"Anti-Christian, Humanist Worldview"
What You Need To Know:
THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE is superbly directed and well-acted, but it has an Anti-Christian, humanist worldview overall toward Bible-believing Christians. That content is mixed with some Christian, biblical, unbiblical, politically correct, and homosexual elements. For instance, Jim and Tammy want to serve the Christian community and tell people about Jesus, but they don’t have a healthy grasp on truth and grace. The movie’s positive Christian content is matched with unbiblical sentiments such as God accepts homosexuality and wants everyone to be wealthy. Tammy Faye is portrayed as a more politically correct Christian because she’s pro-homosexual and very comfortable publicly discussing taboo subjects.
THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE follows the rise and fall of televangelists Tammy Faye and Jim Bakker. THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE is well directed, but it has an Anti-Christian, humanist worldview overall, mixed with some Christian, biblical, unbiblical, politically correct, homosexual, feminist, and patriotic elements, plus some miscellaneous immorality and prescription drug abuse.
The movie begins in 1994 in Palm Springs, Calif. Tammy Faye Bakker sits at a makeup chair, explaining her signature features, ones not to be trifled with if she’s going on the air. Cut to 1952 in Minnesota, where a young Tammy Faye observes her mother at the piano of a church while her stepfather and other congregants sing of God’s praises and hear the Word of God in church. Tammy’s mother, who divorced her father, doesn’t want Tammy in the church, because Tammy reminds her mother of her moral failings. However, Tammy longs to go inside the church and experience the service. One evening, Tammy prays to receive Jesus Christ as her Lord and Savior, then goes into church, where she begins to speak in tongues. Could this be an anointing?
Cut to 1960 at North Central Bible College. Tammy Faye attends a class where a young man, Jim Bakker, takes the podium to preach. Tammy and Jim later sit in the quad and bond over their beliefs and swap secrets to earn one another’s trust. They begin dating but because of physical temptation, the pair get married shortly afterwards.
When the newlyweds visit Tammy’s family, her mother is less-than thrilled at their nuptials. Tammy and Jim use this time in the newlywed season to dream of what they can do to preach the Kingdom of God.
Tammy and Jim begin touring the nation to preach about God and perform puppet shows in an engaging way that will reach children with the messages they share with adults. When all hope seems lost when it comes to their finances and their car gets stolen, a man who saw one of their performances connects them with the Christian Broadcasting Network run by Pat Robertson. Things seem to look up! However, after lurking around for attention from the studio regulars and turning some heads because of their beliefs about the acceptability of homosexuality on Tammy’s part, Tammy and Jim, now parents, start their own network, Praise the Lord (PTL), in the 1970s.
PTL gains notoriety with viewers through the years. Tammy sings and hosts multiple segments about products and interviews people of different backgrounds. Meanwhile, Jim preaches and continues to spearhead raising funds through various call-in campaigns. However, it becomes clear that Tammy and Jim have hit a big potholes in their marriage. So, when the press starts digging about their wealth, Tammy and Jim put on a brave face.
If viewers know the tragic story of the Bakkers, the following events in the movie won’t come as a surprise.
Eventually, it comes out that the Bakkers have misused ministry funds and strayed outside their marriage, all while being a face for the evangelical community. Now in the 1990s, Jim gets sentenced to 120 years in prison, while Tammy is left to fend for herself. Jim and Tammy get a divorce, but Tammy comes to visit him in prison, despite their troubled past. They have a moment of humility where Jim recognizes that some of his preaching was unbiblical (for instance, telling poor people that God doesn’t love them). The movie concludes with Tammy at a concert, performing worship songs and mustering the courage to put herself back out in the public eye.
Jessica Chastain (THE HELP) and Andrew Garfield (SILENCE) transform for their roles of the Bakkers in THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE. The costumes, makeup and set pieces have a lifelike quality that brings the story to life. The script is well-paced considering that filmmakers cover so much time in Tammy and Jim’s life story. The script humanizes the title characters, but discerning viewers might ask what are the motives of the filmmakers in the first place?
For the Christian viewer, THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE might be discouraging, although it’s superbly directed and very well acted. For example, the movie appears to touch on the biblical wisdom in Proverbs about pride coming before the fall (Proverbs 16). Yet, it’s valuable to remember that the media can manipulate viewers to make a point. For example, the movie portrays Bible-believing Christians in an abysmal light as pushy with their beliefs and highly calculated, but the movie’s stressing of these things shows that the filmmakers are just as calculated as the characters they’re portraying. As a result, the movie has a strong humanist, Anti-Christian tone overall.
However, THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE also mixed Christian, biblical, unbiblical elements with some politically correct, homosexual, feminist, Romantic, and patriotic elements. For instance, Jim and Tammy have a heart to serve the Christian community and tell them about Jesus, but they don’t appear to have a healthy grasp on truth and grace, and much of the story’s conflict comes from that struggle. There are outright Christian elements in EYES like praying in Jesus Christ’s name and the value of worship, community and preaching the word of God. However, they’re matched with unbiblical and aberrant sentiments like God accepts homosexuality and wants everyone to be wealthy.
In addition, Tammy Faye is portrayed as a more politically correct Christian where she’s very pro-homosexual and very comfortable talking about sex and taboo subjects on air. Tammy also isn’t afraid to interrupt a table of men and join the conversation, and the men in instances like this are portrayed as callous toward her and her behavior. Some light Romantic elements occur during the movie as well whenever Jim and Tammy dream of an idealized future. THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE also contains strong miscellaneous immorality as both Tammy and Jim cheat on one another, misuse ministry funds and Jim gets involved in a bribery scheme. These elements add a hedonistic tone to the movie where Tammy and Jim seem to be doing whatever they want to do. Positively, Tammy is Pro-America and talks twice about the USA being a blessing. The humanist, unbiblical and homosexual content in THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE, and the sexual immorality and prescription drug abuse in the movie, are excessive and unacceptable.