Part number two of movies have always had the reputation of not being very good. I always try to forget this and go into a movie with an open mind. The latest movie that I have watched is God's Not Dead 2. I gave a big thumbs up to God's Not Dead 1, and I had no idea what part two was going to be about. I wasn't sure if it would be a whole new set of characters or not. As the movie opened up, I noticed that there were some familiar faces from part one. We have Reverend Dave, played by David A. R. White. We have Amy Ryan, played by Trisha LaFache. Martin Yep played by Paul Kwo and Reverend Jude played by Benjamin Ochieng. Also returning for small roles in God's Not Dead 2 is the Christian band "Newsboys" that Amy confides in at the end of part one.
The main plot in this movie focuses around a history teacher at Martin Luther King Jr. High school named Grace Wesley (Played by Melissa Joan Hart.) While teaching her class and giving lecture about Gandhi and Martin Luther King, one of her students named Brook (Played by Hayley Orrantia) asks if these peaceful teachings are similar to the biblical account of the Sermon of the Mount. Grace agrees with her student and gives some biblical scriptures to the class to prove the similarities. One of the students immediately sends a text to his parents which leads to backlash from the school principle. Principle Kinney (Played by Robin Givens). Eventually, Grace is brought before the School Board who inform her that legal action will be taken against her as she has violated the separation of church and state. Tom Endler (Played by Jesse Metcalfe), a young defense attorney (who does not look like your typical lawyer) draws interest in the case and represents her despite him being an unbeliever.
Martin Yip, a college student who found Jesus Christ in part one pays a visit to Pastor David. Martin has a longing to learn as much as he can about Jesus and has a list of over 100 questions to ask the pastor. Meanwhile, Amy, who got cancer in the previous movie checks in with her doctor to see the progress of her cancer. Miraculously, her cancer has vanished. She goes to speak with Michael Tate of the Newsboys Band (from who she became friends with at the end of part one) and he encourages her by telling her that faith and prayers can lead to answers from God. Even with this miracle in her life, Amy still questions her faith, but somehow still has a place in her heart for God and makes her blog about her adventure with God.
Grace is brought up before a judge in Little Rock, Arkansas and the School Board has a goal of having her terminated from her job and having her teaching licenses stripped. Grace is given a chance to end all of her problems by just giving an apology and insuring that something like this would never happen again. Grace cannot do that though as she feels it would be the wrong thing to do. Brooke hears the prosecutor of the case, Kane (Played by Ray Wise) stating to her parents that the lawsuit will prove once and for all that God is dead. As jurors are picked for the case, Kane tries to choose those he think that will benefit his case. Of course this would not be Christians or anybody else he thinks would be favorable to the defense. Likewise, defense attorney Endler chooses those who may benefit the defense. Pastor David is chosen as one of the jurors in the case. In court, Kane's opening statements suggest that the United States will crumble unless Grace is found guilty. Defense attorney Endler opens up by stating that Grace was only doing her job by answering her student's question and points out that the separation of church and state were written by Thomas Jefferson to protect the church and not prosecute it. His point is that the state tries to make it seem like the law was written for them when it was in fact written for the church. Things get even worse for Brook when Pastor David, one of her main key jurors becomes ill and is hospitalized. Eventually he is replaced by a young woman who has a rocker/goth type look. Of course this would seem to please the prosecution.
From the get go, things do not look good for Brooke as Kane builds a strong case against her by bringing forward several key witnesses. Expert key witness Warner Wallace (A Christian apologist) is called up to take the stand He states that it is illogical for anybody to think that the gospel is a conspiracy and makes very valid points to back up what he is saying. Kane then thinks he can convince the jurors that all of these points are bias since Warner Wallace is a Christian. He is surprised though when Warner Wallace points out that he was a practicing atheist who was converted to Christianity.
While in his dorm room, Martin gets a surprise when his father walks in. Mr. Yip angrily rebukes Martin for following God despite the family's sacrifices. Martin refuses to deny God and his father walks out of the room telling him that he is no longer his son. Martin goes to the church to find comfort in what just happened to him and there he finds Brook who he is meeting for the first time. They talk about God, and Martin finds himself answering questions this time and brings Brook closer to her faith in God. Later, Brooke sets up a protest to support Grace.
Brooke intrudes on the court proceedings and the judge in the case allows her to testify despite her being underage. Kane uses this opportunity to get Brooke to admit that it was Grace and not her who initiated the first conversation about Jesus Christ. Kane really feels that he has this case under control and tells a member of his prosecution team that Grace does not have a prayer to win her case. Unfortunately for him, Grace had many prayers as Amy makes a telephone call to her friends, the Newsboys, who are in the middle of a concert. With Amy on the telephone, the Newsboys announce to the crowd the situation that Grace is in and the whole arena prays for her. Grace and her attorney feel like all hope in the case is gone and Grace confides in her elderly father by telling him that is seems as of late that God is not listening to her. Her father tells her one of the most memorable quotes of the movie when he says "During a test the teacher is always quiet." As Grace becomes more and more discouraged, Brooke and her friends sing her a song in front of her house in an attempt to build up her spirits.
Martin visits David who is still in the hospital from his illness. In the hospital already visiting David is Reverend Jude. Martin tells them that he feels that God is calling him to be a pastor in China. They smile and warn him about the difficulties he will have preaching God's word in China and Martin acknowledges what they have said.
With nothing to lose, as he already knows that they are gong to lose the case, Endler uses a tactic that places Grace as a hostile witness. Endler gets the judge to inform the jury not to let their bias or prejudices interfere with their verdict. Endler attacks Grace and her whole character and screams at her frantically about telling the truth. The jury ultimately finds in favor of Grace, who rejoices along with Brooke and Endler as Kane stands humiliated. One thing to also note here is the surprise that Grace gets when she sees a certain juror walk out of the room when it is all over. Pastor David's replacement juror in the case, that young women who had a rock/goth type look is seen from behind by Grace as she exits the court room. Much to her surprise, she notices a tattoo of a cross on the back of the young womans neck. A good lesson here to not always judge a book by its cover.
In a post credits scene, Pastor David returns to his church and is with his good friend Reverend Jude Paul and Martin. David is arrested by the police for his refusal to turn in his sermons to the government after he had a court order to do so. Paul and Martin watch as David is taken away. Then, Martin wonders what to do next, and Paul replies that the best they can do is wait, and pray. This seems like a great set up for a future God's Not Dead 3 movie.
God's Not Dead 2 was a great movie to watch as it shows the courage of a teacher fighting for what she believes in. Even though Grace can lose her job and her livelihood, she never denies her Lord and savior and refuses to apologize for accusations that she is not guilty of. I cannot say that God Not Dead 2 was a better movie than God's Not Dead 1, but I can say that it was just as good. I loved how to movie shows how many people get so uptight when the name of Jesus Christ is ever mentioned. How they will try to prove their points about how Jesus never existed, etc. The movie clearly displays these type of people. Atheism has always been, but now with Darwin followers, present day atheist really think that they make valid points when all they have is a theory with no proof (Although they will tell you otherwise.) These are the same people who will use B.C. and A.D. to note the years but yet they will still tell you that Jesus never existed! Anyways, this post is not about my religious beliefs so I will stop with that here. If anybody wants to watch a good movie with a lot of truth and feeling, I would encourage them to watch God's Not Dead 2.