[REVIEW] God Friended Me - but He’s done a lot more than that!
God friended me - Airing on Channel 7, Mondays at 9pm
What happens when an angry atheist podcaster starts encountering strange coincidences in his life? Coincidences that could possibly even be…. Miracles?
This is the premise of ‘God Friended Me’, which began airing on Channel 7 on November 5. Dubbed as the ‘Millennial Prophet’, Miles Finer is an ameature podcaster trying to make it in the podcasting world with his anti-God show. He works a mediocre job, is estranged from his pastor father, and is just trying to make ends meet in New York, when a friend request from God shakes his world upside down.
Elaborate Hoax or Extraordinary Coincidence
Miles initially ignores and rejects multiple friend requests from the account ‘God’, assuming it is an elaborate hoax. When he finally does accept, Facebook friend ‘God’ suggests new friends for Miles on the social network. These are people he then crosses paths with in real life, changing their lives in substantial ways. In the first episode, he finds himself saving a doctor from committing suicide, and then helping journalist Cara Bloom reconnect with her long lost mother.
It’s an interesting concept, especially in a world where we seem to have lost the ability to have good conversations about God. The episode raises some obvious questions that all shows like this raise, who is God? What does he want me to do? What does he want my next move to be?
The show also attempts to ask deeper questions, such as where do we find our hope? Miles’ father challenges the podcast for taking away people’s hope, whereas Miles sees his father’s line of work as offering people lies in the place of real hope. But the question is left for us to ponder - is it better to leave people with hope? As to whether the show will simply pose questions to its audience, or try to offer answers, we will have to wait and see.
Could this be the millennial version of 'Touched by an Angel?'
I can’t help but wonder, as I finished watching the first episode, how the story will maintain interest for a whole season or longer. Even with the underlying mystery of who is behind the God Facebook account, I fear it becoming ‘miracle of the week’, as each episode leads Miles, and his journalist friend Cara, to encounter and help different people. Could this be the millennial version of ‘Touched by an Angel?’
The show is well produced, with likable and warm characters. The show is clearly aimed at millennials, with references to podcasts, hip Manhattan bars, and several diverse single twenty-somethings in lead roles. But i am unsure if this will this be enough to cause people to ask the big question behind the show. What would you do if God did send you a friend request?
God has done more than send us a friend request
While this show poses it as a hypothetical, very similar to the 1990’s classic ‘What if God was one of us?’, we know that this is a very real question that everyone needs to address at some point. The gospels make clear that God has not only sent us a friend request, he’s done more than that. Through Jesus, he came to seek and save the lost. God is not interested in subtle hints through social media, he came as the man Jesus to take away the sins that were stopping us from being able to be in relationship with him. The show is a light hearted drama comedy that actually asks a much more serious question of us all, what would we do if God friended us? And it’s a serious question because God has reached out to us, and it’s one we all need to answer.