What This All-Star Christian Movie (Do You Believe?) Gets Wrong About Christianity

Do You Believe?If you read the reviews of “Do You Believe?”—the new Christian film from PureFlix—you will get a pretty good idea of whether you’re the movie’s intended audience.

If my mind should generate some pious-sounding blurt, and if I should then find it enjoyable to inflict that blurt on other people, then sure, I might be saying something profound, compassionate, and truthful about God and human existence. On the other hand, I might just like how I sound when I say “The Lord loves you.” I might like how that lets me take up space in the room, how it lets me describe other people’s lives for them rather than listening to them, how it makes me come off as a good person in others’ eyes. I might actually be persecuted for my beliefs and that that is the most important instance of discrimination ever; on the other hand, perhaps I just enjoy thinking that I am.  Maybe I find it gratifying.

One can (and should) say many things about how structures of power affect decisionmaking within the Catholic church, but it’s definitely not an everyone-for-themselves endeavor. Many schools of theological thought emphasize the need to discern communally, and to listen to one’s neighbors rather than to caricature them.

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