I’ve read several responses from the movie “Monumental”…most were fantastic and well deserved. Others, were mediocre and fair. And a very small few, particularly from the evangelistic world, pretty much looked down upon the movie.
The poor reviews from the evangelistic world is what I’d like to discuss. They all seem to have a common theme that went something like this:
“He gave no gospel presentation!”
“This is Americanism!”
“Moralism can’t save!”
“America can’t save you!”
“Glen Beck! Oh no…he’s a….(I can’t even say the word)!”
I don’t know Kirk Cameron nor do I speak for him, but I feel a response needs to be given, particularly now, since this movie is what I believe has been the missing component from most pulpits and street messages for a very long time.
Before I explain why I think so, I’d like to remind everyone that is poking and picking at Kirk Cameron, that this man has done more to encourage evangelism than probably anyone else has in this country at the current time.
He’s been the poster child for evangelism along with Ray Comfort, who pretty much sparked the evangelism revival over the past 10 years. Actually, without Kirk, most of us probably would never of heard of Way of the Master.
Secondly, in my opinion, Kirk has sacrificed more than any other Christian in Hollywood. He could easily have been the “I’m for Jesus” type that never steps out and does anything. Like many Hollywood Christians do. That’s the furthest thing from his ministry. Actually, it seems that he has written himself off from Hollywood and instead, goes around preaching at churches, doing marriage seminars and volunteers his time for movies that make in the 30 millions. (Not to mention parents a half dozen or so kids.)
Third, and onto the theological objections, those that complain about Kirk’s “sell out” of not preaching the gospel, forget to mention and respect one thing…maybe Kirk’s theology expanded a bit? Maybe he now believes that “saving souls from hell” is NOT the extent of the gospel or the total message of the gospel?
Maybe he believes the biblical gospel extends much further than just “fire” insurance? Maybe he sees that it extends as far as sin does…as does Christ’s reign and His kingdom-in all every area of personal, civil, political, etc, life?
I bring this up facetiously not to antagonize, but to make a point.
For those that think maybe he now thinks that it’s more important for people to learn how to be a good American, or that he thinks a moral country is whats most important, or that it’s more important to tell about history than preach the gospel are COMPLETELY missing the message.
I can’t speak for Kirk, but let me just say I was at the movie and I heard the gospel preached LOUD and CLEAR.
“But wait, I didn’t hear the good person test!” That’s right.
“But wait, I didn’t hear him ask everyone if they’re a liar?” That’s right.
“But wait, I didn’t hear him walk everyone meticulously through the ten commandments!”
Yep, that’s right.
“Well then how can you say he preached the gospel Pat? Because taking people through the law, giving the good person test and making people think they’re liars is the gospel, right?!”
The gospel, according to Romans 1:3-6, I Corinthians 15:1-5, Isa 52:7 and every other passage about the actual proclamation of the gospel has to do with the announcement of the crucified and risen Christ being enthroned as Lord and King. Yes, salvation is a result of the gospel, but the gospel is the power of God UNTO salvation. Yes, salvation happens as a result of the proclamation of Christ and how you explain that to a sinner can vary, but my point is that Monumental DID proclaim the gospel of the Old and New Testaments: God has enthroned Christ as King and Lord over all nations and the world…the good news!! That was the whole theme of the movie!
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 believe those that are smart enough to pick apart the Monumental movie theologically need to look at the foundation of where they are coming from.
If you think the gospel is that Christ came primarily to “get people saved from hell”, you probably think Kirk has the blood of every non believer on his hands that watched that movie.
If you believe Christ came to redeem nations, institutions, people and every other area of life, ie, to redeem the “world” back to God and that the gospel is a work of redemption and restoration by the power of the Holy Spirit through Christians, to bring God’s kingdom and work His will “on earth” as it is in heaven, then you loved the movie and think Kirk did a great job. Because that’s the point of the movie…this is what the Pilgrims and founders believed and we’ve drifted from this (no kidding).
In other words, if you think the gospel and Christ’s rule reaches way far beyond the “get out of hell” card or “saving souls,” you liked the movie. If not, you’re probably pouting saying how big of an opportunity he missed out on.
My point is, this overemphasis on only the sinners salvation and “only” the “salvation message” at every given moment in ministry and life is not biblical. It’s the exact attitude that I believe Monumental is aiming to refute and destroy with this project. And in my opinion, that view is partially responsible for why our country is in this mess in the first place.
I say these things with a passion for Christ’s Kingdom and our country’s freedom. And also, in defense of the movie and the person that made the movie, who I believe took a bold much needed step in the right direction by making this movie in the exact way he did.
My opinion is that those that feel he “missed the gospel” are missing the biggest component of the gospel – the announcement of the Kingship of Christ. He rules. He reigns and he’s here to redeem the whole world, the elect and every area of the world. That’s what was preached in this movie. The Kingship of Christ actually makes the message of salvation make more sense to the non-believer, once their eyes are opened. (The gospel is not a magic potion that zaps people.)
Yes, we should explain it; yes we should speak of hell; yes, yes, to all the other typical “buts”. However, meticulously explaining the plan of salvation in every situation is just not feasible. Do you stand up in the middle of a restaurant during a job interview and begin to preach? Why not? Is it more wise to maybe wait in that situation? Probably. I’m being simple minded but you get my point?
With all that said, please give Kirk a break. So what…he had Glenn Beck. Save your time…don’t send me all your scriptures about yoking with unbelievers…that’s not what he did. It probably wasn’t the most popular thing, but Kirk probably prayed, sought council and had Glenn Beck, his friend, who used his influence to establish credibility for the movie. Wise if you ask me. Not pragmatic. Glen Beck is a great patriot even though he may not be fully where all of us are theologically that “know it all”, but God does seem to be putting strong believers around him.
Lastly, for those that completely disagree with the Monumental approach, the content, etc, please consider this…Kirk is a brother with a good reputation, a solid marriage and family, an influential evangelist and a huge heart for Christ. Give Kirk and the movie the benefit of the doubt.
Thanks and GB,
PS. I would be happy to answer any response at gostandspeak @ gmail.com HOWEVER, please remember that if you’re a dispensationalist or you have a two kingdom view, etc, know that we simply will interpret the Kingdom, the Great Commission and the extent of the gospel differently. You may want to save your time, however I am happy and open to discuss. With all due respect.