Facing the Giants
Anyway, the movie is about a burned-out high-school football coach who is on the verge of losing his job because of his losing football team. And his wife can't get pregnant. Oh, and his car barely runs. (Oddly enough, the guy only makes $24,000 a year and his house is nicer than anything we have ever dreamed of living in. I made just under that while Chad was in grad school and our house looked nothing -- NOTHING -- like this guy's does.)
Anyway, on the brink of despair, the coach walks out into the woods by his house and gives his life to God. He then changes his coaching style from focusing on winning games to giving glory to God -- whether the team wins or loses.
I didn't want to give away too much about this movie, but it is pretty predictable, so what the hey. The team ends up winning the state championship. Of course it does.
Initially, I came out of the theatre feeling like I basically liked the movie. I liked the message of how drastically things in your life can change when your focus is on God instead of yourself. I could also appreciate the coach's wife's unwaivering faith through negative pregnancy test after negative pregnancy test. And if you like the idea of the little guy beating the big guy despite overwhelming odds, you might like the movie.
But after I thought about it a couple of days, here's what I didn't like. The movie promotes a concept that we see all too often in American Christian culture: If you give your life to God, your life will pretty much be perfect. Let's see what all happens to this guy:
- his team wins not one, but TWO state championships
- his wife, who has been told her only options for having children are in vitro or adoption, gets pregnant -- not once, but twice
- somebody anonymously gives the coach a brand-new truck
- his tough-guy, bad-attitude player gives his life to Christ, setting off a student body-wide revival
- he gets a raise
*POOF!* No more problems! See why you should be a Christian?
The truth is that many people out there sincerely give their lives to God but still can't have children or hang on to their marriages or their jobs.
I'm sure there are clusters of believers around the nation who have hope for this movie to spur a nationwide revival. Call me a pessimist, or maybe just a realist, but I can't see that happening. First of all, I don't know why non-Christians would go see this movie in the first place. Of the Christians who do go, I'm sure some will be uplifted and encouraged. But I'm afraid some will leave the theatre thinking their faith must be inferior since they still face major problems despite having given their lives to God long ago.
The producers of this movie likely wanted to send a message to America through "Facing the Giants" that if you give God control, he will do amazing things in your life. And I believe that's true. But I'd like to send this message back to the movie producers: Christ never promised us a problem-free life, or even happiness for following him. What we DO get is eternal life. That's where the perfect life will be -- not on this earth.
Two more notes: if you see this movie, watch for the token FBG (Funny Black Guy) and the come-from-nowhere star kicker named David who saves the championship game for the team against the reigning state champions, the Giants (David vs. the Giants...get it?)
I did have a great time with my new friends, though. Afterward we went to CozyMel's and briefly considered running away to Colorado. But we went home to our families instead.