Title: The Insanity of God (2016; NR*)
Director: Brad Knull
Major Themes: Christian Living, Missions, Persecution
Synopsis: After a tragedy while they were on the mission field, the Ripkens went to many persecuted countries to find out whether following God is worth all the risks or not.
Several years ago, I visited my aunt, and, as my habit is, I was looking over her bookshelf. I picked up The Insanity of God (the book), mostly because the title was intriguing. Who would call God insane?! She recommended it to me, though, and ended up giving me a copy—which I read a while later. It was good. Challenging, inspiring, difficult, but good. Several years later, I listened to a children’s dramatized radio program, and some of the stories showed up there again. And then just recently, I came across the movie, and found that quite inspiring. One thing that really struck me about watching this movie is that I finished watching it and then was led into a time of praise. I don’t think a movie has ever inspired me that profoundly before. I was impressed!
Though he didn’t start out intending to be a missionary, Nik and his wife Ruth soon found themselves on the mission field. After praying about where they should go and what they should focus on, they were led to Somalia. Though that was far outside their comfort zone, God led them to work there for a time, helping get aid to people who had lost everything in the war-torn country. Life wasn’t at all easy, though, and after having to unexpectedly say goodbye to Christian friends, and especially when their son had a terrible asthma attack, they wondered why God allowed such suffering. They were doing His work! Why wasn’t He taking care of them? Was God really worth serving, if He didn’t look out for His people? This started them on a journey, one that they’re still on today.
Since watching The Insanity of God, I’ve recommended it to several people. It’s not an easy film to watch, and some of the acting isn’t all that great. But the message is spot-on, challenging, and encouraging. Recently, I was talking to a friend who had watched it after I recommended it to her. We shared several of the most touching scenes to us, but one of the top ones we both mentioned was a time when a persecuted Christian said something to the effect of, “If you aren’t sharing your faith, you’re joining and agreeing with our persecutors that Jesus isn’t worth it.” I feel like I’m missing the entirety of it, but that’s the main gist. That really smacked me between the eyes!
Some of the stories in here are amazing. I’m thankful that they haven’t been altered from the book—though this doesn’t have as much information as is in the book, it shares the best, most memorable, stories. It’s a documentary that I believe all Christians should watch. Not only does it push us forward, but it also encourages us to trust the Lord more, shows His goodness to His people, and helps us understand our persecuted family a little better.
*This documentary is not rated, but I would rate it as PG-13.
WARNING: This isn’t a movie for children. I don’t remember many specifics, but there are a few torture scenes or times when people are beaten or otherwise mistreated. There is also a scene where someone dies. Unfortunately, it’s been a few weeks since I watched this, so I don’t remember exactly what was wrong with it—but I wouldn’t show it to younger teens/children.
Ages 15 and Above, Adults
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