January 12, 2014

Holy Ghost Power: 'The devil thought he had the keys.'

Robert Duvall: "One Sunday as I strolled down the main drag I noticed people flocking to a simple white clapboard building, the local Pentecostal church. All sorts of folks, young and old, were going inside, where I could hear the clink of tambourines, the rap of a snare drum and organ music rising. Might as well check this out, I thought. I slipped in and sat in back....

"I had never seen such an extraordinary outward expression of faith as I witnessed in that Pentecostal church. I had never seen church like that. People could barely contain the joy of their faith. Their faces were alive with it, imbued. Folks were on their feet, singing praise and clapping, shouting to God! The air crackled with the Spirit. It was nearly impossible to be a mere observer. I wanted to sing and shout with them. I couldn't explain it, but I knew the people in that church had a gift, a story to share. Somehow, someday, I would tell that story.

"What was most important to me was to make a movie where Christianity was treated on its own terms, with the respect it deserves. Hollywood usually shows preachers as hucksters and hypocrites, and I was sick and tired of that. I wanted to show the joy and vitality I had seen with my own eyes and felt in my heart and in my life, the sheer, extraordinary excitement of faith. I especially wanted to capture the rich flavor, the infectious cadences and rhythm of good, down-home, no-holds-barred preaching. The story seemed to flow from me. I wrote everywhere, in airports and hotels, on set between scenes, even in meetings. But writing a screenplay is one thing. Getting it produced is something else altogether. I took my script to Hollywood producers, and was met with the same response: "Bob, religion is not a subject our audiences want to watch." I disagreed. Why wouldn't audiences want to watch a movie about something that is foremost in so many people's lives?" How Robert Duvall Discovered His Faith While Making 'The Apostle'

HT HappyAcres

"This style of preaching is called "Tag Team Preaching" and is very popular at revival meetings in the South. The folks on stage with Robert Duvall are actual preachers, and some people actually got saved during the filming of this scene, including a crew member. Duvall was a stickler for accuracy in this film, and it showed. One of the best cultural films about Pentacostals ever made." -- YouTube

Posted by gerardvanderleun at January 12, 2014 10:45 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

I came to the Lord in a revival meeting similar to this one. A tent meeting near a river and when I accepted Jesus as my savior I was taken down to the river and baptized in the name of The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. A definite turning point for me, I've been walking in the Light ever since.

The energy, the exuberance, the sincere and almost innocent expressions of joy cannot be faked. Either you in ... or you out. No sittin' on the fence.

People of faith have a logical idea of what life is all about.

Posted by: chasmatic at January 12, 2014 11:49 AM

It's not so much that one accepts Jesus as his savior, but that he is accepted as his Lord and savior.

I've been intrigued by, and have taught on, the subject of history of Christianity for many years. I find that anyone who wishes to treat the subject as simply an academic endeavor is giving short shrift to the matter.

Pentacostalism is thought today to be an almost uniquely American approach to worship, but it is historically very vibrant, and today it is a driving force in Latin America and Africa. As the American 'main-stream' churches are losing membership hand over fist, with post-modernism deconstructing the real meaning from Christianity in an intellectually indolent way that seeks to be more stylish than honest, the number of evangelical and Pentecostal members grows.

The tide is starting to shift in other ways. Within the Anglican (Episcopal) church, for example, foreign bishops (particularly Uganda and Malaysia) are ordaining missionaries to carry the Good Word back to America and Europe.

Besides writing the screenplay and directing, Duvall eventually went on to produce the film after Hollywood money sources kept turning him down due to the 'controversial' nature of the film. When it was eventually screened at the Toronto Film Festival, it finally received the needed backing for distribution after competition welled up during the screening. It went on to bank some $21 million, a profit after its $8 million production cost.

The film never received a large following, but that wasn't the goal. It's a film that isn't for everybody, really, and the Sophisticati simply won't understand it, but it is a solid, challenging explanation of the power of faith within the body of sinners that is us all.

Posted by: Darkwater at January 12, 2014 5:35 PM

"It's not so much that one accepts Jesus as his savior, but that he is accepted as his Lord and savior."

Duly noted, thanks Nicholas.


Posted by: chasmatic at January 12, 2014 7:22 PM

I saw this film years ago and was impressed by the performances of all of the actors, which included Farrah Fawcett and June Carter Cash, and the quality of the script. It's a really solid film in all the ways that count, and at the time I remember thinking this was Duvall's best. No mistaking what it meant to him in how well done it was.

Posted by: Kerry at January 12, 2014 7:44 PM

@chasmatic: Not meant as a criticism, only an expansion for others. Those within the fold often use 'savior' as shorthand. Those outside will embrace the meaning of forgiveness of their sins without also taking on the obligation to repent and follow.

Posted by: Darkwater at January 13, 2014 12:05 AM

@chasmatic: Not meant as a criticism, only an expansion for others. Those within the fold often use 'savior' as shorthand. Those outside will embrace the meaning of forgiveness of their sins without also taking on the obligation to repent and follow.

Posted by: Darkwater at January 13, 2014 12:07 AM

@Nicholas - yeah, I figured that, and I agree about those seeking a free ride. For example, even within the fold there are many folks who don't get the entire meaning of Ephesians 5:22 - 33.

E me and we can converse more, rather than hijacking Gerard's thread.

Posted by: chasmatic at January 13, 2014 5:19 AM

Oh don't worry about that.

Posted by: vanderleun at January 13, 2014 8:35 AM

It was a great movie and one of our favorites. Those were people we knew.

Posted by: mushroom at January 13, 2014 5:05 PM

Thanks Gerard. OK, here goes:
Talking about the free ride, just get saved and you can do whatever you want as long as you ask forgiveness. The early Catholic church even had a scale of penance, something like you steal a guy's sheep, five gold pieces and say a Hail Mary; you kill a guy, well that'll cost ya twenty gold pieces and two Hail Marys. Don't worry, my son, I got God's ear on this one. Go and sin no more but when you do, bring cash.

I got news for you, pal
There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

The following verses from Ephesians instruct the husband and wife in a marriage. The shortcoming is that a lot of men hold this over their wives heads to force submission. What they don't get is that the demands on the husband in these verses are higher. God holds the husband to a higher standard than the wives. I suggest reading the entire book of Ephesians, Paul's letter to them.

Instructions for Christian Households:

21- Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.
22- Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.
23- For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.
24- Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25- Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her
26- to make her holy, cleansingb her by the washing with water through the word,
27- and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
28- In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.
29- After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—
30- for we are members of his body.
31- “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”
32- This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.
33- However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

I leave you with this:

Ps 19:14 Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord

Posted by: chasmatic at January 14, 2014 7:11 AM