Today’s debut of ’58:The Film’ says poverty can end soon

By October 13, 2011

USA (MNN) — The church is winning the war on global poverty. But why isn't it conquered?

Isaiah 58 talks about the Israelites' religious rituals that were meaningless to God because they were not done from sacrificial and God-fearing hearts. This chapter challenges the Israelites that if they truly love the Lord, they will "loose the chains of injustic," and "provide the poor wanderer with shelter."

Essentially, don't just say, but DO.

Isaiah 58 is where "58: The Film" gets its name. "It's named after Scripture, and it's really a call to action for Christians to mobilize the global church to end poverty in our lifetime," explains Kathy Redmond with Compassion International.

"58: The Film" is a documentary, taking viewers on a journey of scenes of young girls being trafficked, indentured slaves in India, and gangs in Brazil. One boy says to the camera, "I have dreams, but they will never come true. So let me have no dreams at all."

"58:The Film" is debuting today across the United States. It's even playing in the White House.

Those who've already seen it have commented on the power behind the stories and the National Geographic-like filming. Redmond says Compassion will only truly know if the film's been successful when minds are changed and people do actually engage the issue.

"A lot of Christians are acquainted with the verse, ‘There will always be poor among us,' but not the other 2,000 verses on poverty that say you have to take action–you have to help."

Redmond says Christians in particular have an enormous role to play–not only because God mandates it, but because poverty is more than just hunger and a lack of material goods.

"Poverty is a situation of spirituality," explains Redmond. "What we have seen so many times in our travels is people in poverty whose mindset is poverty, whose mindset is: ‘I'm not worth it' or ‘I won't accomplish anything.' We introduce the Gospel–which is really a light to them, and that Gospel says, ‘God loves you and God gave you a purpose'…just think about that."

As churches begin to do more than just nod approval to those eradicating poverty, and actually step in to defend the oppressed and eliminate poverty, "58:The Film" claims that global poverty can be wiped off the earth in this lifetime.

You can be a part of this. It starts with just watching a film. "58:The Film" may be playing in a town near you at 7:30 tonight. If not, your church, Bible study, university or other small group can host a showing of the film. To learn more about the details and to watch a preview of the documentary, visit live58.org/thefilm.

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