September 10, 2015

Review: War Room

by Jesse Johnson

Christian movies can’t win. If they are overt about the gospel—such as Courageous or Fireproof—then they are criticized that they are too in-your-face. If they are more subtle—Chronicles of Narnia, for example—then they are criticized for not being Christian enough, whatever that is supposed to mean.

There are two new Christian movies that fill opposite ends of this dichotomy: War Room (in theaters now) and Captive (releasing next week). I saw them both back-to-back and was struck at how they each intentionally aim for different ends of that dichotomy. I’ll review War Room today, and Captive next week.  

Side note: I understand there is really no such thing as a “Christian movie.” Movies aren’t born depraved, regenerated by the work of the Holy Spirit, converted to Christ, baptized, and made members of a local church (not that War Room doesn’t try!). When I use the term “Christian movie” I mean a movie made by professing believers for the purpose of entertaining other believers while advancing a biblical world view.  That’s it.

War Room:

The Kendrick brothers’ newest release is by far their best-made movie so far. It’s also in the top spot in the box office after Labor Day, having already made over $30 million.

This is the crew that produced Courageous, Fireproof, and Facing the Giants, and the company that made October Baby and Mom’s Night Out. Gone are (most of) the cheesy scenes that littered their previous movies. The acting is better, the writing is better, and the production has obviously taken a step up. And—fortunately—this one did not seem to be made for the sole purpose of selling Christian trinkets.

The plot is straight forward. A sleaze-ball husband is ruining his family, while his nominally Christian wife feels powerless to do anything about it. She meets a strong Christian woman who reaches out to her, confronts her luke-warm relationship with the Lord, and challenges her to pray for her family while submitting her life to Christ. The rest, as they say, is history.

Subtlety is not a tool that the Kendrick brothers know how to use. Everything in all of their movies is over-the-top. It is as if they looked at the dichotomy in Christian films and said, “that’s fine; we’ll make a movie that is so over-the-top Christian that nobody can accuse us of leaving anything out.”

This movie has prayer, devil-binding (more on that later), Bible reading, more prayer, the sinner’s prayer (2xs!), more Bible reading, sermon listening, and ESV product placement. It features gym evangelism, ethical quandaries at work, a weepy daughter who asks her mom if she even knows the name of her sport’s team. There is even immorality interrupted by food poisoning. No Christian cliché is beneath the Kendrick brothers, and it is all for the sake saving this one marriage!

I was reminded of something Max McLean often says about critics of C. S. Lewis: people criticized The Screwtape Letters for being too benign—in a world with Hitler on the loose, did Lewis really mean to say that you see the devil in the details of how often a wife has tea, or what past-times consume Joe Englishman? But the truth is that kind of story is often more convicting to Joe Englishman than a WWII study of the holocaust.

That crossed my mind while watching War Room. In a world with war and terrorism, is a story about an upper-class philandering husband really the best vehicle for expounding on the sovereignty of God? Well, I suppose Lewis would say that both have their place, and War Room fills that place nicely.

About that devil-binding—Priscilla Shirer (Tony Evans daughter, and a Dallas Seminary Graduate) plays the wife-who-turns-to-prayer, and Beth Moore makes an appearance in the very minor role of a co-worker (She has one line: “Sometimes submission to your husband looks like ducking so the Lord’s punch hits him instead”). I’m not that familiar with Shirer, and Moore is someone to whom I would not look to for prayer advice. I don’t trust her theology, and lament that LifeWay sells her stuff.

But in this movie they are not theologians–they are not even real people! They are actresses, and I am able to see War Room without endorsing their theology in the same way I can watch Mission Impossible and not be a Scientologist.

Regardless, the theology of War Room is pretty good. God rules the world, and he can do anything he wants to. Divorce is bad, marriage is good, and Jesus is the only one who can save. Yes, after being a Christian for all of 15 seconds the lead character does banish the devil from her house. But the movie made clear that this was not an endorsement of demon-binding (as if they would listen anyway!), but came from a wife who finally realized sin was her enemy, not her husband.

Which really gets to the main message of War Room. This movie may be about prayer, but its main message is really about marriage. It is very straight forward: the role of a wife is to love her family and pray for her husband. The role of the husband is to lead his family and provide for them. Sin interferes with both, and the only hope of restoration is found through repentance and submission to the Lordship of Jesus, who does use prayer to give people the grace to enjoy marriage.

I left the movie thinking that if a couple contemplating divorce were to watch it, this movie just might challenge them to stay together. Any couple that watches this movie would walk away asking themselves “am I regularly praying for my family?”

That is a good question to ask, and its hard to ask anything more from any movie.

If you have read the Christianity Today review of War Room, read my comment in the thread below where I explain why I found that review seriously misleading.

Jesse Johnson

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Jesse is the Teaching Pastor at Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield, VA. He also leads The Master's Seminary Washington DC location.
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  • A brief word about the review in Christianity Today: I get that
    reviewers will have different opinions about movies. Movies are not objectively
    good or bad, but instead are subjective entertainment and so disagreement is
    expected.

    But this review goes beyond that normal disagreement over
    quality and into the realm of straight-up factual errors. Morefield writes says
    that there is more “contending to Satan than attending to God” and this is just
    objectively not true. He says that the movie uses “at least four montages to
    suggest the passage of time”—I can’t remember any, but at any rate the whole
    thing takes place in the course of one semester at school (the jump-roping,
    remember?). This left me wondering if they didn’t substantially edit the
    version of the movie that Morefield saw after he screened it.

    He also takes issue with the fact that the characters are
    African-American (“its meant to inoculate the film from playing on class
    stereo-types”), but then laments that the theme of racism was not in the plot.
    That left me scratching my head—which way does he want to argue this?

    And I kid you not, the main thing Morefield got stuck on in
    is the pay scale of the characters. He appeals to his readers to help him work
    out how a jet-setting salesman can make 4xs as much as a part-time relator, but
    then in turn get a job managing a community center for half his pay. Whatever,
    except that he goes after the Kendrick brothers for being too “lazy” to put in
    details to solve his pay-scale mystery and points to that as the chief example
    of their lazy writing. If only they would have let us know how successful of a
    relator she is!

    Except then you go and see the movie and realize there are
    all kinds of details that do get filled in. For example, the wife lets us know
    that in a good month she might sell one house. We then find out that the “4xs”
    figure included “very generous bonuses” and apparently $18k of illicit income
    as well. So the math isn’t quite as tricky as you’d expect from reading the
    review.

    • Scotty

      My wife and I saw the movie on Tuesday. We think that it portrayed real issues facing families today, albeit not perfectly and not the way we would have chosen to shoot every scene in the movie. Jesse Johnson’s review was a good summary of both the movie and how believers should approach movies that may not be big-budget or traditional Hollywood quality.

      I read Morefield’s review in CT, and also wondered why small details in the movie were critiqued so heavily and, frankly, whether he had a hidden agenda? Thank you for challenging his review.

      This is a movie that I believe Christian moviegoers should be steered towards attending.

      • GinaRD

        With all due respect, I think it would be a good idea if we Christians could refrain from accusing other Christians of having an agenda every time we don’t all like the same movie. There’s no commandment that says all Christians have to like the same movies, even if they do have prayers and sermons and discipling in them. Movies are an art form and there are always going to be people who disagree over works of art. Shoot, there are people who don’t even like “Citizen Kane.” 🙂 It’s worth listening to different points of view about them and trying to learn a little something from them all.

        • Scotty

          I apologize for my comment about the hidden agenda.

    • Dan Freeman

      Good review. One nit to pick: no matter how badly some mispronounce it, it is spelled (and pronounced) “Realtor.” 🙂

  • FredB

    I’ve appreciated the Kendrick brother’s movies; the last few being the better ones. I’m of the opinion that if they really want to make a culture shaking movie, they need to do one the has two gay activist men who get married and then one of them becomes a Christian, realizes the “marriage” was a fake, leaves, and eventually finds a woman he falls in love with. The Christian has to deal with leaving a community he has been with for years and their animus against him for leaving.

    • Jen Dendekker

      A movie as you suggest Fred would be great in light of all the recent marriage law changes. Hopefully they will do one. Interesting to see how many theatres would show it though. Or would any? It could also be a groundbreaking movie in light of the fact that many Christians struggle with same sex attraction. My good friend had her husband leave her for a man. A good Christian family torn apart……

    • GinaRD

      Far better to have him walk away and live a celibate life. I understand that’s the reality that many same-sex-attracted Christians are dealing with. And it would be a powerful reminder that God isn’t a Santa Claus who doles out Disney fairytale endings. (I have nothing against either Santa Claus or Disney, but God isn’t either one of them. 🙂 ) To show a person giving up everything that matters to him for no earthly rewards, having to rely wholly on God for everything — now THAT’S drama.

      • Joy

        EXACTLY what I was thinking…the solution to same-sex attraction is not necessarily a heterosexual marriage. It happens for some people, and that is great, but I don’t think it’s the norm. Would be great to tackle celibacy for a myriad of reasons.

        • elainebitt

          Celibacy is not the solution either. You’re all thinking about what a person “does”. The problem is the heart of the person.

          Transformation through the power of the Gospel is real, — “such were some of you”. If the person chooses to marry or remain single after that, that’s another issue completely.

          • GinaRD

            That’s a fair point, elainebitt, as far as the theology goes. But when you’re dealing with a movie, there has to be some focus on what the person does. Such is the nature of the art form.

            (By the way, a good example to look at is Graham Greene’s “The End of the Affair” — the novel, that is, not the recent film adaptation. The cases are different but the underlying idea — the difficulty of following God’s call to walk away from a romantic love that seems to offer everything a person could hope for, but is against God’s will — is similar.)

    • KPM

      I’m not sure Christians should talk so much about gay this and gay that. Hey, I’m no supporter of same sex marriage. I realize the Bible calls homosexuality sin. I don’t want to deny any of that.

      However, when Christians just can’t stop talking about gay marriage (listen to Dr. Mohler on the Briefing) it can give the impression that the only thing we care about is whether or not someone is having straight sex.

      Yes, we should call sin what it is, but is it possible to avoid talking about gay marriage for more than 5 minutes? I’m honestly just tired of hearing about it.

      • There’s probably a reasonable admonition to be taken here, but this comment reminds me of this comic, published earlier today: http://adam4d.com/obsessed/

        • KPM

          Yeah, the whole “hooray for gay and transgender too!” is pretty annoying, especially when they’re so in your face about it. It’s certainly ironic that Christians are accused of being obsessed with sex, or more specifically, the sexual habits of other people.

          But…just like they’re a certain segment of the culture that’s obsessed with talking about how great various perversions are, there are a number of Christians who are equally obsessed, at least from my perspective, with talking about how terrible homosexuality is. Again, you’ll get no disagreement from me on the sinfulness of sin, I just get worn out when it has to be injected into every totally unrelated topic.

  • Well said Jesse! Thanks!

  • Alejandro C. Peluffo

    Thanks Jesse

  • Johnny

    This was a good and helpful review. I’ve enjoyed the Kendrick brothers films (other than, of course, the football one, you know, because of concussions, chronic pain and all that stuff…) and I think they generally make some decent films (albeit periodically cheesy in content.) From your review I do find the inclusion of Beth Moore a little troubling, because it makes me wonder even if she is just there in a cameo role how much of her theology permeates the Kendricks thinking?
    Dang, why couldn’t it be Richard Gaffin making a cameo instead?

    • Dan Phillips

      “…and introducing John Frame as ‘Gramps.'”

    • pearlbaker

      “I do find the inclusion of Beth Moore a little troubling, because it makes me wonder even if she is just there in a cameo role how much of her theology permeates the Kendricks thinking?” Exactly, Johnny, you hit it right on the head.

      This blog should not turn into a BM bash, but this link might provide some insight into the dangers of Moore’s teaching http://the-end-time.blogspot.com/2014/07/all-beth-moore-critiques-here-in-one.html The writer of this blog, called End Times (http://www.the-end-time.blogspot.com), is Elizabeth Prata, is a faithful follower of Christ and a big fan of John MacArthur, in fact she quotes him often. I find her to be discerning, truthful and balanced in her writing, and sound in her theology.

      • Elizabeth Prata

        Thank you very kindly, Ms Pearl. 🙂

        • pearlbaker

          Well, I declare! You never know who you might meet around the C-gate. Nice to meet you, Miss Elizabeth. I long to live more of the Quiet Life, but it is just as well with my soul if The End Time comes first. My thanks to you, as well, for all you do…may God continue to bless you and your ministry. Many you will never know receive benefit…see you on the web, sister!

  • Liz

    Thanks for the review.

    “About that “devil — binding” did you finish that thought? What about devil binding?

    As actresses the theology of the P. S. or B.M. is not a big deal in the movie, I agree, but the related stuff they sell from the movie can be a big deal. I have a friend who bought FerVent, (A Woman’s Battle Plan for Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer) by Priscilla Shirer. This book is inspired by War Room, my friend is going through the book with other women, so P.S.’s theology is reaching the women. Also, these women are making “war rooms” for themselves, which seems to be the main take away from the movie that I’m seeing.

    Posting here a couple of other reviews, one by Justin Peters and the other by John Ellis. They have different takes on the theology aspect.

    http://www.worldviewweekend.com/news/article/war-room-review-justin-peters

    http://adayinhiscourt.com/2015/09/07/war-room-dishonoring-god/

    • pearlbaker

      Good insight, Liz. Thanks for the heads up, Jesse. Price of admission now going in the collection box, a much better place for it than using it to acquiesce to the Kendrick’s poor judgement in casting these two non-actresses in a vehicle which will just serve to promote their “itchy ear” ministries. I am not as good as some at mentally and theologically compartmentalizing to the point I can separate these two from what they teach. Not one to speculate and cause strife among brethren, but I just gotta ask the Kendricks, “What was your motivation here for casting these two?” The answer might be surprising, or maybe not.

      • EAJ

        I agree. I think it was poor judgment – especially when there are so many good actors looking for work. They know this and yet they choose these women. What was the reason for this? And then as you mentioned the products directly connected to the film promoting Moore and Shirer’s ministries – promoting unsound teaching. Regardless if as “actresses” in the film their part doesn’t go there they as individuals do. And that’s unsettling.

        So the Kendricks working with Sony backing them up reached a larger audience – but as what cost?

    • Sweet. I’m thankful for those reviews, and respect Justin Peters very much (I don’t personally know John Ellis).
      I will say this though: I don’t think the point of having a “war room” is particularly bad. In fact, it is a good idea to have a regular place to pray. Also, I don’t think that was the main take away either. Rather, the main take away I had from the movie was to make lists to pray through, read the Bible, and pray through scripture as you pray through your list. I think it is a lot more biblical than some are willing to give it credit for.
      Plus, did I mention the literal ESV product placement in this movie! Wow.

      • Liz

        Cool.
        The main take away is from the women I know who are putting their “war room” together as the magical place that God will finally answer their prayers…in the affirmative, marriage restored, all is good, the husband will not divorce me, etc. The “war rooms” are going up and being posted all over social media, as is binding Satan (as if he is Omnipresent and in the “war room”). I’ve yet to read of any woman having the balanced take away that you had, maybe it’s a guy/gal thing.

        I agree, a familiar place to pray is a not all bad and can be a good thing, but not a magical thing.

        Literal ESV product placement is great, but I’m gonna suggest that FerVent will be the resource women will go after rather than the ESV, that’s what I’m seeing at this point anyway.

        • Christian

          If this product placement is akin to Coke or Microsoft product placement, I think one ought to be appalled rather than think it is “great.”

          • Liz

            ESV is great!

        • Barbara

          Satan is most certainly not a gentleman, and has invaded my prayers more than once…but that said, it is the One I am praying to who I trust and seek to rescue me in those times – “deliver us from evil, for Thine is the power and the glory” – and He is always faithful.

          The popular, visible evangelical women’s ministry concepts do seem to be prone to the sorts of highly marketed suburban “best life now” sort of things in their various incarnations, and I lament that Lifeway encourages it – but I doubt movies are the venue to change that (though I do also lament that they feed this sort of thing). One could always come on over to the dark side – 😉 -and enjoy the PCA’s grace-filled but highly challenging and transformative biblical women’s discipleship with folks like Nancy Guthrie, Kathleen Buswell-Nielsen, Melissa Kruger, and Susan Hunt. While I do think the Kendrick’s movies are a little too formulaic for my taste, I have seen enough powerfully answered prayers – from the unsolicited anonymous $800k donated to our church’s building fund as we were dealing with a leaky roof with a high roof replacement cost, when we had prayed simply for wisdom about what to do about that roof and whether to expand now or later; to the clearly God-ordained marriage between a widow from our church and a widower from halfway up the East coast who met online only to find that his senior pastor used to be our assistant pastor; to God’s gentle rebukes and reminders of His perfect presence and wisdom as I was wearied by an ongoing trial, immediately addressing and gently rebuking each and every concern I had just poured out in prayer and then opened to read …. to rebuke me of having ever prayed without real hope, or faith, or patience, or trust. All of us struggle with wanting to seek our own will and submitting it to God’s but it is only by His Grace that we can pour out our hearts before Him and then in that, truly trust Him enough to genuinely submit our will to His, “thy Kingdom come – thy will be done.”

      • Steve Hardy

        Did walk into Lifeway here in Pensacola last week and was immediately presented with a huge display of War Room paraphernalia, so there has been a developed product line to ‘support’ the movie.

  • fundamentals

    Sometimes, we talk too much.

  • I appreciated both sides (thanks for the review, Jesse!) but align more on the side of the cycnical when it comes to big Gospel “production’s” – particularly with poor and highly marketed theology.

    But..

    We can take the good things that Jesse found about the film and call them and it profitable-rightly so; and taking the troublesome things pointed-out in the articles Liz linked, I think we can call it un-profitable-both can be true. Hey, God can use even cheesy films with abohorent theology as a catalyst for a persons eventual Repentance 😉

    The enemy loves to take what is good and just pervert it to high heaven, doesn’t he? Oh the slurrping sounds he makes as we argue among ourselves. (generalspeak)

    • Linda Canciglia McWilliams

      I remember during my pre-Christian days while in college hearing a song that made me take notice of Jesus as a real person. It was a first step for me. It was either from Jesus Christ Superstar or Godspell. It was twisted, but God used it anyway.

  • Linda Canciglia McWilliams

    thank you for the review.

  • Ira Pistos

    The Cripplegate has, in a short time, become such a valuable resource to me.

    Thank you Jesse, for the review and insights.
    Another thanks to all of you who take the time to share your thoughts and stimulate thoughtful discourse.

    I’m going to watch this movie because it’s oriented toward Christians. In God’s sovereignty, I know that this movie will move people in accordance to His will. What ever that may entail.
    It will be right for me to have an understanding of what others may take away from it even if were to offer nothing to me.

    I assure you that I do not apply that rational broadly. I watch very few movies, I find them very largely to be full of toxic messages. Pretty much advertisements promoting sin.

  • Virtuous

    I am a woman who had the same takeaway that Mr. Johnson had. While not a perfect movie, I enjoyed the movie. I liked the final montage, showing people praying in many settings, not just “war rooms”. Keeping a record of God’s amazing answers to prayer would be a worthy activity for any believer. Finally, my marriage was very much like the one depicted in the movie, and there were godly women who encouraged me to pray and trust. It was not a sudden turn-around, but God brought my husband to his knees and has restored us. I guess my biggest takeaway was realizing I need to now be discipling the younger women, as “Clara” urged “Liz”.

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  • Starrocks923

    I haven’t seen War Room yet, but I plan to rent it from Netflix. I’m of the opinion that seeing a movie in theaters is too expensive-if it’s a Christian movie, I’ll get the same Biblical message from my portable DVD player. I only go to the local theater to view massive explosions in 3D on a giant screen, though I made an exception for the Focus on the Family documentary “Irreplaceable” last year.

    My mom saw it and came home raving about “the best movie ever”. I do agree that Christian movies have been improving, though the writing leaves much to be desired. When I saw “God’s Not Dead”, I wasn’t personally upset with the way every character who wasn’t Born Again was a villain. Rather, I was annoyed because it limits how I could use that movie to evangelize, as my friends who don’t believe can’t take it seriously.

  • Wow…I’m very surprised and extremely heartbroken to read your review and recommendation for others to watch this Word of Faith type portrayal of praying as well as “rebuking Satan” practices. I’m saddened to see that you missed the “resources” page of “War Room” where they’re selling their unbiblical teachings on prayer, worldly submission of a wife rather than true biblical submission and Priscilla Shirer’s unbiblical prayer book, “Fervent: A Woman’s Guide to Serious, Specific, and Strategic Prayer”.

    I thought for sure you’d catch all the “strange fire” Dr. MacArthur warns and teaches about that are included in this movie.

    As a recovering unbiblical wife, I take serious issue with the line you shared that Beth Moore had in the movie. That line completely opposes the humble and loving heart-disposition that God delights in, in accordance with Proverbs 31:11-12. A truly biblical wife readily admits she is a sinner and is grateful for the mercy she’s received from the Lord, therefore delights to submit to her husband from her overflowing love for Christ, and not so that her husband would get “punched” by God (which, by the way, denigrates our Father’s holy and righteous character). A truly biblically submissive wife understands the admonition given to ungodly husbands in 1 Peter 3:7 and out of her love for Christ and her husband, she prays for him and submits to him for His good and not for his harm—for God to grant him the same mercy she’s received in Christ.

    Charles Spurgeon once said, “Discernment is not a matter of simply telling the difference between right and wrong; rather it is telling the difference between right and almost right.” And “War Room” is dangerous, because it’s ALMOST right.

    • Starrocks923

      I haven’t seen the movie yet, so I can’t argue anything you’ve said. But as Jesse mentioned above, he was still able to enjoy the movie itself for what it was without losing his wariness of ungodly theology. Obviously we are meant to take it with a grain of salt, but as entertainment, it’s surely better for the spirit than other recent movies like Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation.

      Your comment about “Strange Fire” by John MacArthur caught my eye. I’ve listened to Jesse’s sermons for years, and I’ve heard him preach against false teachers before. He even advertised (For lack of a better word) the book at a few evening services, and John MacArthur comes to IBC to preach every year or so.

      1st John 4:1 tells us to test the spirits to see whether or not they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world. I believe that all Christian movies, books and songs can be enjoyed as art-but if they have any kind of spiritual message at all, should be put through the ultimate litmus test:the Word of God. I applaud you for your discernment, Sunny, and will keep everyone in this comment section in my prayers.

      • Thank you Starrocks923, I’m encouraged by what you shared and and am grateful for your prayers for all.

        I grew up as the only Christian in a Buddhist family where there were a lot of mystical things practiced. I was brutally beaten for 13 years because I would not denounce Christ. This is one of the reasons why I take any issues regarding my Savior very seriously. Nothing about Christ, His Word nor dying daily for Him, being salt and light in this world, to me, is entertaining. It is holy, it is good, and it is our joy and blessing to love and honor God with all we have…no matter what.

        To denigrate His name, His character by making the LORD sound like He’s one of us (e.g., “punching” someone), or trying to take on Christ’s authority (which He did not give us) like rebuking Satan, etc., and taking away any personal responsibility for our own sins, but rather blaming Satan for all our sins…so why did Jesus suffer and die for us if it’s all Satan’s fault? I take great issue with all these things.

        This movie degrades the work of Christ and exalts the power of man to think he/she can battle with Satan, when Christ already did and won that battle for us, and it is the LORD who keeps us safe from our enemy, not our loud proclamations (Mt 6:13, Jn 17:15, Jude 1:8-9).

        • pearlbaker

          Thank you for sharing some yourself with us, Sunny, and I assure you that did not sound condescending to me at all. I thank God for giving you the strength and courage to persevere through all your trials and the trials to come. I do not see anything you have said as legalistic or spiritually prideful. I understand your need and desire to keep your faith pure and unsullied as you are able to in this fallen world.

          Error + Truth = Error and you should not be judged for defending that. However, If other brothers and sisters are able to enjoy themselves with the kind of “entertainment” that this “Christian” movie apparently supplies, that is within their purview under Christian liberty, and we are biblically warned not to judge others for doing what they think they can do with impunity. Ref. Romans 14:13-23

    • pearlbaker

      Great post Sunny. The Christian wife’s true role in marriage and, indeed, the true role of Christian women in the church is getting lost, or at least twisted. Beth Moore and her ilk are pushing things along at break-neck speed. I have spent a lifetime recovering from the “women’s movement” and it just won’t go away. It began with Eve and plagues us to this day. Only a complete understanding of and full submission to God’s Word will dispel this awful curse under which we suffer and to which we are so prone to fall to temptation. Love that Spurgeon quote about discernment. ALMOST right is what the Catholic church thrives on! But these days, ALMOST right is not even a requirement. “Sounds good to me!” is enough to build a monster mega-church in the current “evangelical” climate. It is a pity.

      • Thank you precious sister pearlbaker. I am a recovering-unsubmissive wife and have spent the past 20 years discipling and exhorting other women to not fall into the same potholes of feminism that I did. Sadly, this has crept into the church and this breaks my heart. I pray for God’s girls daily…that we would remain strong in the Word rather than in the world.

    • Lyndon Unger

      Well hello condescension. Glad you could make it.

      Catching the errors in a movie doesn’t necessarily mean that a person focuses on them, especially when they’re a minor component and not nearly the main course.

      Of the 21 items for sale on the resource page, all but one item is made by the Kendrick Brothers.

      It’s not exactly a festival of heresies.

      I’d dare suggest that you’re reading far too much into the line that was quoted by Beth Moore. From the quote, I don’t think that Moore was somehow suggesting that a godly wife vindictively asks God to curse or punish her husband, but rather than God would do whatever it takes to get through his thick and sinful skull in order to bring him to repentance.

      Obviously God doesn’t actually “punch” anyone or they’d be dead…so the comment from Moore was some sort of metaphor for discipline, right? And God disciplines those he loves, and that’s not pleasant, right?

      My comments are also not an endorsement of Shirer or Moore.

      For some reason, I fear I have to spell that out explicitly.

      • pearlbaker

        “Well hello condescension. Glad you could make it.” Wow. This does not even sound like you, Lyndon. I winced. Perhaps Sunny’s subsequent post will serve to soften. While not condoning a spirit of spiritual superiority, which I do not hear in anything Sunny said, I do think it sometimes helps to know what someone has been through in order to understand why they view things a certain way.

        • Lyndon Unger

          Why wow?

          Have not the other authors on this blog, all of whom are well-educated and gracious guys that do this work as a labor of love for the benefit of believers they’ll never meet, earned a little respect over the last 1,100+ posts…at least at the point of NOT assuming that they’re rubes or lacking in some relatively basic theological understanding?

          I won’t defend myself in this way when I’m slammed (what with being the token rube here), but when one of the contributors here is informed that someone is “surprised and extremely heartbroken” at the contributors’ apparently tear-inducing ignorance on some fairly basic matters of truth (at least they’re basic to a guy with an MDiv & ThM), I don’t take that lightly.

          That’s astonishingly offensive and utterly condescending.

          If you don’t see that, that’s okay. I have a very different perspective that many Cripplegate readers, for obvious reasons.

          • pearlbaker

            Dear brother Lyndon, I was only referring to the sarcasm, which I thought unlike you, not your reason for feeling that way. I sincerely love and respect all of the contributors to this blog, and I believe I have reflected that consistently in my responses, I was just a little taken aback at a tone I did not anticipate, even to someone who both expressed and provoked an emotional reaction in regard to something a fellow contributor said. Her subsequent post rather explains why she has rather tight grip on her view. Maybe she should have worded her response in a more composed and respectful way, maybe we should all take a breath and say a prayer before we respond emotionally. I believe her response was misdirected and actually meant for the makers of the movie and the false teachers they cast in it, but I really cannot speak for Sunny. This matter is between her and Jesse, and he has not responded. Obviously I offended you, also, and for that I ask your forgiveness, because I love you as my Christian brother and I have prayed for you many times, and will continue to do so. I would have peace and unity among our family, not discord. Will you forgive me for my comment and any unintended acquiescence with anyone who would disrespect you or your beloved fellow contributors to the blog?

          • Lyndon Unger

            Okay. I’ll trust your judgment Pearl, so I’ve pulled out the first line and did a minor edit.

            I have a rather sarcastic bone in my body that I usually keep well at bay. Thank you for pushing back at me when I let it slip out.

            You didn’t offend me Pearl, and I don’t believe you need to ask for forgiveness for anything. I have no issue with you, and see where you’re coming from (I think). I understand that Sunny may have some rather intense history that fuels her convictions.

            Thank you for pursuing unity and setting a good example for us all to learn from. I hope to do so as well.

  • Jim

    Why do you make Beth Moore and Priscilla Shirer suspect without explanation?
    The paragraph starts out “About that devil-binding” but gives no follow through.
    Would you explain your critique?

    • Yeah, I picked up the devil binding a few paragraphs later…In my mind the transition was to the part of the movie that was theologically suspect (Moore and devil binding). Should have made that more clear.
      B/C Moore played such a small role in the movie, I thought this blog post was not the place to catalog my problems with her theology, but I needed to point out that I was aware of it at least so I didn’t’ sound naive. Not sure if I hit that balance or not.

  • David Bivens

    Well, Julie and I did go see the new Christian movie “War Room”. Pretty good, interesting though was Julie’s observation about peoples reaction that I didn’t notice till she mentioned it. There is one seen where the wife is walking through the house talking to the devil, giving him a peace of her mind, telling him to get out. She walks him outside and finishes him off, then goes back into the house only to return in a few seconds to tell him a few more things she remember he needed to stay out of. This seen moved the audience to applaud a number times during its course.

    Later there was another seen where the husband became broken and feel to his knees in surrender, but it seems the broken surrender was not deemed as powerful as speaking to the devil and telling him off. After Julie pointed this out I realized the telling the devil off was not scriptural at all, while we are commanded to repentance and a life of surrender to God. The none scriptural seen received the applause while the scriptural seen received none. I wonder if that could be a telling of our mind set within the Churchtoday?

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