"Defending the Children"
MACHINE GUN PREACHER tells the powerful story of the conversion of Sam Childers, from a killer and drug-dealer to a pastor and protector of hundreds of Sudanese children. Extremely moving, MACHINE GUN PREACHER does depict a transformation of the heart of a broken man, but it comes with some very harsh extremes.
Sam Childers has just been released from prison, but he goes about the same crimes. After drinking, shooting up heroin, threatening to kill a drug supplier, and knifing a man almost to death, Sam realizes he needs help. Sam’s wife, Lynn, takes him to church, where the pastor offers an altar call to ask for forgiveness. Realizing he needs help and forgiveness, Sam goes to the altar and in that day is baptized.
Completely altering his lifestyle, giving up drugs, dealing, drinking, and killing, Sam decides to open up a church for those who have had the same sordid past. At the same time, Sam decides to make a trip to the Sudan, where he sees the realities of the war and how children are kidnapped and trained to kill. Completely moved, Sam decides to open an orphanage for the children whose lives are affected by the war, but the rebels who take the children to build their army decide to burn down Sam’s orphanage. Sam decides to fight for the children and many times that means killing the bad guys to save their lives.
MACHINE GUN PREACHER is a powerful movie that has some very poignant moral elements to it with blatant sermons and altar call church scenes. At the same time, however, it shows a lot of grit and violence, plus extreme foul language and drug abuse. The question is, do the ends justify the means? Should Sam protect the children that are being used to kill, by killing? As Christians, we do believe there is a real world, painful and pagan, and that Jesus can transform any broken heart that asks for forgiveness. Even in the depths of Africa and the wealth of America, MACHINE GUN PREACHER shows the world needs forgiveness.
Well made and a pull on the heart, MACHINE GUN PREACHER definitely makes a statement. Extreme caution is advised, however, for the foul language, violence and drug references. What the filmmakers did not realize is that you do not need porno-violence to show the depravity in life.
(CCC, BBB, LLL, VVV, S, N, AA, DD, M) Very strong Christian, biblical worldview with baptism, altar calls, worship songs, and Bible readings; 92 obscenities (including about 64 “f” words) and three profanities; very strong violence as Sudanese rebels come and kill villagers with guns and machetes, boy is told to kill mother so he beats her, main character stabs a man almost to death, main character machine guns down multiple villains, child blown up by bomb shown with ripped off ligaments, woman’s lips cut off; sex between married couple heard but not shown; upper male nudity and women in underwear; drunkenness and alcoholism but condemned; smoking, use of heroin shown but later condemned and man overdoses; and, kidnapping of children to serve in army.
Based on a true story, MACHINE GUN PREACHER tells the story of Sam Childers. Sam is a drug dealer, alcoholic and heroin addict who is transformed by God after asking for forgiveness. Sam decides to start a church for those with his same past, along with starting an orphanage in Sudan. In Sudan, he finds out that the rebels kidnap children to train them for their army. When they burn down the orphanage, Sam decides to fight for the children, but this means that he has to take up arms to do so.
MACHINE GUN PREACHER is a powerful movie with very poignant moral moments, blatant sermons and altar call church scenes. However, it shows too much grit and violence, plus extreme foul language and drug abuse. The question is, should Sam protect the children that are being used to kill, by killing? Christians believe there is a real world, painful and pagan, but that Jesus can transform any broken heart that asks for forgiveness. MACHINE GUN PREACHER shows that all children need to be protected and the world needs forgiveness, but the violence, foul language and drug references warrant extreme caution.