The Cross and the Switchblade, a decades old movie, shows that ingrained hatred and cynicism can be overcome. Through Christian faith, people can be positively changed.
The movie, starring a very young-looking Pat Boone as a country preacher from a small town in Pennsylvania, and Erick Estrada, a gang leader in Brooklyn, shows that through faith and perseverance, people can be turned around. People can be reached when Christians show others the love of God.
The movie is based on the biographical book by David Wilkerson (Pat Boone). The country preacher meets various gangs in Brooklyn and finds cynicism and hate. It took the preacher, who was in strange territory, much perseverance and trust in God to hang in there to help change the street worn thugs. He tells them that he and God love them and that God will change them into new, loving creatures. The old ways passed.
To the gangs, there seemed to be no way out. They thought they couldn’t change the status quo. But, as the country preacher persevered, even Nicky (Erick Estrada), the most hateful, cynical gang leader, turned around and he started bringing others into the fold. Even the police, who were doubtful the gang activity would stop, discovered it did! Early on, during a street rally, after a police officer shewed David and his gang audience, a police sergeant was won over. He said he was glad there were guys like the preacher whom he believed would make a difference.
The movie was well-paced; it held me and my girlfriend’s interest when we watched it recently, as we witnessed the drama of the hearts of gang members being won over unfolded.
No matter how far you’ve fallen, and what bad things you’ve been doing, there is hope in the Cross, the right cross. Sometimes a right cross is what’s needed to wake us up! In gently admonishing the gangs, David didn’t pull any punches. He sacrificed for God and his fellow humans to help others.
Other Christians helped the downtrodden. In the movie, caring Christians took in a drug addict, showed her love by taking care of her until she kicked the habit.
Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” -Matthew 22:34-40
This Saturday, the 7th Annual Conquering Grounds Music Fest & Relapse Prevention Walk will be held in Bensalem, PA. Like the gang members in The Cross and the Switchblade, there is hope for those who are suffering from sin, the voluntary slavery of drug addiction to come clean!
Check it out!