"Holy Ghost" is a movie about the work of the Holy Spirit. The film had no script, and its director had no plans other than to follow God's leading. The Christian documentary by Darren Wilson and Wanderlust Productions features band members from Korn, Lenny Kravitz, "VeggieTales" creator Phil Vischer, Michael W. Smith, and Meredith Andrews.
Director Darren Wilson set out to prove that the Holy Spirit is real, and wanted to capture His majesty on film. Wilson desired to make a movie that was "Completely lead by the Holy Spirit," he says - "No plan, no safety net - just show up wherever He leads me, find the adventure, and make God famous." God seems to have honored their request, and the producers flew all over the world to show people His love and His power.
"When that feeling - the presence of the Holy Spirit comes ... I'm telling you, for a drug addict to feel that, there's nothing better," says Brian Welch, lead guitarist of Korn. The rock star was once addicted to methamphetamines and felt utterly unfulfilled despite being famous. "I felt nothing but a gutter feeling in my soul," he says. When Welch came to Christ, God removed his addictions. "I felt like I was home in life for the first time ... the next morning I threw away all the drugs," he says.
Welch's testimony of God's power and mercy helps to set the stage for "Holy Ghost." The director first felt lead to go to Salt Lake City, Utah - into the heart of Mormonism. There he and Pastor Jamie Galloway of Eastgate Church in Philadelphia walked the streets and prayed for people to feel the presence of the Holy Spirit. They also asked the Lord to heal peoples' infirmities.
The film acknowledges that there is a longstanding debate between cessationists and continuationalists regarding the work of the Holy Spirit, and supports the view that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are fully operable and are useful to draw men unto Christ today.
While Pastor Galloway prays with people with much confidence that God will act, he and others in the documentary acknowledge that believers must grow in discernment and will sometimes fail to hear from God correctly. "You do what God tells you - you listen to the voice, and when there's fruit there, then you realize 'Yes, I did hear [the] Holy Spirit,'" he says.
Praying with such boldness for God to physically heal someone is risky. We find many examples of miraculous healing in Scripture, and Christ most always used physical healing to point to the deeper spiritual healing that everyone needs: to be forgiven for our sin against Him and to receive with joy His death on the cross in our place so that we can be raised to new life, as He was.
The motivation for praying with people in such a way is key. Many have been lead astray by health and wealth gospels, and are often lured into an emotional frenzy for monetary gain. "If love doesn't motivate you, then there's really no point," Darren says, citing 1 Corinth 13:1-3.
Some might be attracted by the gifts and even the presence of the Holy Spirit, and can pursue Him without truly understanding what Christ's death and resurrection has done for them. It seems wise, then, to encourage people to pray to receive Christ only after they show repentance for their sin.
"Following Jesus is one of the most risky things ever ... you're going to be put in spots that are scary and nerve-racking, and you're going to have to be willing to look like an idiot and you're going to have to step out," says Banning Liebscher, director of Jesus Culture.
The film follows Korn members Brian "Head" Welch and "Fieldy" Arvizu as they interact with fans before a concert, asking God for healing, sharing the Gospel, and praying with people to receive Christ. Wilson later felt lead to go to a radically militant area of India, where his team played worship music in places which were hostile to Christianity. They attracted large crowds and used the opportunity to tell people of God's love for them and to pray with them. They were also granted access by a high priest to film in a sacred Hindu temple, a feat that could have gotten them killed if the Lord had not protected them.
In summary, Wilson wants people to know that God's Spirit is real and available. "We try so hard - we do so many things, we go to such great lengths in an effort to touch God - when the truth is, He's already sent His Holy Spirit to touch us," he says.
"Holy Ghost" will not to be released in theaters, but Wanderlust Productions will make the film available free of charge for its world premiere on September 6.