Sunday, April 03, 2011

I Heart Revolution

Last Thursday, together with some other churches in town, we promoted a showing of Hillsong United's documentary film, "I-Heart Revolution".

To summarize the film, it breaks down into 3 parts:
  1. Injustice, poverty and human suffering that is rampant in our world.
  2. The solution, the remedy is Jesus Christ.
  3. Because #2 is true, we as the body of Christ can and should do something about #1.
The film actually had very little to do with the Hillsong United band and their music and was more about what God worked in their hearts over 2+ years touring around the world, during which time they became aware of many significant world issues such as poverty, human trafficking, and other human suffering - and how this stands in such great contrast to those who live in abundance and have little or no awareness or concern about these things.

The film is essentially their message which they seek to communicate, which is that caring about individuals and showing them the love of Christ is something that is revolutionary, something which honors God and is an essential part to our calling as the body of Christ.

There were parts of the film, when they were talking about human suffering when I was on the verge of tears, and I could hear people around me in the theater crying. As a parent, the idea of children suffering is something that makes me very sad, and I know that for some people, the film would be too intense for them to handle. In fact, in the film, one of the things they mentioned is that we have a tendency to harden our hearts to the suffering around us, because if we would empathize with all the suffering in the world, it would simply be too much for us to handle; we would go mad - and in a way, this film was a small window into that feeling. In light of this, you realize how amazing it it that God does exactly that.

Here are some quotes from the film which sum up its essence:
  • "You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know" - William Wilberforce
  • "Injustice and indifference go hand in hand"
  • "The church is known for what we are against. The problem is that too often the things we are against are petty compared to the incredible suffering and injustice that takes place in the world. We have a tendency to make a big deal out of small things, and a small deal out of big things."
I am studying the OT prophets this semester in my theology studies, and Amos especially deals with how much God cares about human suffering and injustice, although these are topics which are dealt with a lot in the prophets. So, for me personally, this film resounded with a lot of things I have been reading lately - including other books like Crazy Love and Generous Justice - and a general movement I see in the Church towards caring about social justice and caring about people who are suffering, realizing that the Gospel is more than just a "get out of hell free card", and that walking with God is about more than just reading your Bible for 5 minutes a day and praying and going to church, but actually being part of God's mission here on earth.

I you have the chance to see it - I would definitely recommend it. It certainly changed how I think about Hillsong, in a positive way. It is 2 hrs long, and some parts might be a bit self-indulgent - but it is definitely worth watching.

Have you seen the film? What did you think?

What does the LORD require of you but to do justice,
and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?
(Micah 6:8 ESV)


  1. Balázs Kiss4:53 PM

    Hey there,
    Although I was not able to watch the film with you guys, I watched it today at the college.
    It's really very stunning. Especially for those people, like me, who really have seen that face of the world too, not just heard about it earlier and realize, that we act just like you said, against those empathy. It is so so so true, what the movie says in the first part, that we consider this life a race. And sadly I am surrounded by that idea more than you can sometimes imagine. People are really selfish, and shield themselves from feeling sympathy with other people, and although they tend to become one with the crowd, follow the fashion, and mainstream stuff, they feel nothing, but only for those who are close to them.
    It is really someting I often forgot, to act, like how Jesus would do, like if I help to somebody, or even if I just interact, love them with taking my ego out of the picture, and loving without questioning, and show them the love of God, not the personal needs of myself.
    It is a really tough movie, and still have to gather my thoughts after watching it, but it is really a "window-opener" for people like me.
    So originally I just wanted to thank you guys drawing this film to my attention, it is a very hard, but worthy experience to watch this movie.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Balázs. I'm glad to hear the film had a positive impact on you. I had the same feeling after watching the film - that I had to take a while to process it and gather my thoughts. I would really like to watch it again, and plan to buy some copies for the church when the DVD comes out this summer.