In researching for a movie script I was writing about a Jewish family, I became more familiar with a subculture within the subculture of Christianity that I was only vaguely familiar with, the Messianic Movement. I also discovered a battle going on between Messianic Jews and those who embrace pure Judaism, which denies that Jesus is the long awaited messiah. The movie, Sound of the Spirit, gives us a glimpse into that conflict.
First let me manage your expectations of the potential pleasures awaiting you by explaining what this movie was not. There are no prominent billboards bearing the message "Jesus is the only way to Heaven" in neon lettering, although a young girl's belief in Jesus drives the plot. It is also not a swashbuckler action thriller. If you only like movies which trigger adrenalin rushes, then I can tell you that this one is not for you. The conflict unfolds through conversation and conflicting ideas, which for this particular type of doctrinal war is realistic for civilized people. Dialogue based movies are not usually strong at keeping people's attention, and this one is over two hours long. I believe scenes could have been shortened or omitted to step up the pace of the movie. It was not boring for me, but it also was not one of those movies that you hate to arrive at the end. I think that satisfied viewers either have to be curious about this battleground or be one of the participants in it to have a true appreciation for the content. If you're a believer in Jesus Christ, I truly believe you should be curious and caring about the Jewish people, especially those who embrace the same savior as you do.
A salient message of this film is that Jews who accept Jesus as messiah are still Jews and that insightful Christ followers do not attempt to purge people of their Jewishness after introducing them to Jesus. Another theme is that tolerance should prevail and we all should allow others to pursue a relationship with their Creator without disrespecting them for holding different beliefs than our own. The plot is designed to not offend people but to entice them to take down their shields of self defense, so that meaningful interchange of ideas can ensue. Exposing the elephant in the middle of the room is a good thing. It is time for these two groups to see that they both serve the same God and that loving each other is not optional. There is a conflict here that will not go away. In Matthew 10:34, Jesus said that He came to bring a sword and not peace and that he would set brother against brother and father against son. He certainly did, although the reference of the sword involved separation and not violence. This movie does a great job of showing what happens within a family when one Jewish brother finds Jesus Christ and another brother rejects Him and division ensues. It also shows how those two opposing factions can come to understand that their true enemy is not each other. We are all just frail human beings doing the best we can to find truth and beauty in a world where deception and ugliness abound. This movie will enhance our search for nobility.
Bottom line, I liked this movie, and I recommend it highly for those who enjoy cerebral and touchy/feely flicks. I think it could have been improved, but Monday morning quarterbacks and movie critics always use that line. At some point these parties need to arrive at the conclusion that they can explore truth together without fear of offending God. And perhaps they will realize that finding a consensus of truth is a mission impossible but that love never fails and that people's similarities far outweigh their differences, especially in the arena of our Creator.