This August will see the release of a Christian film called 20 Minutes, a reference to how long it takes for a nuclear missile to end the lives of the main characters. It will force atheists to rethink their life — and their belief in God — before it’s too late.
If any of that sounds familiar, it’s because the director, Tim Chey, got the idea from the emergency text that went out to people in Hawaii in 2018. It took 38 minutes before that alert was officially declared a false alarm.
According to a press release about the film:
The false missile alert caused mass panic in Hawaii with bank managers herding their employees into bank vaults and mothers putting their children inside manhole covers on the streets.
“We really thought this could be it,” said one pastor in Hawaii. “I got on my knees and prayed with my entire family.”
“It caused a movie idea to pop into my head,” said Chey laughing. “I use to be a former atheist and I knew this missile warning would cause many atheists to think about God.”
Just one problem with that premise: There’s literally no evidence of any atheist turning to Christ in the minutes following that alert. I literally looked for it after the panic occurred and came up empty. That’s not proof it didn’t happen, but the entire movie appears to be a straw man.
As I said at the time, it’s similar to the Christian slander about how “there are no atheists in foxholes.” The idea is that, in the middle of a war zone, when your life is in danger, even atheists ask God to keep them safe. That’s not true. There are plenty of atheists in the military and they don’t lose their ability to think rationally just because they end up in dangerous situations.
Same deal in a life-threatening emergency. Finding Jesus on your deathbed — or right before a missile hits — also suggests that Christians think fear is a better pathway to God than critical thinking ever could be. It’s not a good look for them. But when your goal is to create converts instead of producing a thoughtful film, who cares if your script reads like the predictable pages of a Christian apologist’s book?
It’s why people rarely take Christian movies seriously.
(Image via Facebook. Thanks to Brian for the link. Portions of this article were published earlier)