I 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.
- 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.
- 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!