Theaters Give God an Opportunity

February 01, 2017 | Linda Seeber

This past November's showing of Hacksaw Ridge in theaters across the country featured the story of World War II hero Desmond Doss. Through the story of Doss' faithfulness and undying love for the men he rescued off the battlefield, God's character had a unique opportunity to shine. People were inspired by Doss' unswerving allegiance to the seventh-day Sabbath and in refusing to carry a gun or take a life. This story has impacted many lives, and seeds have been planted that may, in the end, yield a bountiful harvest.

Lathern Seeber of the Gaston (Ore.) Church was compelled to use this opportunity as a door to witnessing. By faith he ordered 200 copies of the Hero of Hacksaw Ridge, published by Remnant Ministries, and asked permission to hand them out at a couple local theaters. The one in Hillsboro, Ore., refused to let any books be given out, but Robert Perkins, owner of the Cornelius Act V Theater, was very willing to accommodate the effort. So Seeber and his wife, Linda, set up an attractive display table with signs reading, “Free books: Hacksaw Ridge.” 

From the start it proved very successful, and over half the books were gone in just a couple hours. The next time they went, they only had about an hour to devote to the project. With 38 books left, they packed up and headed home to get ready for the approaching Sabbath hours. But no sooner had they walked in the door when the phone rang and Perkins, the theater owner, asked if there was any way they could bring them back, for he had advertised the free books on Facebook and Twitter. The Seebers immediately took the books back and set the table up, this time leaving the books unattended for people to help themselves. 

When the Seebers reported their experiences at church the next day, people began to see the wonderful opportunity to witness. Others from both the Gaston Church and nearby Laurelwood Church wanted to join them and buy more books.

Dick Hoey ordered more from Better Life Broadcasting. Miraculously, through three different human “angels,” the books were transported to Gaston with no shipping charges. 

This time the Seebers set 300 books on the display table. Within a couple days they disappeared, eagerly snatched up by theater goers. 

Managers and workers in the theater were spotted getting books for themselves, grabbing more books for friends and even reading on the job when business was slow. When a book was presented to the lady in the booth, she smiled and held up her already-procured copy.

At times people lingered to talk about the movie and described how moved they were with Doss' strong character and commitment to God. The theater owner was impressed and came by to talk for a time about the movie. He expressed a willingness to watch the DVD documentary of Doss' story, The Conscientious Objector, and also a willingness to show another movie called Hell and Mr. Fudge, which brings out the loving character of God.

Yet another 125 books were given to the Seebers to distribute as the movie continued to be shown. This wonderful opportunity opened the door for more than 600 books to be shared with willing hearts. Easily 2,000 could have been given out if more had been purchased. Inside each book was a list of six local churches, Tualatin Valley Academy and the Adventist Book Center, along with a bookmark about where to watch Better Life Broadcasting. Also printed in the book were Doug Batchelor’s comments on what Doss believed, plus a card to send in for Amazing Facts Bible studies. 

Only in the end will we know how many lives were turned to God because of this event.