|“Audacity – Love can’t stay silent“||Ray Comfort delivers a winsome defense of traditional marriage while making a persuasive gospel presentation in his new movie “Audacity.”|
“For some, the legalization of gay marriage is good news. While others find it difficult to grasp. Regardless of what anyone thinks about the issue, gay marriage has become a present day reality that is spreading across America. Soon, to one degree or another each of us will have to respond in our own way to this current cultural revolution.”
With these words, a newscaster frames a question for both the main character – Peter, a young man, young in the faith; and the audience. The real question: how can a Christian lovingly and appropriately proclaim the truth of the faith while still witnessing with love?
That question is gently and deftly answered as the movie unfolds. As expected, “Audacity” author and evangelist Ray Comfort adapts and applies his “Way of the Master” evangelism questions and techniques to the timely topic of so called “gay marriage.” At about 50 minutes, the movie is a bit of a “tweener”: quite a bit longer and more involved than a simple youtube type gospel presentation, yet quite a bit shorter than the average movie which typically runs 90 -120 minutes.
But Comfort manages to pack in everything that you would expect of a movie from a Christian evangelist: characters with struggles (both Christian and non-Christian), a story with a plot line – complete with twists; a number of clear and persuasive presentations of the gospel, a refutation of negative Christian stereotypes, identification of unfounded hostility toward Christians from those who are supposed to be enlightened and tolerate; and of course a clear unequivocal stand for traditional, one man one woman marriage and a re-enforcement of the Christian message that we can both stand for the truth of the Bible and present it in a clear, loving and winsome manner.
Comfort simultaneously defends two main themes through the use of plot devices that act as illustrations for his two main points:
1 Love can’t be silent when another is in danger
2 Disobedience to God’s commands (and sexual disobedience – straight or gay – is but one of those commands) puts you in mortal danger; and mortal danger is but a metaphor for eternal danger; and thus Christians must lovingly speak out.
As the movie unfolds viewers are presented with two variations of the “warning: danger” theme – involving a train and an elevator. Though they won’t be as easy to draw on a napkin as the familiar “bridge to life” gospel presentation, these illustrations fit well within verbal presentations, of which Comfort is a master. And as Peter the main character was challenged to move out of his comfort zone, this movie encourages and challenges Christians to stretch themselves and move out of their comfort zone and use these illustrations and “the way of the master” techniques to witness to the truth.
In short, Comfort has accomplished his goals well: winsomely presenting the biblical messages of the gospel of salvation; everyone’s free will to live in obedience or disobedience to God’s commands in a manner reminiscent of Moses setting before the Israelites the choice of life or death before they crossed into the promised land1; biblical and unbiblical sexuality, and the consequences for those who choose to ignore the warnings of those who “can’t stay silent.” This is a must see movie for every Christian who wants to be obedient to the great commission and be a more effective witness; as well as for every non-Christian: for even if you’ve heard the gospel before, this movie will surely challenge (if not dispel) a number of common misconceptions held by non-believers (and perhaps believers as well).
Duane Caldwell | posted 7/15/2015 | printer friendly version
16 For I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in his ways, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess.
17 But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them,
18 I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess.
19 This day I call heaven and earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live
20 and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. For the LORD is your life, and he will give you many years in the land he swore to give to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The movie appropriately points out what being “drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them” (v. 17) means:
“An idolater is someone who makes up a god in their own image. It’s a violation of the first and the second of the ten commandments, where God says, number one, you shall have no other gods before me. And the second commandment says don’t make yourself a graven image or a false god. We tend to make up a god in our minds that we can feel comfortable with. A god who doesn’t mind adultery or fornication, homosexuality, lying and stealing. And we cuddle up to that snuggly little god we feel comfortable with, but it’s not the God we have to face on judgment day.”
Ray Comfort – Audacity