Sermons

Summary: This is a part of the series based on movie blockbusters.

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SLIDE 1

Are our Kids Growing Up

2 FAST 2 FURIOUS ?

SUMMER BLOCKBUSTERS—Part 3

(BLUE PRINT DENOTES 8:30 SERVICE ONLY)

Welcome to Bethany. We especially welcome our guests. Please everyone complete the attendance pad. Also take at look at the Ministry Opportunities in the Attendance binder. There may be a way for you to serve in ministry here at Bethany

I am doing part 3 of the Summer Blockbuster series. Taking themes from recent movies is what I have been doing and finding a parallel to a lesson from the Bible. I want to talk about are our children growing up 2 fast 2 furious. I think this is an especially appropriate topic as children have returned to school for another academic year.

Today’s movie is 2 Fast 2 Furious.

I thought I’d show you the video clip that gave a preview of the movie but then I thought No way Jose. Some of you might want to try this at home. Fast cars and drag racing and wild women. I don’t mean the young people here—I was afraid some of you older men in your mid-life crises might want to try this so I decided against showing anything from the movie.

Fast and Furious was the surprise blockbuster movie in 2001. Reviewers did not understand it and people in the industry were surprised. No one, it seems, saw it coming.

And now, 2 years later, here is the sequel—2 Fast 2 Furious.. Everyone excepted the this film to do well. In fact, it did over $50 million on the opening weekend.

One critic of the film (David Bruce of Hollywood Jesus.com) shares his experience:

“When I went to see this film, the house was filled with the twenty-something and the parking lot was filled with modified cars. There wasn’t anyone over the age of 40 to be found. There was delight in the audience during the showing. This film spoke their language. It connected.

The film is not a cinematic masterpiece by any stretch of the imagination -so in this regard, poor reviews are understandable. However, when a film connects so well with an aspect of the culture, one needs to look beyond a viewing room impression. The question needs to be: Why has this film series connected so well to the culture?

SLIDE 2

This film is about empowerment, and the struggle to be heard. Here is a segment of the 20-something crowd that is alive and well seeking its own voice through extreme sports and social activity. And, is attempting to achieve lasting relationships in a unique and paradoxical manner: community through individual achievement. It is a quest for community in an age of brokenness.

The film regards the enemy of this form of community as greed -extreme selfishness as personified by the Carter Verone, an evil member of the drug cartel.

SLIDE 3

His sins include:

—Placing money before friendship.

—"Owning" women as possessions.

—Using violence to limit the freedoms and rights of others.

—Intimidating those who get in the way of his selfish desires.

—Reducing life to mere materialism.

In its own way, the film advocates:

—Peace between humans.

—Relationships based on mutuality and respect.

—Harmony and understanding between different types of humans.

—The importance of community and group effort.

—The celebration of individuality, uniqueness, and personal achievement.

It’s weaknesses include:

—An uncertainty about the place of women.

—"Might is right" philosophy.

—Physical beauty and braun = importance, and worthwhile goals.

SLIDE 4

Bottom line: For the discerning viewer this film offers a window of understanding into our time and current culture. I suggest that you watch the film and the audience, as a unified whole. Films like this can and should not be viewed in any other way. To miss the audience is to miss the film—so says this critic.”

If this movie is a reflection of our time and culture, especially of young adults and I would dare say of many teenagers, the question that I pose to you: are the children and young adults of our time living too fast and too furious?

If you’re not a parent or a young person today I hope there is something in this message that will help you learn and grow in your faith as you try to be a prodigal hugging Christian. Maybe it will help you to be a better grandparent or mentor to a child.

SLIDE 5

In a recent survey of teenagers, they were asked “What is it that makes you mad or angry”

How would you young people who are here today answer that question? (PAUSE FOR ANSWERS)

Here are some answers from the survey:

Teachers

Parents’

Siblings

People don’t listen to you because you are young

People’s stereotyping me—thinking all teens are bad

The opposite sex

SLIDE 6

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