My wife and I have been hearing about the movie War Room for months and finally made time to watch it together, this past weekend.
There were things I liked about the movie, as well as areas of concern.
My favorite theme was the focus on prayer and God working through the prayers of His people. I also liked the depiction of prayer tending to first change the heart of the person praying. I have certainly found this to be true in my own life.
Another favorite theme was the need to focus on right relationship with God and total dependence on Him, rather than focusing on human relationships and trying to fix other people’s dysfunction. This powerful truth was portrayed well in the movie.
My primary concern with the movie is its perpetuation of the false and dangerous myth that all marital issues can always be resolved through prayer. While one could argue the movie depicted a single scenario without explicitly stating it applied to every situation, this is a very common theme in most Kendrick Brothers movies, and the repetition reinforces the myth. A survey of movie themes leaves a strong impression Kendrick Brothers is highly committed to this unbiblical myth and very intentional in proselytizing others to embrace their perspective. Whether intentional or not, this is certainly a primary message most viewers will receive from a Kendrick Brothers movie.
In a nutshell, this perspective tells a troubled spouse that if they will just pray fervently enough, believe deeply enough, humble themselves lowly enough, and love sacrificially enough, God will always miraculously heal their marital relationship.
Frankly, that’s a lie!It is a very dangerous lie holding too many abused spouses in bondage to their abuser for too many years. Click To Tweet
Yes, God does answer prayer in miraculous ways. Yes, God will bring healing in relationships where both partners are committed to seek Him and pursue His heart. However, God will not violate human free will. If one spouse is determined to go their own way, rebelling against God in violation of their sacred covenant vows, God will not conquer their heart by force.
If prayer, faith, humility and love were guaranteed by God to always result in healed relationships, the Apostle Paul would not have instructed the Corinthian Christians to allow an unbelieving spouse to leave the marriage (1 Corinthians 7:12-15).God has not promised to heal every human relationship. Click To Tweet
Jesus made it very clear He did not come for the purpose of healing every relationship.
Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household. (Matthew 10:34-36)
I was also disappointed by the unrealistic reconciliation portrayed in the movie. The husband was depicted as being very antagonisticly aggressive in interactions with the wife and daughter. Yet he converted to a completely repentant change of heart without any boundaries having been defined or enforced by his family. And, he had no further episodes of abusive behavior…no temptations to slide back into old patterns of behavior…just a completely new humble godly character.
While I hesitate to call anything impossible when we’re discussing the miraculous, to say the least the portrayed scenario is way outside the norm. Most antagonistic aggressive character disordered people will never change without first running up against very strictly enforced boundaries. Even then they are unlikely to change, and if they do, it will be over an extended period of time with strict accountability.You know what I’d really like to see Kendrick Brothers produce? Click To Tweet
I would love to see them produce a really good movie depicting a realistic scenario of an abused wife learning to see past the lies, deceptions, and manipulations of her abuser. The movie could show her learning to understand how much God loves her and how highly He values her. It could show God redeeming her from that abusive marriage, protecting her through the divorce, and delivering her from the false doctrine that held her in bondage for so many years.
Now that would be a realistic movie with a solid Christian theme!
What do you think?