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By Nick P.

Maybe youve heard about that movie Phone Booth. It's the story where a guy named Stu who is played by Colin Farrell goes into a phone booth when he hears the phone ring. However, the guy on the other end is a sniper aimed right at Stu wanting him to tell the truth about the life he's lived. When the sniper shoots someone nearby, Stu is automatically pinned as the killer. However, he has to keep saying what the sniper is telling him to say.

Let me say this right off. The language in this movie is terrible. If you're wanting to see this one, I suggest you wait until it comes to network TV. That way, you can get it without the language. However, in the midst of all the overly-used foul language, some nuggets of truth could be found.

I wanted to see this movie because I was thinking about fear and what fear compels us to do. I was also wanting to see it because I heard the sniper in the commercials talking about the value of the truth. As an apologist, my natural interest is towards the truth.

When Stu is in the booth, outside on the street in the window there's a series of signs that together say "Who do you think you are?" I don't think that is an accident. I think the producers purposely chose such a sign because the story is about a man who is living a lie.

Stu is a publicist. He spins faster than the slickest politician. He'll tell any lie he can to get the money he can. He wears the hottest clothes and drives the nicest car. He wants to look like he has "connections." He also cheats on his wife with another lady at a motel.

And yet, when his life is put on the line, all of this is called into question. The sniper wants Stu to come out and tell the truth. When his wife and his mistress both show up he is forced to come out and tell the truth. He has lied to his mistress in saying he's not married. He has lied to his wife in cheating on her.

I found it shocking when he says why he takes off his wedding ring when he goes into the booth to call his mistress. (That way his wife can't check his call logs.) At the end, he says he does it because he feels unworthy of his wife at the end. When he cheats on her, he doesn't think he deserves to be called her husband. He is taking what he values the most and putting it aside for a lesser.

I drove home pondering all of this where even at the end Stu is willing to give his life if it will mean his wife will live. I heard Steve Brown doing a quck sermonette on a radio commercial where he quoted someone who said "Anyone could devise a plan where good people could get to Heaven. It took God to devise a plan where enemy sinners could."

He then said that so many of us live like we have to get enough points to get to Heaven. He talked of how he was counting his points and didn't add up and cried out "Lord! I'm short on points! Have mercy on me!" and God said "Done!" He said it's really that simple but we don't make it that way.

And I thought of Stu then. How many times have I been like him maybe? How many times have you been like him? How many times have we wanted to act big and flashy. How many times have we put on our "spiritual" sides for our fellow man just to please them instead of God? Our big showy exterior might fool the rest of the world but like the Sniper who knew the inside of Stu's life knew, it doesn't fool everyone. In our case, it doesn't fool God. Now I'm not saying we should confess our sins to every Tom, Dick, and Harry but maybe we should be more open and not put on a show.

I signed on last night after the movie and talked to a friend. He talked of how he was going through stress and shouldn't be. I stopped and said "Why shouldn't you?" He's an apologist also and was signing off and had to admit I had a point there but we'd discuss it later. Why shouldn't he though? Why shouldn't you or I? Let's just admit it at times when things are rough. Christ was honest with his friends when he said "My soul is filled with sorrow even unto the point of death." (Matthew 26:38)

Stu had a sniper aiming at him but for every single human alive, the threat is worse than a sniper. The threat is eternal seperation from God. Now I would say the threat is definitely real. The crime we have committed of sin against an infinite God is definitely real. The sentence being passed is definitely real.

Fortunately, the mercy is also real. In fact, if the threat, sentence, and crime were not real, the threat wouldn't be real either. Picture if I went to a friend of mine and said, "I've decided to have mercy on you and not pick you up and throw you over my shoulder." I weigh about 127. My friend would look at me and say "You couldn't do that anyway." Would that be mercy then? No.

Mercy only makes sense if the threat is real. Now is the time when we need to get before God and say who we are. Who do we think we are? It doesn't fool God to put forth a lie. I know some people who say when they pray they don't get angry with God. I think that's nonsense to do that. I think if you're angry with God (And I have been at times I assure you.) you go on and tell him. He knows anyway! Do you think you're gonna fool him? If you can't be completely honest with God, do you really love and trust him?

So who do you think you are?

In Christ,

email the author at apologianick@wmconnect.com