The Second Chance

29 09 2006

Tonight I watched a movie called The Second Chance, and it was really good.  It stars Michael W. Smith and Jeff Obafemi Carr.  It’s about loving people and investing into a community, and how we sometimes lose sight of that.  I thought the movie was well-done (although I don’t claim to be a film critic).  The story is great.  It shows the contrast between a church in the ghetto and a mega-church in the affluent part of town.

Ken Taylor of TV Guide Channel said about it, “Whether you’re a believer or not, you can’t help but be moved by this film and its earnest message.”  I agree.  The movie paints a good picture of reality, both the good and bad parts of life.  Some people may get offended that there are a few curse words and that you get to see some of the shortcomings of the pastors, but in this case I think it makes it more real.  (I still would rather do without the bad language, but you do get to see how the character is trying to get free from it.)

I highly recommend it.  We found it at Blockbuster, so it is easy to find.  Not only is it a good story, but it may also make you look at your own life to see if you really love people or if you’re just “religious”.  Even if we do mostly love people, there may be some areas where we try to do right just because we’re supposed to but our heart isn’t in it.  Jesus wants us to be motivated by love and compassion.  The movie does a great job of illustrating that.

Now I’d like to offer a few thoughts that this movie sparked in me.  I’ll try not to include any spoilers, but if you plan to see it soon, you might want to come back to this after you see it.

We (meaning Christians) can sometimes get in the mindset of just giving money to fix social problems.  This is a good first step, but it’s only a step along the way of what we should do.  There are a lot of people around us who are lost and hurting, and they need to be loved and helped.  While money helps some problems, we all have problems that money cannot solve.  Love is a greater need in people’s lives than money.  We need to spend time with people, caring about them, helping them carry their burden, showing them the love of Jesus.

Sometimes we lose sight that not everyone lives as well as we do.  Almost all of us in America are prosperous compared to the rest of the world.  Most of us can keep plenty of food on the table and pay our bills, and most of us can afford luxuries that aren’t essential for living.  But even in our own country, there are people who don’t have enough money, and it’s not always their fault.  We should not ignore them nor expect the government to take care of them.

As a church grows, it can lose sight of what the ministry is all about.  I don’t necessarily have a problem with a big church or “megachurch”, as long as it still focuses on loving people and presenting the full Gospel.  We can get caught up in our programs and even in being “professional” (read: religious) with our presentation.  I’m not against programs or doing things well, but the focus always has to be on reaching out to people in the name of Jesus and showing them the way to Jesus.  The movie does a good job portraying this problem.  If we aren’t careful, we can get so caught up in growing our ministry that we are neglecting people.

In closing, I recommend the movie.  I know some people give Christian movies a bad reputation (and some might deserve it), but they aren’t all poorly made.  I’m not sure if this fully classifies as a “Christian movie” anyway.  (Plus it was distributed by Sony Pictures, which is not a Christian distributor.)  Anyway, what I’m saying is, don’t let other movies dissuade you from seeing this one.

Feel free to leave comments either on the movie or on the points I brought up…

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