Film/TV Sep 9, 2015 at 4:00 am

Pushing Christianity Instead of Crack

Don't be tricked by the happy faces and the magical old woman. These are very dangerous people.


You're ability to turn that stinking piece of a movie into column gold may have doomed you to a future at the Stranger replete with rage and shitty movies.
No CGI Jesus?
Thank you for pointing out how truly dangerous movies like this are. And the evangelical Christians who love them have no idea how evil these movies are.
Every once in a while we have a Christian Movie That Changes Everything about Bad Old Hollywood, and from the breathless reviews I heard this morning on CBS, this is the latest one. I wonder how many of the ticket sales are to megachurches and the like, and how many are actually used, as opposed to just bought?
Ha, one thing I've got to give to Tyler Perry - M'Dea knows that you deal with abusive husbands with a boiling pot of grits, not prayer.
The movie might be bad, but so far it's this column's comments thread that's questioning my faith in anything wholesome.
Or, one could watch Key and Peele riffing on the same topic and be greatly entertained for six minutes, at home and for free!
Unholy shit!
"This movie, it intends to kill women by keeping them in harmful and life-threatening situations" but you would prefer it kill men by encouraging the women in their lives to “Poison his soup.”

I'm sorry, good review and this movie sounds like a piece of shit, but that line stands out like a sore thumb. Domestic violence is not a gender issue; both sexes do it. Neither sex should be encouraged to suffer it meekly--but neither sex should be encouraged to carry it out, either.
@10 oh I dunno about that. Fewer jesus-crazed domineering husbands is not a bad thing necessarily...
Seems to me that you were only interested in watching this movie to see how you could bash it. By the language used in this "review" you watched to discourage others to not see this movie. Prayer is a powerful thing, and so is Jesus, anything can be turned around by the power of prayer. Sounds like an atheist review.
@12 It doesn't matter who wrote this. So what if they are atheist? The point is that relying on prayer to fix everything is dangerous. For every person who thinks their prayers have been answered because a loved one didn't die of cancer, there are thousands more who prayed to no avail. Praying is meant to give hope, and it does for many — but using it as a means to change your life is absurd. Pray to give yourself strength and courage, not to wish that things would change on their own.
This movie isn't any more dangerous that the BS on sale at the pulpit every Sunday in a church near you. Prayer, confession, and forgiveness are the crap answers to life's problems most of us over 40 were given when we were children. The only difference was that just about everybody everywhere believed it. The whole damn society though this shit was real! Try standing up to that as an 8 year old. If this offends you, you are in for a lot of offence!
Yeah... I got this stricken by rage over "Facing the Giants" and its evil, false prosperity doctrine nearly a decade ago, so I've made it a point to avoid all the films that this church produces. I'm saddened, but not at all surprised, to hear that their latest is just as repulsive.
she wrote this during a full moon so i just laughed my ass off at it. if this is clickbait, you need to do better, dear.
@12 the evidence that prayer has any influence on the world whatsoever is utterly lacking, beyond a bit of baseless feel-good for the one doing the praying.

Nothing fails like prayer, and pretending otherwise is childish. Sometimes dangerously so, as when it displaces real action -- like seeing a doctor to heal sickness, or getting the hell away from an abusive partner.
I am Christian. I believe in the power of prayer. But I never go to see "Christian" movies because they are triggering and *do* encourage women to be dangerously submissive. They have a toxic theology.

You know what the answer to prayers are in the case of domestic violence? Getting out and praying there are enough beds at the local shelter or a good friend's house. God does not want emotionally and physically abusive spouses and their victims. That is not a sanctified marriage to me. And no, abusive spouses do not magically change unless forced to by jail or counseling.

Tell me. Did Kirk Cameron have anything to do with this one? His are the worst.
The movie is not for everyone. Clearly people have very little understanding of spiritual warfare. Plus its a movie...comprende? A movie, faith based or not. It seems u can make any movie about anything except the power God. I enjoyed it and no i am not crazy. I will watch it over and over again. Its a matter of preference. Plus the writing in this article is really bad so its funny that it is critiquing something else
@21: At least the author writes well enough not to use the letter "u" when she means "you".....
@21: God is too awe-inspiring and transcendent to be done justice by cinema. Even Morgan Freeman was only able to come close.
Wow. So prayer and people that pray are dangerous? That's ignorant. Just plain ignorant. I don't know how the church or God disappointed you or what prayer He failed to answer for you but that doesn't mean it doesn't work for those who pray vigilantly and accept God's answer. Even if the answer is No. We accept it and move on knowing He has a plan for us.
Oh and as far as women submitting to their husbands? It in no way means they are to be a victim. I have never heard a preacher or pastor tell a spouse they had to remain in a relationship and get beat up or humiliated. They need to protect themselves and their children and find safety. But praying for the abusing spouse to change is certainly not wrong. And the Bible says the submission is spiritual. Not physical. Because in Genesis, Eve was created to be a help mate on the same level as Adam. It nevet said woman was to be subservient.
See how things come in to focus when you know what you are talking about?
What was Jesus attempting to teach when he refused to hurl himself off that cliff?
I didn't see anything in the movie where the husband was abusive physically to his wife. I don't think any Christian would tell someone who is in a physically abusive marriage to just stay in it and pray on it. If you recall the worst the husband did in the movie was go to dinner with another woman. I truly wish you would have gone into watching the movie with an open mind. It seems as though you went into it to Tare it apart. I pray that one day you are able to experience the changing power of God and how much he truly cares for you.
There are all kinds of horrid, disgusting movies out there with murder and mayhem passing for entertainment. If the religiously delusional want to go see this movie, by all means they should knock themselves out. But, through their upbringing and cultural indoctrination if someone, as an adult chooses to be religious, or chooses to be in an abusive relationship, then that's their business. They must be getting some kind of benefit from the abuse - maybe it's their kink? AS long as they don't try to force their perverted world view on the rest of us and are only screwing up themselves and their progeny then it's all OK by me.
I must have stumbled onto some web site written and followed by folks who were disappointed as children by God or His people, or who witnessed or were part of abusive relationships! Your comments are not only anti Christian, they are anti men! Who hurt you so much that your life seems full of bitterness and hate, or at least that is what you are spewing out of your foul mouth? Actually, you must have seen a different movie than the one I saw, because the theater was sold out, not an empty seat, and the acting was firstt rate! I think Clara's role was worthy of an academy award! The dialogue and the message were excellent, and I would say that this movie ranks up there in my mind with my top five favorites of all time! When I first started reading your review I thought you were just being facetious, but now I realize that you have been wounded somewhere along life's way and now your heart is hardened! But don't worry, by writing articles like this you have not made any enemies! If anything, you have managed to get your name up onto the wall of War Rooms all across America! Watch out, people are now praying for you in Jesus's name, and their prayers are fervent and the God they are praying to is faithful, loving and all powerful!😊
Okay so it's a cheesy plot with cheesy really need to chill case you didn't know this:
1. Movies use bad people doing things to good people all the time to create a sort of tension. That doesn't mean that bad people should be emulated and most people recognize this. It doesn't mean it is okay for men to abuse women.
2. This movie was being marketed as a CHRISTIAN-THEMED no surprises there.
3. you really need to chill. Why does this get you going so badly? It's just a movie..
I'm curious if you critique demonic horror movies in the same way? Or what about movies that encourage real life copy cat killers? You are certainly free to have your opinion on this but I just wonder if you put this much energy in other types of movies?
Ijeoma ...your review was funny asl...but...that isn't going to deter me from seeing the movie for myself. I have to admit that you do sound a little...just a little hurt...bitter.

Apparently aren't a Christian and that's me point out a few things to you:

Prayer does change things. If a person wants God to intervene or save their marriage to whomever's their choice. It's not wrong either. If you knew anything about wedding'd know that.

God hates divorce...but He gives grounds for it. The God I serve does not want women to stay and be abused...stripped of lively spirit or killed as result of staying with a man who doesn't want what God intended for that marriage.

Spiritual Warfare is REAL honey...while it's " weird " to you...that the Clara character and Elizabeth shouted for satan to get out...the only way he will leave is by the directive under Jesus Christ ...with authority and speaking it to...yes...GET OUT!

The previews of the movie in no way give the idea that the woman is suffering in marriage because she doesn't pray " enough "'s foolish to make points or insert ideas about something that isn't relevant. That's called stretching the truth or lying.

You are on my prayer seems to me that you will have an issue with submission to your future husband...or any man that would pique an interest in you. I understand having standards...we all should have them. However don't confuse respect with disorder.
Oh no, Ijeoma, now you've gone and done it. Posting this over the Labor Day weekend, with all the normal commenters off on holiday, has turned the comment thread into one big "we'll be praying for you, atheist" convention. It's really something to see commenters on The Stranger defending the notion that wives must spiritually submit to their husbands. I wonder whose list you got on to drive this new traffic?

I have no need to come anywhere near this stinking mess of a movie; even these ridiculous comments are making me angry. Thank you for taking one for the team by watching this movie, and for finding the deeper truth of why this particular brand of Christianist culture is so deeply insidious.

At times like this I am tempted to feel like the people who live by this drivel are fully deserving of the miserable life they get. I am trying my best not to feel like that right now, and to direct my rage at the deserving folks who peddle the false narrative rather than the suckers who buy it. But I'll tell you, it doesn't come easy.
As a Christian, I want to heartily thank you for this review. I suggested on my facebook page that if someone wants to make a movie about a Christian friend helping an abused woman, I have a plot summary right here for free: First, the abused woman asks for prayer. Her Christian friend looks at her and says, "Prayer?! Pray with your FEET sister!" She yanks a suitcase out of the woman's closet and starts emptying drawers, shoes, whatever into it. Flash forward to scene where car is driving down the road, back filled w/ suitcases and loose bric-a-brac. In front seat, abused wife is crying and mumbling "Thank you Jesus, Thank you Jesus" under her breath. Her friend? Muttering imprecatory Psalms under her breath. Fade to black.
Ummm....this review would be great...if it wasn't for the part where you completely fabricate and falsify information.

There is NO abuse or domestic violence in the movie. The movie is not even about abuse or domestic violence.

You either saw a different movie entirely (perhaps you're confusing it with What's Love Got to Do with It? about Tina Turner in 1993)? Or you have a serious issue reality (and cannot tell what is true from false)? Or you just like making things up to slander others? Or taking substances while watching? Not really sure, but you certainly are not describing the actual move The War Room. Whatever the reason, your "review" is false. It is an unfactual review.

This is a movie about a woman who is a bit of a nag and a man with a wandering eye. The couple is trying to work through the marital strife and turn to God for help. That's all. Peace..
I saw this movie this weekend and it is a very powerful movie. I AM a Christian woman who is in a marriage with a child. I pray for my husband and my child daily, among other things I need help with in my life. I've seen God work and fix things in my life that only HE could fix. It seems to me like you need Jesus. I also feel like you need to go watch the movie again with a totally different attitude. It seems as if you watched the movie ready to bash it because you don't believe in a God who can completely turn your life around. This movie isn't portraying a woman who lays down and let's her husband walk all over her. It's a movie showing the power of prayer and trusting God to fight battles that are out of your control. If you were listening to the movie, this woman LOVED her husband. She didn't WANT to leave him, so she prayed for God to change his heart and turn his life around. Then she waited and let God fight that battle for her because she trusted that He would, and He did. Now the movie made it seem like the change happened in a matter of days. Sometimes we wait a few days and sometimes we wait a lot longer in real life. She didn't give up. I will be praying for you, whoever you are. I will pray that God reveals Himself to you in a MIGHTY way. So mighty that there can be no doubt left in your mind that there IS a God and that He is the way, the truth, and the life!
Blah, blah, blah. She said nothing about the camera angles or the actors or the lighting or the directors previous works. This obviously isn't just a film review this is some blah, blah, blah critique on the whole gosh darn social yada,yada,yada. So I am left actually wanting to see this movie solely based on the rage in illicited from this young lady. That's what the cinema is supposed to do, make you feel something and in that regard this film has been successful. That said, what is marriage without the women, however subtle or unconscious, submitting to the husband? I'm a grown man, never married. Certainly at the age to be wed but generally not interested. I could never understand why someone would want to go through some grand ceremony to hitch their wagon to one horse for a lifetime, or however long. Both parties are shoulder shrugging and giving up liberties to submit to the wims of a partner of their choosing. Blah, blah, blah. I cannot wait till BatmanVs.Superman. Batman is gonna whoop that ass!
Damn, looks like someone put a link to this in their church E-newsletter.

Why is it that Christians are unable to handle someone disagreeing with them? It is almost like they have no actual faith in what they claim to believe.
It is understandable that a secular mind who is alien to the Christian worldview will not get the message of a movie made particularly for audience who share that worldview.

But to say that the acting, dialog, storyline is bad? And that it should offend any Christian who believes in a loving God and that it would make one lose faith in God? It's so totally and absolutely laughable and hilarious. I just didn't realize how much the secular mind will completely get everything wrong.

Being a movie buff who loves movies from since I was a kid, I think I can tell a good movie from a bad one. And having seen a lot of lousy Christian movies, I can say with pride this movie is a very good Christian movie -- storywise, dialog wise, acting wise, production wise. The movie will inspire, encourage and challenge every Christian who wants to follow Christ.

The box office result alone should encourage the Kendrick brothers and other producers to continue making this particular movie genre.
Everyone has an opinion about everything and it's fine. It's free speech. I disagree with your comments. It was a good movie. For those of us who liked it, didn't think that it was unrealistic. In fact, miss Clara reminded me of my mother who passed away and had a prayer closet for as long as I can remember. I also know of people who diverted some crime by calling in the name of Jesus. I ado don't think the movie told women to stay in any situation. Every situation is different. I would go see it again and would stil encourage others to do the same. Having intense rage over a simple movie that is obviously not intended for everyone seems to be a waste of energy.
So if Ms. (?) Ijeoma Oluo believes that a movie like this can harm - no, kill! - by the message she imputes to it, I wonder whether she applies the exact same reasoning to other works in popular culture, such as those glorifying violence, sex, or other harmful excesses. After all, if this movie is that powerful, those others must be as much so.
As a Christian, I am called by God to love Him first, and love others as myself. I am not to judge anyone else, regardless of their race, sexual orientation, station in life, etc... God is the only judge. Christianity is about love. There is no room for hate. If we all lived by those rules, there would be no room for murder, sex trafficking, rape, abuse. Yet these things are in our world. Look into your heart and ask yourself why. My guess is because we don't follow that simple rule. I believe in Jesus. You don't have to, but please don't put your prejudices on me. I will pray for you and know that God hears me.
Hey Adversary. Shut the MRA fuck up about domestic violence not being a gender issue. Men are far more dangerous to women than women are to men you stupid stupid fuck. My husband could knock me the fuck out with one punch, or rape me, and I could most certainly not do any of that to him. Did someone slap you once you whiny bitch baby? Fuck the fuck off. Not to mention the entitled anger that simmers beneath all of you the second its not about you. Pathetic.
Lol, that's why it was number 1 for two weeks. Give me a break. Is this crap ever going to stop? Or I'd it that so many people have no lives and are looking for any attention they get. Please!!!!!!
@ 43 for real tito? Men are "far" more dangerous than women? You don't have any power against him? You seriously never considered the fact you could easily cut your husband's dick off in the middle of the night and feed it to the dog if he's beating you? Just make sure you make a video and post it online as a message to all the wife beaters of the world who think they can escape absolute justice. Then go to court, show a documented history of spousal abuse, settle for 5 to 10, be out in 3. Serve your time as a martyr to the cause of women's rights and write a book and do MSM talking head interviews expressing your unique perspectives.
I forgot: 2) ???? 3) PROFIT!!!
You are just the kind of person this movie exposes. Doing the enemies work to make sure lives are not changed. You are being used by the one who 'wants to remain hidden'. I went to see this movie with my husband and children and received the message that prayer changes things..and it does. I am so sick of you cruel, opinionated and foul-mouthed pawns doing all you can to work against the people of God and those who really need to hear The Gospel and life-giving Word. You of all people need it. I am so sorry to come at you like this, but there are many other critics that have taken this same approach. I was once in the Hollywood game and I know firsthand how malicious it can be towards those who dare to profess Jesus. But mark my word, the day will come when EVERY KNEE WILL BOW AND EVERY TONGUE WILL CONFESS THAT JESUS IS LORD TO THE GLORY OF GOD! You will shake with rage at your decision to oppose His work in this fallen world. The message of this movie was not meant to say that one should take abuse and if you were watching, you will notice that this man was not hitting his wife or physically abusing her. He was however being cruel (as you are) to his wife and dealing treacherously with her. She decided to use God's prescription of prayer and forgiveness vs. just dodging as so many would've done. God turned it all around and He does this ALL THE TIME. We all need grace and I would venture to guess that you do to. I hope your family and friends don't leave you when you're having a few bad seasons or act unkind. All this to say, your best bet would be to leave your mouth off of God's people and His work. Do you know how many people were blessed and how many lives/marriages and families were changed because of this movie?..No, you don't. The impact is more than you can even imagine and certainly more impact than your whacky interpretation that doesn't hold water. I am a living witness that God can work in your life no matter the depth of issues. My husband and I were on the brink of divorce and I'd already filed and had a court date. Don't you dare say that God can't do it! One day you will sing an entirely different tune and hopefully not from the pits of hell. Praying for you and all who think this world thinks enough of them to read their bogus reviews and take you seriously. The world doesn't love you. God does. Repent and be saved. Jesus is coming VERY SOON.
Holy Jesus fuck... All y'all just made my goddamn afternoon with all the 'oh, the Enemy's got you in his grasp, I'll pray for you you poor sinner' shit. Hell's bells, you gotta be so weak in your own faith that the only thing you can do is try to tear someone down. If you truly believed that strongly, then this clear-eyed review would NOT have cut into you so deeply. Go pray for yourselves, hypocrites.
@47: please learn to use paragraphs. It will fall on dear ears, but Jesus has been coming "very soon" since the year John wrote Revelations. the world is never ending (at least until the Sun goes Supernova in 8 billion years), so at that time, sure, let's talk about the Apocalypse.

how did you Christians find this review? don't look anywhere else on The Stranger; it's just for us heathens. the sin will turn your hair white.
deaf ears. deaf.
@ 47 what is it with you "loving" Christians proclaiming that those who don't follow your religion will "sing an entirely different tune" one day when Jesus rises up and kicks the heathen/feminist/humanist/skeptic in the ass. What is it with you and YOUR desire to see God punish anyone who doesn't agree with you. ATTITUDES LIKE YOURS CREATE ATHEISTS. Such self righteous haughty attitudes about others turned me from Christianity and I have NEVER looked back. So what the abuse wasn't physical - is that the only kind of abuse there is. Adultery is abuse, mental cruelty is abuse, and the message that you just need to pray it away enables abuse to continue. Also trying to cram Christianity down someones throat is abuse - abuse of their freedom to believe (or not) as they choose.
I guess my question is why did you waste your time and money to go see the movie? Most people want to see a movie because it interests them. You obviously believe there is a God, since you said that he is a God of love. All I get from your review is hate. If you don’t believe in the power of prayer, then it would not have mattered if the plot, music or acting was good. You simply don’t believe that there is a higher power that you need to answer to. He gives you a free will to accept him or deny him. If what I believe ends up being wrong, then I have lost nothing by believing, but if what I believe is wright, then I won’t have to worry about the consequences of eternity. If there is not something in you that draws you to see Christian movies, then simply don’t go see them.
Did I land on Ray Comfort ' s site by mistake?
There are several studies out there that show that prayer is useless, and in some cases even detrimental. But it's Sunday morning, I'm on mobile, and frankly too damn lazy to look them up right now.
But you, sitting in your pew, could take a minute from posting to SLOG, and go look it up yourself.
Oh, what the hell happened in here?
After reading this article,I wondered what to say about it. I never planned to watch it away. I would also add that I believe prayer can be effective along with actions. Prayer by itself only eases the individual's mind, actions change your life. I looked up the movie's writer and director and I wasn't surprised that they were both men. I don't blame the actors so much b/c it is a job. The writer and directors are different stories. This is their visions being represented.
As a Jew, I'm constantly baffled by the Christian view of God and God's power. God's creations do still have free will. We are meant to do things for ourselves, and to work for God in our actions. The saying goes, "the best prayer is done with your feet." Take a stand. Say something. A husband who is abusive (abuse is not just physical violence!) must be confronted by SOMEONE or simply escaped. When God answers our prayers he cannot override the free will of others, even abusive or evil others. God can send us the tools to get help. He can introduce us to people who can help us.

If Esther had simply been an obedient and submissive wife, the Jesus that Christians love so much may never have even existed. Do you think God wanted her to simply pray and hope that the plot was stopped? I don't think so.
This movie is great if you like Christian based films. Why go if you don't? That would be like a person who hates horror films checking out the latest Saw installment, then dumping on it. Or a person who hates all things SciFi complaining about the next Star Wars. If Christian based films aren't your bag don't go then complain about them?!
Loved it!! The Kendrick's did an amazing job again!!!
God is good
What you wrote sounds sensible, but I think there are more people out there than you think who are willing to forgive their spouses infidelity, and no, not just wives. Also, I think you let your rage kinda take over there, the movie showed a cranky couple and a moment where the husband was about to cheat. You make it sound like it was Game of Thrones. I'm sure sane Christians (we're talking main stream, not cults) wouldn't advise a woman who's life was at risk to stick around. She can pray just as well in a location far far away from her abuser.
Really?? Did none of you get it! It's about Spiritual Warfare and letting God take control of your life. Not letting the devil get in and control you. I am a proud Christian and this movie brought me to my knees!! I am just floored at the people that thought this was a good review and thought War Room is dangerous, yeah dangerous for the enemy. There is reason it was a Box Office Hit! I will pray for you all and hope that God changes your heart, because he is the only one that can save this fallen world.
This review is like seeing a can't take your eyes off it and stop reading. I do want to point out that you non believers have a lot of hate and anger in you. And to me that sounds a lot like the devil!

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