I know this is old news, so I won’t spend a bunch of time on this. I finally got around to watching the movie, “War Room.” It really did make me think that I liked it better when it was called, “Fireproof.” So many people were telling me how great it was and still others were voicing concerns. I didn’t want to waste my money on a bad movie so I waited for it to go to rental. I watched it mostly by myself. My Wife and Daughter would watch here and there. As I was watching it I became aware of a couple of scenes with really bad theology. However, I kind of expected it from Christian movies these days.
There was a scene where the main character is fed up with her life and prays out loud to the devil and then commands him to leave her house and go to Hell, in the name of Jesus. First, don’t pray to the devil, don’t talk with the devil, and don’t rebuke the devil. Even the angels say, “The Lord rebuke you.” Second, the devil doesn’t live in hell and he is not from hell. He is on the Earth and won’t be in Hell until he is sent there by God.
The other scene that was laughable was when a mugger confronted the older lady and the younger lady and attempted to rob them at knife point. The older lady commanded the thug to drop his knife in the name of Jesus… and guess what… He did. I had to laugh, but it also made me a bit angry. What if someone actually tried that? Disregard all of the Pentecostal mythology surrounding this type of thing. Honestly, it is not the way to handle that situation. Let’s see… Did it help the early Church Fathers when they were being martyred? Did it stop the Romans from using Christians as torches to light the streets? Does it help the Christians being martyred by the Muslims today?
The biggest problem I had with the movie is one that my 15 year old Daughter picked up on just from watching a little bit of the movie. She said something to the effect of, “Is this one of those Christian movies where everyone gets saved and their problems all go away?” The sad thing is that she was correct. This movie forwarded the, “life enhancement gospel.” This is a false gospel that goes like this, “Become a Christian, and God will make your life better.” This can be very damaging to immature Christians. This movie would have been so much better if the husband would have went to prison after repenting. The husband ends up repenting. He then takes responsibility for getting fired from his job as a pharmaceutical sales representative. He also admits to his bosses about stealing pharmaceuticals from the company. One of the bosses wants to have him prosecuted. Of course, because he comes clean and gives back what he stole they forgive him and then he gets a great new job closer to home. God makes everything better and life is peachy keen again…
What if he would have done all of the good things like repenting, returning what he stole, and he still ended up going to prison? They could have shown her praying for him and waiting for him to get out. They could have showed him accepting the difficult things as part of God’s will. If a person decides to become Christian for a better life, they are missing the point. We should become Christians because we sorrow over our sins and love Christ for His sacrificial work on the cross to atone for our sins.
7 thoughts on “I Finally Watched the Movie, “Fireproof 2” Woops, I Meant, “War Room” and I’m Left Wondering, What Was all the Fuss About?”
I appreciate your review. I have not seen the movie but might watch it when it comes up on Amazon or Netflix. Your observations sound like those I have had from other contemporary Christian movies. The only real reason I watch them is so I know what some of the people I know are talking about.
I applaud the desire the movie makers have in trying to encourage Christians and attract non-Believers. It it a stretch to think a boss would just forgive the corrupt employee and it all turns out so much for the better. Wouldn’t it be a good sequel to have the employee eventually arrested and then tell the story of repentance, forgiveness, redemption, how to be a witness behind bars, how to see God’s faithfulness for a divided family? Like the story about Job, he was indeed blessed in the end but there still were a number of graves that he dug.
Keep up the good work.
LikeLiked by 1 person
Although I have a certain appreciation for what these movies try to do, I, too, am concerned that Christian fiction teach that “just submit to God and everything works out well.” It will in the end of life–no question; however, life can still be hard. People will lose family members whose diseases God chooses not to heal, people will violently reject the Gospel from the most Godly of witnesses, believers still get raped, mugged, and murdered, and men who cheat on their bosses can still go to jail.
I wonder if there is an underlying belief that if we do everything right in faith that all will turn out well in life?
Modern American Christians tend to fall into the life enhancement gospel due to our quality of living and relative liberty compared to other countries.
I had some of these same reactions after viewing “War Room.”(http://www.mannaformarriage.com/war-room/)
However, I have adjusted some of my thinking about the movie. For example, while watching “War Room” for the second time, I suddenly realized the reason for the mugging scene. The writers are not trying to advocate resisting and rebuking criminals in the name of Jesus. This scene is simply another way to illustrate the movie’s theme: “your spiritual enemy wants to steal your marriage, but don’t let him; fight for it!” It is a screenwriting device to reinforce the central message–a message that we want to encourage.
I don’t think that was the intent of the scene. I think that is an attempt by viewers to justify the scene.
Interesting review. Thanks for posting. You addressed my main points of conflict with the film.
During the movie, I cringed at the “talking to the Devil” scene as well. But I don’t get my theology from movies, even Christian movies. I get my beliefs from the Bible. While I don’t expect to agree with every “Christian” film made, I must say, I try not to discredit those attempting to create clean, positive entertainment if I don’t agree. Although I can appreciate someone giving their opinion in order to clarify where they stand, a good review normally includes the pros as well as the cons. I have to say I appreciate the encouraging message the film advocates, to get serious about prayer in day to day life.
As far as the lady rebuking her attacker, I do believe in common sense and self-defense, but many modern Christians have, in our minds, diluted the power of God, His word, and His name until we’ve aligned ourselves with skeptics. I’m no charismatic, but I do think there is more scripture-based authority in the name of Jesus than some conservative Christians (myself included at times) have allowed themselves to believe.
True, the boss’s decision to waive charges against a man who stole pharmaceuticals seemed a bit contrived. However, there is another thought besides the “life’s not fair” point of view that bears mentioning. The Bible undeniably teaches “blessings follow obedience.” Not to say being a Christian makes earthly life a paradise, but he who honors God, God will honor (1 Sam. 2:30). Yes, they could have shown the man going to prison and suffering worse consequences (were there not other consequences besides incarceration in the movie?), but they weren’t making a film about the life of Joseph, they were making a film about the power of prayer. And if we ask in His will, believing, God can and has historically done some uncanny things, things an average person might scoff at. Benefits to obeying God may not always be physical or immediate as is the case in the movie, but God will stay true to His word. I’m not a “health and wealth” activist, but if a person takes physical health for example, medical science proves there are many major physical life benefits we wouldn’t enjoy to quite the same degree if we didn’t follow God’s commands to honor Him with our bodies. The same bears out in other areas of life.
I do value clean entertainment. I don’t have anything against happy endings in movies. I quite like them. I don’t like putting bad theology in movies that are supposed to be representative of our faith.