Evangelist and film producer Ray Comfort's newly released documentary film "Genius" takes a look at the spiritual aspects of John Lennon at the beginning and end of his half-hour movie. It also features video footage of Comfort approaching people with his unique street evangelism style. On Wednesday, the movie was available free online, just ahead of the 32-year anniversary on Saturday (Dec. 8) of the day the Beatles' singer was shot outside his apartment.
"I produced the movie as a companion to a new book called, The Beatles, God, and the Bible," said Comfort. "I have some strong convictions when it comes to issues the movie covers.
"Firstly, in 1965, Paul McCartney when asked if the Beatles believed in God (in a Playboy magazine interview) said, 'We probably seem anti-religious because of the fact that none of us believe in God.' But as they matured in life, Paul said, 'I'm very spiritual.' John said, 'I'm a most religious fellow.' Ringo said, 'God is in my life,' and George said, 'I want to find God.'"
Comfort, whose anti-abortion documentary "180" was made in a similar style, said he believes that "while Americans have been busy with political issues, British redcoats such as Richard Dawkins (and the now deceased Christopher Hitchens) have invaded our country and have been shooting our youth through the heart by convincing them that they are primates and making them into God-haters by the millions."
He continued, "By the grace of God I want to reverse the trend, and one way to do that is with a movie about John Lennon – what he believed, why he wrote 'Imagine,' why he rejected evolution, and another perspective on why he thought that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ."
"Genius" has been called a "chilling" movie on not only the life and tragic murder of John Lennon, but people resistant to faith in God, say those who previewed the movie, according to its filmmakers.
Referring to the hypothetical questions he asks people on the streets of Huntington Beach, Calif., and other cities, Comfort adds, "It's chilling because it reveals what people will do for money. There are ordinary people out there who would kill you. All they need is the right money and the belief that they won't get caught."
Comfort said the movie has the same format as his "180" movie did, which has received millions of views on YouTube.
"It has twists and turns that you don't expect. 'Genius' shows another, unheard of side of John Lennon and that will certainly 'open your eyes,' as Ken Mansfield so aptly said," Comfort shared.
Mansfield, who is an executive at Capitol Records and was the first U.S. manager of the Beatles' Apple Records, wrote the forward to Comfort's book.
WND reports that not too many people know that Lennon met McCartney while at a church function, or that Lennon was a choirboy. In 1965, as the Beatles were peaking, all four members professed to be atheists.
However, 15 years later, John, who had previously stated that they were more popular than Jesus, said, "I'm a most religious fellow ... I was brought up a Christian, and I only now understand some of the things that Christ was saying in those parables."
"John Lennon was a musical genius," Comfort said. "All I have to do is think of some of his songs and even the titles make me feel good ... and I'm not the only one. His music has crossed cultures and even generations. The Beatles have sold more than 2,303,500,000 record albums, and in June of 2012 they hit number one on iTunes. They are as big now as they ever were and they're half dead – with the tragic loss of Lennon and Harrison."
While gaining much attention for the movie with discussion about Lennon, the film primarily features discussion about sin and God. Comfort's evangelistic style includes helping people realize that they are sinners "like everybody else" and they need the grace of God.
On the Web: http://geniusthemovie.com/