May 31, 2012

Kirk Cameron Planning Top Secret New Movie

Kirk recently released Monumental, which has gotten mixed reviews from all sides. I know I was not happy with the way he has promoted it, as if the secret to fixing our country is found in a statue and in becoming more moral people.  This is a theology of glory.

Now he's working on another one:
Kirk Cameron Keeps New Movie a Mystery; 'Super Secret' Trailer Promised to Subscribers

It's really sad that Kirk Cameron hasn't learned from the REAL mistakes of Promise Keepers  (hint - it's not what PK says the mistakes were) and is basically producing his own film-form spin-off.  We've seen the Keaton brothers doing the same thing.  The White Horse Inn published a decent critique of Courageous here:
Courageous Christianity? - White Horse Inn Blog

This article incited the ire of Kirk's friend Todd Friel, host of Wretched Radio who had just lectured us all on how we shouldn't spend time shooting in a circular firing squad, which he then went on to do to this particular White Horse Inn blog post.  He spent quite a bit of time expressing his disgust with the article, refusing to name the blog, as if we couldn't find it ourselves and know he was trashing them for this article, just as he had previous advised everyone NOT to do to brothers in Christ. I have to wonder if Todd is starting to understand yet why people had concerns like this?  This is one reason I stopped supporting Wretched, because they are unwilling to forthrightly criticize their own friends when they are wrong, but instead criticize everyone else for noticing and daring to say something.  Whether they realize it or not, this feeds into the building of a cult of personality rather than followers of The Way, the Truth, and the Life.  Wretched guys, I love you, I just want you to be better and less afraid of being 'divisive.'  Oh yes, you are afraid of being divisive in many ways, despite your very in-your-face approach.

A street preacher who has admired Kirk in the past has offered this critique, which I thought sounded very well-stated.
Monumental Disappointment - at the Wittenburg Church Door

I admit I have not had the opportunity to see the movie myself, I plan to as soon as I have the chance, and this article does echo my concerns with what I have seen in Kirk's promotion of the film, his trailer videos  and appearances with Glenn Beck (and I really do like Glenn Beck immensely, except when he talks about religion and his ecumenical calls for unity, despite insisting he isn't doing that).  Having said that, if I see the movie and it does not match up to what I think it's going to be based on Kirk's promotion, I'll issue a correction. But even in that case, I will still have an issue with Kirk having promoted his movie rather ... falsely.

While  movies, such this documentary by Kirk, and the same message in a story-telling format like the Keaton brothers are putting out, may be stirring, uplifting, feel-good movies, Christians who are familiar with the inadequacy of sinners (including themselves), know that the message is off.  These projects are, at best well-meaning but missing the main point of the faith they claim to be promoting and operating out of.

While his motive is, I am sure, very honorable and Kirk is a great sweet guy himself, making a more moral society isn't what the church's mission is about.  Christianity is not about making people more moral, but about realizing how immoral we all are inside (where it actually counts before God) despite our outward appearance, and about proclaiming God's forgiveness in Christ, and our declared status of "justified before God by grace through faith in Christ's perfect life death and resurrection on our behalf."

We are Simil Justus Et Peccator.  We are all the Romans 7 Wretched man, notwithstanding people like pastor Tim Conway who improperly insist that the Romans 7 Wretched man is Paul describing his state BEFORE he is redeemed.  At best, Kirk seems to have lost his message in the phenomenon known as 'mission creep.'
Actor and devout Christian Kirk Cameron is being a bit mysterious in asking his fans to join an online community of like-minded people "who believe anything is possible if we love God and do the right thing over the long haul." (source)
But Kirk, you have been the one telling us (rightly) for years that... we DON'T!
"Hey everyone! It's me, Kirk. For a long time now I've been wanting to create an online, central base for like-minded people like you and me that contains movies, books, music, ideas, and concepts that can radically change the world,"
The White Horse Inn has addressed that concept here:
The Call to Radical, World-Changing Discipleship: A Question for Preachers - White Horse Inn Blog

I blogged about that sort of idea here, (more a link to the White Horse Inn article with a short comment):
Are You Tired Of Being Told You're Supposed To Be A Radical World Changer?

(added 11:00 AM) A friend of mine gave me another great article and said:

I think that Richard Gaffin rightly points out:
"The inaugurated eschatology of the New Testament is least of all the basis for triumphalism in the church, at whatever point prior to Christ’s return. Over the interadvental period in its entirety, from beginning to end, a fundamental aspect of the church’s existence is (to be) 'suffering with Christ'; nothing, the New Testament teaches, is more basic to its identity than that.....Most assuredly, the eschatology of the New Testament is an 'eschatology of victory'—victory presently being realized by and for the church, through the eschatological kingship of the exalted Christ (Eph. 1:22). But any outlook that fails to grasp that, short of Christ’s return, this eschatology of victory is an eschatology of suffering—an eschatology of [Christ’s] 'power perfected in weakness' (II Cor. 12:9)—confuses the identity of the church. As Paul reminds the church just a few verses after the Romans 8 passage considered above (v. 37), not 'beyond' or '(only) after' but 'in all these things' ['trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword,' v. 35], 'we are more than conquerors.' Until Jesus comes again, the church 'wins' by 'losing.'"
SOURCE: THEONOMY AND ESCHATOLOGY | Some Reflections On Postmillennialism

Another friend said
"i would like kirk more if he started asking people if they considered themselves to be good people #ImissTheOldKirk"

Hear hear. (end of addition)
Kirk, please return to your first love, and stop hiding his precious cross behind a cloak of moral transformation.
Here is another article which explains very succinctly the difference between what Kirk is doing and what the Bible's focus is:

Sheep Don't Keep Track: Stop Measuring your Moral Progress! by Todd Wilken
On Being a Theologian of the Cross by Gerhard Forde
A Theology of Glory and a Theology of the Cross - Everyday in every way we are getting better and better. Really? by Don Matzat
Theologians of Glory vs. Theologians of the Cross: An Intro and Definition by Sean Norris

All of this focus on reclaiming society for Jesus is just the Reformed version of the Health Wealth and Prosperity gospel.  It can be either Charismatic or non-Charismatic, though the Reformed version of Charismaticism doesn't resemble the sort of silliness we see on TBN or in many Word-Faith churches.

The Gift of Self Forgetfulness: Tullian Tchividjian

NOTE:  Two peoples' critiques that I would NOT recommend is Chris Pinto and Brannon Howse.  They spend more time worrying about Masonic Symbolism and whatnot that has very little to do with the main issue.