Holy Ghost : Faith & Entertainment Movie Review
Darren Wilson is at it again; this time, he attempts to “make God famous” by traveling the world, meeting and ministering to people, and seeing what God does. According to Darren and his team, Holy Ghost is a movie completely directed and led by the Holy Spirit. It’s a huge statement to make, and some may even say presumptuous, yet at the same time it makes viewers question their views surrounding the Holy Spirit. And, for Darren, the proof is contained in the footage—it’s up to you to decide whether or not he succeeds in making God famous.
There is much that can be said about this movie, but I will provide five positive aspects that I found as I watched it.
By seeing Darren and his team travel the globe, minister, heal, and bring people to Jesus, it’s easy to get stirred up and excited. It makes you want to evangelize to people and see God act, just like it seems he did in the movie.
Surprisingly, the movie brings up some important theological topics that every Christian should think about, yet many seldom do. Ultimately, all the topics come down to the debate between Cessationism and Continuationism. Briefly put, the debate is concerned about whether or not the gifts of the spirit are still in operation today, or if they were only for the early church as found in the book of Acts. The movie, of course, works from the presupposition that the gifts have continued and are still very active today.
The entire cast seems to have a genuine love for God and others. Most notably to me, Todd White exemplified this in the many encounters he had with people on the street. He is bold, yet balances that out with grace and love, which makes people open up to him. It’s encouraging to see, and it’s something that reminded me how love can be the best evangelistic tool.
2. Holy Spirit
Of course, the movie is focused around one main character: the Holy Spirit. Christians are generally aware of Jesus and the Father, but when it comes to the Holy Spirit—well, let’s just say there is ample amount of mystery, confusion, and frustration. Thus, people tend to avoid Him, or even minimalize who He is (often referring to Him as an “it”). So, I applaud Darren for bringing attention to the Holy Spirit. After all, He is 1/3rd of the Trinity—and that’s a pretty big deal.
Don’t confuse this with inspiration. Inspiration ignites the fire within you, making you excited to start doing something. Motivation, on the other hand, actually gets you going! After seeing evangelism in the movie, people going on trips across the globe, and countless other things, it motivated me to work harder in my own ministry.
It would be improper for me to list a bunch of positives without balancing it out with some negative aspects that come across in the movie.
It’s hard to get away from biases. I don’t blame Darren and those involved in the movie for having them, but it’s necessary to at least acknowledge that they are there. There is nothing wrong with the movie working off of the assumption that the gifts of the spirit are continuing on in the present age. However, viewers must understand that it is a presupposition. Since Darren is working off of that assumption, everything he films, says, and edits will be to support that view. Understand, I am not claiming he is wrong or right; rather, I’m saying to understand his presupposition so that you can make your own educated opinion about the movie. And note, even the guests he interviewed seemed to lean towards a Continuationist view.
4. Appeal to Celebrity
Although it’s awesome to see well-known Christian artists supporting a movie like this by appearing in it, it also can come off as a way to sway viewers to believing everything. When viewers like me see high-profile Christians like Brian Welch, William P. Young, Lenny Kravitz, and others, it automatically lowers my defenses and skepticism. After all, if they support this view then it must be right! Again, just be aware of this and you will be more apt to think logically about everything and not just go along with what is being said.
I will readily admit my bias—I am a continuationist, but I’d say I’m conservative about it. I’m the type of guy that likes balance. And, for the most part, this movie lacked it. Although they gave the opposite viewpoint at times, it was short and not very important. In contrast, they overloaded the movie with healings and miracles. It is abundantly clear that is what they wanted shown.
If I’m completely honest, I found parts of the movie to be quite strange. Maybe it’s just me being too conservative and not charismatic enough, but some of what the evangelists and ministers in the movie were doing seemed to be nothing more than a sideshow. In one particular scene, the guys sense the man they are talking to has some troubles in his wrist; in fact, he has metal in his wrist which limits his mobility. Will Hart prays for God to bend metal and make it flexible. However, it doesn’t seem to work even a little until the third or fourth prayer. How is the audience to tell whether it truly worked? For myself, I thought it seemed a lot like: if at first you don’t succeed, then keep praying and hope the guy goes along with it to be nice.
1. Too Much of the Same Thing
After an hour of watching the movie, I already got the point. But, they continued to show scenes of the team healing people and performing miracles—over and over again. This can be quite tedious to watch, since it’s hard to even see anything take place through a television screen. The movie could have made its point abundantly clear, yet take half the amount of time.
All in all, I believe this movie is a worthy watch. It brings up some great theological discussions and I really do believe that Darren and his team are genuinely trying to bring people to Christ and make people aware of the Holy Spirit. It’s a great goal, and one that both the Cessationist and Continuationist can readily agree upon. Bravo, Darren. Keep taking on the difficult tasks and bring important subjects to the forefront of the church’s mind.
Don't miss the special FREE online premiere on September 6th at the following link: Holy Ghost