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“Preacher’s got a gun.” We saw a movie called “Faith like Potatoes” a documentary on the life of Angus Buchan which is comparable to this film my wife and I watched recently, where a man goes from an unrepentant sinner to a man dramatically changed by God through faith to changing other people’s lives. This story goes a little bit much deeper than that, however, into the positive and negative aspects of the choices and consequences in helping people change their lives. This movie is very real. It is written in an unfolding style like a journey from start to finish with the main character. The main character of this movie’s name is, Sam Childers played and co-produced by actor Gerard Butler. The main character is a former drug-dealing biker tough guy who found God and became a crusader for hundreds of Sudanese children who've been forced to become soldiers. Why you should see this movie: Spiritual content• The man character goes through a complete character and personality transformation which is very impressive. This travels over many years of his life. His life is scary and violent in the beginning, before coming to Christ and then it shows very dramatically him becoming more caring and loving. There’s a scene of baptism Powerful testimony of dedication, that one person can have because of their faith and willingness to give all they can to help people. Finds purpose and began benefiting his family, his community, and then the world. One character stays behind to defend the children risking their life for them like Jesus. The main character steps up to the plate and shares testimony how God transforms his life. Though I know a building is just a place, the people sing several congregation songs that touch the heart of this movie. You see family having dinner together and solving problems together.
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Positive elements• • Building an orphanage and not giving up, because of the strong will to help those in need even at personal expense and risk Defending the defenseless against wicked agendas
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The value of friendship and family. All people are important and worth the risk. Individuals inspire people to take actions. Even standing against people that could potentially hurt them they refuse to go back to the way things were because their eyes have been opened to the truth of the matter. This is the main theme of the movie once your eyes are open you cannot go back to what you were. Challenges your faith to take action.
Why you should avoid seeing this movie Language• • If you are very sensitive to cursing, beware this movie has plenty. Every curse word you already know, and some new ones, are heard, a lot, and here they’re used multiple times through different scenes in this movie. It holds the reality element very high, and even after the characters transform there is an element where there is some slipping back and saying something’s that are horrendously offensive. Racial, sexual, and religious slurs are uttered, from many people in the movie.
Violence- With a name like machine gun preacher…. well, of course you know there’s going to be violence. • • • • • • • • • The violence level in this movie was very strong. You have the main character before is conversion doing some very scary things. There’s a provoked fist fight in a bar. Multiple stabbing in a vehicle, then the person is tossed out of a vehicle. Many Rocket Propelled Grenades, RPG’s blow up vehicles and people are thrown from vehicles Gun fire exchange and snipers Children getting shot, People getting shot Body parts are cut off. Body parts are blown off due to a land mines explosion.
Child soldiers are forced kill their own family members. People are burned and stacked
Drug and alcohol• • • • Heroine usage, users shooting up heavy drinking, cigarette smoking, Drugs smoked See several characters strung out and experiencing a drug high.
Sexual content• The husband and wife engage in sexual intimacy while being seen in the front passenger seat, gyrations, her on top, fully clothed but no body part shown, it’s clear what’s going on here. The wife dances against her husband, in a reminiscent way of when she was a stripper before she got her life right. We learn that the people who are captured are raped and killed
Negative Elements• • Shows the how asking for help is often times met with minimal support. Even rejections especially when the cause is worthy one. Though not a clearly explained negative element, it shows how American believers are somewhat oblivious to the struggles of the world and have no idea how to remedy it, but continue on in their existence while food and water are rare items. It showed how the missionaries in the countries, raised money to make a difference and just played it safe, and stayed in the compounds, and then when they had some “down time” to go to the safer spots in the country, Uganda, to “relax and party”. This was when the main character takes a bus and journeyed north to the Sudan to see the struggle of people. The movie expressed very clearly that we Americans usually come with an organization to “sight-see” and “take pictures” then go back home and share their great stories of adventures. The main character takes matters into his own hands and begins hunting down the LRA army and keeping it on the offense.
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It shows how going overboard can be just as bad as becoming the thing you are trying to fight against. One character is threatened to go back to the former lifestyle but refuses. Once character was compared to the early beginnings of a dictator and called a mercenary. Later that character begins to act like one. One character as a question about prom and is harshly rebuked because the work in Africa is taking its toll on the entire family.
My reviewWe don’t watch simple action movies, no as a principle, we watch tough true to life drama, and this was one emotional rollercoaster ride! This movie speaks the truth on so many things! I was quite floored to see how accurately Hollywood actually got the pain of trying to do good for God, with God’s help, really is. Those who seek after God’s plan walking his path, are usually met with resistance from the people they least suspect it from. They are often faced with very difficult choices that challenge their faith level. The scriptures says,” that through many tribulations we shall enter the kingdom of God. This movie did make me question many things that are of Old Testament justice in nature. Like all the Old Testament killings and the Old Testament wiping out other nations right down to the livestock type things. It made me think about the way that people would wipe out the enemy and how the government today has that “right” and approval of God to kill off dictators and criminals. Yet, if you stop an intruder in your home because you’re “packing heat” you can face serious governmental and criminal trouble for it. The character in the story faced a lot of situations like that. Just for the record, killing is always wrong no matter who does it, whether government, medical, or individual it has the taking of a life which was given by God. This movie had very difficult concepts throughout to chew on. We were watching the DVD and I had to stop it and walk around the room many times. My most difficult was about when the chance was given to save a few children from the pack and the choice leave the rest because of no space in the vehicle, so they could quickly drop them off safely, gas up the truck then to come back, how utterly devastating to see the outcome of this in real life and the fact is that those children lost their lives. This was equally difficult for the characters to digest. Some lived while others died. The toll of that translated into his family and even to the children that person was trying to reach, he made many bad decisions and even doubted God. Later, this gets rectified but you’re really walking along this character, working it out too, as it happens. The part that is the most pivotal and harsh after watching this movie was to deal with balancing the American life and mindset having water and plumbing and food in the fridge, as compared to understanding the rest of the world that so many innocent people are seriously struggling to live another day, in war zones even afraid to sleep. We have the ability as Americans to do something to free this country from this dictator Warlord, but our military is
spread thin in its fights and wars about oil and nuclear weapons. This is a country and people that needs freedom. This story still continues to this day. The real Sam Childers at the very end of the movie said if he can get your child back by any means from a villain or a terrorist hurting them, would you care how your child was retrieved? I shuddered at that thought and tried to understand (as I have been trained) that the ends don’t justify the means. Yet, I would desire to have my child back. If the police, military, FBI or CIA was hunting the criminal down, you d hope they would live to come to justice, but It wouldn’t matter if the person doing the saving were a Christian in practice or principle, I would want my child back. “And that’s alright, isn’t it”? Many questions are left to be answered: • • • • • • If no one else is willing to help you, to listen to you, to go for you what do you do? Should you take matters into your own hands? When you see someone struggling, how far are you supposed to go to make their problem your own? How do we deal with suffering today while we can change the channel with our remotes to watch things that are entertaining? We are so busy how can we help? Should law abiding citizens have assault rifles and hand guns to protect the innocent of this world like a vigilante? Guns have become vilified after many shootings and fatalities but usually it is by the criminals who tote and abuse the world not following gun laws. After your eyes have been open to this can you say,” It’s not my problem”?
No easy answers. Yet find out how you can help and help. We see from the bible that many people risked their lives on behalf of the giving the gospel and helping their fellow man even to death. We see that the greatest of all sacrifices is giving your life to help your fellowman live on another day. In Jesus’ case, his death was to give us eternal life. Those things are never comfortable, fun or easy to do. To die daily, pick up your cross daily, like Jesus said we are to do is to have a solid perspective on heaven and to overlook the cares of this world that will in fact choke your faith and make us useless for the Saviors service. Most likely go rent the movie ansd watch the extra features. In one sentence, the preacher got a gun.. This review represents the opinion of Me, Greg Valentine and is not in anyway connected to the opinions of anyone else. So there you have it. That sums up my review.
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