A well-known Christian evangelist has released a new documentary based on the life and death of Beatles icon John Lennon as a way to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Ray Comfort of Living Waters Ministries, whose first film 180 received critical acclaim and was viewed by millions worldwide, created the movie Genius to generate thought and discussion about the murder of John Lennon thirty years ago this month. In the documentary, Comfort contemplates the worldwide popularity of the Beatles, Lennon’s struggles with faith and religion, including his statement that his rock band had become “more popular than Jesus,” and his tragic death on December 8, 1980.
In addition to reflecting on the day that Lennon was gunned down at age 40, Comfort takes viewers on the streets as he asks a number of youth if they would be willing to murder for money.
“This lady wants to get rid of her husband. She says he’s a rat. All you have to do is drop one tablet of arsenic into his coffee when he’s not looking,” Comfort explains to interviewees as he sets up a hypothetical scenario. “You will get away with it. You will not get caught, and she will give you ten million dollars cash. Would you do it?”
In what will likely result in the shock and horror of most viewers, the majority of those questioned agreed that they would kill for cash.
“I’d do it for free,” one man even stated.
Comfort also talks to a number of professing Christians who admit that while they confess the name of Christ, they are entangled in a variety sinful lifestyles, from lust and fornication, to drug and alcohol use to even cross-dressing.
He then explains that the majority of people come to Christ for all the wrong reasons, as did John Lennon at one time.
“The point is this: I want happiness,” Lennon said. “I don’t want to keep on with drugs. … Explain to me what Christianity can do for me.”
Comfort uses this statement to outline why there are so many false converts in churches today and to present the true message of repentance and faith in the Gospel.
“Genius has a chilling message,” the evangelist recently told reporters with OneNewsNow. “It shows what people will do when they forget God. It reveals that there are ordinary people out there who would kill you. All they need is the right amount of money and the belief that they won’t get caught.”
“It is the ugly fruit of a nation that gives God lip-service,” he continued. “It is no exaggeration to say that God’s name is blasphemed by millions in our country every day. Our job as the Church is to remind them that there is going to be a Day of Reckoning, but that God is rich in mercy to all [who] call upon Him.”
Comfort said that he centered the film on the life and death of John Lennon as he believed that the popular Beatles icon would be widely recognized among the unsaved and would spark interest in watching the documentary.
“We used John Lennon as a springboard to reach the lost because many people think he was a musical genius,” he explained. “You have to have some sort of talent to head up a group that sells two-and-a-half billion records ─ when there are only 7 billion on the planet.”
“It’s because it is about Lennon and is called ‘Genius’ that non-Christians are watching it,” Comfort continued. “That’s also why secular entertainment sites are embedding the trailer on their sites. That’s why when we give these out at universities, secular students will take them. It doesn’t look typically Christian.”
He stated that he wanted to be unsuspecting so that he would reach farther than the Church.
“A typical Christian video on John Lennon would be called something like ‘Evil Beatle,’ and it would vilify him for his drug usage, his ‘We’re more popular than Jesus’ [statement], his ‘imagine there’s no Heaven’ [song], etc,” Comfort said. “But who is going to watch it? The choir. The unsaved world won’t come near it.”
The New Zealand-born evangelist said that he believes the “baiting” method is Biblical.
“When Jesus wanted to talk to the woman at the well about her adultery, He used water as a springboard,” Comfort explained. “He began in the natural realm. Some may call it a ‘bait and switch.’ I would call it wisdom.”
While some may have contention about the method, at the end of the day, Comfort said that his heart is to simply reach souls.
“I am horrified that this world is going to a very real place called Hell, and I desperately want to reach them,” he said. “Love could never let a child drown, and love cannot sit on a pew while sinners sink into Hell. Charles Spurgeon said, ‘Have you no wish for others to be saved? Then you are not saved yourself. Be sure of that.'”
“Never before in the history of the Church has it been so easy to get the Gospel to a perishing world,” Comfort added. “Our pro-life movie 180 reached millions. Genius has much greater potential.”
Living Waters has made the film available for free on its website, GeniusTheMovie.com, and is also selling low-priced copies for distribution at evangelistic outreaches. As of press time, Genius had already received nearly 98,000 views less than a week after its premiere.