The Christian movie industry has often been maligned, and in many cases justifiably so. There are, however, those seeking to up the industry game and provide Christ-based films via major market media with enhanced watch-ability and content.
When you think of Christian movies, you may think of Kirk Cameron, crying fathers or the ill-advised Nicholas Cage version of Left Behind. Transition Studios is out to change that paradigm with the documentary, American Gospel: Christ Alone.
American Gospel seeks to accomplish numerous goals and does so quite successfully. First and foremost, the movie presents the Gospel of Jesus as central to the identity of the church. The film is exceptionally creative and straightforward in outlining what the Gospel is and why it is sufficient.
Having established this truth, the film moves forward to expose many Westernized ideas that what God desires for us is the Gospel plus something else – as if the Gospel itself is insufficient.
Stemming from this dangerous heresy are many strands of what has come to be known as the “Prosperity Gospel.” The film explores the journeys of various individuals who have bought into the “Gospel plus” mentality and fallen to the siren song of the Prosperity Gospel itself.
Featured among these stories are those who have struggled with the idea of a good God in the face of a broken world. For example, a seemingly healthy atheist couple encounters an incurable disease. A man who comes to faith almost dies because he believes God should heal him. A man with a broken body seeks physical healing and instead finds restoration for his soul.
Personal experience is placed alongside doctrinal fidelity and Scriptural verification of what the Gospel of the Bible truly is.
The most compelling highlight of the film is the story of Costi Hinn, nephew of renowned faith-healer and Prosperity Gospel proponent Benny Hinn. Costi tells of his active service to his uncle’s ministry and the difficulties he began to experience, as he compared what he saw in his daily involvement with Biblical truth.
American Gospel does an excellent job of warning about false teachers while still upholding the truth of the Gospel as beautiful and supreme. It is not a hit-piece on Prosperity Gospel preachers per se, but does help identify many vital players, phrases and ideas that easily infiltrate Christian bookstores, studies, pulpits, and churches.
The film is available on iTunes, Amazon, Vimeo, YouTube, and Google Play. More information is available at www.americangospelfilm.com.