America, America: God Shed His Grace on Thee: Patriotic Documentary About God and Government

An inspirational exploration of the nature of faith and its role in American government, past and present, hosted by Hollywood actor, producer and director Nick Searcy.

The story begins with Nick Searcy, notorious, shocking and controversial Hollywood celebrity (all these, simply because he is a conservative Christian in Hollywood) watching television and being overwhelmed by the godless political disintegration of our culture into madness and riots. And all of it, celebrated by the dominant left-wing media complex and Democratic Party. So he sets out on a “journey” to Washington D.C. to find out what the heck happened and what role does Christian faith really have in politics and government from our founding to the present.

It’s content that is certainly not new, but Searcy brings a fresh take on the material with his entertaining personality and presence. He is well-known for his part as US Marshal Art Mullen in the series Justified. But he has also garnered recent fame for his whimsical conservative humor on social media. He carries that with him in a good-natured way in this film, which definitely makes him one of the better narrators of the slew of conservative documentaries out there.

The trailer shows some of the nicely understated comedic moments of Nick trying to call various Congressmen, Congresspersons and Congress-nonbinaries, to get interviews with them. The pursuit is of course in vain, but not without a few friendly shiv-like moments. Like when he tries to phone Joe Biden’s office for an interview and we hear him respond, “Well, do you know where he is? Does HE know where he is?” To Representative Ilhan Omar’s staff: “Do you know when she’ll be in? Well, is her brother there? Or her husband, or whatever?”

We are then introduced to a series of those he could get ahold of, like politicians Ted Cruz, US Rep. Louis Gohmert, Richard Grenell and HUD Secretary Ben Carson; political and cultural commentators like Alveda King, Ben Shapiro, Dennis Prager, Brigitte Gabriel, David Horowitz and various faith leaders and pastors. He even interviews a wonderfully winsome Herman Cain in his last sit-down interview before his death. Searcy dedicates the film to him. Cain steals the show.

We learn about how Christian faith influenced the founding of the country in leaders like Washington, Madison and others and how freedom was secured through Christian principles and values. He explores Jefferson and the “wall of separation” mythology, the abolition of slavery and Jim Crow and the achievement of civil rights through MLK’s biblical principles, and more.

So how did we arrive in this present era of godless violent leftism taking our culture hostage? Searcy’s experts and scholars walk us through the legacy of atheism, evolutionary materialism and how the collectivism of Socialism and Communism breaks down the family and individual rights, and ultimately comes after the religious freedom of Christians: The COVID shutdown as an excuse to target churches, Jack Phillips’ infamous Supreme Court case about baking cakes that promote values against one’s conscience.

But this isn’t just a litany of conservative complaints of how old days were better. Searcy also seeks to find a way back to justice and freedom. It begins with the Gospel saving individuals rather than controlling society top-down. But it requires principles and tactics that we should all consider seriously if we want to save our civilization from chaos.

America, America: God Shed His Grace on Thee is a welcome uplifting antidote of hope in the midst of culture of chaos and despair.

Sign up to see the movie free on October 10, here.

 

Silent Cry: Documentary About the Darker Side of Sex Trafficking.

A documentary examining the spiritual and cultural toll that sex trafficking and its evil sibling pedophilia has on our humanity. Untold secrets, suppressed truths and occultic ties of this diabolical system are uncovered within a hopeful conclusion of redemption.

The filmmaker Josh Peck is involved in podcasts and ministries that often deal with fringe topics of the paranormal and end times beliefs. But in this documentary, he approaches a subject we should all be concerned about, and he does so with sensitivity and insight that will help to both educate and activate viewers in the mainstream as well.

The story is about his own journey of discovery along with the stories he tells of the victims and victors of this labyrinth of pain and suffering. He describes how, as a Christian informed about moral battles within the culture war, even he discovered he was woefully unaware of just how deep the hole of darkness that sex trafficking is.

We are first introduced to a story about the Finders, a religious cult in the D.C. area that was discovered to be a ring of child abuse in 1987. But in the course of legal proceedings, the case is strangely suppressed and disappears from public memory (Have you ever heard of them?). This leads Josh on a chase after the international network of connections with the rich and powerful elite that are involved in the horrors of pedophilia and sex trafficking.

Among other examples, Peck addresses the most recent, most disturbing and most relevant story of Jeffrey Epstein and his network of rich and famous celebrities and their involvement in this great evil.

Two of the most fascinating of the interviewees are Ilonka Deaton and her brother Jaco Booyens, both South African activists against sex trafficking. Ilonka tells her heart-wrenching personal story of childhood abuse at the hands of an older trusted teacher. But this is not voyeurism or exploitation. There is just the right balance of hard truth and creative restraint so that we learn without being exploited.

And her story is not without redemption. And we are talking bold, clear Christian redemption that brings true hope through the injustice. This testimony alone is worth the entire documentary.

One of the elements not usually addressed by the mainstream approach to reporting on pedophilia and child abuse is the occultic connection (for obvious secular reasons). Now, I have to admit, I am skeptical about a lot of the “Ritual Satanic Abuse” theories that originated in the 1980s with, among others, the McMartin preschool trial, which proved to be a psychologically manipulated hoax.

Secondly, I am very wary of the temptation to attribute human evil to external supernatural forces, when in fact, human nature is sufficiently evil to provide the actions from pedophilia all the way to genocide. In a way, hasty attribution to demons reflects an unbiblical false image of humanity incapable of such evil on our own. As if thoughts of “murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander” do not have their origin in man’s heart of depravity (Jesus, Matthew 15:19).

However, that does not mean that there is no demonic aspect to some of these experiences. There are after all, really people who do worship Satan or engage in pagan religious rites that result in demonic influence and even possession. Each case must be examined on its own merits. And that’s what Peck tries to do. I thought that he made a very careful and non-sensational case for considering the possibilities of the occult connections without falling into the pit of “demonic reductionism” that so often plagues some Christian circles.

Peck models that balance by acknowledging the frauds of the past, such as the John Todd case, where a criminal posed as an ex-Satanist in order to fleece the faithful with his sensational demonic conspiracy theories.

But as I wrote, not all the stories out there reduce to simplistic natural explanation.

All in all, this is a well done educational and inspirational undertaking. It’s a bit long at 2 full hours, reminding me of one of those great sermons that goes on a bit too long in church. Not that it’s boring, but more that it’s taxing on the endurance of such heavy material (And maybe we do need to hear things repeated a couple times for them to sink into our thick skulls).

Also, the interviewees are a bit heavily weighted toward amateur researchers than the experts like Ilanka and Jaco, but they are all sharp and provide evidence beyond mere sensational claims.

That said, I recommend checking it out at Amazon here.

Infidel: A Movie Thriller about Persevering Faith and the Personal Clash of Civilizations.

An American Christian blogger is invited to Cairo, Egypt to speak of unity with the Abrahamic faith of Islam. But when he declares the deity of Christ, he is kidnapped by Muslims intent on forcing him to convert to Islam. He is accused of being a spy because his wife works for the US State Department, but nobody there will help her, so she flies off to the Middle East to plead for his life.

This movie claims to be “inspired by true events.” That means that, while it is a fictional story, its various plot elements are actually drawn from situations that have really happened to some Christians in recent years. It reflects truthfully the world that we live in.

The writer director, Cyrus Nowrasteh, had previously encountered Jesus Christ and became a committed Christian through making his movie, The Young Messiah, based on Anne Rice’s novel, Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt.

Now, with Infidel, he makes a bold expansion of his storytelling by exploring the interaction of Christianity with one of its most formidable enemies, Islam. And yes, I mean enemies because while Christianity seeks the conversion of the world through voluntary informed choice, Islam is imperialist, colonialist, and seeks conversion through force. Two totalizing worldviews from opposite ends of the ideological spectrum.

When people criticize “religion” and throw these two faiths into the same bucket, they literally do not know what they are talking about. It’s like Muslims considering Atheists and Christians to be in the same bucket as “western.” Such shallow similarities betray the deep diametric opposition.

Ah, but rationality is not a value of our modern world.

So, the hero of the story, Doug Rawlins, is played with nuance and humanity by Jim Caviezel, the handsome everyman. He’s a bit courageous, a bit naïve in thinking and hoping that he can find some common ground of unity with an imperialist religion that seeks to subjugate through force. But he ain’t an idiot. He’s and idealist who thinks he knows the danger and counts the cost. But does he, really?

His wife, Liz Rawlins, a woman who has lost her faith as a result of experiencing tragedy, is played by Claudia Karvan, with a realistic strength. But she’s not the typical Hollywood joke of a woman action hero or female version of a tough guy, trying to be like men. Karvan doesn’t quite rise in her “presence” as an actor to match Caviezel’s, but she delivers a consistent good performance for the story.

It’s just refreshing to see an authentic movie depiction of men and women Christians and unbelievers that has been written by someone who knows what the heaven he is writing about when it comes to the real world complexities of religion and faith, and what the hell he is writing about when it comes to doubt and unbelief.

When he is taken hostage, Doug experiences the brutality of the underbelly of captivity to Islam and how it treats what it calls “infidels,” with Christophobic zeal, as his wife seeks to find him using her wits and bold courage to fly in where some angels fear to tread.

That journey ultimately takes them both to Iran, where we get to see the oppression of Christians under that regime as well as a climactic third act, presenting a kangaroo court trial for Doug and an action piece ending. It’s not big budget action, but it does the job.

In a way this story perfectly incapsulates the naivete of thinking there is dialogue to be had with Islam without recognizing that its essence is to conquer and colonize for global domination. All willingness to dialogue is a strategic ruse of the doctrine of “Taqiyya,” lying to unbelievers in order to control them for the cause.

If we do not understand the true nature of our opponent, we cannot win the war for civilization.

It’s an instructing story much like Flight 93. It’s a faith-based political religious thriller that gives a new higher bar of quality for those seeking to make films about muscular Christian faith.

Listen, I know that the entire theater experience is all screwed up right now. But if you want to support more movies that deal honestly and truthfully with real world Christianity, that are not Leftist screeds of wokeness or celebration of depravity, then you need to try to find if this movie is anywhere near you and go see it. Put your money where your mouth is. If you can’t find it because the theaters near you are closed, then keep watch for when it comes on iTunes or Amazon or any pay channels and pay to see it. That is the only way we get to see more of these movies. Don’t just wait till its free. Pay for it now, to help filmmakers like Cyrus Nowrasteh make more of them.

Here is where you find out where it is playing at a theater near you.

Pandemic Movies: In Depth Podcast Look from a Christian Worldview – Godawa & Mohr

I did this detailed podcast with Chris Mohr, a fellow storytelling professional about Pandemic Movies.

There are 3 parts. I promise it’s all fascinating, if you love movies, and especially pandemic movies, like viruses and zombie apocalypses.

Listen to the first episode here.

But it will also show you a playlist for the next two episodes.

 

Here are the topics:

Episode 1: Pandemic Movies: Viruses, Achoo!

00:00  Intro to Brian and Chris
09:45  Pandemic Movies and God
16:53  Contagion
42:50  Outbreak
50:53  Flu
63:00  Carriers

Episode 2: Pandemic Movies: The Zombie Apocalypse Part 1

00:00  Intro
03:30  Horror genre
18:00  Zombie genre
39:20  Night of the Living Dead
56:00  28 Days Later
68:00  Twilight Zone
77:00  28 Weeks Later

Episode 3: Pandemic Movies: The Zombie Apocalypse Part 2

00:00  Intro Horror
04:10  I am Legend Novel
05:40  The Last Man on Earth
12:50  The Omega Man
26:10  I Am Legend
53:20  Race in Movies
60:00  The Walking Dead
77:00  Writers controlling their writing
80:20  Walking Dead part 2

Babylon Bee and Me: We talk about the transcendence of epic movies

I was on the Bee again with the most excellent Ethan Nicolle and the most disturbing Kyle Mann.

We talk about epic films (Braveheart, The Patriot, Ben Hur) where individuals are willing to live and die for transcendent values set in all-encompassing civilization-shaking settings, and a lot of people get stabbed. We also talk about the secular-sacred divide in films and the genre of “Christian” movies. Spoiler: Not all Christian movies are crap.

Listen here

Podcast: Are Superheroes False Gods?

It’s not quite that simple. But there is much profundity in this discussion about our culture and superheroes.

Nate is one of my all-time favorite podcast hosts. This was an engrossing discussion.

Okay, I like the co-host Gene Gosewher too.

I talk alot so if you like to listen to me, you will love this podcast. If you hate the sound of my voice and my thoughts, then this will drive you up a wall.

Listen here.

Unplanned: A Deeply Moving Story of a Planned Parenthood Whistleblower

The true story of Abby Johnson, a Planned Parenthood clinic director who presided over tens of thousands of abortions. But when she finally sees an actual abortion, her entire life is turned upside down.

I just saw the premiere a couple days ago in Los Angeles. I was blown away. Put it on your calendars NOW to see it opening weekend March 29.

If you care at all, even a little bit, about the issue of abortion in this country, you must see this woman’s story. It is a deeply moving portrait of redemption. It is both gripping and beautiful.

Ashley Bratcher plays Abby Johnson with a fresh innocence, a growing awakening, a broken heart, and a freed soul. Her journey is nuanced, honest and without malice.

The Cover Up

All the demons of hell are going to come out against this movie. Why? Because it is good story told well that will move the hearts of anyone with a conscience who watches it.

And it isn’t a propaganda piece. It shows some pro-life protestors at their worst, and all the Planned Parenthood workers at their best. It is honest about the nuances and complexities of the issue of abortion in the real world of women’s lived experiences.

This is not good news for Planned Parenthood. It’s a whistleblower movie about justice that is on the level of Silkwood, The Insider, Erin Brockovich, A Civil Actionand Michael Clayton.

And like those movies, the evil corporate beast seeks to crush the hero.

The powers that be already tried to suppress it by giving it an R-rating, even though it is only a PG-13 movie.

Next, the godless secular press will ignore it as much or more than they did with the other spectacular abortion movie Gosnell. They will block, censor, ban, demonetize, deplatform and deboost the movie’s advertising and conversation. Just like they did Gosnell.

I would not be surprised if Planned Parenthood sues the filmmakers, even though they already sued Abby Johnson and lost. Which is a most satisfying and humorous part of the movie.

It is nothing short of a miracle that Gosnelland Unplannedcame out within a year of each other.

Be a part of that miracle, put it on your calendar, March 29 opening weekend.

 

Paul: Apostle of Christ – The Profound Victory of the Gospel in the Midst of Persecution and Suffering.

 

The true story of the apostle Paul’s last year of life before martyrdom in Rome. Luke the physician visits him as Christians in Rome struggle with secrecy and survival in the midst of great persecution.

I recorded a podcast on the movie with Nate Sala’s A Clear Lens here.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have my notebook with me when I saw the movie. And I don’t have time right now to detail everything, but we touched on everything in the podcast.

Listen to the podcast here.

I wanted to write this for the headline: This persecution of Christians is what we have to fear coming true again, NOT the ridiculous delusion of The Handmaid’s Tale that will never happen.

This is a must-see film for Christian believers. Well-written and well-acted profound wrestling with the issues of persecution and retribution, violence and non-violence, in the context of the Neronic persecution of the first century.

Realistically biblical dialogue that captures the language of the Pauline epistles and makes it come alive in a way that I have not seen done before. Paul’s most theologically rich phrases, like, “to live is Christ, to die is gain,” and “Christ in me,” etc. are woven into the dialogue in a way that are satisfyingly realistic and illuminating. It gives flesh to abstract theological concepts.

This is not a feel-good movie. This is a profound spiritual exploration of suffering. Its theme is about finding the victory of faith in Christ in the midst of suffering and persecution; an ironic paradox that unbelievers cannot grasp, and even most believers have a hard time living out. That’s why this story is so valuable.

It is a low budget movie, and though it deals with the Neronic persecution, we don’t get to see the full brutality of the arena, which would have hit home the visceral depth of evil done against Christians. But it does a great job of capturing the internal and spiritual struggles faced by those under assault, and how faith in Christ carries one through to the end.

Paul: Apostle of Christ is an excellent example of how Christians can make better movies with better quality and integrity. Support it, so we’ll get more of them.

 

To get the big picture of the first century suffering of the early church, you can read the novel Tyrant: Rise of the Beast, which chronicles the details of Nero’s persecution of the Christians in a way that speaks the Gospel to Power. It’s the big budget version I wished these filmmakers would have been able to afford.

 

A Wrinkle in Time: Why Does Hollywood Keep Raping Christian Stories?

I guess A Wrinkle in Time can now officially be a part of the #MeToo movement of Hollywood victims.

And before you start “outraging” about the metaphor, I want to say that it actually fits perfectly. Rape is the forced penetration, and often insemination, of an unwilling person.

So too is the act of taking a Christian classic and deliberately eviscerating it of its meaning, and then inseminating it with the seed of a hostile alien worldview.

It’s an act of narrative violence.

But that’s how many secular and pagan storytellers roll. This has been a problem for a long time. In my book, Hollywood Worldviews, I list movies that were made through the years where the original stories were rooted in a Christian worldview (many of them, true stories), but were either completely secularized and shorn of their Christian elements or were so minimalized as to undermine the Christian meaning with a humanistic spin.

That’s called subversion. You retell your opponent’s story through your own view and thereby take control of the story. It’s one of those few things that postmodernism is correct about. If you control the narrative, you control the meaning.

Here are some movies through the years that subvert the Christian faith through suppression or elimination of it: The Pursuit of Happyness, Pocahontas, The New World, Hotel Rwanda, Becoming Jane, Anna and the King, Hard Ball, Walk the Line, Unbroken, The Vow, The Finest Hours, Hidden Figures.

And that’s not to mention movies, like Noah, Exodus: Gods and Kings, Last Days in the Desert, where atheists completely subvert Biblical stories and the Biblical God with an idol of nature or atheist demythologizing.

Most of these movies above are true stories, whose characters are driven by their faith to such an extent that the deletion or suppression of that motivation is a violation, not just of the story, but of the human being.

Now Madeleine L’Engle can join those ranks.

And if her estate was willing, well then, they are complicit in the crime. Continue reading

The 15:17 to Paris: How God Prepares the Heroes We Need Right Now

The true story of how three American friends stopped a terrorist attack on a train to France and saved 500 lives. Directed by Clint Eastwood, written by Dorothy Blyskal from the book.

Clint Eastwood is one of the most courageous and bold filmmakers in Hollywood. He defies the hegemony, goes against the grain, speaks truth to power.

The 15:17 to Paris is no exception. This is a story of American exceptionalism, positive Christianity, pro-military and salvific masculinity.

Like Owen Wilson would say, “Wow.”

It follows the ordinary lives of three boys from grade school up to adulthood and how the simple and sometimes frustrating obstacles of life are providentially used by God to create ordinary heroes. I use that ironic term “ordinary heroes” deliberately because, not only is this a true story, but it is one that shows us being a hero is not something for comic books and movies, but is part and parcel of a life of traditional American Christian values that have been lost in our culture.

The Gimmick

All right, I have to say this right up front, the acting is not Oscar-worthy. It’s mediocre, and a bit of a weakness of the film. But I am totally okay with it because Eastwood cast the actual three men to play themselves in the movie.

It’s a gimmick that works because it carries with it a certain sense of authenticity that A-list actors would not carry. Of course, I love what A-list actors can bring to true stories as well. But in this case, it’s okay that they don’t. And the reason is because the whole point of the story is that ordinary average citizens without privilege can be real heroes.

So, you’ll have to have a little patience with these first time thespians. But trust me, it will be worth it.

Salvific Masculinity in an Emasculated World

Leftists and America-haters will hate this movie with all the hatred in their black little hearts.

Patriots and reasonable Christians will love this movie because it showcases God’s providential control in our lives and defies the political correctness of cultural Marxism that is destroying our society.

Here’s how it does that… Continue reading