How the Kendricks, Rainey, and Lepine see the married fathers they go to church with.

Family Life and the Kendrick brothers set out to make a movie to teach about biblical parenting.  The title of the movie is Like Arrows, and they describe it at Family Life as portraying the typical Christian family (emphasis mine):

The film centers on the joys and trials of parenting and the power of family to shape the next generation. More than just an entertaining movie, the goal of Like Arrows is to honestly show a couple journeying through every phase of parenting. The film opens with Alice telling her boyfriend Charlie she is pregnant. As they are married and begin growing their family, they face typical parenting struggles and become aware of their need to be intentional and to cling to God’s blueprints for marriage and family.

“The parenting journey is both incredibly challenging and incredibly rewarding at the same time,” says FamilyLife’s Bob Lepine, who served as one of the executive producers for the project. “We wanted to take viewers on what we hope will be a very relatable journey. And in the process, we hope they’ll be inspired to make their faith more core to how they function as a family. That’s the goal.”

But like the larger modern Christian culture they are selling to, they are filled with contempt for the kind of man who marries and takes his children to church.  Naturally, this feeling came out in the movie they made.

How do they see the married fathers they sit next to on Sunday, the men who buy their products?  In their minds the men they sit next to on Sundays only married their wives after an unintended pregnancy, and are failures as husbands and fathers.  From the movieguide review (Warning:  plot spoilers ahead):

The movie opens very powerfully with Alice telling Charlie she’s pregnant. She thinks she’s messed up and remembers all the times her mother told her she was a mess. After some argumentation, Charlie decides to do the right thing and proposes to Alice.

Alice is overwhelmed by the prospect of parenting. The nurse who helps her deliver her baby invites her to church. Alice convinces Charlie they might find support in church, but life is still not easy when they have their first child, Ron. When they have their second child, Alice is told that Kate won’t be able to go to preschool at church because she keeps hitting the other children. Alice tries to talk to Charlie about it, but he’s too busy.

The movie skips ahead, and Charlie is still too busy, but he’s losing his children. Kate is going out with all the wrong guys and was thrown out of one guy’s car. Now, Alice and Charlie have four children, another boy named Joshua and an adopted Asian girl named Faith.

Finally, they go to the church to seek help. They learn children need direction. They are arrows in the quiver of the parents, gifts from God, and they need a target. Now, Charlie decides to devote his life to his family.

The reviewer at Dove describes the plot very similarly.  The typical married churchgoing father portrayed in the movie is clueless and detached:

With a spontaneous proposal and a quickie wedding, the couple begins the lifelong journey of parenthood.

Viewers watch as Charlie and Alice navigate parenting through the course of their lives, pausing to focus on specific times in their journey. It’s clear from the start that they’re flying blind, and out of anxiety Alice decides that they need all the help they can get, which means raising their children in church. Alice quickly realizes that she is in over her head, but after five years and two children, she has no idea how to correct the issues she sees.

Meanwhile, Charlie appears distant and uninterested in his family, leaving Alice isolated and overwhelmed. As the years wax on, more children—and more issues —are added to the family’s life. They’ve already done all they could, right? Raising the kids in church and providing a nice life for them should produce happy, well-behaved children, right? Or at least that’s what they thought.

When their eldest son, Ronnie, leaves for college, Alice discovers that he has not only abandoned their shared faith, but apparently any love or respect for his parents. Kate follows in her brother’s waning footsteps, seeking attention and acting out. It is Kate’s safety that ignites a fire in Charlie. He realizes that he must take his role as father more seriously, and Alice is relieved to finally be working toward a solution.

The irony is that Alex Kendrick, one of the creators of the film, has spoken out against the secular anti father message that he amplifies in this and other movies.  He knows exactly what is going on here, he just can’t bring himself to do something different.

Interviewer:  As Stephen [Kendrick] was saying this morning, you can start holding up Courageous as the antidote to the popular culture, which now denigrates the role of the male—which rarely prevents viable, positive role models.  As a critic, I can point to that as a very unique and special thing that comes out of your work.  Do you feel that’s something that’s naturally come out of your work as something God-given, or is that something you’ve really focused on—honed and developed?

Alex Kendrick:  I would say that we’re driven to do that.  That’s the heartbeat behind what we’re doing, other than the general desire to please the Lord.  When I turn on the TV—and we don’t watch TV much any more at all—every other character, every other commercial, demeans and devalues the role of the man.  It’s terrible.  Just take note of the commercials that you see when you’re watching TV.  How many of them make the woman look like, “Well, I’m the smart one.  The man can’t figure this out, but I can.”  And while there’s plenty of demeaning behavior spread around to both sexes, it does seem heavily biased to be anti-father, anti-man.  And in movies, when parents are having problems with their children, things get resolved by the parents saying to the children, “Oh, I’m sorry. I was wrong all along.  You were right.”  I mean, even look at Finding Nemo.  I love the movie!  It’s very well done.  But at the end, the father says, “I’m sorry, Nemo.  You were right—I was too hard on you.”  That seems to be a running theme.

In a separate interview with CBN Alex leveled the same criticism against secular entertainment:

Alex: Look at how media is portraying fathers today. You look at almost any commercial, and the father figure is the idiot, the goober, the guy who doesn’t get it. The wife or mother is the one who really knows what’s going on, the smarter one.  And you can’t name one TV show right now that has a really good, honorable father.  This generation is growing up with anti-heroes rather than heroes. Rather than Superman, truth, justice, and the American way, it’s now Bart Simpson and his dad, Homer.

Alex made those remarks promoting his and Stephen’s 2011 movie Courageous.  Yet Courageous had a far darker anti married father message than Nemo or the typical secular movie.  Alex then went on to help create another Christian movie titled Mom’s Night Out.  That movie was so anti father that it shocked the secular feminists at Dame:

‘Moms’ Night Out’ may be a Christian movie, but it’s part of a long cinematic tradition portraying men as useless louts. And that’s not good for anyone.

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.

After Mom’s Night Out in 2014, Alex and his brother Stephen released their next anti married father movie War Room in 2015.  Like Mom’s Night Out, War Room was so conspicuously anti married father that it confounded a secular reviewer.  In his review on rogerebert.com, Matt Fagerholm complained that the movie portrays the Christian husband and father as lacking any redeeming qualities (emphasis mine):

The film’s centerpiece sequence occurs early on, as Elizabeth sits weeping in her closet while pleading, “God, help him love me again.” This moment is heartbreaking for all the wrong reasons. Since the Kendricks have mistaken one-dimensional caricatures for people who exist in the real world, they forgot to provide Tony with any redeeming qualities that would make us want to root for his marriage. As for the film’s advice to women who are beaten by their husbands, one of Elizabeth’s co-workers advises, “Learn to duck so God can hit him.

What is most striking however is not that Christian movies like Fireproof, Courageous, Mom’s Night Out, War Room, Indivisible and Like Arrows are so reliably contemptuous of Christian husbands and fathers.  What is most striking is that conservative Christians find this contempt for respectable men so normal that they are entirely unaware of the trend.

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This entry was posted in Attacking headship, Bob Lepine, CBN, Christian Films, Courageous, Denial, Dennis Rainey, Disrespecting Respectability, FamilyLife, Fatherhood, Fireproof, Indivisible, Kendrick Brothers, Like Arrows, Marriage, Mom's Night Out, Movies, Traditional Conservatives, Turning a blind eye, Wake-up call. Bookmark the permalink.

77 Responses to How the Kendricks, Rainey, and Lepine see the married fathers they go to church with.

  1. Lexet Blog says:

    The woman is never the problem. They are princess daughters of the king on high. Men are just dogs and pigs, dontya know.

  2. Pingback: How the Kendricks, Rainey, and Lepine see the married fathers they go to church with. | @the_arv

  3. Elspeth says:

    Since I actually saw this film, my thoughts, briefly.

    We saw it when it ran as a limited engagement back in May. The group we were with seemed to enjoy it. The woman whose husband invited us knew I would have issues with it, and I did.

    Besides the bad acting and sermonizing, Like Arrows was actually a slight bit better than the other movies you mentioned. But only “a slight bit better”. The wife never threatens the marriage, and while they take a few digs at the husband in the very early bits of the film, overall he’s better than many of their husband leads.

    The sage black couple thing bugged me (hospital nurse and her husband) because I’ve found that too often people actually expect us to be like that for real. I wish our kids were so perfect. The gist of the conflicts are parenting conflicts rather than marital, which is why it’s not as bad as say,Fireproof.

    The real problem is preachers making films. They’re not good at it. Factor in preachers with flawed theology making films, and you get the Kendrick brothers. Pile on a Christian populace gripped by bad theology rushing out to see these films, and you get more of preachers with bad theology making bad films that they don’t know are bad films because the films make money.

  4. Dalrock says:

    Since I actually saw this film, my thoughts, briefly.

    Thanks Elspeth. It is strange that they released the movie for a very brief showing this spring, but are holding off on releasing the DVD until next spring.

    The wife never threatens the marriage, and while they take a few digs at the husband in the very early bits of the film, overall he’s better than many of their husband leads.

    In this sense it sounds like Courageous, where the wakeup call to the worthless Christian father comes not from his wife, but from his children. At least in this movie they don’t kill off a young daughter and blame the Christian man for letting her go to a birthday party.

    The real problem is preachers making films. They’re not good at it. Factor in preachers with flawed theology making films, and you get the Kendrick brothers. Pile on a Christian populace gripped by bad theology rushing out to see these films, and you get more of preachers with bad theology making bad films that they don’t know are bad films because the films make money.

    I don’t think this is the real problem. Christians are making movies reflecting their passion and how they see the world, and selling them to Christians who see the world the same way. The problem is their (our) passion isn’t for the Christianity taught in the Bible, but a hopped up version of the father hatred that has infected secular culture. Like the anti married father sermons that are now traditional on Father’s Day, Christian movies are the symptom, not the disease.

  5. Roger Cheeseman says:

    Unfortunately, I get into this with my wife often. We’re very careful about what we watch in our house, but she has developed the bad habit of listening to the Focus on the Family podcast, which of course touts these movies. (She knows that I’m not keen on FoF in general).

    I’ve told her she shouldn’t be watching these movies, and she can’t understand why. I am having a hard time putting it into words she will understand. I have told her that they denigrate roles of husbands & wives as presented in scripture. She usually says something like, “I don’t think it is as bad as you say. Plus, they’re not saying everyone is like this, just this family in this story… it’s only a story… and there’s no cursing or sex…”

    Any help on how to frame it would be welcome. I know I could just forbid her to watch them (if I did, she would get angry and complain, but ultimately comply) but I feel like other battles are higher on my priority list, and would love for this one to be something she could wrap her head around. (For what it is worth, when I found out she watched Mom’s Night Out with our tween girls, I forbade her from allowing them to watch that movie ever again, and she has obeyed).

    Let me know if you have any suggestions.

  6. Oscar says:

    Always remember; “Christian” marriage advice can be summed up in three points.

    1. No problem is ever the wife’s fault.
    2. Every problem is always the husband’s fault.
    3. The solution to every problem is for the husband to behave more like a woman.

  7. dudedont says:

    Eve’s view of partenity.

  8. anonymous_ng says:

    @Elspeth, you hit a grand slam with your larger commentary.

  9. Ryan says:

    Dalrock, long time reader, first time commenter and I very much appreciate your work on this. Please tell me if I am way off base.

    Part of the problem, I think, is that they are making a movie. And a movie is not real life. In a movie, the hero has to overcome some problem, obstacle, flaw, etc. in order to achieve the victory, goal, or whatever.

    If the movie is about the father (so he’s the hero) then he has to overcome something to reach the goal of the movie. The goal of the movie is to show good fathering. So the thing that the father (hero) has to overcome is being a bad father/husband in order to reach the goal of being a good father. Because if he is a good father/husband at the beginning of the movie, there is no struggle and nothing for him to overcome. And thus no story to tell.

    Has there ever been a movie with the roles reversed? The wife is the main character and she has to overcome being a bad mother/wife while the husband/father is the wise one? But then the wife/mother would be the main character. These guys seem to want to make movies about fathers/husbands not wives/mothers. And this is, unfortunately, the only way they know how to do that.

  10. D Beguiled says:

    Why is trashing men the only thing that men, women, atheists, and Christians seem to be able to agree on?

    Seriously, what is in it for the men that do this?

  11. earl says:

    I suppose if they tried to make a movie where the father or male lead is already a courageous God fearing responsible productive man who doesn’t need a (somewhat) virtuous female he fancies to save him from a life of stupidity…it might make for them a more boring movie script.

  12. earl says:

    Slightly OT…but I’m coming to the growing conclusion this is not a satire site.

    Local Woman Hopes Husband Listened Closely To Pastor’s Sermon On Self-Righteousness

    https://babylonbee.com/news/local-woman-hopes-husband-listened-closely-to-pastors-sermon-on-self-righteousness

  13. Jonadab-the-Rechabite says:

    Could it possibly be that good fathering in contemporary N. America is not dramatic and as far as movie plots go, boring. Steady, consistent, gentle and humble do not make for drama, unless their is a conflict with woman who wants to be the head and challenges the good man ruling his household well. The man is oh God is held in contempt because he is boring and to be feared by his wife. He chooses to serve God rather than be a friend of the world, and the world hates him as they Hate his Lord.

  14. Anonymous Reader says:

    It is interesting to see the huge blind spot Alex Kendrick has regarding his own work. It’s rather easy to spot the “doofus Dad” and worse “bad Dad” characters on commercial infotainment, but I’m not understanding how he can see that in other people’s video yet continue to make a “lite” version of the same stuff. Perhaps a big part of the problem is referenced in Elspeth’s comment and Dalrock’s reply: the evangelical church world is a bubble. An echo chamber in some ways, where people say the same thing to each other without ever examining what they are saying.

    Groupthink at work, in other words. Unfortunately, from outside the evangelical bubble this looks more like hypocritical inconsistency. By analogy Alex Kendrick reminds me of a man who rails against alcohol in public but boozes in private. Or a prohibitionist preacher who serves fortified wine at communion.

    How can he be this blind?

  15. Dalrock says:

    @Ryan

    Dalrock, long time reader, first time commenter and I very much appreciate your work on this. Please tell me if I am way off base.

    Part of the problem, I think, is that they are making a movie. And a movie is not real life. In a movie, the hero has to overcome some problem, obstacle, flaw, etc. in order to achieve the victory, goal, or whatever.

    If the movie is about the father (so he’s the hero) then he has to overcome something to reach the goal of the movie. The goal of the movie is to show good fathering. So the thing that the father (hero) has to overcome is being a bad father/husband in order to reach the goal of being a good father. Because if he is a good father/husband at the beginning of the movie, there is no struggle and nothing for him to overcome. And thus no story to tell.

    Welcome Ryan.

    I think the difficulty even imagining a story that didn’t denigrate fathers illustrates the full depth of the problem. Secular Hollywood has the same basic problem, but to a lesser degree. Occasionally Hollywood makes movies where the father is the hero, and has to overcome external obstacles instead of feminist preachfests where the man needs to learn how worthless he is so women (and perhaps children) can save him. As a rule however when Hollywood shows a father who is leading and saving (instead of being led and saved), he has to be a single father, ideally a widow. This isn’t because heroic fathers are uninteresting, or only interesting if they aren’t married. It is because Hollywood can only stomach a strong father if there isn’t a mother around. Cane Caldo and I discussed this a bit in the comments of a post a few years back: https://dalrock.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/these-fathers-need-a-wake-up-call/#comment-122730

  16. Frank K says:

    How can he be this blind?

    To quote Upton Sinclair: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.”

  17. OKRickety says:

    Ryan said: “If the movie is about the father (so he’s the hero) then he has to overcome something to reach the goal of the movie. The goal of the movie is to show good fathering. So the thing that the father (hero) has to overcome is being a bad father/husband in order to reach the goal of being a good father. Because if he is a good father/husband at the beginning of the movie, there is no struggle and nothing for him to overcome. And thus no story to tell.”

    I question that the goal of the movie is to show good fathering. Based on the reviews quoted, it appears the focus of the movie is on the failure of the father, and implies that the mother is not failing at parenting but is being hindered by the incompetence of the father. For example, “Now, Charlie decides to devote his life to his family.

    How about making a movie with the goal of encouraging good parenting rather than good fathering? In other words, rather than focusing on a father’s failure, let’s suppose the mother has significant fault in the poor parenting. The movie could focus on how they work together to overcome the problem.

    Maybe a movie could be made (although it would not be politically acceptable in churchian culture today) to have the wife be THE problem in the marriage, that is, she is the problem that the man has to overcome for the marriage and family to thrive. The husband would be the hero who leads his submissive wife to God’s plan.

  18. Dalrock says:

    @OKRickety

    Maybe a movie could be made (although it would not be politically acceptable in churchian culture today) to have the wife be THE problem in the marriage, that is, she is the problem that the man has to overcome for the marriage and family to thrive. The husband would be the hero who leads his submissive wife to God’s plan.

    You could also make a movie where a wife needed to learn to submit to her husband as the Bible teaches. Then she could win him without a word, bringing him to Christ. In other words, Fireproof, but switching the sexes so it wasn’t an anti Biblical message.

  19. feministhater says:

    If they made a movie with a father who was good and led well but who had an submissiveness and controlling wife, with the plot being her awakening to her bad behaviour and being driven to change through her husband’s sternness and stoic behaviour and a Church who supported the husband through the trial….

    yeah, it wouldn’t sell and would be lambasted as sexist and patriarchal and demeaning to women.

    They simply are following the money.

  20. feministhater says:

    That should be ‘…. who had an non-submissive wife…. ‘

  21. feministhater says:

    How can he be this blind?

    I don’t think it’s a blind spot, I think they know very well what they are doing. Attribute malice, attribute greed but make no mistake, these are not movies made to portray actual Biblical Marriage but merely the falsehood of a modern day marriage.

  22. Red Pill Latecomer says:

    earl: I suppose if they tried to make a movie where the father or male lead is already a courageous God fearing responsible productive man who doesn’t need a (somewhat) virtuous female he fancies to save him from a life of stupidity…it might make for them a more boring movie script.

    Not necessarily. Yes, there needs to be a character arc. Characters must grow and change. But not every character. You could give the character arc to the wife.

    You can make a movie about a Godly, long-suffering husband, who’s laden with an ungrateful, rebellious wife. He tries to please her, but can’t. She sins and fornicates greatly. He divorces her to save the marriage. She haughtily brags about being strong and independent, but soon loses her money to a Nigerian romance scam. She falls in with a bad boy, who beats her.

    In the end, broken, she prays to God. A pastor tells her she must repent of her evil ways. She does so, crawling back to her husband, acknowledging her failures as a woman and a wife, begging for forgiveness. She agrees to be obedient. At her husband’s command, she deletes all her social media accounts. Burns her romance novels and Lifetime movie DVDs. Severs all communication with her feminist friends and family members.

    Finally, the husband magnanimously forgives her, and agrees to take her back. Fast forward to her life as a humble wife, obedient to her husband.

    That would be an exciting movie, with a lot of drama going on. Not boring at all.

  23. Dalrock says:

    I should add that Like Arrows wasn’t created with the goal of being an entertaining movie. It was created to teach Christian parenting:

    But a feature-length movie wasn’t originally in the script. The goal was to create a continuing story that would unfold week to week as part of the new video curriculum.

    As the storyline came together, Lepine and the FamilyLife team began to wonder what it would be like if the story was told in a single sitting. When all the elements were put together, it was clear the impact of the story was stronger when it was viewed as a whole.

  24. feministhater says:

    That would be an exciting movie, with a lot of drama going on. Not boring at all.

    Honestly mate, I would rather blow my brains out or slit my wrists than watch a movie about a harlot wife slutting it up and then having Mr Cuck take her back. That’s more demeaning than the Kendricks movie.

  25. earl says:

    That would be an exciting movie, with a lot of drama going on. Not boring at all.

    I’d agree…plus more of the drama would be the reaction of the feminists to the movie.

  26. JRob says:

    Be sure to watch “Gosnell: The Trial of America’s Biggest Serial Killer” when it goes to DVD/stream.

    More confused doublespeak FemiFun screenwriting seemingly inspired by watching the Kendricks’ work.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gosnell:_America's_Biggest_Serial_Killer

  27. 2ravens says:

    First time commenter here but after seeing A Quiet Place I felt compelled to bring it up. Not a Christian themed movie…more a B grade thriller type. However, unless I totally missed something subtle it has the best portrayal of a father I’ve seen in many years. Strong, capable and clearly the leader of the family. All that and his wife is portrayed as strong AND loyal at the same time.

    I kept thinking during the movie how wonderful the family dynamic was despite the almost total lack of dialogue. If only the Christian movies I’ve seen could come anywhere close to this without totally overdoing it near then end like many seem to do.

  28. Dalrock says:

    Welcome 2ravens. I agree. A Quiet Place was excellent.

  29. Hose_B says:

    @earl
    You over did it….. I would like to see a movie where the husband is trying to live a good moral life. He has his issues. But he is overall a good man. His wife is also trying to be a good Christian wife, but her need to usurp her husband keeps getting the best of her. Show how this undercuts the efforts of her husband. Show the devastating effect of grabbing the reins. Then bring it all together with them working together with him leading and her submitting. Still show the struggles, but show the peace it brings.
    Something along the lines of “Tender Mercies” with Robert Duvall, but better acting and biblical based. Oh and he doesn’t have to be a complete failure at the beginning….just a normal dude like most of us.

  30. DrTorch says:

    Goddess worship.

    As for who is buying Dennis Rainey’s products? It’s women. He knows his market.

    Helped wake me up 19 years ago when a mentor pointed that out to me.

  31. Frank K says:

    Maybe a movie could be made (although it would not be politically acceptable in churchian culture today) to have the wife be THE problem in the marriage, that is, she is the problem that the man has to overcome for the marriage and family to thrive.

    I think that would be a documentary.

  32. Spike says:

    How is the character, Charlie, a bad person? HE got roped into marriage and fatherhood against his will. He had 4 kids that he had to PROVIDE for. It isn’t clear from the synopsis whether the wife, Alice, is working. She probably can’t work much with 4 children, leaving poor bastard Charlie working his ass off even when he had little say in starting the whole sorry saga.

    Jobs are important. Work is important. I know there was some movement back in the 1930s sometime about how Christians were to simply look at their jobs as a means to an end – that their evangelism and ministries are important, but I think this idea is based on faulty thinking. God gives each of us unique gifts to use for His glory, and our combined work build culture and civilization (eroded by women, foreigners and atheists).

    It is only select pastors of the Churchian State, it seems, who do not think of others work and it’s by-product – family provision – as important.

  33. earl says:

    Goddess worship.

    As for who is buying Dennis Rainey’s products? It’s women. He knows his market.

    Yup…sells them a bill of goods…and they pay him with their husband’s money.

  34. DR Smith says:

    Darlock – I disagree with one part of your last a paragraph of this post. It all conservative Christians believe in the secular religion of “all men are bad or doofuses”. Just those that go to certain churches. Plus all the cuckservatives and leftist shrilly for the nanny state and globalists, Inc…..which is admit is a lot of people, but not all conservative Christians. Also why I don’t go to church anymore – nor my wife of daughter, either.

  35. Nick Mgtow says:

    That’s the false prophets Apostle Paul was talking about, hm 🤔

  36. DrTorch says:

    I know there was some movement back in the 1930s sometime about how Christians were to simply look at their jobs as a means to an end – that their evangelism and ministries are important

    Yeah, pretty much any evangelical will tell you that. There have been pushes, books written, sermons written, to restore the nobility of work, but they seem to fizzle.

  37. PokeSalad says:

    The sage black couple thing bugged me (hospital nurse and her husband)

    A common Kendrick trope, the implication that black couples (or individual women and men) are innately more spiritual, more Godly, more Christian….sort of the “Native Americans” of the Christian landscape.

    In secular movies, this is also a common trope – the protagonist (usually clever but hotheaded, emotional, and impatient) messes everything up until a sage, preferably older and world-weary black man/woman befriends him, mentors him, passes along wisdom, and and sets him straight. Morgan Freeman has made a career out out of this (Shawshank Redemption, Se7en, etc). In Hollywood its called the “Magic Negro” character.

  38. Spoilers? You can’t spoil fuzzy green milk. You also can’t give away the meta-plot of a Kendrick Brother movies.

  39. BillyS says:

    FH,

    I have talked to enough church people (in leadership and not) to dispute your point that they intentionally do this for the money.

    Almost all I have talked with are ignorant of the issues and are misled idiots. They are not holding their positions to gain anything obvious, they have just been so misled they follow stupidity.

    Most people are idiots (MPAI) is more than just a saying, it is a way of life, unfortunately.

  40. feeriker says:

    As for who is buying Dennis Rainey’s products? It’s women. He knows his market.

    Yup…sells them a bill of goods…and they pay him with their husband’s money.

    It would be fascinating to hear what the Lord has to say to these conniving false teachers on Judgment Day.

    …pastors of the Churchian State…

    I am SOOOOO going to steal that one.

  41. Scott says:

    It would be fascinating to hear what the Lord has to say to these conniving false teachers on Judgment Day.

    As Dalrock posits his exploration about what must they think of the men next to them in the form of syllogism (If they make movies like this, talk like this THEN ______) I am struck by the situations I have been in–and the journey from being them to outside looking in.

    A few days ago, I was at the store picking up a few items on my way home, and saw another dad, apparently doing the same thing. He had one very small child in his arms–throwing a tantrum, and two more in the shopping cart, equally acting out. Trying to push the cart with the hand/arm he was holding the baby with (and trying to bounce her to cheer her up) in his other hand was his phone. His wife was yelling so loud at him about how he screwed something up that we could all hear it.

    I started my blog with this guy in mind.

    I approached and said the only thing I could think of, being totally overwhelmed with my own feelings of agitation, disgust, compassion and empathy. “You are doing OK, dad.” He looked like a PTSD sufferer. I don’t even think he registered my comment.

    The Kendrick brothers would have us believe that he probably deserved that.

    I feel differently.

    Take care.

  42. feministhater says:

    I have talked to enough church people (in leadership and not) to dispute your point that they intentionally do this for the money.

    You believe that intentionally spend lots of money on these movies to what?………. not make money. Get outta here!

  43. BillyS says:

    You believe that intentionally spend lots of money on these movies to what?………. not make money. Get outta here!

    People wouldn’t make low grossing leftist movies if they were only in it “for the money” yet many do just that. Why must Christians only want money and not also have a mission? Their mission is stupid and violates the Truth, but they don’t realize it. They would love money, but they want to do “what is right in their own eyes” which is a common Biblical failing.

  44. feministhater says:

    Billy, the left does that as Propaganda. Their intention is to shove their message down your throat no matter the cost. If the movies are a flop they don’t care. If that’s the intent you want to impute on the Kendricks, I ain’t going to argue. There is a similarity. However, I do believe they know these types of movies sell, at least to the audience they are engaging.

  45. Oscar says:

    @ PokeSalad

    In Hollywood its called the “Magic Negro” character.

    Which is a variation of Rousseau’s “Noble Savage”. Man, I hate that guy!

  46. BillyS says:

    Leftists also think people want their movies FH.

    The Kendricks are playing to an audience, but one they believe shares/needs their views, not just one that will let them retire rich.

    They could potentially make a lot more money going the fully Hollywood route, at least in theory. Most don’t make as much going that route, but many think they will, so it is popular.

  47. Scott says:

    “Noble savage”

    Every once in a while Hollywood has the sense of humor to parody itself.

  48. Red Pill Latecomer says:

    Spike Lee is credited for the term Magical Negro: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magical_Negro

  49. Joe says:

    Many Hallmark movies are better than Kendrick movies.

    Although they are not all like this, many Hallmark movies feature an alpha male who is busy with his mission, and a female trying to get his attention. Often the male lead is a 0FG alpha who doesn’t know she exists.

    Christian guys could learn more from some of the Hallmark movies than they do so-called Christian movies.

  50. Red Pill Latecomer says:

    Yet another Strong, Independent Single Mom and Boyfriend accused of torturing and murdering one of her sons: https://ktla.com/2018/10/03/pair-faces-death-penalty-for-murder-torture-of-10-year-old-anthony-avalos-da/

    A mother and her boyfriend were facing the death penalty in the killing and torture of a 10-year-old Lancaster boy, prosecutors announced Wednesday.

    Heather Maxine Barron, 29, and Kareem Ernesto Leiva, 32, pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges of murder and torture, as well as a special circumstance allegation that they intended to kill the woman’s son, Anthony Avalos, through torture, according to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

    The Single Mom has seven other children. According to another news source, some (not all) of the these other children were fathered by the Boyfriend, though he was not the father of the murdered boy. Some of these other children were also beaten, on occasion.

  51. Dalrock says:

    @Scott

    I started my blog with this guy in mind.

    I approached and said the only thing I could think of, being totally overwhelmed with my own feelings of agitation, disgust, compassion and empathy. “You are doing OK, dad.” He looked like a PTSD sufferer. I don’t even think he registered my comment.

    The Kendrick/Rainey/Driscoll model would be to scream at him in your best R. Lee Ermey voice:

    You are the most worthless piece of shit to ever call himself a father!
    Why did you permit your wife to for one second to become unhappy!
    Why don’t you have those children squared away…

    Yet as a father you know there is a time and place for harsh correction, and a time and place where encouragement is needed. As Colossians 3:21 commands:

    Fathers, do not exasperate your children, so that they will not lose heart.

    It is ironic that the men who are most eager to tell the rest of us how to be Christian fathers have no concept of that whatsoever.

  52. Scott says:

    Dalrock

    I have a voice like that. I was in the army for 20 years.

    I was an NCO for a good portion of that time.

    It is useful in very specific situations but most of the time you just sound unglued. It’s just not my style.

  53. Dalrock says:

    @DR Smith

    Darlock – I disagree with one part of your last a paragraph of this post. It all conservative Christians believe in the secular religion of “all men are bad or doofuses”. Just those that go to certain churches. Plus all the cuckservatives and leftist shrilly for the nanny state and globalists, Inc…..which is admit is a lot of people, but not all conservative Christians. Also why I don’t go to church anymore – nor my wife of daughter, either.

    I’m not sure I understand your statement here. Is it that not every Christian buys into modern Christian culture. That there are individuals like you and me and others reading here who do not? If so, I agree, but I’m making a point about the culture, and aside from this blog and some related spaces, I don’t see Christians acknowledging what is going on and pushing back. If you are aware of Christian authors who have been pushing back on the anti married father theme in Christian movies like Courageous, etc, I would be delighted if you would be kind enough to share them with me.

  54. I am going to fill in a bit based on my conversations and watching of multiple interviews. There are a few problems I see with the Christian movies and other men’s out reaches.

    1. Broad brush paint job. These ministries want to reach the largest number with the least amount of work. So they look at what is the biggest sin that they see in their churches and in society as general – absent fathers. They are not looking at the men who get women pregnant and run off. They are looking at the men who work long hours and never home to spend time with their wives and children.

    2. The major sin of absent fathers. This is seen by these ministers and other leaders more than anything because they themselves were guilty. Just look at the reasons stated by one of the men who started Promise Keepers – the father of these other ministries. He spent all of his waking hours at work building up a legacy Division 1 football team. Meanwhile his family was falling apart. Thus the project on to the rest of the men who are not there at churches on Sunday the same all work and no time for the family. Monday – Friday they are up and going at 5 AM and do not get home until 7PM or so then unlit they go to bed they are either on their phone, computer, or TV. On Saturday they spend the day working on the house, the car, their hobby, or the lawn. Then Sunday they either do not go to church with the family or if they do they glaze over during the sermon not thinking of the sermon but on the game or their golf or something else. They miss all of the events in their families lives even to the point of not noticing that their kids are in trouble. This then leads to…

    3. Like attracts like. These men were guilty of the sin of neglect. The preach and share their testimony. Other men and a few women see their lives and families in the same situation. This then draws in the other who have the same or similar problems. Thus the minister or ministry leader sees these big numbers of men coming for advice and guidance, then they think that the majority of men have this same sin in their lives. Think about the ministries set up to fight the “pornography epidemic” in the church – “all” men are addicted to porn. This then leads us back to point 1. the broad stroke painting of all men.

    The problem may only affect a minority but all that the minister sees is his own sin and the similar sin in others around them. The whole teaching surrounding Courageous and a few other movies like it is the absentee father/husband. Is the absentee father a straw man? No, there are absentee fathers but not as many as these men think. Do all men have a problem with porn? No, only a small number where the rest of us have an issue of wive’s not willing to give us sex at least once a month. Which means that their ministries are limited and not as fully wholistic as they should be.

    So what is the solution. Work to make these mens ministries in your church more responsive to all of the men. Yes this may require some of us to take the lead or to pressure the elders to do their job. Stop going to churches where there is only on pastor and he is the head of everything but that there is an elder board of men (and men only) like you to approach and start up alternative men’s ministries. Give your wives books for birthdays or other holidays, that do look at male – female relationships in an honest format and teach the proper biblical order of man as head and woot submit to their husbands. If your church does show any of these movies, ask the elders if you can submit questions as part of the follow-up discussions.

  55. Dalrock says:

    @Roger Cheeseman

    Unfortunately, I get into this with my wife often. We’re very careful about what we watch in our house, but she has developed the bad habit of listening to the Focus on the Family podcast, which of course touts these movies. (She knows that I’m not keen on FoF in general).

    I’ve told her she shouldn’t be watching these movies, and she can’t understand why….

    Any help on how to frame it would be welcome. I know I could just forbid her to watch them (if I did, she would get angry and complain, but ultimately comply) but I feel like other battles are higher on my priority list, and would love for this one to be something she could wrap her head around. (For what it is worth, when I found out she watched Mom’s Night Out with our tween girls, I forbade her from allowing them to watch that movie ever again, and she has obeyed).

    Let me know if you have any suggestions.

    This is a tough spot. I think the way I would frame it is something along the lines of: “This stuff is toxic. Please don’t bring it into our home.” This gives her clear direction, without escalating the issue the way I think you are trying to avoid. My guess is she will leave it at that, and after a bit of time for her to smooth her feathers she will be fine with it and stop. It wouldn’t hurt if you could point her to something positive she enjoys that she could be doing with the time instead, but this isn’t a must. If she refuses, you aren’t fundamentally in a different position, as you didn’t frame it as an ultimatum; if your preference is to let it go then I would say do so, and if your preference is to insist then go with that. She might test you a bit by inviting the escalation herself: “Is this an ultimatum”? This is likewise your call, but my initial response would probably be with another question “Are you refusing”? If you aren’t willing to make it an ultimatum and she says something along the lines of either “Yes” or “What if I am?” then I would say something like “I’ve told you what I expect.” and leave it at that.

    I have told her that they denigrate roles of husbands & wives as presented in scripture. She usually says something like, “I don’t think it is as bad as you say. Plus, they’re not saying everyone is like this, just this family in this story… it’s only a story… and there’s no cursing or sex…

    This is the lie. It was mere coincidence that Fireproof switched the roles of husband and wife, teaching husbands to submit to their wives that they might win them without a word. But even if this were true, it is accidental crossdressing instead of intentional. I would start with this, and then run down the line of all of the other amazing coincidences. The pattern is undeniable, and there is plenty to draw from. It would probably help to think about the ones you know she has paid attention to so you are ready.

    In all of this, be of good cheer. This isn’t easy, but do the best you can. Sometimes the confrontations are every bit as challenging as we fear they will be. But very often you will find that if you are calm and willing to state clearly what you expect that what seems like an inevitable category 5 hurricane suddenly blows over with barely a whimper.

    Others here may have better advice than I can offer. Either way, you will be in my prayers.

  56. OKRickety says:

    timmschaeffer said: “So what is the solution. Work to make these mens ministries in your church more responsive to all of the men.”

    In my experience, the problem is getting “all of the men” willing to tell the few (the leaders) that they are not being responsive to the needs of “all of the men”. Most men are unwilling to rock the boat and, if they do, they are likely told first that they are wrong and, second, they are just complainers or some other negative or pejorative description. Once a man realizes his input is undesired or unvalued, he often, not surprisingly, ceases to be involved, at least mentally and often also physically.

    I have personally experienced something similar. The worship team leader   switched from the previous hymns to the contemporary worship songs seemingly ubiquitous today (at least in evangelical Protestant churches) . When I objected, I was told that I and many others who had complained were the ones with the problem. We needed to be willing to change. The most ridiculous claim was that God cares about our heart and attitude, not the songs themselves. What I perceive is that the leaders don’t care what the majority want or need, but are more concerned with what they themselves want.

    I don’t know a good solution. My suspicion is that it would require “draining the swamp” and, just like Washington D.C., that is nearly impossible to do as they already have the power and the position.

  57. Joe says:

    “This is a tough spot. I think the way I would frame it is something along the lines of: “This stuff is toxic. Please don’t bring it into our home.”
    ****************************************************
    That’s what I did with my wife in regards to the book “Jesus Calling”.
    I saw the book in the trash a few days later.
    I just had to be firm about this kind of thing. But she knows my gift is discernment, and trusts me.

    ****************************************************
    “I’ve told her she shouldn’t be watching these movies, and she can’t understand why….”
    **************************************************

    Your leadership is not dependent on her understanding. Tell her to pray for her wisdom and discernment, and that you are praying that for her as well.

    It is your job to keep false teaching out of your home.

  58. Joe says:

    OKRickety says:
    November 1, 2018 at 1:20 pm
    timmschaeffer said: “So what is the solution. Work to make these mens ministries in your church more responsive to all of the men.”

    In my experience, the problem is getting “all of the men” willing to tell the few (the leaders) that they are not being responsive to the needs of “all of the men”. Most men are unwilling to rock the boat and, if they do, they are likely told first that they are wrong and, second, they are just complainers or some other negative or pejorative description. Once a man realizes his input is undesired or unvalued, he often, not surprisingly, ceases to be involved, at least mentally and often also physically.
    *******************************************

    I am about to do this at my Church. I am introducing a marriage ministry that is Biblically accurate..
    I’m very encouraged by this development. I’ll let you guys know what transpires.

  59. Opus says:

    I was trying to think as to the portrayal in Opera (it being more my thing than movies) of the portrayal therein of Fathers. As small children are best kept off stage (can’t sing) there is not much although I recall a production of Figaro where (tacit) the Almavivas had (in Act 2) a small brood of them. I believe there is apparently a really nasty father in one of Humperdink’s but I cant say which. The only good example therefore albeit the children are now adult are: The Ring of the Niebelung (specifically Rheingold and Valkyrie) where Wotan firstly incurs the wrath of his bad tempered wife Fricka and then things going from bad to worse spends a lot of time in Valkyrie talking to his daughter Brunhilde before putting her to sleep on a rock; Rigoletto where the titular character ends up inadvertently bringing about the death of his daughter who he greatly protected or rather over-protected. In Aida and Turandot there are Fathers who are rather elderly and thus ineffective with adult daughters. Regrettably a fair number of new English Operas are grossly misandrist – I am thinking of Pleasure, Written on the Skin, which titles I only mention for completeness as equally is the operatic Handmaid’s Tale (Danish) – all penned by men.

    Intriguingly for me there are a lot of children and adolescents in Britten’s (who do sing) but Fathers seem to be absent and the adult men (like Grimes, Vere or Quince) seem malevolent. – this of course is what one might expect from someone like Britten who had attended an English Boarding School. I can relate to that.

  60. OKRickety: I understand what you are saying. I have a few questions. Are the leaders just the hired staff? Or are they the men who are members of the church just like you? How did they get to be on the elder board (elders top then deacons)? Were they elect in a popularity contest or chosen by the other leaders to be the elders? Do these men meet the requirements found in Timothy and other sections of the NT describing the elders/overseers/bishops? The biggest problem with most churches is the lack of local control and the control over the pastors and worship leaders along with the lack of plurality of elders overseeing the local church.

  61. Kevin says:

    No one even pretends you can get married without having sex first and getting pregnant. Lame.

  62. feeriker says:

    In my experience, the problem is getting “all of the men” willing to tell the few (the leaders) that they are not being responsive to the needs of “all of the men”. Most men are unwilling to rock the boat and, if they do, they are likely told first that they are wrong and, second, they are just complainers or some other negative or pejorative description. Once a man realizes his input is undesired or unvalued, he often, not surprisingly, ceases to be involved, at least mentally and often also physically.

    The root of the problem is that most churches today are “led” by men (and, disturbingly, an increasing number of women) who are absolutely and utterly unqualified and unfit, per Scripture, for the roles they’re filling. Unless/until that issue is resolved, resolution of the problem you describe is unlikely.

  63. Jack Russell says:

    If the Kendrick Bros. are married, it would appear they won’t start filming unless their wives approve the final script. But like other commentators mentioned, they cater to a feminist “Christian” audience.

  64. Paul says:

    @OKRickety “In my experience, the problem is getting “all of the men” willing to tell the few (the leaders) that they are not being responsive to the needs of “all of the men”. Most men are unwilling to rock the boat and, if they do, they are likely told first that they are wrong and, second, they are just complainers or some other negative or pejorative description. ”

    It’s just not only the leaders, but in my opinion the majority of Christian men. They have been so brain-washed by popular thinking they’re spiritually blinded to the issue at hand. I know I was. It took God’s special grace to open my eyes and see the core issue: pedestalizing/idolizing women, more specifically my wife, to the point that in my mind she was somehow unable to sin and therefore all problems must be because of me. It’s a strong delusion, believed by BOTH men and women.

    Even when I try to discuss this issue with my friends that are interested in theology, they kind of shut down and don’t want to talk about it. For now, I’ve given up on trying to convince them.

    My guess is it’s due to a specific spiritual vulnerability in men having a predisposition wanting to conquer and care for women. In itself that predisposition is good, because we’re commanded to love our wife as our own body and nurture her as the weaker vessel. It’s the same emotion we feel when we want to protect our children, and family in general. But if we’re unwilling to not only love, but also to chastise the ones we love, we fail.

    Having been created in the image of God the Father, we should be both loving and judgmental.
    Being judgmental however is in modern culture seen as a taboo, which will only leave us with the loving part. This leads to the same false image of God that many Christians have created, in which there is no final judgment by God the Father, and no everlasting hell to punish the damned.

    It is not so much that men have left the church, it’s that the same church has forced masculinity out of it.

  65. Pingback: Christian films show the feminist revolution’s power - Fabius Maximus website

  66. BillyS says:

    The men who need the harder preaching don’t come to church (in most cases at least). The ones who come are likely busting things to provide for their family and often meet the desires of an unhappy wife. (The reasons for this unhappiness vary, but are likely rooted in her seeking to usurp his role.)

    Most in church leadership, whatever the church, don’t want to hear from the men in the congregation that their efforts are not good. This is true whatever church it is. I would include Orthodox and RCC in that as well. (A focus on doctrine doesn’t mean the presentation doesn’t need to be wise, but that is a different discussion.)

  67. Gary Eden says:

    Did the movie show the parents learning the wisdom of not ‘sparing the rod’ in raising a family? Then it wan’t a movie teaching “God’s blueprints for marriage and family”.

    I don’t have to see the movie to know the answer.

  68. feeriker says:

    Most in church leadership, whatever the church, don’t want to hear from the men in the congregation that their efforts are not good.

    “Leadership” in the church is infected with the same toxin as “leadership” in the secular corporate world. Those who occupy such positions see it as a means to stroke their own egos and lord/AMOG it over those in their charge rather than inspire, guide, teach, and serve.

  69. Oscar says:

    I’m trying – and failing – to imagine what would happen if a group of men went to their pastor and said…

    Pastor, with all due respect and love in Christ, you’re undermining us. You’re encouraging our wives to rebel against us. They’re already prone to rebellion due to their sinful nature, Eve’s curse, and our culture’s influence, and you’re making it worse. We want to rule our households well, we want to love our wives as Christ loves the Church, and you’re not helping.

    I can’t even imagine what would happen.

  70. Scott says:

    Pastor, with all due respect and love in Christ, you’re undermining us. You’re encouraging our wives to rebel against us. They’re already prone to rebellion due to their sinful nature, Eve’s curse, and our culture’s influence, and you’re making it worse. We want to rule our households well, we want to love our wives as Christ loves the Church, and you’re not helping.

    It would of vary somewhat over jurisdiction, denomination, specific pastors, and so on.

    But my guess is, the main objection would be over words like “rule.”

    This would be seen as a misunderstanding of “servant leadership.”

  71. Scott says:

    “it would, of course”

  72. Lost Patrol says:

    But my guess is, the main objection would be over words like “rule.”

    This would be seen as a misunderstanding of “servant leadership.”

    Just had this conversation with a good church man the other day, where I used several excellent examples of actual Biblical marriage principles learned here. He was ready for me. “Jesus washed the disciple’s feet…”

    We parted with the misunderstanding still in place.

  73. Dalrock says:

    @Oscar

    I’m trying – and failing – to imagine what would happen if a group of men went to their pastor and said…

    Pastor, with all due respect and love in Christ, you’re undermining us. You’re encouraging our wives to rebel against us. They’re already prone to rebellion due to their sinful nature, Eve’s curse, and our culture’s influence, and you’re making it worse. We want to rule our households well, we want to love our wives as Christ loves the Church, and you’re not helping.

    I can’t even imagine what would happen.

    I can’t even imagine a group of men in the church thinking that, let alone saying it.

  74. Scott says:

    We parted with the misunderstanding still in place.

    Of course you did. You might as well have been speaking Swahili.

  75. OKRickety says:

    timmschaeffer said: “I have a few questions. ….”

    Some leaders are hired staff. Elders are chosen by a committee of only elders (I think) and confirmed (rubber-stamped) by congregational vote. Some of the hired staff are also elders through the same process.

    I think the elder board has the ability to control the pastors, worship leader, and ministry leaders, but I suspect they have drank the Kool-Aid of churchianity and think the pastors have special knowledge due to their training and thus kowtow to their opinions. In other words, the hired staff are effectively in control because the other elders accept their desires.

    They may meet the biblical requirements for elder, but I do have my doubts especially regarding their biblical knowledge and teaching ability.

    I no longer attend the church I have in mind, as some of the elders (some of them hired staff) were complicit in my ex-wife frivorcing me. An example of the elders’ failure to lead spiritually was their unwillingness to even attempt to meet with me and my ex-wife to spiritually shepherd us, and biblically deal with her desire to divorce. Even more grievous, three of the pastors and one of the other elders (supposedly a friend of mine) were aware of her plans to blindside me well beforehand, and cooperated with her, making no attempt to contact me about it beforehand or, for that matter, making effort to contact me after she told me of our impending divorce. In fact, I initiated all communications/meetings with them. They effectively wanted to sweep it under the rug. In other words, I consider they had no desire or willingness to be our spiritual shepherds.

  76. Tubalcain says:

    I feel for married men today who’s wives are influenced by Focus on the Family and other insipid evangelical programming. I recently was invited to hear a man I know preach at an evangelical church gathering. Young men in skinny jeans pranced on stage like nightclub performers playing rock and roll style praise and worship songs while the worship director sang and cried like a baby. The crowd cheered, whistled, screamed, and raised their hands like a rock concert. I found it irreverent and left.
    Evangelicals are broken and failing. I was born into evangelical Protestantism, and 20 years ago, at the then age of 40, I crossed the Bosporus and converted to the Eastern Orthodox Church. Protestantism, for me, was an inch deep and a mile wide. Popular culture, liberalism, and feminism has encroached on and infused evangelicalism as it did mainline Protestantism years ago. I saw this in my final days of mega church attendance. Just a matter of time before the mega church fad and evangelicalism dies like the mainline Protestant churches. IMO, I predict some of the smaller traditional baptists will remain, but evangelicalism as a whole, with the ever fashionable “engage the culture and be inclusive” kumbaya nonsense will fail. So it comes as no surprise that what I’ve read here reflects how damaged evangelicalism is.

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