The All Things Loss Film Project is designed to connect believers in the Lord Jesus for a reformation in the West African church: back to the biblical simplicity of the Pattern of Christ. A project by Steve Phillips
13 years ago when I first wrote All Things Loss [ATL], it was as a voice crying in the wilderness. Prosperity’s deceptive message dominated the West African religious landscape. Few were even willing to question its legitimacy. The original back-cover describes the novel in this way:
Like countless other ministries across Nigeria, Christ’s Tabernacle of Glory seemingly flourished under its anointed Man of God. Multitudes swelled its Sunday services. Thousands flocked to their city-wide night vigil. Testimonies of healing and prosperity abounded.
But something was wrong, disturbingly wrong.
Repeated promises of breakthroughs didn’t come. Advertised miracles rarely were seen.
Self-made prophesies were not fulfilled. The Word of God did not agree with the Church’s deeds. This is what was most unsettling to Pastor Femi.
It disturbed him as it does increasing multitudes. Join Pastor Femi on his spiritual journey from Prosperity’s disillusionment into the freedom of simplicity in Christ. Discover the refreshing biblical alternative to the deception and emptiness of the present prevailing religion.
ATL embodies essential biblical teachings in a believable life-context within West African culture along with the struggles that accompany embracing the Truth. Interwoven and conveyed with clarity and credibility within its pages are:
The Gospel of the Lord Jesus and repentance are proclaimed along with the centrality of the Word of God in simple clear principles of interpretation.
The process of biblical discipleship is graphically portrayed in conjunction with loving one another through participatory fellowship in homes according to the simplicity of the Pattern of Christ. The true essence of the NT church with Christ as its practical living Head is unfolded while demonstrating biblical leadership: one exemplifying a servant-example combined with the persuasive power of truth, not that of dominating hierarchy.
Error is confronted by speaking the truth in love from an uncompromising heart of committed devotion while exposing the mutually exclusive alternatives of serving God or Mammon. Forgiveness and loving one’s enemies while being persecuted and suffering for Christ are poignantly impressed upon the reader.
A portrait is painted of devoted Christian homes with loving consideration and mutual submission. The godly work ethic of integrity free from the corruption of laziness, greed, and dishonesty is vividly described.
The Scriptural essence of prayer is contrasted to Positive Confession’s deceptive decrees. Divine guidance in the pressing practicalities of life is shown. Biblical giving out of a heart of love rather than from the unclean motive of self-gain is emphasized.
And the process of sanctification through the enablement of the Holy Spirit, belief and obedience to the Word of God, prayer, and participatory fellowship with like-minded believers is woven throughout.
WHY A FILM?
In those days, few would consider alternatives to Prosperity’s grip upon the church; it was considered unthinkable, even heretical. But times have changed. Today, widespread disillusionment with the repeated false promises of West African “ministers” is sweeping the land.
People are tired of hearing that body cologne that has been “blessed” by a “Man of God” will cause demons to fall dead at one’s feet every time it is sprayed. They are weary of hearing that the “secret” to the heart of God is to dance before Him resulting in obtaining whatsoever one asks for.
Many are becoming disgusted with “pastors” who sell their “anointed” sweat to insure hundred-fold returns on people’s “seed-faith” offerings. Suspicion is growing about the legitimacy of bottles of water being “transformed” into the “blood” of Jesus that will protect from all evils through a minister’s prayer.
13 years ago, technology was just beginning to show its face in West Africa. Email, cell phones, and availability of computers were rarities. Today, there is a virtual technological explosion. Smartphones, i- pads, laptops, internet access, and DVD devices abound, even in villages.
West Africa is an oral society, learning best by observation and hearing. So enamored are they presently with the medium of film, that Nigeria has become the 2nd largest film producer worldwide, even outranking the USA.
What one person could read in 1-2 weeks in the ATL book, now 50 people can see in the DVD version in 90 minutes. Even the poorest quality films produced in Nigeria have a circulation of 50k copies. The most successful ones reach into the millions of copies.
And this is our hope – to spearhead a reformation of the very fabric Christendom in West Africa by providing a viable and biblical alternative to the confusion and disappointment of Prosperity’s delusion.
Steve Phillips was a missionary for 10 years in West Africa and continues to influence and disciple brethren there. The names and characters in ATL are fiction, but the message of this novel was gained by firsthand observation during his 7 years in Nigeria. Contact him on Facebook at: All Things Loss