A reader recently asked for my thoughts on the upcoming Kendrick brothers movie “War Room”. After doing some digging on the movie, my initial thought was of the line from the Tropic Thunder spoof about overdone sequels:
Here we go again.
War Room is the latest “Christian” movie from the Kendrick brothers, and from the information available it stays true to the theme of the last two (Fireproof and Courageous). Modern secular culture loves to denigrate husbands and fathers, portraying them as clueless buffoons. Yet modern Christian culture has a much deeper level of contempt for husbands and fathers than secular culture does. As a result the Christian movies tearing down husbands and fathers tend to be much darker than their secular counterparts. Fireproof reveled in the power no fault divorce gives wives over their husbands, in a cross-dressing presentation of biblical headship and submission modern Christians couldn’t get enough of. Courageous was even darker, but equally loved. Somewhat lighter was Mom’s Night Out, which more closely aped the secular mocking of buffoonish husbands and fathers, but it had a more subtle darker side as well.
Even the feminists at Dame were startled by the contempt modern Christians have for fathers:
And that’s the biggest problem with Moms’ Night Out: The moral of the story isn’t that the women are supposed to stay home and not have fun, but that the men are totally hapless morons without them around—and that this lesson is still being drilled into our heads in 2014. We’re supposed to feel better about this “men are total idiots, the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world” philosophy (and that latter piece of wisdom was actually uttered in the movie in case you missed the point). But this story of the helpless manchild is a disservice to men—and families—everywhere.
All I have to share on War Room is an early piece of advertising for it, but it does appear that the movie will remain true to modern Christian culture:
My guess is that the advice to the wife is intended to brush close enough to “win him over without a word” to allow supporters to rationalize that it is teaching the message of 1 Pet 3:1-6
Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives, 2 when they observe your chaste conduct accompanied by fear. 3 Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— 4 rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. 5 For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands, 6 as Sarah obeyed Abraham, calling him lord, whose daughters you are if you do good and are not afraid with any terror.
It is possible that the Kendrick brothers will make a U-turn and actually teach biblical roles in marriage. However, based on the preview, their past presentations, and the strong preferences of modern Christians I’m not optimistic. My guess instead is that the advice to the wife is a headfake towards submission while teaching her that her job is not to cultivate a quiet gentle spirit, but to become a warrior praying for her no good husband to get his act together.
Here we go again.
I would of course be delighted to be proven wrong.