Today my husband and I sat down to watch a very thought-provoking DVD, Father of Lights, produced by Darren Wilson of Wanderlust Productions. The DVD cover asks, “If God could be filmed, what would He look like?” … and what I saw was somewhat unexpected. I will give you my review after all the preliminary “stuff” required of a movie review.
(My initial reaction upon reading what you are about to read was mostly nervousness about what I had gotten myself into … but if you’ll bear through this part, I am excited to share what I learned through this documentary.)
FATHER OF LIGHTS chronicles the journey of filmmaker Darren Wilson and his team as they fearlessly travel the globe, far from the daily existence of the typical evangelical believer in the West. By thoughtfully documenting the stories of extraordinary believers and candidly filming miracles, visions and other supernatural occurrences, Wilson engages viewers in modern day examples of the true nature and character of God.
Wilson gives honest access to his own spiritual questions as he tackles the religious misconceptions he has struggled with throughout his life. “I went into making this film by asking the simple question: who is God? I wanted to know His character, His personality, and who He truly is. To answer this question, we had to peel back the many layers of religious garbage that has been passed onto him through generations. That He is angry. Vengeful. Wrathful. And in general, that He doesn’t like you very much. The truth, as you will see vibrantly in this film, is that He is the most loving, compassionate, and wonderful Father you can imagine.”
Wanderlust Productions is a video production company focusing on creating content for various media that highlights, informs, and is designed to spiritually stretch our audience. Created by Darren Wilson, Professor at Judson University, Wanderlust’s focus is on telling stories that inspire and agitate, that are unwavering in their honesty yet are emotionally compelling. While our content will always be Christian in nature, we are not afraid to explore themes, concepts, or areas that may be considered “risky” by the Christian establishment. Wanderlust prides itself on its willingness to put the story above the message. That being said, the message will never waver.
So, this film put me out of my comfort zone … In fact, my husband and I decided to NOT have our children watch the film with us even though it is a “Christian” documentary as there are themes in it that we just aren’t familiar with … like sharing Jesus with people at a NYC night club or witnessing to the self-proclaimed “freaks” on Venice Beach in California (there are also scenes of healings and prayers for personal prosperity, which without wanting to judge anyone who participates in these things, we just don’t practice personally). And yet, as we watched with an open mind, we realized that Jesus works in many ways and through many people – not just the nicely dressed ones in our denomination who carry their nice study Bibles to Sunday School each week and wouldn’t dare to enter an establishment considered “sinful” or “wicked”.
Again, keeping an open mind, we watched on … and learned of people who like this former bank vice president who got a hold of Jesus and sold all he had … and with a few suitcases, his wife and 3 children moved to China to serve God. He ended up establishing an orphanage for disabled children who are considered “undesirable” … and to hear these people talk about how they LIVE OUT their pro-life stand – believing that because of God, all life is valuable, the tears just streamed down my face. I can’t imagine this … and yet, these people have done this – because they LOVE as Jesus loved – the lame, the blind, the orphan and the widow:
There is a somewhat strange Christian man in India who says God speaks to Him (again, out of my comfort zone) … but God told him to find a man in orange with a white beard … and he found this man – a maharaja, a guru:
And this guru, not much different than the Ethiopian eunuch in his chariot in the desert in the book of Acts, was seeking God … the TRUE God .. the REAL God … not just this god of Rowana (?) that he was dedicated to serve by his parents as an infant – a god who expected him to be perfect. And because of the God-appointed meeting of these 2 men, a Christian and a Hindu, this guru prayed to receive Christ and now shares Jesus with all his followers!
There’s more – so much more … what I think impacted me most was hearing and seeing the persecuted Christians from Iraq, Pakistan, and other places give testimony, showing the burns and wounds that had been afflicted on them because they would not recant believing in Jesus Christ. One man said it best: there is a conflicted church and a comfortable church. The conflicted church are the persecuted ones; they are strong, hold together, and would DIE for Jesus willingly – and have suffered for His name’s sake. The comfortable church is climate-controlled, contented, often judging and devouring each other instead of unifying and loving each other, and not willing to attend or do anything that might inconvenience them.
The overwhelming theme of the DVD is God’s love … God loved us while we were yet sinners and loves us still when we become saved sinners. While He must judge sin and those who reject His son (a theme also mentioned in this DVD), His love is such a predominant part of His character and much of the New Testament seeks to explain it to us. I’m not so sure I even yet still fully comprehend it …
I am giving away a copy of this DVD if you’d like to see it for yourself. Just leave a comment – and I’ll choose a winner on November 3 (Saturday).
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