My good friend Brandon Fibbs has a characteristically thoughtful review in Christianity Today of a new documentary called Lord Save Us From Your Followers from writer-director Dan Merchant.
Merchant’s documentary turns on a deceptively simple question: Why is the gospel of love dividing America? Christianity, he contends, is far more interested in the “gospel of being right” than the gospel of Jesus Christ. Fed up with the strident language and angry rhetoric that have come to define modern Christendom, Merchant, a veteran of the entertainment industry, set out to explore the flashpoint of faith and culture in America.
Fibbs says that
What makes the film so powerful is its intractable ability to embrace both the baby and the bathwater. This is a film made by a follower, and therein lies its unique musculature….”If the first half of the film is showing how we’re missing the mark,” Merchant says, “the second half is really an examination of who we’re trying to be. If (the world) wants to criticize (Christians) for the things we do wrong, we should accept it and apologize. But let’s also be honest that that is not the whole picture….” [The film] also reveals Christians acting in ways that bring honor to the God they serve, earning the respect of all those around them. Rather than using the Bible as a weapon, these believers use it as a salve, and the response is as simple as it is astonishing. Suddenly Christ and Christians are synonymous again. Says Merchant, “Let’s be so like Christ that others say, ‘You can always count on the Christians when they come around.’ I’d love for us to be that. That’s how Jesus did it.”
I was very touched by Fibbs’ description of Merchant’s open and honest communication and spiritual generosity and look forward to seeing the film.