DALLAS (Christian Examiner) -- The film "One Generation Away," a full-length documentary about religious liberty featuring former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum, Eric Metaxas, Mike Huckabee, Greg Thornbury, Jack Graham, Russell Moore and others, is available via DVD for private and church viewings.
First Baptist Church in Dallas hosted a showing of the recently released religious liberty film produced by EchoLight Studios in Janurary and concluded the evening with a Q&A session with Robert Jeffress, pastor of FBC Dallas, and Santorum, who serves as CEO of EchoLight.
"[Religious liberty] is a current issue," Santorum said. "The best ammunition to fight back is a knowledgeable public." "We wanted ... to get this film out into as many churches as possible. We need to wake up the church on this issue."
The movie depicts the growing struggle for religious liberty across the nation, drawing specific attention to the Mount Soledad Veterans Memorial cross and the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case, among others. Interviews with defendants in legal cases like these put faces to the fight for religious liberty in the neighborhoods and businesses that make up America.
Yet challenges to religious liberty do not stop at American borders -- a point the Dove Awardwinning film does not miss. Serious threats to religious liberty in North Korea, Syria, Nigeria and Sweden all gain screen time in the film.
The film also includes interviews with several prominent evangelicals.
Eric Metaxas, author of Bonhoeffer, parallels Dietrich Bonhoeffer's decision to stand against the rise of Nazi Germany to the choice Americans face amid growing threats to religious liberty. Metaxas explains that German Christians in the 1930s did not realize the urgency of their situation until it was too late. American Christians, he says, must take action now. Gregory Thornbury, president of The King's College, echoes these sentiments, noting that America historically follows the path of Europe.
One Generation Away prescribes steps of action, the first being to live out one's faith in every sphere of life, a point addressed by Eric Teetsel, executive director of The Manhattan Declaration. He notes the dichotomy between freedom of religion versus freedom of worship, showing that freedom of worship permits one to worship for an hour on Sunday morning but not to live out that worship in the public square.
"What they're trying to do is constrain the space for religion to the four walls of a church on a Sunday morning," Teetsel says.
Many of those interviewed in the movie and the real life battles it depicts are Baptists, including Russell D. Moore, Voddie Baucham, Mike Huckabee, Steve Green, Gregory Thornbury, Robert Jeffress and Jack Graham. The cause they champion, however, extends beyond denominational boundaries, reaching others even outside of Christianity for whom the religious liberty battle is also of utmost importance.
"We need to do a better job as Christians in standing up for the religious liberty of everyone," Moore says. "Religious liberty is only religious liberty inasmuch as it protects the liberty to the free exercise of all religions. Thus the nature of the fight is to protect the conscience, however seared it may be."
After the film, Jeffress and Santorum entertained a brief Q&A session. A few questions touched on a potential Santorum bid for the U.S. presidency in the 2016 election. Santorum deflected the particulars of any potential campaign but did note that the next president should use the office to model religious liberty.
"[The president] has the ability to model what is good, what is true, what is healthy," Santorum said. However, he cautioned, a bold stand for religious liberty would not be easy, adding, "If you stand up for the truth, they're going to hate you. They hated [Jesus]. Of course they're going to hate you."
This article first reported in TEXANONLINE.NET, the official newspaper of the Southern Baptist of Texas Convention. Used with permission.
For those interesting in featuring the film or purchasing the DVD, please visit onegenerationawaymovie.com.