I’ll be honest. Before seeing the movie “Ragamuffin” I had never heard of Brennan Manning. I didn’t know there was a book called “The Ragamuffin Gospel” that had a huge impact on Rich Mullins and gave him the name for his band.
Post-movie I went looking for the book online. The reviews were so diverse they made me laugh. Psychobabble! Life changing! Hooey! Love it! I’m paraphrasing – I don’t recall actually seeing the word “hooey”. I ordered the book, figuring that I’m smart enough to head over to scripture if something seems off.
I found “The Ragamuffin Gospel” to be a cool reminder that God loves me. Not so much an earthshattering revelation to me but a good reassurance, a good step back. I don’t know what your theology says, but I think when you look at the entirety of scripture the overarching message is love. Love. And freedom. God is a loving father who wants us to be free, but he leaves the choice to us. Good grief, I am so blessed to be secure in my faith at this point.
This is not to say that anything goes. There are rules and guidelines. Being free doesn’t mean giving in to every whim and temptation.
I may not have had a mountaintop moment, but I can totally see how “The Ragamuffin Gospel” could be life changing for someone with a different background or at a different point in their life. A trusted friend pointed out recently that, at the time the book was originally published, the image of a loving God versus a judgmental God was a fairly revolutionary concept. (Funny how we humans can read the same bible and interpret it differently.) You might know the latter better than the former if you grew up on fire and brimstone, have ever listened to a street preacher yelling “Repent!”, or are familiar with legalism.
I have seen many people impacted positively by all things Ragamuffin over the last year … the movie tour, retreats, and an active online community. People with a wide variety of hurts … abuse, addiction, depression, dysfunction, isolation, disillusionment with the church and Christianity, and even just feeling angsty and unworthy.
The makers of “Ragamuffin”, having seen that somewhat unexpected impact, are working to bring the follow-up film to life. The prayer is “Brennan” will be used by God to have a similar impact on those who need it, to reach more people with the good news of the gospel.
We need help if all of this is going to happen.
- Above all we need prayer … for all involved in production, for all involved in financing or considering making a contribution, for all those needed to make the movie tour go smoothly in 2016.
- We need people to help spread the word about this film and why it’s important. Share this post, tell your friends and family, tell your church. Follow the movie’s Facebook and Twitter pages. Sign up for email updates at www.brennanmanningmovie.com
- If you want to be involved on a deeper level, join the street team at http://colorgreenfilms.com/streetteam/. We need more street team members!
- Watch “Ragamuffin” if you haven’t yet. Available on Netflix, or order the DVD from one of several online retailers. If you would like to host a “Ragamuffin” screening of any size, contact me or whoever shared this post with you. We can make it happen.
- We need churches and other venues (we’re not too picky!) to host “Brennan” screenings when the movie tour begins in 2016. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more info.
- We need funding. It’s true, it takes money to make a film. Please consider supporting the gofundme campaign.* Be sure to watch the video from director David Leo Schultz on the gofundme page!
* Update: Originally a Kickstarter was set up for this effort. Understand that, unlike gofundme, Kickstarter is an "all or nothing" campaign ... if the goal is not met, no credit cards are charged and the project is not even funded in part. Out of the blue (God will provide!), about a week before the scheduled end of the campaign, when the total raised was not looking good ... a generous donor provided half the budget but did not wish to donate through Kickstarter. Soooo ... the filmmakers have launched into pre-production, cancelled the Kickstarter, and set up a gofundme to raise the remaining funds. This movie will be made!