Sunday Morning at the Movies | Part 1

If our Sunday morning services were a movie, could we say with a straight face it was adapted from the bestselling Book?

Intro (with music): Peace, Love, and Understanding.

Steve Dehner: When I was a kid, about age nine to about age twelve, I loved monster movies. And for the most part that meant the old monster movies, the old black and white ones we stayed up late to watch on Saturday nights. I remember watching the Mummy, the Count Dracula movies, the Wolfman movies, the Frankenstein movies, and so on. When I was ten, I picked up a copy of Mary Shelley's 'Frankenstein,' and thought, "This could be cool." Well, I was already reading Edgar Allan Poe, so I thought maybe it wouldn't be too hard. But it was. I came back to it again in eighth grade and I read it then. It had been many years of seeing very many versions of the Frankenstein story done in the movies, from 1931, James Whale's version, right up into the 1950s, with the Hammer Horror films versions with Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee. So I was surprised, not knowing the original story, at how much it differed from the movies -- maybe I should say how much the movie is different from the book. I think we've all had the experience of reading a book and then seeing the movie, with a certain amount of expectation that it would follow closely. But we know that there would be changes made to the way the story was told, to the number of characters, and things like that. A lot of us know that because film is such a different medium than writing, many of those changes simply have to be made. It's very difficult, for example, to portray inner monologues in a film without a voiceover that just goes on and on. People also understand that you might have to reduce the number of characters, or you might have to reduce the number of scenes and other kinds of compromises that might have to be made -- because film is more limited in scope than a book is. But when I read Mary Shelley's Frankenstein, I was struck by the differences. The whole structure of the story is different. The book begins in the Arctic, where a man named Walton is writing letters to his sister, and tells about taking on a passenger, a man who was found wandering in the tundra -- in the wilderness, out on the ice, and he's on the verge of death. And it turns out to be Victor Frankenstein, who then begins to tell the whole story of his life to Walton, who's writing to his sister in these letters. Then, Victor's voice takes over the telling of the story. And he talks about his college days and his early studies, and how he became obsessed with reanimation, bringing the dead back to life. But the things that you don't find in the book are, for example, a crazed mob surrounding Frankenstein's castle at the end and then killing the monster. You don't have a mute monster. In the book, the creature not only learns to talk, but he actually becomes educated. And he's an extremely thoughtful person. And he has a lot of complaints against his creator. In this sense, the book is actually rather philosophical, even theological. There are even parallels with Genesis, when he becomes so lonely and isolated due to his disfigurement that he demands that Victor make him a female partner for life, a wife -- the Bride of Frankenstein, as they called it in the movies, but actually the bride of the creature kind of parallels the Genesis story a little bit. 'It's not good for man to be alone,' therefore woman was created. Sometimes it turns out that your movies are very different from the book on which it purports to be based. And that is what I am going to present to you today, a movie that's very different from the book on which it purports to be based.

The movie I want to talk about today is about church, and the whole experience of going to church on a Sunday morning. And I just want to use this as a sort of metaphor so that we can compare the movie and the book. We could call our movie "Sunday, Sunday" -- you know, kind of like the Mamas and the Papas' song "Monday, Monday." I like this song. So let's call ours "Sunday, Sunday," because "On Any Given Sunday" is already taken, as is "Any Given Sunday" -- that's already taken. So let's go with this: "Sunday, Sunday" -- "Sometimes it just turns out that way."

As in any movie, there is a location and a set. And our location, our set, is a church building. It's got a parking lot. It's got, in my opinion, a kind of ugly modern architecture. But I guess I'm comparing it to cathedrals or something like that -- or even charming little buildings in New England with the steeple and the cross on top, and the beautiful fall foliage surrounding it. On Sunday morning, we go into the building, and we pass through a lobby, we might be getting coffee, or a latte, or a doughnut, or a cookie. And we will probably be greeted by some ushers as we go into the sanctuary. Typically, the job of the ushers is to greet people, and then receive their offering later when the service has begun. We enter this room called the sanctuary, at least in a lot of churches, that's what it's called. This is the room in the building where the gathering is held, the church service, the Sunday morning worship service, you know, whatever, whatever other name may be attached to that, it's, it's the big show, it's the main event. It happens in this room, the sanctuary.
The sanctuary is furnished with pews, the pews are all usually in a line, sometimes the they sit at a little bit of an angle, but they all face what is commonly regarded as the front of the room. And at the front of the room, you will have some kind of platform, or a stage, or at least an open area. That is where the people who are conducting the Sunday morning service will conduct the service. That is where the music will be played if there's music. That is where the singing will be done if there's singing. That's where the choir or the band will be. And it is where the pulpit will be, and the pulpit is where the minister preacher, pastor priest, whatever name you might want to use, will deliver the message, the sermon, the homily, whatever name may be attached to that.

The sanctuary is a room whose basic layout has not changed since probably the third or fourth century when Christians first started using buildings, which in many cases were pagan temples, and then building their own buildings. The sanctuary's basic layout is that of a lecture hall, or a pagan temple. It's built to gather a group of people to witness ritual, and to passively audit a lecture. There's a place on one end of the room for those who participate and conduct the ritual and the lecture. And the rest of the room is seating for people who face them, and listen to them, and watch them. This perpetuates a very consistent and persistent notion of the kind of gathering that the church is having in this room. Most of the people are passive, and they're all facing, looking at, listening to what happens at the "front" of the room, where the altar was, or the pulpit was, or the singers, musicians, and especially the vested authority of the clergy was enacted. So the room is built this way. And it's designed this way. And it's meant to have really just one kind of meeting. Because rooms are designed this way, meetings that are meant to have a more participatory nature, when they're held in the sanctuary, don't work very well. People have to figure out a way to make a circle, people have to sit backwards in the pew, or sideways in the pew, or sit at an angle in the pew, or sit on the backs of the pew so that people can face each other. They want to make a circle because that's what you normally do in a family or a business meeting. But it's so obvious that the room is not designed for that, because church services are not that.

(Musical bridge)

As the service begins, there will be some congregational singing, typically. That will also sometimes be some people's favorite part of the service, the greeting, that is when people stand and greet each other. In some churches, there'll be more of a standard greeting, like, "Peace be with you," "And also with you," or something of that nature -- "Bless you."

Another thing that will happen in the service is usually the offering will be taken. And churches, again, they do this very differently, some of them pass a basket, or they have a basket with a long arm, or they'll pass a kind of a bowl, or other kind of container around and people will drop in checks and cash and so forth. This is also pretty important to a lot of churches, because it is considered an act of worship, giving your money to support the ministry of the church is considered an act of worship. And then, probably some kind of announcements, if any announcements are made some time some churches leave that to the end. And then the sermon will be given, and that will be the centerpiece of any Protestant Sunday morning service or any other primary service -- if it's Saturday night, just the same.

This, by the way, is the plot of the movie. We can call it the order of service, if you will. But this is what's going to happen. So we've had the setting. And now we've basically had the storyline, come in, sit down, sing some songs, have a greeting, take the offering, sing some songs again, and have a sermon, then maybe sing another song or two, and then get up and leave. The interesting thing about this plot is it's the same every week. So if we're going to talk about this as if it were a movie, you can just watch it once and you'll basically know what it's going to be every week, because it's generally not going to change. Oh yeah, you could have a guest speaker, you could have guest musicians, you could have a special kind of service, you could have the kids come up and sing a song, you could have a Christmas service, or an Easter service, that sort of thing. But this is basically the script that we're going to follow every week.

Now, every movie has a cast. That's the people on screen in the movie. And hey, let's start with the extras. Those are the people sitting in the pews. Their job on Sunday morning is to show up, sing --stand up and sing when they're told to sing, and stop singing and sit down, and drop some money in the offering when it comes around, and then listen to the sermon, and then go home. That's most of the people. That's everybody in the pews, they're just extras, no speaking parts.

Then you have the supporting cast. That would be anybody who actually gets to contribute or say anything or do anything as part of the service. So maybe your ushers -- they'll definitely talk to people: you might count them as a supporting cast -- and people involved with the music. In a lot of churches, they just call that the worship team because music in the service has become synonymous with worship. So they just call it worship. I mean, worship is a lot of other things besides music, but that's the weird thing that's happened. So anybody who sings, anybody who talks, you know, introduces the song -- a lot of times people like to talk in between the songs -- and plays an instrument so forth. Those are the supporting characters.

The lead is always the person in the pulpit, the pastor, the priest, the minister, whatever you call it, some churches, they'll call him the bishop, they'll call him an apostle, you know, they'll have something a little more grandiose. But that is the lead role. This person -- just for our purposes, we'll call this person the pastor -- they will be the person in the pulpit: the preacher, the pastor, the priest, the minister, the Reverend.

It's a man in almost every church -- there's a few where this might be a woman. And he gives the sermon, which in Protestant churches is the central event, a Sunday morning service. Everything is built around the sermon. In the more liturgical services, it may not be as long, in particular, the Roman Catholic Church, it's built around the mass. And so the homily, the sermon, can be quite short. The pulpit really is something of a symbol for the teaching authority conferred upon the pastor by virtue of his calling, his education, his qualifications, his experience, and his ordination, which is a recognition by the denomination or the organizational authority over the local church that he is recognized as someone able to preach and teach from and about the writings of Scripture, or simply the official teaching of the church, organization, or denomination. Throughout the diverse spectrum of American Christianity, some pastors center authority in themselves. Then, some center it in the history, the tradition, and the creeds ,and the theologians. And then some others center authority in Scripture. And some will do some combination of one or more of all of these things.

The pastor is the star of the movie. And almost without exception -- and of course, there are exceptions, there are kinds of independent churches or traditions or denominations, which are the exception to what I'm about to say. But for the most part, whether people accept the designation or not, the pastor is a cleric. He is clergy, he has a special designation that is usually unique in the congregation. Nobody else does what he does, has the responsibilities that he has, or has the privileges that he has. And he has the ownership, the stewardship, if you will, of the pulpit. So he's unique in the congregation, and a lot of what he does he flies solo. He is, to a great extent, in many churches, someone who has more authority and responsibility and anybody else in the church. Sometimes it's really backward, where the polity of the church gives the pastor very little authority and all the responsibility: when things don't go, well he gets blamed. When they go well, he gets praise, but he's not really calling the shots because there's some kind of board of elders or deacons or trustees, who are kind of calling the shots behind the scene. It's not a great situation for pastors. But when they step into the pulpit, they assume the responsibility for what is taught, and what is preached from the pulpit.

I'm sorry to say a lot of pastors simply are not qualified to occupy this position. But even if they were, it really wouldn't matter, because the way that that job position is defined in most churches, is not according to the directives clearly given in Scripture. And for me, that's a problem, because the qualifications given in Scripture are personal and spiritual, okay? They're about who the person is. But in churches, the qualifications are educational, and skill-based, like, "Are you good at organization? Are you good at delegation?" It's very much like hiring a manager, or a CEO. Those kinds of qualifications. So if they are qualified, they're qualified with qualifications that are not required by scripture, and they might be very lacking in some of the qualifications that are required by scripture -- it's pretty messed up.
The biggest problem of all with the pulpit and the person behind it is that no one in all the churches throughout all the land in the United States of America bears more responsibility for the very sad condition of our churches than that person behind the pulpit. The pastor, the preacher, the minister. He is -- and it is a he most of the time -- has assumed the responsibility for teaching, and has proclaimed his authority to do it, and has stood on that authority to do it. Therefore, he does not have the option of passing the buck when it comes to figuring out how we ended up where we are. We ended up where we are because of the people leading our churches. Does that include leaders besides the pastor? It does. But in most churches, the pastor is the pastor, which means shepherd. He is the shepherd. And if he has failed to shepherd, it's his failure. Now, I know a lot of pastors don't like to be criticized. They don't think pastors should be criticized. They think they should just be supported, and loved, and praised. For example, Charles Spurgeon said:

"The church is not perfect. But woe to the man who finds pleasure in pointing out her imperfections, Christ loved his church, and let us do the same."

Well, that's got a number of problems, including the straw man that people criticize the church, or people in the church, with pleasure. It's not a pleasure. In fact, it's a pain. And it does, it comes with little reward, I guarantee you. I guarantee you. It's true. The church is not perfect, and none of us in the church are perfect. But this statement is designed to silence criticism. "Christ loved his church, let us do the same." Well, Christ loving the church, or our loving the church, does not mean that we don't point out problems, or discuss very serious problematic issues in the church, or hold one another accountable for our actions, and our inaction, for our words, and for our silence. For myself, I'm holding myself accountable for speaking about the things that I see, and accepting the criticism that will come back on me for that. If we pretend that the problems with the church lie in the pews, and not in the pulpit, we are not going to get to the heart of so many of the issues in our churches today. And I'm not going to shy away from talking about it. I know there's a strong sensibility that you don't criticize, you don't speak ill of the church, and you don't speak ill of the ministers, and so forth. But that privilege has not been well exercised or well used and and it has not served the church or the cause of Christ in any meaningful way. It has, in fact, just been a cover, just a protective cover to fend off criticism, to silence people like me. And my current mood is: No.

In many pulpits, the faith of the New Testament is heavily tainted with religious and philosophical and cultural ideas and beliefs that are squarely at odds with the faith of the New Testament. Now, for our purposes, this is a movie. So we're going to assume that the sermon -- what's actually being delivered there -- is awesome. They brought in Aaron Sorkin to write the sermon, right? He's just gonna knock it out of the park. It's gonna be dramatic. And when he gets to the end of the sermon, the music will swell. And everybody will sit up straight in their pews. And they'll move their shoulders around and their chests will be out a little bit. And they'll be filled with inspiration and enthusiasm and just full of the Spirit. Or, you know, I don't know, they brought in Aaron Sorkin, so it also may be designed to make everybody there feel terrible about themselves. That happens too. But let's just assume this is the best, because this is a movie you paid to get in. And this is the main bulk of the movie -- it's the sermon, right? It's all about the sermon, and the person giving the sermon. So let's just assume for our purposes, there isn't anything really wrong with it. It's awesome. However you define awesome, it's awesome. It's great. The style is great. The theology is sound, its use of Scripture is just spot on, appropriate, and disciplined, and well thought out, it's logical. It's artful, it's inspiring. For the purposes of our movie, we're going to say, the sermon, absolutely rocks. There's nothing wrong with that sermon, or the person giving it. Also, the music is just terrific. It is well played, well sung. The songs are are well chosen, they're popular, they're inspiring. And this is just for the purposes of imagining this movie. It's the music that you like, right now, some people like traditional songs and hymns. Some people like the more contemporary songs, choruses. But whatever that is -- or mix of them both -- you like loud music, you like a drum kit up on there, you know, and a guy playing bass, electric bass, and you like that a little more rockin? Or let's just say, Hey, your thing is a pipe organ from the 1930s. Okay, whatever it is. Just for the purposes of the illustration of this movie, the music is awesome, the perfect complement to the sermon and something that just raises the spirits of the people, and makes them feel connected to God, that they're just lifting their hearts up to him. And that's what's happening. It couldn't be better. It's a great sermon, and it's great music.

And you like the people. You know, when they're doing the greeting time there's people there you want to see. People are laughing, they're smiling. They're asking each other, "Hey, how are you doing?" Making plans to go to lunch after church. Let's just say this church is firing on all cylinders. And the people are there week after week, because they like this movie. It doesn't really change week after week. The only difference is the message that's delivered from the pulpit. And perhaps, if you're lucky, the selection of songs will be different as well. But the people there range from "Yeah, it's okay, I'll show up here every week," to, "This place is just the best place for me to be on Sunday morning. I'm getting everything I need and want out of church." If you go to a church like this, or that sounds like this, or you feel resembles this, or that you feel this way about -- well, you love it, too. It's doing everything you need it to do. It's doing exactly what you expect a church to do for you, and for the people there. Right.

So the question I have for you is, why are people leaving? Because they are. They're leaving in droves? And the answer that you give to that question is probably going to fall into just a few categories. One category of answer to that question is: the reason people are leaving is because there's something wrong with them. Or: the reason people are leaving, is because there's something wrong with the churches. And I want to be really clear here that when I say churches, I mean the local congregations, this little church building, this gathering on Sunday morning, that happens thousands of places all over this country, and thousands upon thousands of places all over the world every Sunday morning, is the local congregation. It's A church. It's not THE Church. And the way that I define THE Church is the universal Church. It's everybody everywhere, regardless of their denomination or their style of worship, or the name tag that they might wear, who believe in Jesus as God's Son and as the savior of humanity. Whatever that means -- it means a lot of different things to different people, but I'm just going to use that for right now. They believe in Jesus as the representative of God, that he perfectly represents who God is. Presumably the whole reason that we go to church on Sunday morning, is to worship this God. That's why we're really there. But we know there are other reasons, we know that people look for different things. And when they look for different things, things to church can't provide, they're going to be disappointed and they might leave. We also know, if we're honest with ourselves, that may many churches fail very many people in some very serious and significant ways. But when I ask the question, "Why are people leaving?" I'm not really asking about things that are seriously wrong in *some* churches. Because what I am going to propose to you is that there is a set of glaring problems present in *every* local congregation that conducts itself in the way that I have described. That's why I took great pains to say, "The pastor is great, his sermons are great, the music's great, the people there like it," okay?

I'm saying that even in a movie, where everything's all scrubbed up, nice and clean and sanitized, and there's no abuse, or mistreatment or meanness, or other kinds of serious problems that might go on in a church -- even when those things are absent, there is still something very much awry.

And here's what it is.

What we do on Sunday morning, in our local churches, is really an amalgamation. It's a conglomeration of practices, and rituals, and traditions that we have gathered around the event for, for the most part, hundreds of years -- Some of them are fairly recent, much more recent than a lot of people realize. Some of them go way back, not to the beginning, but to the very early centuries of the church -- that have brought us to a gathering of believers that looks nothing like the gatherings that Jesus called together, nor the gatherings that his followers called together, nor the gatherings held by the very first believers in Jesus in the first century. For some people, that's not a problem. For some people, they believe that the church evolves and develops in a way that's appropriate for the culture in which it lives. Well, I understand that point of view: the church does change. However, if I were to tell you that most of what we do on Sunday morning was introduced into Christianity from outside of Christianity, from outside the church, from the cultural norms and practices of Greco-Roman religion, would you feel the same way about it? If we found that the source of most of what we're doing on Sunday morning, did not come from the book -- it doesn't come from what we know about the earliest believers. It doesn't come from the things that were established by Jesus and his chosen disciples, the apostles. It doesn't come from that, but it actually comes from paganism. When I use the word paganism, I'm talking about the pre-Christian religions of the Greco-Roman culture in which it was born.

Another way of looking at it, rather than the idea that, "Well, it's to be expected that the church would develop and change and mature and gather traditions and practices that would be very different from the first century" -- Another way to look at that is to ask whether what was done at the beginning wasn't just appropriate to the culture but really could be applied universally, and had strengths and had very important components that church is no longer providing for people. And if that's true, then maybe there's a different explanation for people leaving the church that doesn't have anything to do with blaming the people who are leaving. See, right now, people aren't leaving churches in droves and just not coming back -- they're not doing that because they can't get along with people, or they don't want to be in groups of people, or they don't like organized religion. That's not why they're leaving. So I have to ask the question, "Is there something missing? Are we doing a lot of things that aren't in the book, and are we leaving things out, that are absolutely crucial that are in the book?"

(Musical bridge)

There are dozens of movies made, beginning in 1910, based on Mary Shelley's book, "Frankenstein," dozens. Now they're all different from each other. They all emphasize different things. They all have different levels of faithfulness to the book. Many of them build on the movies that came before and the expectations that people have of the story. In fact, I can say with a fair amount of confidence that most portrayals or depictions on film of the Frankenstein story or the Frankenstein characters are based more on other movies, previous movies, than they are on the book. Some of them have tried to go back and be more faithful to the book. But there is only one book called "Frankenstein," written by Mary Shelley in 1818. There's only one. You can make as many movies from that as you want. They can be as different from the original story as as you care to make it. But you cannot just look at Frankenstein movies, and decide how you're going to make one that's more faithful to the book. You can't just look at the other movies, you have to go back to the book and read the book. It's absolutely necessary. Now, if you don't care about the book, and you just want to make another Frankenstein movie that's like all the other Frankenstein movies, knock yourself out. You don't need to care about what's in the book, you don't need to think that what's in the book is in any way binding, or in any way instructive, or in any way valuable to what current audiences want to watch. That's fine, as long as you admit that that's what you're doing.

And that is actually what we do with churches. When somebody says, "Hey, you know what, I want to start a new church, I want to plant a church," " I'm going to be a missionary and go start churches somewhere else," or, "I'm going to start a new church in my town," or, "I'm going to go to some other towns that start a church" -- you know what they're gonna do? They're gonna think that if they plan on doing anything different with their church than what they've seen in other churches, they're just gonna tweak it a little bit. They have a different idea about the music, or they have a different idea about the sermon, or they, in all likelihood, really believe that they're going to be the pastor that makes the difference. And that's the most common thing. "Hey, what will be different about my church? I'll be doing the sermons, I'll be the pastor, I'll be in charge. And things will be the way that I envision them. And it'll be great." That's really kind of how that goes. People want something a little bit different. But it's basically based on all the other "Sunday, Sunday" movies that the people have seen.

For the people still in the church, for a lot of them, church really works. But I'm interested in why it doesn't work for so many people now. And I think that no matter how popular church is, and how long it's been popular, and for how many people it works, and for how long it's worked for so many people, the way that we do it is not an indication of whether we're doing it right. Oh, yeah, we like it. We think it's terrific. You know, when Victor Frankenstein threw the electrical switch, and that creature came alive, he couldn't have been more excited. That was success. He had taken the parts, various parts of dead people, put them together, and, and brought them back to life through his own ingenuity and power. It was amazing. He thought it was amazing. And for a while it was amazing -- until it wasn't. But you see, one of the themes of the Frankenstein story, the book, not necessarily the movies, is that a man, when he presumes to be the author of life, and to take upon himself powers that rightly belong with God alone, and tries to be his own god -- when he does that, he makes a terrible god. This is one of the themes of Frankenstein: a man makes a terrible god. It just may be that the Sunday morning worship service is something pieced together, a man-made patchwork of practices and traditions gathered from sources other than divine inspiration or revelation. In other words, it's kind of a Frankenstein monster. Even if it's not ugly, even if it does not have yellow skin, and watery eyes, as he's described in the book, and hideous scars where he's been sewn together. In fact, the creature may be beautiful, we may love the creature, we may want to spend the rest of our lives hanging out with the creature. But if it's actually more man-made than God-made, we're headed for trouble.

Perhaps we're seeing that now, with a mass exodus of people. First, it began with the mainline churches, the liturgical churches, the more liberal churches. And now for the last few years, it's been happening in the more conservative churches, the evangelical churches: people are leaving in droves. It's time to ask why that is.

It's often said that, especially in our culture, our society, I think it's been kind of a truism, that you may not bring up a problem or a critique without proposing the solution. And as that applies to our current discussion, if I am being critical -- which -- I think that most people listening to this would take this as criticism -- if I'm being critical of the way that we do church on Sunday morning, then it is my responsibility -- I have an obligation: to even open up the topic, I must propose a solution. That of course, assumes that the burden for the solution is on me, and not the people who created the problem.

Because you see, people are, in effect, saying, "Look, we made a movie based on the book!"

My answer is: "Not very faithfully. Look at all the things we're doing that aren't in the book. Look at the things that are in the book that we're not doing."

So my answer to the question, "Okay, Mr. Smarty Pants, what's your solution?" is: Let's look at the book. Hey, you tell me why we're not doing it this way. I'm all ears. These sort of answers, first of all, sort of reflect an attitude of "Hey, you don't like our adaptation of the book? Make your own movie," right? "Star in your own movie, or write your own screenplay."

I'm happy to share my vision for the local church. But I do think that it is more of a radical departure from what we're currently doing than most people would accept. And I think that they are, they're the sort of things that have to be shared collectively. So if one person shares their vision, and a lot of other people say, "Wow, that's that's what I was envisioning as well," well, then you you have kind of a shared or collective vision. And that's the only kind you can really move forward with. Because I believe that unity is very important. And we don't unite around very detailed, idiosyncratic platforms. We unite around kind of a big tent. And I think that the church is a big tent, I think it should be a big tent, which means that there should be a lot of diversity and, and room for a lot of different viewpoints.

And I know that people are going to want to continue doing church the way that they're doing it. They're just absolutely going to want to continue. And they're going to want to hold on to their theological and historical and creedal commitments, and traditions, and ways of doing things. That's just a fact.

So my solution is, let's all go back and look at the book and see what's there. I think it's one thing to consider what we're doing that really sort of violates the spirit of the original practice. It's quite another to discover what we might be missing out on. And I think that is more of a solution oriented approach than simply, "What does one guy say church should look like?" I want to ask, "What are we missing?" I think we're missing something big. I think we're missing some really big things. And the fact that the way we're doing church now does not provide those, it does not open the door to those things, it has a lot to do with why people aren't staying. My proposal is that we have made a movie that is not a faithful adaptation of the book. Next week we're going to look at the book.

Until then, make peace, share love, and seek understanding.

Outro (with music): Peace, love, and understanding. If you like the show, please tap the Follow button to subscribe. If you love the show, please consider supporting it at Patreon and help keep the show ad-free. Learn more about yours truly on our Transistor page: Peace dash love dash understanding dot transistor dot eff em, and stevedehner dot com.

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Sunday Morning at the Movies | Part 1
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