That Machine Gun preacher movie

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Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Hello,

Has anyone seen that Machine Gun Preacher movie? How is it? What did you think? Is it true? Is he really a preacher, and what denomination? What should Christians do to defend orphans (when is taking up arms an option)?
 

MarieP

Puritan Board Senior
I honestly thought this thread was going to be about a movie telling the story of a charismatic, Word Faith preacher and his pulpit diction...
 

Josh Williamson

Puritan Board Freshman
Saw it. Didn't like it. Wouldn't recommend it. The sex scene and the swearing was enough for me to put this movie in the rubbish pile.
 

Quatchu

Puritan Board Sophomore
Saw it. Didn't like it. Wouldn't recommend it. The sex scene and the swearing was enough for me to put this movie in the rubbish pile.

But i have known several people who became Christians after watching this movie so its obviously pleasing to God. How dare you question there experiences.
 

"William The Baptist"

Puritan Board Freshman
It has Gerard Butler in it. That is enough for me to stay away from it like the plague! In my less sanctified and immature years, I watched every movie under the sun... and basically anything with him in it has a lot of excess foul language, sex scenes, etc. Though I guess 300 would have less foul language. And Phantom of the Opera would be an exception. But all the others...

Didn't see the movie simply because of past movies I've seen with him in it.
 

nick

Puritan Board Freshman
Love the name "William the Baptist".

What 300 lacked in language it made up for in violence and nudity. :)
 

Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Saw it. Didn't like it. Wouldn't recommend it. The sex scene and the swearing was enough for me to put this movie in the rubbish pile.

But i have known several people who became Christians after watching this movie so its obviously pleasing to God. How dare you question there experiences.

Are people thinking of this movie as an evangelistic tool or something?



Also, how fact-based is the movie, anyway?
 

BayouHuguenot

Puritanboard Clerk
Saw it. Didn't like it. Wouldn't recommend it. The sex scene and the swearing was enough for me to put this movie in the rubbish pile.

But i have known several people who became Christians after watching this movie so its obviously pleasing to God. How dare you question there experiences.

Are people thinking of this movie as an evangelistic tool or something?



Also, how fact-based is the movie, anyway?

It's fairly fact-based. You can find interviews on youtube by the original guy. The movie is grisly, make no doubt. While it does have redemptive moments (literally), I don't know if I would use it as an evangelistic tool. I did like some parts of it, though.
 

Hamalas

whippersnapper
To me it served most powerfully as an illustration of what happens when people are "converted" without any Christian discipleship and or oversight following.
 

Mushroom

Puritan Board Doctor
Yep. Outlandish theology and loopy praxis. My older brother has been involved in similar 'biker churches', and they can get awfully weird. Loosely based on a true story.
 

Josh Williamson

Puritan Board Freshman
Saw it. Didn't like it. Wouldn't recommend it. The sex scene and the swearing was enough for me to put this movie in the rubbish pile.

But i have known several people who became Christians after watching this movie so its obviously pleasing to God. How dare you question there experiences.

Are people thinking of this movie as an evangelistic tool or something?



Also, how fact-based is the movie, anyway?

When I was Pastoring in Australia we were encouraged to show this movie as an evangelistic outreach. I know of a few churches that have used it as such.

As for facts. There are some big questions over the "Machine Gun Preacher".

'Machine Gun Preacher' Under Heavy Fire | Christianity Today
 

CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Greetings:

I have seen the movie, own the DVD and read the book (on Kindle). It is a true story of a man who was converted out of the Biker culture. The one sex scene in the movie was, prior to his conversion, when Sam Childers had been parolled from jail and was picked up by his girlfriend (later to be his wife). The biker culture is a raw, riotous, ungodly lifestyle. Childers was a drug transporter, drug dealer, a drug user, and a thief, fornicator, swerer, and a murderer. Most of this is left out of the movie (except the murder), but there is enough there to show his depraved lifestyle.

Going to church one day (Charismatic church) with his wife and hearing the preaching of the Gospel turned his life 180 degrees around. He left the biker culture, drugs, and got himself a job in the construction industry. Eventually he made his way up to foreman, and then moved from Florida to Pennsylvania. In PA he started his own successful construction business. Also, not finding a church in the area he built his own church building which was mildly successful.

During this time a travelling missionary spoke at the church about the plight of orphans in Sudan. Convicted, he decided to go on a 2 week mission trip to Sudan. While he was there he witnessed firsthand what was happening by the so-called "Christian" group known as "The Lord's Resistance Army." They were destroying whole villages murdering the men, raping the women and girls, and impressing the boys into the "Army" showing them how to shoot guns and rape women. Seeing the horror of what is being done in the name of Christ in Sudan, Childers decided he was going to do something about it. So he built a church and an orphanage right in the middle of the war zone, and started preaching the Gospel and rescuing orphans from being enslaved. Rescuing orphans from a military junta requires force, thus "Machine-Gun Preacher."

The theology is flaky, but the Gospel is preached. Too often we regard the Pastorate as simply a teaching/preaching ministry, but it is clear in the Scriptures that it is not. Jesus simply did not preach, but helped the poor and afflicted, fed the hungry, healed the sick, and comforted the grieving. True religion and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Take a good long hard look at the men you call "pastors" in your church. Do they see their jobs as simply once a week with the occasional counseling sessions? Or, are they pro-actively seeking to help the poor as well? If so, then you have a Gospel ministry. If not, then you may want to question his calling as a pastor.

Despite its theological flaws I believe that Machine Gun Preacher is a wake up call to the pastors here in America.

Blessings in Jesus,

Rob

PS: Childers, in his ignorance, preaches a clear Gospel.
RPW
 
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Pergamum

Ordinary Guy (TM)
Robert,

Question one: Should US churches be sending more armed pastors to Africa?


Question two: What do the other aid organizations and mission groups think of Childers? Does his actions put them at greater risk?
 
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CalvinandHodges

Puritan Board Junior
Greetings:

Pergamum:

1. Yes, with conditions. The situation in Sudan is different than in other places. If you are attacked, then you can defend yourself. If children are kidnapped at gunpoint, their mothers raped, and their fathers murdered, then the use of force is warranted - especially by one who claims to be a Pastor, and a follower of the true religion. Are you suggesting that a Christian should just turn his head away and watch and allow these atrocities to continue? How much more a Pastor or Missionary?

2. Do the other aid organizations arm themselves so they will not be molested?

Blessings brother!

-Rob
 
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PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
When a CT reporter visited the orphanage this week, Childers's staff, including two American men, were still on the premises, saying that the only problems at the facility were minor and had been taken care of. CT observed no significant problems; the children seemed happy and healthy, and living conditions seemed generally good.

Not sure CT presents a less positive view. It sounds like it is a power struggle down there. CT says when they visited the place the situation they witnessed was different than the one being presented by the locals who want Childers gone.
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
When a CT reporter visited the orphanage this week, Childers's staff, including two American men, were still on the premises, saying that the only problems at the facility were minor and had been taken care of. CT observed no significant problems; the children seemed happy and healthy, and living conditions seemed generally good.

Not sure CT presents a less positive view. It sounds like it is a power struggle down there. CT says when they visited the place the situation they witnessed was different than the one being presented by the locals who want Childers gone.

Saying that claims in his autobiography are untrue is less positive than making them....
 

PuritanCovenanter

Moderator
Staff member
Ruben,

My concern was that there might be motivation for all the renewed opposition. Even from the gentleman who donated the property. The claims they made were unsubstantiated according to CT sources. So that might indicate possible shenanigans and strong arming behind the scenes. Going back two thousand years, we could have bought the report that the guards were overcome by disciples during the supposed resurrection hoax. On some level there is lying. Maybe from both sides. But the article seemed to indicate that the stories being perpetrated by "everyone" were not factual by their eyewitness account. So where does the truth lie? Is it possible that someone is being strong armed. You know South America and Mexico. You are familiar with things and what has happened down there.
 

py3ak

Unshaven and anonymous
Staff member
I was simply highlighting a source which points out that not everyone is positive.
 

Mushroom

Puritan Board Doctor
You know South America and Mexico. You are familiar with things and what has happened down there.
Yah. Those 3rd world people just don't have the integrity us pristine Amurricuns do!

The guy formed his own 'Church' because he couldn't find one in Pennsylvania? Huh. Then he left his family to fend for themselves (his wife to 'pastor' the 'church'), without any training or education in theology or missions to go to Africa and help orphans. Helping orphans is commendable. I know some very nice Buddhists who are engaged in that very thing. Should I compare them to the Pastor God has set over me and use their willingness to sacrifice as a measure of his calling?

My own brother is deeply involved with the CMA (Christian Motorcycle Assoc.). 99% theologically wackoid. Bikers are a population most affected by existentialism while being the least capable of being aware of it. No great surplus of intellect there, but an overflow of a mindset that wants to 'make its own rules' (Neitze would be proud), even among those that call themselves Christians. God uses all sorts of vessels to accomplish His will. The fact that a person or organization has been used by Him to do some good is never proof that they are therefore approved by Him. Try the spirits is what the scriptures tell us.
 
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