The secular world hates miracles — they prove God is real. And those who resent God really have detested one film this summer. After all, crafting a triumphant story of Christian victory over political correctness threatens haters’ dark view of reality.
In the entertainment media, the movie was reviled. Instead of reviewing it, film critics mocked its message. “Every bit the proselytizing lecture promised by its title, God’s Not Dead 2 preaches ham-fistedly to its paranoid conservative choir,” leered the movie website Rotten Tomatoes.
“God’s Not Dead 2 is filled with a sense of paranoiac persecution and seething resentment towards secular public schools, the ACLU, government interference and those who don’t care for ‘Duck Dynasty,’” sneered RogerEbert.com.
“God’s Not Dead 2 is another orgy of delusion and martyrdom,” jeered Felix Vasquez on the review site Cinema Crazed.
But there was one problem – the movie-going public loved it. After a moderately successful run in theaters last spring, its DVD and pay-for-view release was met with nationwide enthusiasm. “God’s Not Dead 2,” begrudgingly admitted Variety, “a sequel to the 2014 Christian drama ‘God’s Not Dead,’ debuted at #2 on the overall disc sales chart and #3 on the Blu-Ray disc chart.”
Such great news came after massive efforts to bury the film – to keep it from the viewing public and certainly away from decision-makers. For example, when moviemakers attempted to promote it in Cleveland during the Republican National Convention, the enormous billboard they’d bought was abruptly cancelled! Promoters had arranged for it to be draped over a multi-story building facing the convention center. Why was it blocked? The sign featured a line from the film, “I’d rather stand with God and be judged by the world, than stand with the world and be judged by God.”
That was deemed “too incendiary.” After months of negotiations and logistical arrangements, the billboard company abruptly refused to post the message just before the convention. Their refusal became a national news story – a reminder of how fragile the right to express faith in an increasingly secularized America has become. The attention it generated prompted “Saturday Night Live” to mock the film on national TV.
Millions were offended by what Mike Huckabee called an “unnecessarily raunchy skit”– “God Is A Boob Man.” There were calls for a boycott of the show.
“I have nothing against boycotts,” wrote Huckabee in an opinion piece for the Fox News website, “and would never dissuade individuals from deploying them — it’s a free country after all. But sometimes our boycotts generate publicity and promote the very things we disagree with.
“I think there is a better way than mere boycotts: I’m a big supporter of the buycott. That is, combining a boycott of the things we don’t like with the patronizing of those groups or individuals who are doing things right.”
Yes, it was offensive that “Saturday Night Live” took some real shots at such a righteous movie. “It’s the same old tired liberal narrative that if you don’t agree with a radical departure from the norms of history regarding marriage and support a total upheaval of its definition, you’re a ‘hater’ or a ‘bigot,’” wrote Huckabee. “You would think that critics of Christianity could come up with something original, or at least funny, but it doesn’t appear they can.
“If we don’t agree with the messages coming out of Hollywood, we need to buycott the good and show studios and filmmakers alike that we will put our money behind those who make films that promote biblical truth.
“That’s why I’m urging believers across America to support “God’s Not Dad 2.” The more successful a film like this is, the more insignificant will be the smears. And, trust me, nothing irritates the irreligious Left more than when Christians are successful in getting their message out.”
And it began. In Nashville, a local advertising company made the decision to support the movie by donating a billboard. Nationwide, outside advertising for God’s Not Dead 2 sprang up in cities across America.
That was nothing short of miraculous, says advertising executive Ike Wingate. He’s the one who donated the Nashville sign. “When I learned that the ad copy reading ‘I’d rather stand with God and be judged by the world, than stand with the world and be judged by God’ was deemed ‘way too incendiary,’” he was astonished.
“I was floored,” he revealed in a guest column for the news site WND. “As someone who believes in both freedom of speech and freedom of religion, the fact that God can even be viewed as incendiary is beyond my comprehension. The idea that our society and the political-correctness machine has put the very Creator of the universe into the same category as hate speech or racial slurs is appalling.
“We have a duty not to stand idly by.”
“Over and over, it seems, freedom and tolerance is OK as long as you aren’t expressing a Christian point of view.
“So I was moved to make a very small gesture never meant to be known outside my small network of friends.
“Out of the blue I was getting a call from a reporter,” he related in his WND column. “Apparently it’s newsworthy when a company isn’t offended by God or paralyzed by the fear of being seen as politically incorrect. It’s truly a sad state of affairs and a pretty low standard.”
His gesture caught the attention of other billboard companies. “Eventually, 16 different outdoor advertising companies joined in and donated space from Dallas to Detroit, from Atlanta to Oklahoma City to St. Louis,” he writes. “That is an opportunity only God could have created. He didn’t need me to make that known, but He chose to use me in that capacity for some reason. To Him be the glory. Not me, not our company.”
And the miracle continued – as the film soared during its DVD release, beating every other new release except the highly advertised “Angry Birds.”
America is still buying God’s Not Dead 2.
DVD buyers are taking its message to heart.
They are sharing it with their friends.
This is a great family film. Its miracle could change your life.
God’s Not Dead 2 is now available on Blu-ray™ combo pack and DVD as well as on cable pay-per-view channels and in video stores — and even at Walmart.