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Church using movie’s themes as teaching tool on family, faith

Madison Mathews • Feb 4, 2012 at 12:11 AM

In the film “Courageous,” a group of police officers are forced to confront their faith and fatherhood when their lives intersect with tragedy.

The film, made by the filmmakers behind the popular Christian-themed films “Facing the Giants” and “Fireproof,” has had a profound effect on much of the congregation at University Parkway Baptist in Johnson City — so much so that the church is hosting a free screening of the film Sunday morning during its regular service time.

Leading up to Sunday’s free screening, a group of men at the church have been reflecting on their own lives as fathers and sons, using a Bible study created by the filmmakers that dives deeper into the film’s themes of family and faith.

“The characters in the movie really hit on every man,” member Derick Cook said. “This isn’t a study or a movie that is for nearly perfect fathers to see to make them perfect. This movie and these studies are for men who are in the walk of fatherhood.”

While the film deals with men who have been courageous in the line of duty and in their lives as fathers, the film’s inspiring and positive message is something that can be applied to the lives of any adult, Cook said.

In short, it’s the kind of movie that speaks to everyone.

“If you don’t have children, you know children. The movie encourages beyond fatherhood. It encourages a mentorship of really showing children how they need to be treated. As you do that, they’re going to remember that,” Cook said.

Wesley DeBord, another church member, said the film is a call to all parents, as no parent is perfect.

The film is really about how a person’s relationships can affect who they are, Debord said.

“This film is very applicable to the point where any person at any point in their life can gain a better relationship with anyone — with their children, their spouse,” he said.

As for the film itself, both members believe it’s something that transcends faith.

While Christian films have a track record of not being very good, “Courageous” is one of those rare films that can speak to anyone despite what they may or may not believe, Cook said.

“Beyond religion, beyond Christianity, there is a humanity in this movie that anyone regardless of their religious beliefs can see,” he said. “One of the things in my eyes as a Christian is this film shows just another way of how to be Jesus to the people.”

“Courageous” will begin at 9:30 a.m. Sunday at University Parkway Baptist, located at 219 University Parkway.

The film is free to the public and free popcorn and drinks will be available. There will be an intermission during the film.

For more information, visit www.upbaptist.org or call 926-5841.

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