Why Your Church Will Profit from Showing, Discussing 'The Disturbances'


A documentary screening of "The Disturbances" on Nov. 9 at First Baptist Church in Nashville. (Photo: Cliff Vaughn)

Your church will profit from showing our new feature-length film on what missionaries did to save lives in Nigeria in 1966 during a time of tribal genocide.

The DVD and accompanying book are compelling, inspiring accounts that will deepen your church's commitment to the Great Commission and the Great Commandment.

If you think I'm merely exaggerating, read what others are saying about "The Disturbances":

"I highly recommend this material to all," wrote Jul Medenblik, president, Calvin Theological Seminary.

The WMU Foundation tweeted "Don't miss a chance to see this incredible film!"

"Your documentary is smart, well told and has so much heart. I hope everyone sees it," said Tennessean reporter Heidi Hall.

Writing in UK's Christian Today, Mark Woods said, "'The Disturbances' is a first-class piece of documentary that recovers a vital piece of history that could have been lost forever. But it's also a window into how Christians responded at a time of terrible danger and distress, and how they remained faithful to their calling. It is not just informative, but inspirational."

Birmingham News religion writer Greg Garrison tweeted "Important documentary. Good work, y'all."

A Nigerian missionary kid (now an adult) emailed us, "Watched spell-bound all the way through."

Getting diverse, glowing reports may not be enough reason to convince congregational leaders to show the film to their churches and discuss how it applies to their faith. So, here are seven additional reasons:

First, see how God worked in unexpected ways with unprepared Christians to do the right thing.

Second, explore with your congregation how Christians can do good when they have no political power. Examine how Christians can speak to political power from a position of weakness.

Third, lead a discussion on the question, "When is it morally right to bypass governmental authority, even to misdirect governmental authority?" Talk about the church's responsibility to intervene in the civil affairs of nations for humanitarian reasons.

Fourth, consider the complexity of moral challenges. Note the ambiguity that accompanies decision-making and the need to trust in godly wisdom.

Fifth, deal with one of society's most touchy issues: All conflict is racial; all conflict is religious. These are two popularly accepted - and false - narratives. Note that behind racism, tribalism, ethnocentrism and other "-isms" is the temptation to lord over others, and the destructiveness of jealousy and greed.

Sixth, remove the wall between the Great Commandment and the Great Commission that many Christians have built. These are not either/or choices. They are bound together.

Seventh, reflect on a timely word of wisdom from Scripture. At the heart of the film is the Bible verse: "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!" (Psalm 133:1).

Congregations thrive on dramatic stories - stories that inform their understanding of the Christian faith, deepen their gratitude for the cloud of witnesses that have come before them and inspire them to walk righteously.

Robert Parham is executive editor of EthicsDaily.com and executive director of its parent organization, the Baptist Center for Ethics. Follow him on Twitter at RobertParham1 and friend him on Facebook. Order his new book, "The Disturbances." It is available as either a paperback or an e-book.

Editor's note: You can preview and purchase the film on DVD here.

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Tags: Genocide, Missionaries, Missions, Nigeria, Robert Parham, The Disturbances


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