Monday, September 5, 2016

Thoughts on 'Voiceless" being the voice for those who can't speak for themselves

From time to time I get invited to screen a movie before its release in order to share my opinion with anybody who will take the time to read my blog (or the twitter or FaceBook share).  Voiceless is one of those movies.

In brief, an ex-marine, shy and reserved, accepts a position as a community outreach coordinator for the church where his wife and her family have attended for quite some time.  He has a store-front at street level which he plans to turn into a boxing gym, a place where teens in the neighborhood have a place to learn self-defense in a Christian environment.  And then there is the women’s health center across the street, a place where no doubt women receive medical care and counseling, but it’s also a place where abortions are performed on a regular basis.

Suddenly community outreach involves more than boxing, it means taking on the clinic—and sometimes it seems like there is more opposition from his family, the pastor and the church then there is from supporters of the clinic.

The Synopsis provided in a press release states:
Battling his own inner-demons, Jesse (Rusty Joiner: Last Ounce Of Courage, Dodgeball, “Days of Our Lives”) encounters a young, pregnant teen overcome with grief that, after an impulsive abortion, has her family blaming Jesse for more than just her final decision. Jesse’s wife Julia (Jocelyn Cruz: Strike One, This Is Our Time) must come to terms with her own choices and decide if she can support her husband as opposition mounts against him. Comedian Paul Rodriguez also stars as Virgil with James Russo as Pastor Gil.

I have to agree with the release which also states: “VOICELESS tackles the controversial pro-life vs. pro-choice debate with conviction and compassion, and presents that the true choice is one the church must make. Necerato and Migdon have walked a fine line with making an impactful film that doesn’t alienate, but rather starts a conversation, and in fact has been praised by pro-choice viewers. 

Although the film deals with pro-choice, women’s rights, and the difficult topic of abortion on demand, there are a lot of takeaways from the film.

Jesse never planned on doing more than community outreach, he was shy, mild mannered and quiet. He didn’t like public speaking and was obviously much more at home in the boxing ring than he was in the pulpit, or the public eye. But as his battle progress he learns to trust God, and that rather than questioning where God is leading, it’s best to just follow him on that path.

            In many cases the church has become a lamp under a basket rather than the light on the hill as described in the Sermon on the Mount (see Matthew 5: 14-16)  A primary lesson from this film is that the church can and should be a force against the gates of Hell. Although others may see Christians as fanatic about some of our beliefs, we don’t have to act like fanatics, rather we need to learn to stand for what we believe, from a scriptural standpoint, to be true. Sometimes that means we’re a voice for the voiceless, we are to stand up for those who can’t speak for themselves. In this case the topic is abortion, but there are other causes to which the principles might also apply. (Refugees, clean water, human trafficking come to mind).

            We’re called to discern what God wants of us, and then to step up and be the church, even in the face of opposition. In other words we should be worrying more about what God thinks than what our fellow men think.

Voiceless is scheduled to open in theaters nation-wide on Oct 7, 2016. You don’t want to miss it. Watch the trailer here.

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