here is a thought, the Lord uses Hollywood because the church has for so long not had the guts to speak some of the hard gritty Truths. Singing rocks anyone? The church winces at the guttural cries of the Spirit, while Hollywood has no scruples in presenting these shock and awe messages. Hollywood runs on the edge all the time pushing the envelope beyond what is socially acceptable. Now not all that comes out of Hollywood is God, God forbid! But when He does use Hollywood, you can often feel the prophetic nature of the Spirit. I love it.
Christ was Shocking
If there is anything we can learn from the life of Christ as He walked on this earth, He was utterly real and dynamically piercing in the relevance of His messages. Often we find Christ addressing messages that may be considered too real. Think about it, Jesus was the one who gave a message that was interpreted by the religious as to be condoning cannibalism. Jesus said, “Eat my flesh and drink my blood!” (Jn 6:56) These were utterly shocking words to a culture that refused to listen to the Messenger of such grotesque imagery. And because they didn’t hear Him, they lost His deepest most intimate message for all those who would hear. ”Take Me in, we can be one. I am your Manna, and I am your blood sacrifice!” Those who refused the unorthodox message missed the deeper meaning.
Messages from Hollywood
So with Hollywood being a vessel to deliver a message from God, what am I talking about? Let’s take movies like Gladiator, Braveheart, Matrix, Shawshank Redemption, The Green Mile and the like. All worldly messages yet with a deeper hidden message for any who would hear. Am I saying God can use even a jackass to speak….YES! (Check out Numbers 22)
These movies each had a prophetic message with a huge stumbling block—they came from the dirty soil of Hollywood. And why would Christ have to use this less that holy vessel? Because, quite frankly, the church often won’t be the body of Christ to the world. We tend to fear messages with a sharpened point. We might offend, we might lose supporters, or we might not be seen as good. Essentially we can fear being the tip of the spear, so we remain a spork. You remember those utensils from Kentucky Fried Chicken? Neither a fork or a spoon, a hybrid only good for shoveling. When we, the church, are in our spork posture we are useless to pierce and demoted to only scoop.
Hollywood: Not Infallible But Effective
Now I’m NOT saying that Hollywood is in anyway infallible, but what I am saying is that it is often vocal while the church can remain silent. They more than likely have no idea that they are being used, but God is that sovereign. The Lord is going to speak. This is undeniable! And if we, the Body of Christ, refuse to speak the deep prophetic truths for our times, He will use any ole donkey in the way.
Jesus said, “The words [Greek: rhema] that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” (Jn. 6:63) When Christ chooses to speak we are given opportunity and privilege to listen. To resist His choice of vessels is to resist Him. As for me, I will go through this world listening for my Shepherd. If He wishes to speak to me via a street sign, a stranger, a movie, a pastor, His audible voice, a circumstance, His Living Word, or whatever way He chooses, I will hear because this is my intent. His voice is too important to me not to listen. His words are LIFE however He chooses to speak.
The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.
John 6:63b HCSB