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The "King" has no clothes
on December 5, 2014
Just like Hans Christian Andersen's tale where `the emperor had no clothes' yet everyone feared the penalty of stating this truth, let me state CLEARLY, "This movie is NOT Christian and the title character is NOT behaving as though he is `born again' or even wants to be"! It is heartwrenching to read reviews which proclaim stories of this type as Christian. Simply giving an actor a Bible to read and setting up a storyline which suggests that he used to be a `bad person' but is now a `good person' (in terms of his social behavior) doesn't make a person a Christian. In fact it doesn't even mean that the person has a fear of damnation, or for that matter ... even a fear of God. All it means is that a person has discovered that one type of behavior is much more likely (than the other) to bring a more pleasant environment into ones daily social life. Social/moral conversions are far more common than spiritual conversions and Matthew 7:16 is a pretty simple way to tell the difference. "By their fruit you will know them."
Almost from the opening scene, this movie proves that King hasn't truly changed (inside his heart) in terms of his purpose/priorities in life. In fact, he is still trying to find comfort by changing his physical environment (proven by his attempt to renovate the nightmare of a house where he once lived). If a Christian were trying to make amends for the past, it should be to repair broken relationships with PEOPLE, not fix up old buildings! Even more ridiculous is when the story exposes the indefensible revelation that he has decided to continue to withhold the secret whereabouts of a very large volume of drugs. What possible excuse could he have to do that? Could there be any question about what the right thing to do would be? I can't accept for a second that he would (or even could) sleep nights with this moral millstone around his neck.
I can say in all honesty that I can't find anything in this story which gives me the impression that either the writer/director or the movie’s co-writer, have even the vaguest notion as to what happens to people when they asks Christ into their heart. Furthermore ... I find it bizarre that in the storyline, the name of `Jesus' is spoken mockingly (twice) by Eli, (one of the gang members), and in another place, King’s new-found friend’s `jealous boyfriend' also uses the name of `Jesus' multiple times (in an unquestionably hateful way), yet ... never, to the best of my knowledge, was it spoken at all by the supposedly born again character.
If you go to the Amazon listing for a movie called Cherry Crush, (which is another movie written and directed by the same person), you can see the trailer for that movie. When I saw it, it told me all I need to know about the reason this movie is so totally clueless about the way someone who is ‘born again’ would actually behave. There seems to be a common theme between the two movies, but that commonality is one focusing on young adults with antisocial and twisted views of life! Some people might argue that the director could have become a Christian sometime after the time when Cherry Crush was made, but this movie, in and of itself, proves otherwise. In short … this is empiricism, and is merely a humanistic interpretation of proper Christian behavior, not a genuine Christian view. 1 Corinthians 2:14 states ‘But the natural man does not perceive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he understand them because they are spiritually discerned.’
At best ... I could go along with a discussion which would show this movie as a training tool for explaining the difference between Christianity and secular humanism. Apart from this possible use, the movie is a total waste in every conceivable way. Simply putting a movie's character in an environment where people talk about, and/or quote from the Bible, doesn't make the story or the character Christian.
This movie makes a naive attempt to exemplify superficial changes in moral behavior as being one and the same with being born again. In conclusion ... it is an insulting and deceptive depiction of what really happens when a person asks Christ into their life.
[In the comment section for this review, I have added some details about this story. Feel free to read them and comment as you wish.]