Movie Review: Persecuted

Facebook-ProfilePicPersecuted is the new faith-based action thriller due to be released in theaters tomorrow, July 18th. Cinematically and artistically, the film is engaging and exciting.

Christian evangelist John Luther refuses to support a sweeping religious reform, despite the urging of powerful political friends. When he won’t cooperate, these “friends” set him up to look like a murderer. Luther’s real “crime” is standing for biblical truth alone and not agreeing to accept all religions as equally valid. The situation he finds himself in, unfortunately, appears to be the direction the United States is heading if we do not work together to protect the First Amendment rights we now enjoy.

Apparently, the film was designed for a crossover audience, an audience composed of both Christians and non-Christians. I believe the producers hope to reach moviegoers who would stay away from blatantly Christian, or so-called “preachy” films.

God often uses tools like this as a stepping-stone to faith for people who would never enter a church or attend an event labeled “Christian.” At one time, I was one of them, so I can’t fault the filmmakers for trying to reach their audience in a way that could open the door to further discussions about true faith and our First Amendment rights. However, since the evangelist keeps talking about “the gospel,” I expected to hear the name of Jesus mentioned and perhaps an overview of the gospel message.james 7

Overall, this is a compelling movie, and I recommend it. Believers will find themselves challenged, especially during the final scene of the movie, to examine their own faith and ponder what they would do if someday they faced persecution for claiming the name of Christ.

We interviewed Daniel Lusko, the producer of Persecuted on Heritage of Truth TV. You can view the interview here.

Quiz: If Religious Persecution Came, How Would You Do?

thorns ashamed 4

Are We Ashamed of

Jesus Christ?

Religious freedom and religious persecution are hot topics right now in the United States, as evidenced by our interviews with Todd Starnes last week and Daniel Lusko today. Charles Stanley even invited attorney Kelly Shackelford to speak about it on In Touch during the July 4th weekend. All of this talk about persecution got me thinking. So I put together a quiz to help us evaluate just how much we value our Christian faith. Why not take a few minutes to consider how important your faith is to you?

Directions: Answer as honestly as you can, according to the following scale. Then add up your score at the end. Perfect score: 60 points

5 = Definitely
4 = I believe so.
3 = It could go either way.
2 = I don’t think so.
1 = No way.

1. Would you be willing to die for your faith?
2. Would you willingly go to prison for your faith?
3. Would you stay faithful to Jesus Christ even if it would endanger your children?
4. Would you stand strong in your faith even if meant your family would starve?
5. Would you take a severe beating rather than deny Jesus Christ?
6. Would you refuse to deny Jesus Christ even if denying Him was the only way to keep your job?
7. Would you expose yourself to public ridicule for the name of Jesus?
8. Would you risk rejection by sharing the gospel with a friend who needs to know Jesus?
9. Would you openly pray before a meal in a restaurant?
10. If someone who mocks Christianity invites you to go somewhere during your church time, would you tell him you’re going to church instead of going with him?
Bonus (10 pts.): Could you clearly explain why you believe in Jesus (1 Peter 3:15)?

How did you do? None of us knows for sure how we’d act in hypothetical situations. It’s easy to romanticize and think we’d willingly die for our faith. “I would never deny Jesus Christ!” we say. But how often do we deny Him in small ways?

One thing is certain. If we aren’t willing to stand up for the name of Jesus and the truth of the gospel now while we’re free, then we are unlikely to remain faithful under persecution. It’s something to think about – and act on – while we still have the freedom to do it.

I just know I don’t want Jesus to deny me before His Father in heaven, so with God’s help I won’t deny Him here on earth (Matthew 10:33). What about you?

Jeanne Gowen Dennis © 2014

Copyright © Jeanne G. Dennis