Ed Young, the pastor of Fellowship Church in Grapevine, Texas, who has started a new sermon series, called "At the Movies," is taking some of the biggest blockbusters to learn what God says about them. On this past Sunday, he screened and preached from a 1994 road-buddy comedy, "Dumb & Dumber."
"God can take your dumb and dumber and turn it into greater and greater!" tweeted Pastor Young, of the film starring Jim Carrey – who plays Lloyd Christmas – and Jeff Daniels, who plays his best friend, Harry Dunne, in the movie.
The sermon began with a clip from the film, where Lloyd says, "I'm sick and tired of having to eke my way through life. I'm sick and tired of bein' a nobody. But most of all... I'm sick and tired of havin' nobody."
"If you also feel you're a nobody … Jesus died on the cross for nobodies like you and me," Pastor Yong said. "Why are we nobodies? Because we are sinners. We decided to move from being a somebody created in God's image to being a nobody..."
But Jesus gives us the opportunity to move from being nobodies to somebodies, underlined the pastor, who is widely known for his creative sermon series. "We're somebody because Jesus gave His body; He sacrificed His life, His blood for our shortcomings..."
The film is about two well-meaning but inept friends who travel across the country to Aspen, Colorado, to try to give back a briefcase left in an airport as part of a ransom payment.
The silver screen is the most iconic venue of our time, the megachurch's website says, of the series. "It's where heroes are cheered, villains are jeered, love is found, and hope is restored. Yet, as captivating as the movies are, they represent just a microcosm of an even more fascinating story that plays out in all of our lives."
The series is aimed at discovering the truths behind the scenes, "truths of salvation, forgiveness and the power found in a life directed by God."
The second clip showed Lloyd and Harry on their way to Aspen, when they begin to fight with each other.
"Lloyd and Harry ... great friends. They have a problem... They express their anger, but then they go through the forgiveness work, and the relationship is reconciled," Young said.
"And that's a cool thing... that's something that you want as a viewer in this movie... that's something that God secured for us, and something that He wants more than anything in the world… He wants us… and that's when you receive the forgiveness of what He did for us on the cross, but also to forgive others in relationships."
Forgiveness benefits us more than it helps the perpetrator, the pastor stressed. We hurt ourselves when we do not forgive. And we need to forgive over and over again, seventy times seven, as Jesus said.
"Forgiveness is all about the Gospel; it's unique to Christianity, it's the heart of the Gospel, the crux of the crucifixion, the death and the resurrection of Jesus," the pastor added.
After the third clip, Pastor Young said we all can see ourselves in Harry, who lost an opportunity to speak. We should speak love, in truth, to people in our lives, including our husband or wife or children or parents, even to a bully, he said. "But when we get down to that point, we shy away, we back down ... We need to be bold at the right time to say something."
Young also explained that the two friends in the movie were initially happy with their materialistic gain; they thought things were the answer. "They chased things, and they forgot about the main thing, their friendship. That's the temptations of things."
We can also give more importance to things than "the main thing, which is God," the pastor said.
After the final scene, Young told the audience that the movie is also about relationships. There is horizontal relationship, with other people, and there's vertical relationship, with God, the most important, he explained.
But human relationships will never get us to the ultimate, the pastor added. If you think of the cross, there's a horizontal aspect and a vertical aspect, which is the longest part of the cross.
"If you're right with God, then the horizontal is gonna be right. Are you right with Christ?" he asked.