Machine Gun Preacher - Movie

Status
Not open for further replies.

Filipe Luiz C. Machado

Puritan Board Freshman
Hi, brothers.

What do you think about the Machine Gun Preacer movie? Anyone seen the movie? Here in Brazil it not been released yet, so I don't talk talk about... I think that this movie will give a "new "perspective to the christians about the capital punishment (yes, the Bible approves this) and the legality about the need to defense ourselves (self protection) or other selves with guns.

Check it in: Machine Gun Preacher - Official Movie Website

*sorry if I post it in the wrong space.
 

InSlaveryToChrist

Puritan Board Junior
"He was searching for something to believe in..." After becoming a Christian??? "He found something worth fighting for." Oh really? What might that be? Kids in Africa? "I need the money for an extra vehicle so that I can save some children!" "I'm just trying to help these people." "The entire rebel army has put a bounty on your head." "Hmm, I must be doing something right." "Helping you kids is about the only good thing I've done in this life."

You see where this is going? This movie is more about making the world a better place to live than sharing the Gospel. This movie is certainly misleading at its best.
 

jwithnell

Moderator
Staff member
I really don't know much about it, although an R-rated movie is beyond the boundaries I normally set for myself. Self-defense is certainly warranted, and the death penalty -- administered by justice, not vigilantism -- is also within scriptural scope. I'm not sure what our role would be in a civil war type situation.
 

AThornquist

Puritan Board Doctor
Haven't heard of it, but the "scene of sexuality" that contributes to the "R" is enough for me to avoid it. The movie does sound interesting though.
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Hi:

The movie has not opened in my area. However, the biography it is based on, "Another Man's War" is very good. I would imagine that Hollywood would jazz it up with special effects and their usual sexual "necessities" for a movie, but to those of you who like to talk about Faith and Works - here is a man who puts his faith into action. In that sense I would recommend the book and the movie.

Blessings,

Rob

---------- Post added at 01:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:08 PM ----------

By the way, in the Old West, a preacher who could not shoot was not considered worth his salt.

-Rob
 

AThornquist

Puritan Board Doctor
brother. Rob, would you please briefly summarize the biography since it is "very good?" It sounds really interesting to me and I might buy it.

Thanks
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Hi:

There is no way to describe the book. It is the true story of a man who lived a life of violence practically from infancy - was taught the Gospel and believed in Jesus. He uses the experiences of his past to save orphaned children in South Sudan. The book is far more than that, and reality is far better than fiction. I can only encourage you to read the book, and you will be amazed and surprised.

What the movie does to the book - I do not know.

Blessings,

Rob
 

AThornquist

Puritan Board Doctor
Hi:

There is no way to describe the book. It is the true story of a man who lived a life of violence practically from infancy - was taught the Gospel and believed in Jesus. He uses the experiences of his past to save orphaned children in South Sudan. The book is far more than that, and reality is far better than fiction. I can only encourage you to read the book, and you will be amazed and surprised.

What the movie does to the book - I do not know.

Blessings,

Rob

Okay, thanks.
 

Filipe Luiz C. Machado

Puritan Board Freshman
"He was searching for something to believe in..." After becoming a Christian??? "He found something worth fighting for." Oh really? What might that be? Kids in Africa? "I need the money for an extra vehicle so that I can save some children!" "I'm just trying to help these people." "The entire rebel army has put a bounty on your head." "Hmm, I must be doing something right." "Helping you kids is about the only good thing I've done in this life."

You see where this is going? This movie is more about making the world a better place to live than sharing the Gospel. This movie is certainly misleading at its best.

Hi, man.

I agree with you, but how I still hadn't seen the movie, I don't know if it's the true motivation of the preacher (only to make a better world). We know that Hollywood distorts the thinks to be more enjoyable to public, but I'm talking about the "good side" of the movie, that is, when the situation (specific situations) require that we take guns to defende ourselve or another people, we can go and kill the enemies - is it that say the Westminster Confession of Faith, chapter XXIII (Of the Civil Magistrate):

II. It is lawful for Christians to accept and execute the office of a magistrate, when called thereunto:[2] in the managing whereof, as they ought especially to maintain piety, justice, and peace, according to the wholesome laws of each commonwealth;[3] so, for that end, they may lawfully, now under the New Testament, wage war, upon just and necessary occasion.[4]

I know that is talking about the magistrate, but we need to imagine when the magistrate is out, ie, when we don't have a magistrate to set the order and protect the "chidrens" - like the movie.
 

Jonathan B.

Puritan Board Freshman
I'm just curious, where does the Bible approve capital punishment exactly? (apart from the law)
Is the law somehow to be separated from the rest of the Bible? Why would it matter if only the sixth commandment addressed it?
So... what's the limit then?
Why only put to death criminals and not adulterous women, homosexuals and witches?

As a French guy, I just don't get it - it's simply unthinkable for us in the context of the new covenant...
I've never met a pro-death penalty christian in Europe, not one.

So when I read something like "yes the Bible approves it" as if there was some verse in the NT that would clearly condone it... well... I'm perplexed.
I guess it's just an american thing...
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Hi:

Jonathan B:

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Faither is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

I do not think that any of us would deny that to help orphans and widows with money or material goods is a bad thing. However, when you consider that in the South Sudan children were being forceably conscripted into the LRA ("Lord's Resistance Army), and were forced to murder and rape women, then, in order to stop such wickedness and affliction, one may have to resort to being a "Machine Gun Pastor."

Here is a good example from the biography. Upon entering a town that was being raided by some of the LRA:

We heard a commotion and saw a cluster of LRA around a young woman not far off. I thought all the rebels had turned tail and run. This bunch had been too busy to notice we'd arrived, but as soon as they looked up and saw us, they ran too. The woman was exhausted, hysterical, gasping for breath, and drenched in blood. The soldiers were cutting her breast off with a machete and had about halfway finished the job. She was badly butchered and had obviously lost a lot of blood. We covered her wounds as well as we could, carried her to our truck, and drove her to the hospital in Nimule. Once I knew they would take care of her, I left with the soldiers to continue our patrol. Probably a year later I was preaching at a church in Maryland, talking about my African ministry. After the service someone in the congregation came up to me and said, "I want to ask you something. Do you really think you can make a difference?" His question stunned me into silence. "I want to know," he continued, "because I think it's stupid. It's crazy for you to be wasting your time over there in Africa. One person. How can you make a difference?" ... But his question got me to thinking. After I got home I got into an argument with God. "You know what, God, this is stupid! Here I am working thousands of miles away from my family. My daughter's growing up without me. I have a beautiful wife I'm never with. My family doesn't get the attention and support they deserve and have a right to expect. This is stupid, Lord, because I'm not going to make a difference. About two weeks after I straightened God out on that, I was back in Nimule. An attractive young lady - a complete stranger - cam running up to me on the street, all happy and bubbly, and started hugging me. She was doing her best to communicate with me in her broken English. "Pastor, do you remember who I am?" She had me stumped. "No," I said, "I don't really remember you." "I'm that lady that was in the village when the LRA raided it. They were cutting my breast off, and you and your soldiers saved me." Instantly it was like God said to me, "One man can make a difference."

Do you really think that God would condemn such actions? I do not.

Blessings,

-Rob
 

Andrew P.C.

Puritan Board Junior
Jonathan:

Here is a verse that isn't in the Sinaitic covenant that deals with capital punishment: "For your lifeblood I will require a reckoning: from every beast I will require it and from man. from his fellow man I will require a reckoning for the life of man. 'whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in His own image.'" Gen 9:5-6

Even if it came "from the law" it is still the word of God. Why are you so quick to count out parts of the word of God and use that for your personal convictions? Shouldn't your convictions be based upon the word of God?
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Hi:

The movie has not opened in my area. However, the biography it is based on, "Another Man's War" is very good. I would imagine that Hollywood would jazz it up with special effects and their usual sexual "necessities" for a movie, but to those of you who like to talk about Faith and Works - here is a man who puts his faith into action. In that sense I would recommend the book and the movie.

Blessings,

Rob

---------- Post added at 01:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 01:08 PM ----------

By the way, in the Old West, a preacher who could not shoot was not considered worth his salt.

-Rob

Can you give me citations about pistol packing preachers of the Old West. I would assume most firearms would have been for hunting and that most preachers would not have been packing.

---------- Post added at 04:39 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:37 PM ----------

I'm just curious, where does the Bible approve capital punishment exactly? (apart from the law)
Is the law somehow to be separated from the rest of the Bible? Why would it matter if only the sixth commandment addressed it?
So... what's the limit then?
Why only put to death criminals and not adulterous women, homosexuals and witches?

As a French guy, I just don't get it - it's simply unthinkable for us in the context of the new covenant...
I've never met a pro-death penalty christian in Europe, not one.

So when I read something like "yes the Bible approves it" as if there was some verse in the NT that would clearly condone it... well... I'm perplexed.
I guess it's just an american thing...



As a French guy, I just don't get it

Do you think your cultural background may be distorting your view of the Bible? France has a long history of false religion.
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Hi:

Pergamum:

The book that I got that information from is this: Bible in Pocket, Gun in Hand: The Story of Frontier Religion . You can find it on Amazon here: Amazon.com: Bible in Pocket, Gun in Hand: The Story of Frontier Religion (Bison Book) (9780803257252): Ross Phares: Books
qid=1317578878&sr=8-5

My copy is packed away, but I remember one story in it that goes like this:

A pastor was riding with one of the members' child, and their conversation went something like this:

"Pastor, you are a Calvinist right?"

"That is correct," replied the pastor.

"Then why do you carry a rifle?"

"What do you mean?"

"Well, Calvinists believe in Predestination, right?"

"Right."

"Well then, if God has Predestinated you to be killed by Indians, then your gun would be of no use."

The pastor replied, "What if God Predestinated the Indians to be killed?"

Blessings,

Rob
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
So... what's the limit then?
Why only put to death criminals and not adulterous women, homosexuals and witches?

As a French guy, I just don't get it - it's simply unthinkable for us in the context of the new covenant...
I've never met a pro-death penalty christian in Europe, not one.

So when I read something like "yes the Bible approves it" as if there was some verse in the NT that would clearly condone it... well... I'm perplexed.
I guess it's just an american thing...

We don't need a specific New Testament reference wherein capital punishment is set forth. Please note that someone above noted for you where God established the magistrate's authority to take life in Genesis to Noah, long before Moses. That being said, if New Testament support is something you specifically desire, there is no shortage of places one can look - for example, note Romans 13 wherein it is explicitly stated that to the magistrate is given the power of the sword to punish evildoers.
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
I've never met a pro-death penalty christian in Europe, not one.
(...)
I guess it's just an american thing...

Do you read Spanish? Here is a European Christian (from Spain; spent ten years studying in France) calling for the death penalty on the basis of Old and New Testament Scripture:
84 Muertes: ¿Cuál Castigo se Tiene que Dar al Asesino de Oslo? « Westminster Hoy

And condemning as utterly bankrupt the worldview that denies the death penalty:

http://westminsterhoy.wordpress.com...ue-pagara-el-asesino-de-oslo-por-cada-muerte/
 

Jonathan B.

Puritan Board Freshman
(apologies for my broken english)

Thanks for your answers.

2 basic questions then:

1) If the Noahic covenant is the ground, shouldn't we then also abstain from blood? Gen. 9:4
(and repeated in Acts 15:20,29)

Since it was prohibited since the Noahic covenant and never explicitly abrogated, why do we only see the command of Acts 15 as a mere recommendation not to offend the Jews? (and something that has to do with pagan practices).

Shouldn't we see this as a restatement of an unconditionnal command, just like the one in Gen 9:6?
After all, 1 Cor. 8 and Rom. 14 never specifically address the issue of animal blood.

2) If the Mosaic covenant is the basis, why ignoring the instructions as to who should be put to death?
Why only murderers?
I do understand the argument from a CT perspective, but I don't see how it is consistent with the prescriptions that come with it. If the government decided to execute homosexuals and witches, would it be right and biblical for you? At least it would be consistent.
(this one is only for the sake of argument, I'm holding to NCT anyway)

--

@Rob,
You confuse capital punishment with the defense of the oppressed and self-defense.
I was specifically referring to the death penalty as a legal punishment and nothing else.
The allusion to death penalty in the initial post was totally irrelevant anyway, capital punishment is not the subject of the movie.

@Paul
Regarding Rom 13, "power of the sword to punish evildoers" could also mean "justice" in a broader sense, it does not explicitly imply "capital punishment", as you said.
Let's not import a specific meaning into an expression that is not clearly defined.
I'm not saying that Paul excludes it either, but it seems a bit far fetched to quote that verse as an ultimate proof text for "death penalty in the NT" and linking it to Gen 9:6, as if it was specifically the thing Paul had in mind.

@Ruben
I do read Spanish, thanks for the links (it does not answer my questions though, he simply gives the verses you already mentioned, without argument)
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
You're welcome. I was answering the idea that this is an American thing, by pointing out that a living European Christian has quite firmly come to the same conclusion.
 

J. Dean

Puritan Board Junior
I'm just curious, where does the Bible approve capital punishment exactly? (apart from the law)
Genesis 9:6

---------- Post added at 09:01 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:58 AM ----------

For the record, that passage in Genesis precedes the founding of the nation of Israel; this is suposed to be applied to human government in general.
 

Jonathan B.

Puritan Board Freshman
@J. Dean
Please read the entire thread.
I'm aware of Gen 9:6 and still waiting for the answers to my questions in post #21.

And I would add that it depends on how you interpret it, there is no agreement over whether this text should be read as a statement of fact, a legal penalty, the reason for the condemnation of murder, a prophetic admonition or a proverb. It does not command the death penalty as a legal punishment, it provides no indication as to the process which might lead to such a penalty or who should carry it out but warns about the likely consequences of killing. It would seem more likely to be a statement of revenge. In Mat 26:52, Jesus interprets this verse as a proverb when he says, "all who draw the sword will die by the sword," teaching not to use a sword to kill.

@Ruben
Out of a population of 750 millions, of course you will always find the exception to the rule, the same would be true for every single theological position. Not to mention, the US have a tremendous influence on the theological scene of the rest of the world. You do realise this, I hope.
It does not prove anything and does not represent the theological position of the vast majority of European christians on that question (and I'm referring to sound Reformed christians, not nominal christians or liberals.)
 

Phil D.

Puritan Board Junior
It does not prove anything and does not represent the theological position of the vast majority of European christians on that question (and I'm referring to sound Reformed christians, not nominal christians or liberals.)

My, how things can change. I seem to recall a lot of Reformed European churchmen who at least USED TO fully understand capital punishment as having a sound and perpetual biblical foundation - men such as, oh say, Luther, Calvin, Knox, Bullinger, Gillespie, Rutherford, etc., etc., etc...
 

Prufrock

Arbitrary Moderation
@Paul
Regarding Rom 13, "power of the sword to punish evildoers" could also mean "justice" in a broader sense, it does not explicitly imply "capital punishment", as you said.
Let's not import a specific meaning into an expression that is not clearly defined.
I'm not saying that Paul excludes it either, but it seems a bit far fetched to quote that verse as an ultimate proof text for "death penalty in the NT" and linking it to Gen 9:6, as if it was specifically the thing Paul had in mind.

I would first note that I never indicated an exegetical link between Genesis 9 and Romans 13, nor did I ever claim Rom. 13 as "an ultimate proof text." Be that as it may, I am most intrigued by your suggestion that Rom. 13 does not indicate that a magistrate has authority from God to execute criminals in certain situations - I would be most excited to hear what you think the words "for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil." indicate if not a power over life and death - it's hard to imagine "executing the wrath of God by way of vengeance with the sword" to be much less than, well, death. Keep in mind there are other places in the NT we can visit as well, such as both Jesus and Paul's statements before various magistrates.

As a quick second point, you also argue that believing in the validity of the death penalty is largely an American phenomenon: please note well that the governing documents of this board (such as the Westminster Larger Catechism and the Heidelberg Catechism - two documents that are certainly not influenced by American thought!!) uphold the scriptural validity of governments having the power to execute criminals when it is just. It's not an American thing - it's a Reformed thing, and it's a Christian thing.
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
@Ruben
Out of a population of 750 millions, of course you will always find the exception to the rule, the same would be true for every single theological position. Not to mention, the US have a tremendous influence on the theological scene of the rest of the world. You do realise this, I hope.
It does not prove anything and does not represent the theological position of the vast majority of European christians on that question (and I'm referring to sound Reformed christians, not nominal christians or liberals.)

Yes, but you can no longer say that you don't know of any European Christians who believe that capital punishment is biblically sanctioned. If you choose to believe that this is due to American influence you are welcome to do so, but anyone who is at all historically minded has influences much closer to home pointing in the same direction.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top