Monumental Review of Kirk Cameron’s new Movie

Kirk CameronI attended Tuesday night’s LIVE preview of Monumental: In Search of America’s National Treasure. The bottom line up front is that I came out of the movie educated, encouraged, and a little fired up. I did expect a little more evangelical gospel theme than was outwardly presented, but the movie was not lacking as a result of this missing. I did not take written notes during the movie, so I am paraphrasing, but Kirk basically said that he believes that our country is in trouble. He said that the left blames the right, hollywood blames the church, and the church blames the media. And there is no one clear voice that stands out with a plan to stop or reverse this decline.

The evangelical Christians bloggers are either red hot or ice cold on this one. I am glad I read a few other reviews before beginning my own review. Most Christian naysayers of the movie have their panties in a wade over one of two things or both.

  1.  Kirk Cameron does not bust out with his in your face with the sin mirror presentation of the gospel of Jesus Christ the way many of us have seen him do with Ray Comfort.
  2. During the LIVE event portion of the presentation last night Kirk introduced Glenn Beck. I read where one guy actually got up at walked out when Cameron introduced Beck.

I’ll expand on each fo these two primary critiques of the movie. Yes it is true. Kirk Cameron does not break down the gospel message via the Roman Road Gospel presentation. However the message did come through very clear to me that the problems in the country will not be solved unless we get back to foundation built on faith and trust in God followed by actions as taught so clearly in my favorite book of the Bible James.

But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do. James 1:25

James goes on to say that faith without deeds is not faith at all. I believe that Kirk is trying to remind Christians that we have to live out our faith. Like the Puritans who sacrificed all to come a settle here, we have to be willing to make sacrifices as well if we are going to see this country change directions. The Go Stand Speak Ministries blog said it best in response to the naysayers on this issue:

But many missed that because they couldn’t look beyond their “get saved from hell” glasses and see the message of the risen Christ as King, a message Jesus, the prophets and the apostles all preached!

I think most people get too caught up in what God is going to do for them through salvation and forget that God is not just a vending machine full of get out of hell free cards. Faith without works is dead. Yes, you need the faith first, but that should produce works for the glory of God or the faith may not be there in the first place.

The second major critique was of the fact that Kirk introduced Glenn Beck during the pre-movie portion of the LIVE event last night. He introduced Beck as a champion of truth about the history of this country. No one in my opinion could argue Glenn Beck’s passion and accuracy concerning the history of this country as presented in his TV and radio shows. Beck was not introduced as a spiritual or theological advisor for the movie. I have no problem with that at all.  Glenn Beck is not teaching against Jesus Christ in his radio and TV shows and therefore he is not the enemy in the search for America’s national treasure.

Some may be a little uneasy with the fact that Kirk Cameron somewhat pitched homeschooling as a best method of educating our children. I talked about this a little in Daddy Life podcast episode 25. At one point during the movie Cameron interviews David Barton of Wall Builders. David is the expert on the religious roots of the United States of America. In the interview David shares some background on a book titled The Godless Constitution: The Case Against Religious Correctness by Isaac Kramnick and R. Laurence Moore. Barton highlights the fact that these two Cornell professors abandon footnotes and bibliography in their book to give themselves plenty of room to indoctrinate the unknowing students with this revisionist history of our great country using this textbook in many university lecture halls. Barton goes on to say that this is intentional misrepresentation of the history of the USA that leads to teachers in our kids’ classrooms ignorantly repeating what they have been taught because they had no reason to challenge it. I say that since it took a few decades to get our kids’ teachers to this level of ignorance on history so the best way to combat it is through home education.

That said, Kirk wraps up his LIVE event with a post movie spill about what to do next. The movie is not officially released until March 30th and it will only appear in a handful of cities. Kirk gives a call to action as he talks about a family devotional as well as a homeschool curriculum that is being released in conjunction with the movie. I told my wife about the homeschool curriculum and she was puzzle as to why Cameron did not partner with someone like Doug Phillips from Vision Forum. The folks at Vision Forum already have pretty much everything covered already and it is historically accurate.  We will likely get a copy of the curriculum for review on the Home School Support Network, but I am not sure how much of it we will be implementing in our own family.

I will conclude with a link to one other review. Jon Speed over at The Informed Evangelist did a pretty unbiased and very detailed review. He and I also had a very similar experience at the conclusion of the event last night. The “live” feed was interrupted in mid sentence of Cameron’s call to action as shown in the video below. So after a few minutes of awkwardness in our local theatre a couple of tea party 912 project activist stood and introduced themselves. They had nothing really useful to say other than to invite people to their meetings. That prompted a mass exodus from the theatre and it pretty much let the air out of the balloon for me in the moment. Like Speed, I hope the results of this is movie is more than an extension to the tea party movement. The tea party came out of the gate well, but the that movement just does not have the God centered roots that this movie has. True lasting change in this country will not take place unless it is clearly aligned to honor and glorify God.

I highly recommend Monumental. It is safe viewing for the entire family. Unless you are in one of the six markets listed in the video above you will not get this movie in your local theatre unless you DEMAND THE MOVIE!

About Hank Osborne

I encourage dads to rise above mediocrity in marriage and parenting. I write and speak on technology, biblical parenting principles, education, and parenting medically special needs kids. My wife Sherry and I co-host the Home School Support Network.

  • Free

    Your last comment. Is that a call for theocracy?

    • http://DaddyLife.net/ Hank Osborne

      No not at all. I believe that getting back to the basics of the representative republic that we once had is where we need to go. The government needs to be run on laws which are rooted in sound morals principles. We are shifting more toward moral relativism and away from the biblical principles that motivated our founders and forefathers. We are headed toward the type of tyranny that the puritans left behind if we don’t get back to what made this country great in the first place. I am calling for a return to our roots.

      Hank Osborne
      http://DaddyLife.net

      • Free

        So you would agree that the best government would be a secular one, no? What do you think those basics are and how are they not secular? Which biblical principles did our forefathers gain their motivation?

      • http://DaddyLife.net/ Hank Osborne

        Our early congress actually funded and promoted the printing and distribution of the bible…the entire bible. I’ll bet you didn’t hear that in history class.

        And the term you use “secular” is very broad. I am in favor if returning to a representative republic rather than a system that allows politicians to write and pass unconstitutional 2000 page laws against the will of the people to serve a very small number of people.

      • Free

        So I guess you accept all of what David Barton says then without any skepticism? Add to that Glenn beck. What are Barton and beck’s credentials as historians?

        Here check out Chris rodda:
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/mobileweb/chris-rodda/kirk-cameron-david-barton_b_1372061.html

        No, my use of the word secular is not broad at all. I was referring to a government void of religion.

        But let’s get back on topic. You wrote: “True lasting change in this country will not take place unless it is clearly aligned to honor and glorify God.” Is this alignment that you speak of referring to government? And you haven’t been clear on what basics you want to get to? Is it just smaller bills? Or are you endorsing a government that prints bibles? Would you support a government endorsing Quran or Talmud printings? Or how about a new testament without miracles? That last one sounds familiar…

      • http://DaddyLife.net/ Hank Osborne

        The word government actually does not appear anywhere in my review and I am not referring to the government in the sentence that you are so hung up on. I am suggesting that the change that needs to happen will come from families like mine who teach morality and character to their children based on God’s standard found in the bible instead of man’s. These families will join other like-minded families to build like-minded communities that come together to shore up this country’s moral foundation. Then I believe you will see a positive change for everyone in this country.

        As for Beck and Barton, they are providing references where folks like Kramnick and Moore are not. The Amazon page for their Godless Constitution book even mentions their lack of reference material for this revisionist history book. So yes, I trust Barton and Beck over Kramnick and Moore in this case. So the credentials come in the form of proof and transparency in this example.

  • Proverbsmom

    Not lookng to get into an antagonistic debate, but I can’t help but respond to the “secular” government comment in this thread. When looking at the history of our nation it is important to remember that this nation was founded upon Judeo Christian values. The religious freedoms that were sought, while this nation was in its infancy, were not based on worshipping any god other than the living God, the head of the Trinity. To add Muslim religion into the debate regarding government and freedom of religion is quite irrational when considering the goals of the founding fathers. Freedom of religion as spoken of throughout American History was always with regard to how someone chose to worship God the Head of the Trinity. While our founding fathers had differing views on the nature or character of God they all believed and fought for the freedom to worship the living God, the head of the Trinity. Those who came to this nation seeking freedom of religion simply wanted to worship God the Father outside of the influences of the tyranny of the Catholic Church, or the monarchs who sought to use religion (Catholic or not) to further a personal agenda. When a Bible believing Christian (meaning one who believes the Bible is true Genesis to Revelation) speaks of a government that gets back to values original to the founding principles of this nation the referance is based on Biblical principles established by God the Father of Jesus Christ not a false god. The God of the Bible is the One who established laws our historical laws were based upon, not one of many false god’s worshipped by people living in this nation. The reality is that the government established by our founding fathers is not at all in agreement with the type of government seen in Muslim dominated countries. The comparison is not valid. This also would mean that a “secular” government would not be valid if one is speaking of what the founding fathers invisioned when they fought so hard for the freedoms we enjoy today. One only needs to look at the writings of our founding fathers and their references to God and country to know that they never invisioned a “secular” or Godless government for our nation. Furthermore, “government” in its current form is not Biblical. God never intended for His people (Jew or Gentile) to be ruled by government. If one reads his Bible it would be evident that God only allowed “government” because His people insisted on an earthly king. God warned of what would happen once “government” was established and even speaks of taxes greater than 20% being a reflection of tyranny. While I respect the purpose of government as established by our founding fathers I think we need to remember that we are subject to government only as far as it does not not try to supercede the will of God. When one looks at our government today one might call it “secular” and one might also see the repercusions of such government reflecting throughout society today. If we are to get back to the principles of those who established this nation one needs to look to the Bible. George Washington did not see this mentality as theocratic. He also parted as our first president by remarking of the need for God if our nation were to flourish.

    • Free

      Your arguments are suffering from the same lack of detail as hank’s. You and beck and Barton can keep saying the foundational principles are judeo-christian but it doesn’t make it true. Please tell me which principles you are referring to. Which basics we have to get back to. Yes, a majority of the founding fathers were believers, but they had the benefit of seeing what religion can do to country. Where is there any reference of this Living God in our constitution? It is explicitly, and intentionally void of it.

      • Proverbsmom

        Our Constitution was not established to supercede the principles of the Bible. If one needs to know what principles are in the Bible then one only need read it. However, the ten commandments (which our nation’s laws have historically been based upon) would be a great start if one is truly interested in knowing what Biblical principles this nation was founded upon. In addition, the Constitution was not written to make religion, or more to the point, the worship of God void, but rather to protect religion from the tyranny of man. When our founding fathers wrote the Declaration of Independence they cited 27 Biblical violations. This of coure is an indication of their collective mind set with regard to religion. When Jefferson called the Bible the “cornerstone of American liberty” it is pretty clear he was speaking of a free government founded upon the principles in the Bible. When James Madison stated, “We’ve staked our future on our ability to follow The Ten Commandments with all our heart”, he was reiterating the “principles” I speak of in my posts. In his farewell address George Washington stated, “You can’t have National morality apart from religious principle,” again a reflection of what I have stated in my posts. When individuals make comments that refer to “what religion can do to a country” I can’t help but wonder how well those individuals understand history. Man is wicked, true, but it is the sin nature of man that can twist religion to harm others, not relgion in and of itself. When I read arguments such as yours I can’t help but wonder what motivates such an attitude. Truth is not relative no matter how we twist it to fit our need. God says that you are either for Him or against Him, there is no neutral. If you do not believe in God this does not change the truth of God. I liken such behavior to one who chooses not to “believe” in gravity. While the existence of gravity provides for the very presence of life on Earth one might choose not to believe in it. Of course choosing not to believe in gravity does not change the result if you challenge its reality. Because a person chooses not to believe in gravity when he/she jumps off of a bridge the end result can not be blamed on the reality itself, but on the choice and behavor of the person ignoring the reality. The truth is that when we take God out of our government the consequences are devastating. One only needs to compare the death rate related to murder (including abortion) since God was banned in our schools and ignored in our homes. In addition, the hostile attitude our nation has taken towards family, in direct opposition to the principles of the Bible, continues to have severe results that can be seen througout our deteriorating society. Abe Lincoln stated, “The philosophy of the schoolroom in one generation will be the philosophy of the government of the next”. School shootings, increased teen pregnancy rates, sexual immorality, are just a few examples that reflect the mind set of moral relatavism that permeates our schools and government today. By the way all of those issues are addressed in the principles set forth in the 10 Commandments which our founding fathers lived their lives by. The bottom line is that truth is truth whether you like it or not, and the truth is that religion does not have to apply to a belief in God. A religion of moral relatavism is still a religion, and one way or another “religion” or “religious” principles will set the tone for our society. The important question is which religion should set the tone, one based on the truths of man, or one based on the truths of God?

      • http://DaddyLife.net/ Hank Osborne

        @Free,

        “Where is there any reference of this Living God in our constitution?”

        You answered your own question by admitting that the majority of the founding fathers were believers. That is where God was found in the founding principles of this country….in the hearts and minds of the people that built it. If you are a believer then you can’t do anything without considering how your actions and decisions affect the kingdom of God.

        If you listen to Beck or Barton via their radio shows, live talks, or tv appearances you will find that they believe that the God fearing/respecting/honoring heart condition of the founders is what originally drove the government and law structure. While I personally like Beck and Barton, no one here has said that they or any one human is THE authority on the history of this country.

        If you don’t know what God’s principles are behind the line of thinking that has been shared then you will not learn those principles through this comment thread. You need to go to the source. Read the bible and seek out a church that teaches from the bible.

        Some of your questions and insinuations are coming off as a little disrespectful in my opinion. It is very difficult to discern intent via written/typed words. And since this is my site, my opinion counts most in determining what is disrespectful.

        This site is clearly not a sight built to educate on this country’s history or the constitution. If you want to have some questions answered regarding “questions about what the Founding Fathers really intended and what you can do to uphold their vision” then I recommend you consider the constitutional law course offered by Michael P. Farris of HSLDA. The words in quotes are taking directly from one of the five bullet points that describe what the course will cover. Here is a url to get more information: http://conlaw.hslda.org/cms/Home/tabid/36/Default.aspx

      • http://DaddyLife.net/ Hank Osborne

        @free,

        It seems you are having a very difficult time seeing past your own legalistic goggles. No God was not taken out of anything literally. Yes we can all pray silently whenever and wherever we want.

        However, teachers are now afraid of loosing their jobs or being sued if they open a bible in a classroom fro any reason. So effectively God has been removed from our schools.

        You are done here. Please move on. Your last comment has been deleted. You will not demand what language can or cannot be used on my site.

  • Benjamin Coyne

    Google Spellcheck. Then read a book and maybe you’ll be qualified to comment on something.

    Oh and it would help if you actually read The Bible once all the way through too. If you don’t become an atheist before you finish the Old Testament then you will have proved yourself a sucker for life.

    It’s amazing you frigging people believe The Bible is litterally the word of your diety and you can’t be bothered to read it all the way through.

    And yes, I can tell you haven’t just based on your comments on this page.

    How can you claim to be a moral parent and at the same time force feed your children tales from a book you haven’t bothered to fully explore?

    • http://DaddyLife.net/ Hank Osborne

      Benjamin, You got me. I am not perfect and neither are my writings. I will work on my spelling and grammar.

      As for reading the comments about my knowledge of the Bible, it would be very helpful if you gave references to what makes you think I have not read the Bible. I have read the Bible many times from cover to cover. Some parts I have read dozens of times. I actually recorded my reading of over 50 chapters of the New Testament and posted them on my old blog (hoei.com/blog) back in 2006. I also shared my the Bible Reading plan I was using back then. Just search for “Bible site:hoei.com” and you will see for yourself. I am currently using the Life Journal Reading plan provided by YouVersion.org to read through the Bible in a year again this year. It takes you through the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice in a year. Maybe you should try it and consider the following as you do. The Old Testament reveals the sin nature that man is born with and that no matter how hard we try we can do nothing to purify ourselves before God. The Old Testament goes on to reveal how God has and will judge those who are wicked and sinful in his eyes. He does not stop there because he shows a clear story of grace through a coming Savior. That Savior, Jesus Christ, comes to Earth as a perfect sinless human in the New Testament. Jesus then goes before God the Father, the judge of all of our sins, and pays the debt for all who will believe and call on him as Lord. Those who do not will face eternal damnation.

      We obviously measure success as a parent differently. As a Christian parent I would be failing in the eyes of God if I did not teach my children what sin is, that there are consequences to sin, and that without the grace of God poured out on us by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross we are all destine for hell. As mentioned above, I do not see the Bible as a book of tales. I see it as providing the meaning of life on this Earth. It is the most historically accurate text on this planet based on claims of Christian and non-Christian historians. You need only look around you or into a mirror to get a grasp of God’s handy work. I believe we are created in the image of God based on faith. Others believe we evolved based on faith in man made theories that violate the laws of thermodynamics and biogenesis just to name a couple. The only way to violate these laws would be through some super natural means…GOD! We all have faith in something, even if it is nothing.

      • Benjamin Coyne

        The God of the gaps? Really?

  • Benjamin Coyne

    And holy crap man, you don’t know that Beck is a Mormon? Do you know that’s not Christianity. Your ignorance is so great it’s like this page actually removes information from peoples minds.

    • http://DaddyLife.net/ Hank Osborne

      Benjamin, Thanks for stopping by. I did not ignore anything. You may want to read the blog post again. I eluded to the fact that Beck is a Mormon when I mentioned the two primary critiques surrounding the movie. Beck was brought in from a U.S. history perspective, not a theological perspective.

      • Benjamin Coyne

        Beck as a historian? The guy who’s books were eviscerated for innacuraccy by everyone shy of Sarah Palin?

        Nevermind Dood. This is your own little magical world view corner of the internet and I shall not bother you again.

  • Benjamin Coyne

    First of all, my apologies for being such a jerk in my previous posts. I think I was transferring my disgust for this movie and it’s terrible scholarship onto you. Your calm and measured reply does you much honor.

    I am not an atheist, but I am a sceptic. I also tend to stick up for the minority opinion when religion, or lack of religion comes up. In other shows Mr. Cameron, who I believe is probably a good person, has regurgitated a lot of disinformation about atheists.
    An athiest does not have faith in nothing, just as you do not have faith in a lack of the Easter Bunny. I will however concede that a vocal minority of atheists behave religiously about atheism.

    About the Bible. I apologise most of all for my presumptuousnes concerning you having read the Old Testament. I am curious though, do you not at least experience difficulty, if not cognitive dissonance with the actions of Yahweh presented there? I mean things like Elijah and the she bears, the ethnic cleansing of Canan, the commands to slaughter children and even infants, the condoning of rape and slavery, the insanely detailed and lengthy instructions on how to sacrifice animals for the “sweet savour unto the Lord”, etc. etc.

    Note that this is not why I reject The Bible. I rejected Christianity as a child due to the dogma of atonement and the prospect of eternal punishment for finite crimes. Now I simply look at Christianity in a way probably simmilarly to how you regard Voodoo or Scientology. I probably hold a subconscious grudge against Christianity for all the hell nightmares I experienced as a youth. And I do consider certain forms of hell indoctrination as a form of child abuse.

    Anyway, again I sincerely apologize for being a flippant jerk.

    Good Luck.