Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"Ghostbusters" (1984): Share Your Stories

Winston: Hey Ray. Do you believe in God?
Ray: Never met him.
Winston: Yeah, well, I do. And I love Jesus' style, you know… Hey Ray. Do you remember something in the bible about the last days when the dead would rise from the grave?
Ray: I remember Revelations 7:12...?And I looked, and he opened the sixth seal, and behold, there was a great earthquake. And the sun became as black as sack cloth, and the moon became as blood."
Winston: "And the seas boiled and the skies fell."
Ray: Judgment day.
Winston: Judgment day.
Ray: Every ancient religion has its own myth about the end of the world.
Winston: Myth? Ray, has it ever occurred to you that maybe the reason we've been so busy lately is 'cause the dead HAVE been rising from the grave?
Ray: [Pause ] How 'bout a little music?
Winston: Yeah.

I love this brief conversation in “Ghostbusters.” Of course, for nostalgic reasons I like a lot about this movie. It is a mostly harmless comedy/horror about a world where supernatural events start taking place. This conversation has no real impact on the plot. It survived the final cut when a lot of more pertinent scenes were cut for pacing purposes. It isn’t even the kind of joke this movie has been going for, so who knows how it ended up in this film.

And yet there it is. A conversation about Jesus. With all of the events happening in the movie—the ghosts, the haunting, and the like—Winston casually brings up his faith. He doesn’t preach at Ray. He doesn’t try to “get him saved” or take him through a mechanical step by step approach to faith. He simply shares his perspective with Ray. We don’t see many more of Ray’s conversations in the film, or where this particular one leads later that night, but it is a good glimpse into genuine testimony. Some might chastise Winston for not going all the way, for not “making the sale.” However, that is not his job. He is simply supposed to share his story with others. Not to convince, persuade, or force their reaction.

Ray is actually a good person for Winston to be talking to too. He is interested in the occult. While that may seem like the opposite of a good target, it means that he is open to spiritual things. He is convinced that there is more to life than what we can see. Dan Aykroyd, the writer of the film and the actor playing Ray is spiritualist as well. Part of me thinks that these people would be more open to Christianity if more believers stuck to Winston’s approach to witnessing.

People who are already convinced that there is more to life than meets the eye don’t need someone “explaining” everything to them—presenting a neat little system. They get that from the skeptics. They don’t need a witness who will present other people’s elaborate explanations of life; they need to hear our own stories and experiences with Christ. They may or may not be convinced, but that is not our job. If you do believe that there is a God, leave the heart-changing up to Him.

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