Friday, April 3, 2015

Grace of God (movie-DVD)

Having lost his faith many years ago, Detective Bill Broadly is called to investigate the disappearance of the local church’s collection plate. As he questions its various church members, rumors swirl as more congregants learn about the theft. When one unexpected church-goer confesses to stealing the funds, the confession resurrects Broadly’s views on God, and helps him see that through faith and belief there really is rebirth and redemption.

Actors:  John Ratzenberger  (“Cheers,” WALL-E, Toy Story); Erin Bethea (Fireproof, Letters to God); Lorenzo Lamas ("The Bold and the Beautiful," "Falcon Crest")
Genre: Family, Inspirational; Rating:  NR

Review: First, this movie has nothing to do with Easter.  It does talk about the ten commandments, but primarily, “thou shalt not steal.”  The cover is very misleading.  While the story line does cause Detective Broadly to revisit, or resurrect, his opinion and thoughts of God, one should not pick up this movie or watch it with the primary thought that it is going to be about Easter.

Second, while the movie does a good job of showing us that all of sinned and
come short of the glory of God, it shows absolutely no consequences of our sins or actions.  I’m a firm believer in the Grace of God and that it is extended to us when we absolutely do not desire it.  However, I also believe that it is a firm biblical principle that we “reap what we sow.”    Toward the end of the movie and after the church members have found out that more than $30,000 was stolen, the pastor in his message states that he is a thief – he has “stolen” messages and claimed them as his own.  At that point, other members in the congregation begin to stand up and state that they are also “a thief.”  One has stolen some of the church cleaning supplies for their own personal use; someone being paid by the church is misquoting their hours worked in order to get more money and so on.
**** spoiler alert ****
The movie portrayed no consequences for these actions.  But that does not bother me as much as the final confession…and I’m giving away the movie at this point…one of the main characters finally confesses to stealing the money to help their children and the pastor tells them, “we are not going to press charges.”

That’s fine, but the person still gets to keep their job in the church.  Not only that, the Detective ends up giving her the exact amount of money that was stolen because “he had it in an emergency fund and wanted to help.”

Yes, the Grace of God is manifold, but this movie was completely off base.  I showed this movie to our teen group and they immediately said, “So, you can steal, give the money back and God will reward you.”  That is absolutely not the message of God’s Grace.  Yes, the Detective did see his need for God, that he was a sinner just like everyone and wanted to grow closer to God and therefore experienced the Grace of God.  But the ending is a really bad one.  I would not recommend purchasing this movie.  If someone has it and you have the chance to watch it, it’s clean and family oriented and it definitely has a happy ending, but only according to the world’s definition.

This movie was offered to me for review.  I did not purchase it and I’m most definitely glad of that. (guest reviewer P.Howard, pastor's wife)

You can purchase it here:

DISCLOSURE: A complimentary copy was provided to facilitate this review. No compensation was received. Opinions are those of the reviewer.

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