'Do You Believe?' compels us to take up our cross

by Jerry Circelli

Correspondent

3/16/2015

 
 

In “Do You Believe?” a man carrying a cross down the road sets the stage for film. He asks another man, “Do you believe in the cross of Christ?” and follows it up with, “If you believe, then the question is, ‘What are you going to do about it?’” (Photo courtesy Pure Flix Entertainment)

In 2014, Pure Flix Entertainment — a Christian production company — made a bold statement with the labeling of its movie “God’s Not Dead.” And despite dismal reviews by popular critics, viewers proved the film studio right. Produced on a $2 million budget, “God’s Not Dead” has earned more than $62 million. Not bad for a film that Variety magazine characterized as a “typically ham-fisted Christian campus melodrama.”

Starting March 20, expect Pure Flix to set the critics talking again and to help the masses who saw “God’s Not Dead” delve even deeper into their faith. That’s the release date for “Do You Believe?” — a new film that tasks those who have already accepted Christ with a further challenge. Early in the film, a man carrying a cross along a road at night asks one of the lead characters if he believes in the cross of Christ. Once the man affirms that he does believe, he is further pressed: “If you believe, then the question is, ‘What are you going to do about it?’” 

That is actually the question for all of us who are interested in further exploring our faith and seeing this movie.

From what is termed a “God’s-eye view” later in the film, we see how lives intersect and discover that there is a divine plan in our lives. Often, like the characters in the film, we are too wrapped up in the challenges of everyday life to see that plan.

We follow the lives of more than a dozen seemingly very different people ultimately brought together along one path that involves accepting Christ.

The lives include a woman and her young daughter coping with homelessness; a husband and wife longing for children but dealing with infertility; a couple struggling to live past the death of a child; a soldier suffering with PTSD; a pregnant teen runaway; gang members discerning right from wrong; a paramedic punished for bringing Christ to a dying man; as well as a callous attorney and an uncaring physician.

Audiences will relate to the challenges many of these characters face and the transformation that takes place when they experience and accept the redemptive power of the cross.

What may come as a surprise, however, is what lies in store for them on the way to that road to redemption. Better fasten your seat belt.

The cast of “Do You Believe?” includes Academy Award-winner Mira Sorvino, Sean Astin, Alexa PenaVega, Ted McGinley and Andrea Logan White. Also starring are veteran actors Lee Majors and Cybill Shepherd. The depth of talent on this film also includes Brian Bosworth — a former collegiate and professional football star who recently rediscovered his faith and turns in a solid, moving performance.

The actors and storyline combine to make this a movie that might make you start thinking harder about God’s plan in your life and how you can follow it. That’s an important journey for all of us, but this movie could help get us moving in the right direction.

What I found most remarkable about this film was a strong urge to find a small, wooden pocket-sized wooden cross tucked away in a drawer in my home and to put it in my pocket. Such a cross appears often in the film and characters take comfort in holding it closely or passing it on. I wanted that cross, too, and the forgiveness, grace and unconditional love that Christ shows us with it. See this film and you’ll likely go home searching for your cross, too.

In 2014, Pure Flix Entertainment — a Christian production company — made a bold statement with the labeling of its movie “God’s Not Dead.” And despite dismal reviews by popular critics, viewers proved the film studio right. Produced on a $2 million budget, “God’s Not Dead” has earned more than $62 million. Not bad for a film that Variety magazine characterized as a “typically ham-fisted Christian campus melodrama.”

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