“And I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit into you: I will remove the heart of stone from your body and give you a heart of flesh;” Ezekiel 36:26 (The Israel Bible™)
Christian filmmaker Brian Sanders is wrapping up a trip to Israel from his home in Colorado. His goal for this trip is no less than transforming the perspective of the global church about Israel.
He’s here shooting a film with the ambitious title Why Stand With Israel: A Film To Change Hearts.
Sanders spoke to Breaking Israel News about how he came to see the centrality of Israel in the Bible. “In 2013, I came to Israel to cover and film President Obama’s visit here. Like many, my eyes were opened to see the Bible come to life.
“I wanted to know more about Israel, so I did my own research. I turned to others whose eyes had been opened. I started to seek out and hang around like-minded [others]. I started learning more about my Hebraic roots. I started reading parsha (the weekly Torah portion read by Jews worldwide) and learning more about the [Biblical] feasts.”
This was something of a do-it-yourself project since, in the decades Sanders spent attending church services, he said, “Not once in church had I ever heard any teaching on Israel or the Scriptures I found on my own.”
Connecting to Israel changed him in significant ways. “My relationship increased more with the Father. It’s really getting back to the Father. That part is just missing. You see the Father and His handprints all over the Tanach (Hebrew Bible). I discovered more about the Father’s heart. It inspired me to know more.”
By 2015, Sanders felt ready to celebrate Sukkot (Feast of Tabernacles) at his home. At that point, he realized that something had to change.
“We’re Biblically illiterate,” Sanders claimed about the many traditional Christians who do not connect to the centrality of God’s promises to Israel. He began asking himself why the church wasn’t teaching this. “Why don’t we know what the heritage and foundations of our faith and where it began? Why is this not being taught in the church? It got me perturbed! Why was I lied to? What wasn’t I told the whole truth?
“Now that I found the truth I want other people to see it,” he asserted.
“There is no other nation that the Lord talks about more. He talks about this nation, yet we don’t dive into it. We don’t see what He’s trying to tell us. He made an everlasting, eternal covenant with the Jewish people and the Nation of Israel.
“There shouldn’t be a ‘riding on the fence’. If we say we love God, we should love what He loves. Pastors say, ‘I don’t want to offend the Arabs/Palestinians.’ It saddens me when I hear churches or pastors saying ‘I’m not called to that. It’s not part of our mission.’ If you’re a minister of the word, it should provoke you to share that with your congregation.
“If we love His word, we should love what He loves. True Bible-believing Christians that stand with israel grasp the whole truth. There’s no debate. There’s no skepticism,” he confidently asserted.
Even further, Sanders said, ““He (God) has an End Time plan for Israel and the Jewish people. When we exclude it, we mistakenly interpret the Scripture. We’re leaving out a big piece of the puzzle of God’s plan.”
Once he connected powerfully to the need for Christians to first repent “for what we’ve done” and then “to bless the Jews materially for the spiritual gifts they have given us”, it became clear that Sanders needed to use his unique skill set to educate others. Thus, the plan for a film that could educate Christians was born.
“The Jews are the bride to God Himself.”
Hashem has called you back As a wife forlorn and forsaken. Can one cast off the wife of his youth? —said your God. Isaiah 54:6
“Why are we silent in the face of all this anti-Israel, anti-Jewish sentiment? We should be standing up! My heart in this film is that [Christians] would truly stand with Israel.”
Sanders expects Why Stand With Israel: A Film To Change Hearts to have a running time of 60 minutes. The film, which he’s been working on since 2015, could be completed by the end of 2019. “I’m trying to be obedient to the Lord, praying for the remainder [of the funding] to come in so we can finish the film before the end of the year,” he noted.
Besides financial setbacks, Sanders believes that God directed him to rethink the whole script. He was initially planning to be behind the scenes, but he reported that he “felt compelled and led” to be on camera, hosting the film.
Sanders has far-reaching distribution plans for the film which he hopes will serve as a call to action, for Christians to “come to the Land, be in respectful dialogue with Jewish people and invest in Israeli products.”
“[Israel is] the Land the Lord says is His – wouldn’t you want to visit it? When you come here, it will change your life forever, like it did for me. I believe you’ll be compelled and inspired to do more.
“When they truly know the truth about Israel, it will open their eyes and inspire them to do whatever they can to stand with Israel. I want them to see the Israel I love. I really believe it will change them,” he enthused.
The plan is to translate the film into multiple languages so it will be accessible to Christians worldwide. “The global church is the target audience,” he explained.
Additional goals include making it available on streaming platforms such as Netflix and Amazon. His non-profit is in negotiations with several Christian television networks and the team is already talking to churches about local screenings. Sanders hopes to host a world premiere in Jerusalem as well as make the film available on DVD and Blu-ray.
Sanders is not only a passionate advocate for Christians to stand with Israel, he also stands firmly against replacement theology. “The Father Himself has an End Time plan for the Jewish people. Where do we get off saying we replace them? We know he is a covenant-loving God. He’s not a man who can change his mind. It’s irrevocable and there’s no error in it.”
Hashem is not man to be capricious, Or mortal to change His mind. Would He speak and not act, Promise and not fulfill? Numbers 23:19
“I believe that God’s word is infallible. Where do we get off twisting His word, saying that He would replace the people with whom He has an eternal covenant? Where do we get off saying we have replaced them as His people? We need to stop teaching and preaching that and eradicate that erroneous teaching – that we have replaced the Jewish people.”
With his forthcoming film, and with his opposition to replacement theology, Sanders said, “I’m trying to raise awareness, to blow the shofar in the church and say, ‘This is the truth!’ Antisemitism is on the rise. My question to the church is, ‘Why are we silent?’ We should stand up globally as the church.
“Pastors realize this is needed. There’s nothing [like this] being taught. It’s really going to bless the church,” he concluded confidently.
Sanders invites Breaking Israel News readers to follow the Why Stand With Israel Facebook page for updates and to learn when the film will be released. Contact him personally at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a local screening.