The Chapel Office welcomed the “Beware of Christians” crew to campus Monday and offered students a day full of opportunities to engage with the cast.
“Beware of Christians” is a documentary that was released in 2010 and that has been circulating the country as a speaking and film tour.
In the film, four recent college graduates journey to Europe to find answers to tough questions about Christianity. The men attempt to define what it means be a Christian. Between Chapel, a lunch and two forums, three of the four members of the team had the opportunity to share their stories and discuss what they learned about living out a Christian life.
Alex Carroll, one of the producers and stars in the film, said his hope is that people who watch the film will realize that faith is made up of more than what they have grown up around. He challenges them to ask questions about why they really believe that Jesus died on the cross for them.
“If you never ask yourself those questions and if you don’t come to it on your own understanding, then it’s not going to be your own faith,” Carroll said. “So make your faith your own; ask yourself the tough questions.”
The film covered the topics included Christian identity, materialism, sex and relationships among others.Â The group spent the two weeks before they left the country fleshing out a list of topics they wanted to address, but they forgot the list in the U.S.
The topics center around “What they’re doing is defining Christianity,” said Meredith Wilson,Â a former ACU student. “They go on a journey to different countries to define Christianity, because they’re so engulfed in American culture that they don’t know what it looks like from an outside perspective.”
Wilson said what she most appreciated about the film was that it sparked a conversation between her and her friends afterwards.
“Christianity is what you make of it,” Wilson said. “You shouldn’t be so worried about claiming the title of Christian; it’s been given such a bad name. If you worry about that then it’s never going to change.”
Carroll said that the three guys possessed the exact skills they have needed to get to where they are now. Will Bakke graduated with a degree in film from Baylor. Michael B. Allen is skilled in web technology and manages Riot Studios’ website. Carroll went to Georgetown business school and implements those skills at Riot Studios.
“We feel like we have three pieces to be successful in the film industry and so that’s what we’re going to do. So we don’t ever try to put ourselves out there like we’re a big deal,” Carroll said.Â and we realize that this can all be taken away from us so quickly.”
Carroll said, however, that they could use continued support. Outside of financial support, people can also help via Twitter and Facebook, since investors take all elements of success into account when deciding if they will help fund another film.
“You’re the only ones that can make that stuff happen,” Carroll said. “And you’re the only way that Hollywood gets movies besides ones like ‘Contraband’.”
Since the first Abilene showing, the movement surrounding the documentary has gained momentum. Their Facebook following grew from about 2,000 during the first tour to more than 34,000 likes.
“I don’t think any of us thought that it would get to the place where we are now,” Carroll said. “Normally documentaries don’t ever get past a certain height. I never thought that we would get to the point where we’re showing it to 1,500 students at Abilene Christian; it’s been such a blessing to have all this support.”
“This is only the beginning,” Carroll said. “We go 68 more places after this. This will probably be our biggest event but it’s good that we got to start out with this one because everything else will be somewhat less daunting.”