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October 8, 2018

God's Not Dead 2 (2016) --- "She Answered A Student's Question And She Was Put On Trial For Her Faith. Find Out The Verdict."

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     Director Harold Cronk and writers Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon return to helm God’s Not Dead 2 (2016) which follows a Grace Wesley (Melissa Joan HartMelissa & Joey) a high school history teacher who comes under fire for answering a student’s (Hayley OrrantiaThe Goldbergs) question regarding Jesus. She is forced to stand trial in order to save her career after. When she refuses to apologize for her faith, the school board suspends and threatens to revoke her teaching certificate. Abandoned by her ‘friends’ and accused of trying to convert her students, Grace is forced to stand trial to not only save her career but to also defend her faith. Her lawyer Tom Endler (Jesse MetcalfeEscape Plan 2: Hades) devises a powerful strategy to prove to the court the historical significance of Grace’s classroom discussion. God’s Not Dead (2014) was thought-provoking and inspiring, and God’s Not Dead 2 (2016) is even more so.

     I am a Christian and I enjoyed this film immensely. Of course, some might think that I am being biased because I’m a Christian and this is a Christian based film but the truth is I’m actually picky about what kind of Christian movies I watch. Most don’t follow the bible accurately, while those that do are so watered down their boring. But there is something special about the God’s Not Dead series. While the story is simple to understand, it is in no way water down or boring. God’s Not Dead (2014) was writers Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon first-time screenplay and with this second installment the storyline is better and the pacing as increased since the first film.
     It is a shame to see people critique this film for all the wrong reason. In the real world, there are people being sued for refusing to supply things for gay weddings, or because their job finds that wearing a cross is offensive and not a ‘requirement of their faith.’ There being attacked and persecuted for their faith, and this film is dedicated to all those you stood up for their faith.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.Matthew 5:10-12
13 Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14 But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear their threats; do not be frightened.” 15 But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16 keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander17 For it is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. – 1 Peter 3:13-17
     There are so few movies that are suitable for a Christian to watch now and this is one of them. It not only proves the existence of Jesus by knowledgeable investigators but it also touches on a few valid points, like that the “separation of church and state” is not in the Constitution and not many people know that. According to the National History Education Clearinghouse on the Separation of Church and State:
The United States Constitution does not state in so many words that there is a separation of church and state. The first part of the First Amendment to the Constitution states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” Therefore, it is more accurate to say that the Constitution promotes freedom of religion and prohibits the federal government from inhibiting its citizens’ ability to worship as they wish.
The expression “separation of church and state” can be traced to an 1802 letter that Thomas Jefferson wrote to a group of men affiliated with the Danbury Baptists Association of Connecticut. In this letter, he stated that religion was “a matter which lies solely between Man & his God,” and that the government should not have any influence over opinions. Therefore, he asserted: “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.” Jefferson introduced the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom in 1779, which became law in 1786. It separated Virginia government from any established church and asserted that the religious opinions of men were not the business of the government.
     The cast is great. It was great to see Pat Boone and Fred Dalton Thompson, especially since Thompson passes away a year later. Hayley Orrantia gives a good performance and Sadie Robertson also gives a nice supporting role performance and it was nice to see her in this film after her parents made a cameo in the first film. David A.R. White and Benjamin A. Onyango return for their respective roles and also give good performances. It was also interesting to see the famous author, Lee Strobel confirm the authenticity of the Bible and J. Warner Wallace confirm scientifically the existence of Jesus.

     Overall, God’s Not Dead 2 (2016) is even more thought-provoking and inspiring than the first film. There are not that many Christians based films that are good and this is one of them. The plan of the defense is incredible to see, the verdict will leave you smiling, and the cast gives great performances. I highly recommend this film to everyone.

"I would rather stand with God and be judged by the world than stand with the world and be judged by God."
- Grace Wesley

Final Vote
Worth Seeing: 7.5 of 10 star
Worth Buying: 7.5 of 10 stars

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Movies Similar 
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Courageous (2011)
Do You Believe? (2015)
Fireproof (2008)
God's Not Dead (2014)
God's Not Dead: A Light in Darkness (2018)
Heaven is for Real (2014)
The Identical (2014)
Moms' Night Out (2014)
Miracles From Heaven (2016)
Miracle Season (2018)
Paul, the Apostle of Christ (2018)
Risen (2016)
Son of God (2014)
Soul Surfer (2011)
When the Game Stands Tall (2014)

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