By Liu Yang, China
A few days ago, my church member recommended a movie to me, The Moment of Change. I couldn’t help thinking Paul’s words, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:52). Does “The Moment of Change” mean that the Lord will change our images when He comes? I was filled with curiosity! This movie, which just proceeds from this concept, depicts different people’s displays in the church in light of this concept. Now let’s take a look at these six key characters in this movie.
Su Mingyue, the protagonist of this movie, is a preacher of a house church in mainland China. She knows clearly the current problems which exist within the church and the believers’ situation. Her heart is like the brighter moon, which is the meaning of her name (“Mingyue” in Su Mingyue’s name means the brighter moon). She sees what the pastors and elders say is justknowledge and theology, and what they preach can’t utterly solve believers’ practical difficulties. So she encourages the brothers and sisters to read the scripture more and practice the Lord’s words more when it comes to welcoming the returned Lord. Her co-worker goes by the ’ words, “Not every one that said to me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21), and casts doubt on the notion that man will be transformed instantly and brought into the kingdom of heaven when the Lord comes. Hearing these, Su Mingyue immediately realizes that she has led the brothers and sisters astray, and then she actively and proactively investigates the church in which the Holy Spirit is at work, wanting to make this matter clear. From her performance, we can see her devoutness. Just like the Lord Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3). Meanwhile, from the words and actions of Su Mingyue, we can see that she is a person who can tell right from wrong and who is keen in her mind and who yearns for the truth. It is because she has humility that she receives the leading of God, which makes her conception be resolved gradually, and finally she returns before God. She closely follows the footsteps of the lamb, and is the representativeof the same kind of person as .
Lin Muzhen, a key character in this movie, is a main co-worker of the family church. “Muzhen” implies that he yearns for the truth. He always has his own insights and he is good at pondering the Lord’s words. And he always examines whether the path he follows in believing in God conforms to the Lord’s intention. God says, “But he that does the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). “You shall therefore be holy, for I am holy” (Leviticus 11:45). From these words, he understands that entering into the kingdom of heaven isn’t as simple as people think. So he questions the viewpoints which his co-workers hold onto. Because he asks the questions time and again, Su Mingyue realizes that there are indeed some deviations in the path they follow and she anxiously wants to find the church in which the Holy Spirit is at work. It can be said that Lin Muzhen is truly the key character in this movie, and he exerts the greatest influence on the development of the play. If there are more people like him who yearns for the truth and perseveres in justice in the church, then maybe the gathering won’t be so desolate or depressing as it is now.
Sun Wangu, an obstinate character in this movie, is a co-worker of the family church. His name is really interesting. Because in Chines, his first name “Wangu”, sounds like the Chinese words for “stubbornness”. Sun Wangu, who looks the part of a gentleman and scholar, wears a pair of glasses and he expounds the Bible in a very clear and logical way. At every gathering, if some brothers and sisters raise some questions according to the requirements of the Lord Jesus, and remind everyone to examine the path they walk, then he will stubbornly hold on to Paul’s words, “Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifies. Who is he that condemns?” (Romans 8:33-34). We believers all long for that when the Lord returns, He will bring us into the kingdom of heaven. But in entering the kingdom of heaven, should we listen to the Lord’s words or Paul’s? Who is the Lord of the kingdom of heaven on earth? If we don’t obey the Lord’s words, but only listen to Paul’s words, are we really able to enter the kingdom of heaven? If we believe in the Lord according to Sun’s ways of belief and hold on to Paul’s words, are we really able to welcome the Lord’s return and win His praise? I think it is almost impossible.
In this movie, Hu Peng, a typical villain in the movie, is a house church preacher, and is also a loyal attendant of “Sun Stubbornness”. He speaks and acts all in accordance with Sun stubbornness’ words and he holds on to the view ofby grace. When some clear-headed brothers and sisters realize the viewpoint that people can be saved by grace is wrong, and worry that they can’t enter into the kingdom of heaven as they always live in sin. However, Hu Peng still holds on to Paul’s words, “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9). It turns out that he is a person who can’t discern between right and wrong and “flatters others randomly.” His name, Hu Peng (胡鹏), in Chinese is a homophone for the word for “Hu Peng (胡捧),” which refers to “flattering others randomly”. In this movie, his display indeed represents a kind of people. What’s more, in real life, there are actually a number of this kind of person. Regardless of whether they are the number of Christians who have no their own opinion or ordinary people, when they meet the people who have status, they will lick these people’s boots and feign compliance while acting in opposition and always perform cunningly and slyly. The role of Hu Peng also gives us a reminder. Just like the Lord Jesus said, “They be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch” (Matthew 15:14). “But let your communication be, Yes, yes; No, no: for whatever is more than these comes of evil” (Matthew 5:37). is the truth that can never be changed, which we must obey and firmly remember. As to our believing in the Lord, only if we listen to the Lord’s words will we be praised by the Lord.
Yang Xinjing, the representative of positive characters in this movie, is a co-worker of the family church. She has preached for many years and she is good at contemplating the words of God, thoughtful and independent. Facing the matter of being raptured by the Lord, she strictly takes the Lord’s words as the standard. She doesn’t make judgments blindly, nor does she go beyond listening only to one side, and instead, she takes heed to listen and ponder carefully. What she says is incisive and insightful. She says, “The Lord Jesus said it so clearly in His word. Only those who practice the Lord’s word, follow the Lord’s way, and obey God’s will, can enter the kingdom of heaven. This is the only condition set by the Lord Jesus for entering the kingdom of heaven.” These words remind not only the protagonist but also us: In entering into the kingdom of heaven, if we don’t go by what the Lord said, don’t seek or investigate, but merely listen to what the pastors and elders say or hold on to our views, then what is the net result?
Brother Cheng, an important character in this movie, is a senior preacher. He looks quite composed and he says clearly and reasonably. After fellowshiping sincerely and patiently, he gives the answers to the controversial questions which trouble the brothers and sisters. The words, “In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed” (1 Corinthians 15:52), which were spoken by Paul, are also discredited in the presence of the truth. Brother Cheng quotes the Scriptures and fellowships justifiably and factually; his word makes them have no strength to refute it. Even Su Mingyue, who has preached for many years, is convinced by his fellowship which conforms to the truth. From Brother Cheng’s fellowship, they all understand the true meaning of “the moment of change” and their mistaken ideas they have held for many years are turned around. It can be said that they have reaped great benefits.
Through the analysis of these six key characters in this movie, we see that the director uses the different performances of these six characters to show the current situation of the entire religious world. These six kinds of characters can be divided into two categories of people. One category includes Su Mingyue and some other brothers and sisters. When they face desolate churches in which the Holy Spirit is not at work, they carry the burden for the believers’ life and have the searching heart. When their views are called into question, they don’t stubbornly hold on to their own views, but rather go to seek humbly. Finally they gain God’s blessing and welcome the Lord’s return due to their investigation. The other category includes Sun stubbornness and others. Their performances show that lots of people in the religious world hold on to theological theory they understand. As to different voices, they neither seek nor investigate, but arrogantlyhold on to their own viewpoints. On top of this, the adulation of people who worship the status and power blindly even more speeds up the spread of these mistaken ideas. The second category of people not only prevent themselves from welcoming the Lord’s return, but influence and confuse the believers who have no discernment. This movie shows clearly that people believing in the Lord need choose the right path. If the path they walk is right, they will certainly gain God’s blessing. If not, they will be detested and rejected by God. It is also the greatest benefit which this movie brings to the audiences.
Full movie： Christian Movie “The Moment of Change”
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