Since 2003, Sherwood Pictures has been trying to bridge the gap between Christian entertainment and the mainstream entertainment industry. With each film (Flywheel, Facing the Giants, and Fireproof), the production company that started at Sherwood Baptist Church in Albany, GA has made great strides toward changing the perception of Christian films. Often thought of as hokey, low quality, and doing a little too much to force the issue, the majority of faith-centered productions have been quickly dismissed by mainstream consumers. But with their newest film, Courageous, it seems Sherwood Pictures may have finally found the formula to dismiss those negative stereotypes.
Finally opening up the cast to more outside talent, Sherwood addressed many of the "poor acting"complaints from their previous films. While there will likely be no Oscar nominations for acting, the acting talent in Courageous is heads above any other film they have done. With more humor, better music, more action, and a more mainstream storyline, the Christian element of the film seems much more a part of the story than other films where it feels awkward as if the writers were trying to fabricate a plot around a point they were trying to make.
The plot of Courageous centers around four friends that work together as police officers in the local sheriff's department. When tradegy strikes one of their families, they are all forced to assess their faith, their roles within their families, and their commitment to do what they know is right. While the story constantly pulls on the heart strings of parents and focuses on the importance of the role of the father, the principles of the movie are truly universal and can be applied in the life of any Christian.
Be intentional. Everything you do should be on purpose. If you casually "allow" anything to happen in your life, or particulary within your family, you are opening yourself up to many dangers and pains that could very easily be avoided. Since we will all one day be accountable for the decisions we make (or choose not to make), it is vital that we are very intentional about our long term plans as well as our daily actions.
Be just. It is much easier to do avoid doing wrong than it is to do what is right. It can be very difficult to confront injustice, hold others accountable, and stand up for what is right in the face of temptation, danger, and our own selfish desires. However, we are called to do the right thing. We should always seek justice, even though it is rarely easy.
Be courageous. While we are not all called to dodge bullets and take on violent criminals like the police officers in the movie, it takes courage for all of us to stand up for our faith. If we are to proclaim the name of Jesus the way we are called to, we will suffer persecution in a variety of ways. Far too often, those threats of persecution are enough to keep us from living out our faith the way we are supposed to.
You will laugh. You will cry. You will clinch your seat when the action scenes become tense. If you can do all of those things in one movie, you've got yourself a winner.
Support Sherwood Pictures. Watch Courageous. Live courageously.