The third time a film resonated with me theologically was yesterday when I watched a thirty minute movie called OVERSOLD.
Pastor David Cowan and Elevation Church
My friend, David Cowan, emailed me to tell me that a story he had written, a modern parable of Hosea and Gomer, was finally ready for distribution in the form of a short film. David is a graduate of Oklahoma Baptist University and is pastoring a Southern Baptist Church plant in Phoenix, Arizona, called Elevation Church, in Phoenix, Arizona. With the help of his church and producer Paul Morrell, the short film has been released for download over the Internet. David asked that I watch the film and let him know what I thought. I went to the offical web-site and purchased the download to watch in my office.
It goes without saying that even Hollywood blockbuster movies are fake. They are not real life. Actors wear make-up, stories are made-up, and scenes are set-up. Even if a movie is a biography or based on a true story, it is still just a movie. But those movies that have moved me in terms of my view of life and God have been movies conveying a profound message. Brian's Song was based on the true story of professional football player Brian Picalo, his losing battle with cancer, and the friendship he had with fellow Chicago Bear teammate Gale Sayers, and illustrated for me the importance of relationships and the impact of death The Chronicles of Narnia was a movie built on the allegory of the battle between good and evil, and the ultimate victory of Jesus Christ over the forces of darkness. OVERSOLD is about how Jesus Christ pursues sinners until He wins them over with His incredible, unconditional, effectual and eternal love.
OVERSOLD is a short film that is a modern day parallel to the Hosea and Gomer love story found in the Bible. It stars former porn star Crissy Moran, now a follower of Jesus Christ, as the "Gomer" character. It depicts a young pastor who receives an inheritance after the death of his parents in a car accident. He takes a sabbatical to Las Vegas to visit his only surviving relative, a step-brother. In Vegas he meets a dancer and begins to court her. After a couple of weeks the pastor discovers the woman he loves is actually a stripper. Rather than turn his back on her, the young pastor offers to marry her if she will leave Vegas and her life behind and return with him to the church he pastors. She says yes to his proposal, and that is where the story gets really interesting. One of the best scenes in the movie is when the church members discover their pastor has actually married a former stripper. When the pastor's wife begins to feel out of place in her new home, and when the pressure mounts to pay off the huge financial debt she owes her former handler and boyfried, she returns to Vegas. We then follow the pastor as he returns to Vegas to "redeem" his wife. Anyone who has read the book of Hosea in the Bible knows that the movie script is an adaptation of this timeless story of God's love and redemption.
OVERSOLD is basically a video message of hope, targeted towards those that suffer from addictions to porn or are connected with the dark world of the sex industry. It is a film that pours light into dark places, and it is already being used to enlighten many with the grace of God. The film was produced on a small budget, mostly the savings of producer Paul Morrell, and is the dream and vision of the pastor and people of Elevation Church in Phoenix, Arizona.
Crissy Moran, the lead actress in the film, has had her life radically transformed by the power of Jesus Christ. She told me yesterday that it is her hope this film will be used by God to show women and young girls caught up in the porn industry that they are not beyond the reach of God's love. In addition, it is her desire, as well as Pastor Cowen's, that this film cause Christian men to awaken to the truth that viewing porn is not a "victimless" act. Crissy is attempting to remove, through legal means, all of the porn clips of her on the Internet. She may not succeed, but it is my prayer that those who are tempted to search for Crissy Moran porn clips will actually be led to OVERSOLD and discover a testimony that will transform the soul. Pastor David Cowan narrates the movie, and at the end, he gives what I believe is the money quote:
God pursues a love relationship with you that is real and personal. God is truly the God of second chances. You might feel like that all your chances are spent, that there is no hope, that for you all hope is lost.
But this story tells us just the opposite. God tells us, "No, no, there is hope for you. There is grace for you.
Pastor Cowan goes on in his narrative to address prostitutes, strippers, porn addicts, escorts, and other people affected by the billion dollar sex industry in America. He closes by challenging the viewers of the movie to open their lives to Jesus Christ, who unlike others, "will never leave you or abandon you."
My prayers are with Elevation Church, Pastor David Cowan, Crissy Moran and the movie OVERSOLD. I thank God that a Southern Baptist Church and a Southern Baptist pastor have taken the risk of bringing the story of God's love for sinners to people who might never have heard it through traditional church means. They also realize that people in our church pews are sometimes just as hopeless and desparate as those in the back alleys of Hollywood. Pastor and Mrs. David Cowan and Crissy Moran will be at Emmanuel, Enid next year to help us with a regional Men's Purity Conference. May God use their stories and their movie OVERSOLD to lead lost, desparate men and women to a knowledge of the saving love of Jesus Christ.
Go, download the movie, and help support those Christians that are reaching people in the porn industry with the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In His Grace,