Serving is Messy #Voiceless

Voiceless: A Movie Review


“Voiceless was made to engage the church,” said producer, Stuart Migdon. He goes on to say, “We believe our film artfully presents the issue in a way that pro-life supporters can rally behind without alienating pro-choice viewers before they’ve had a chance to contemplate our story.” This description is spot-on.

A war veteran and his wife move to the inner city of Philadelphia. He’s the new outreach pastor, but the church he serves under is more concerned about filling seats than about serving the community. The opening scenes where Voiceless introduces the church shows a typical dying church—big, opulent, and filled with empty seats. A few parishioners fill a couple of pews and they look bored.

Notably, one of the biggest contributors to the church’s general fund runs several car washes and expects the church to be run his way because he’s the biggest (and only?) tither. As you’ll discover towards the end of the movie as the story builds, this brings the executive pastor into the crosshairs where he has to make a choice, too.  It’s truly a living-on-faith movie that encourages the church to serve Jesus in meaningful and risky ways.

What we consider politically as activism should be considered as serving the Lord. There were clumsy starts to the outreach pastor’s attempts to reach the women going into the “Family Planning” center, and the Senior Adult who lives next door to the church provides humorous and poignant touches throughout the build of the story. An unexpected twist between the outreach pastor and his wife suddenly makes his crusade personal.

The movie highlights the problems with underfunded pregnancy centers and church congregation members that are pro-life, but unwilling to give of themselves to the community. The conversation with the outreach pastor and the head of the abortion clinic (a.k.a. Family Planning Center) was also interesting as it expressed the pro-choice viewpoint. The challenge of the older neighbor having to take in a family convicts me.

The question I asked myself then, “How far am I willing to go out of my comfort zone to help another in a difficult situation?” How far am I willing to go to serve the Lord? Am I willing to make waves or do I really want my church programs, my comfortable seats, or am I willing to go beyond this? Taking biblical risks come with consequences as the outreach pastor and his wife soon learns.

As a church, are we willing to offend to stand for something even if that means losing half of your congregation? The questions this movie forces us to think about are these:

  1. How can we provide alternate medical help for those stuck in situations of unplanned pregnancies?
  2. How can we learn to listen to those who have had abortions and who are seeking abortions?
  3. How can we move the congregations to provide the means of escaping what abortion seekers think is the only way out of a horrible situation?

While only one minor problem exists with the movie, I choose to not discuss it in the blog. I’ll be happy to discuss it privately, but it’s more to do with storyline than the quality of the movie. I promise that there are no cheesy actors or actresses or pat answers in this movie. I gave it five stars.