WWJD NOW?: Episcopal Diocese of California commissions web-film

"Since when is being Christian all about worshiping Jesus instead of following him?"

WWJDN is a four part web movie by filmmaker Rick Johnson, Emmy and Webby winning broadcast TV and documentary producer.

Bishop Marc Andrus (Episcopal Diocese of California), then-director of communications Sean McConnell, and the filmmaker discussed possibilities for the film's content. Johnson says he "was not charged to document the present as much as to show where church is finding new directions and being transformed."

Johnson writes a letter to introduce the film:

What is WWJDNow?
I've had this film inside of me for a long time. How can anyone be a follower of Jesus and not cringe to see the church sliding into cultural irrelevance? You tell a new acquaintance you're a Christian and they back off a few steps.
Few young people in the US culture understand religion as anything more than supernatural myths, judgement, heaven and hell, and lots of rules.
The value of life ordered by spiritual practice and commitment to each other in community has become lost.
I happen to be Episcopalian, but this film is for anyone, believer or not, who sees the church circling the drain in a culture that couldn't care less.
The church is the human endeavour to carry forth the faith. Unfortunately, many feel Christianity fell into the wrong hands. I think it fell into the hands of humans, some with the best of intentions. But the church's dark and corrupt chapters do not hold us to its past.
What can being a follower of Jesus mean today? What is the essential Christian experience without additives?
"What would Jesus do?" became cliché, and the answer was acceptance of a particular view of Christian doctrine and interpretation of scripture.
What Would Jesus Do NOW ?
Jesus was counter-cultural as were his followers. How did Christianity come to mean an “institution” instead of Jesus’ way of life?
This film is meant to be a catalyst for conversation. I don't offer any solutions to the church's crisis of relevance, or tell others how they should experience God. This film shows what I and others have discovered. And, I may be wrong.
Time is limited. Jesus' teachings will live on, whether the church does or not. Are we alive and dying? Or alive and living?
It is worth noting that streaming of WWJDNow on this site began on Pentecost Sunday, May 27, 2012.
In peace,
Rick
Comments (4)

Just watched Part One. This thing is awesome!

If anyone hasn't seen it yet, make the time.

Kevin McGrane

"Since when is being Christian all about worshiping Jesus instead of following him?"

Well, since always. Well, it's always been about both worshiping him and following him into a habitual life of repentance, ethical behavior, and growth in likeness to God. So this question has set me off on the wrong foot with these videos, because here's what it communicates to me: "You've been doing it all wrong this whole time. Here, I'll fix it for you."

I'll watch the videos in a little while.

Chris: I also had some problems with the note, but decided to see the film first before I posted.

Boy, was I glad I waited. The coverpage of the website and it's logo you cited does not segue with the film, IMO. It was not what I expected.

Kevin McGrane

I watched it. It seems awfully one sided.

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