Plenty of reviews of monumental have been posted. I ended up writing a friend an email about the movie and wanted to simply post my thoughts for the entire internet and the 15 people who read my blog (my wife promises me she doesn’t just click 15 times). There is more than just a review. The conversation started with me telling my friend it was “disappointing” and I sent him a link to a friend’s blog which explained many of my thoughts. Read it here.

My friend wrote me back:

From what your friend stated he was disappointed, but, he had several witnessing opportunities, what can be disappointing about that?

Here is my response with some editing:

Brother – there is nothing disappointing about witnessing opportunities. But that does not justify the means that provided the opportunity. Abortion centers provide witnessing opportunities; so does teenage pregnancy, death of loved ones and car accidents. Witnessing opportunities are what we make of them. I’ve witnessed at the same movie theater after other movies as well. So yes, I praise God Almighty that Fred Triplett as well as John Chizam preached the Word after this movie and someone I don’t know named Lance. I am glad I was able to give out tracts. But that has no bearing on the movie itself.

Now as far as the movie goes:

  1. It was a movie about Christianity, but it was missing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  2. Many well known people were portrayed as “partners” with Kirk in this endeavor. In all cases, they are simply portrayed as Christians. This list includes:
    a. Alveda King – who may or may not be a Christian, but she partners with Catholics in the pro-life cause.
    b. David Barton – I don’t know who he is, but everything I found quickly wasn’t flattering.
    c. Glenn Beck – a well known denier of the one true God, Jesus Christ. Probably biblically qualified to be considered a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

    I do not think that as Christians we should partner with those who are not Christian, particularly on such a spiritual endeavor. Kirk Cameron, whether wittingly or not, lended credibility to Glenn Beck last night. The Bible says to not even greet someone like that. 2 John 1:10

  3. 3. There was a sublte but clear postmillenial or amillenial slant. As members of Berean Baptist Church, we have affirmed a premillenial view of the Bible and eschatology. Many of the positive reviews I read celebrate the postmillenial slant that Kirk is now putting on things. This is actually a turnoff for me, but even if it had a premillenial slant, my other points would still apply.

    4. There was a touch of pragmatism involved, although Kirk tried to stem this off at times (by talking about the necessary heart change). The following concept or idea was implied:

    if we use God and His bible –>> Then we can get what we want (whether that is freedom, prosperity, whatever, often a very good thing could be the result).

    First of all, God is worthy of our praise, worship and OBEDIENCE regardless of whether we think it will achieve for us our desired effect. As well…many of the people who need the gospel will be turned off by this message. They (unregenerate, unrepentant sinners) do not desire the freedom offered by the gospel…they desire their sin. Promising a homosexual or an abortion doctor or a prostitute or a hardened criminal that a return to biblical roots will offer them freedom and help our country is asinine. They do not have any desire for the freedom offered by the gospel.

    What they need is to be told of God’s righteous judgment which is immminent, that His wrath is currently abiding on them, and the escape offered by grace through faith alone in the resurrected Son of God, Jesus Christ who became sin on behalf of His people. They need to know that Jesus Christ is their Lord, whether they acknowledge it or not. Attempts to convincing them that biblical basis for laws without a regenerated heart will not only be unfruitful, but somewhat insulting. You may as well tell a leopard to change his spots or an ethiopian to change his skin color…Jeremiah 13:23. You could make the argument that the country could be made better using these principles, even if people don’t believe them. That even false converts and members of apostate christian churches and groups could embrace the morality and promote it, but who cares? I’m not trying to make the world a better place from where people can go to hell. I praise God so many unbelievers still have a conscience, but their end is the same as the most violent criminal apart from faith alone in Christ alone.

Was there a lot of good in the movie? Yes, just like October Baby (which I do not recommend because of the universalist/ecumenical slant and no gospel), there were some good messages; Christian morality was exhibited and extolled. At one point, it was pointed out that not all churchgoers are Christian, and Kirk even mentioned that not all the founding fathers were Christian, yet they still saw the value in the Bible as a source of truth for governance. There was a ton of historical information which was offered (with little attribution to the source) which can pump people up for our nation. David Barton mocked secular historians for their lack of footnotes…yet this movie itself cited no source for its data either.

It was entertaining and somewhat inspiring.

But how does it inspire?

  • Did it inspire me to buy Kirk’s Monumental Homeschool curriculum? No.
  • Did it inspire me to buy Kirk’s Family Home Devotional? No.
  • Did it inspire me to encourage my friends to go, or my unsaved family? No. (In fact, I hope my unsaved family misses it because I’m afraid it will allow them to feel comfortable in their sin because many of them are on the right side of the morality fence.)
  • Did it inspire me to visit or demand others visit the demand this movie website? No.

It inspired me to do exactly what the movie itself needed to do. It inspired me to follow the Bible in my home, attempt to influence people in the same fashion, and hope that through the preaching of the gospel, the Lord will grant repentance and faith to lost souls and that the Holy Spirit will then guide their lives and we will being to live in a country that is actually converted.

Here is another review which I thought was fair by Jon Speed. You will notice the postmillenial praise (which I would expect from a postmiller) as well as a lot of very well-reasoned comments on the movie.

Anyway – I love you brother, and I’m not trying to argue. Go ahead and go see it if you want. Personally, with my budget and the abundance of gospel preaching missionaries and evangelists I know I’d have preferred to give the ticket and popcorn price to one of them, or just spent it all myself on tracts I could carry. Like I said, I love Kirk, but I think he made a mistake, and it happens to be a very public one, which requires public repentance, in my opinion.

I could be wrong about some of these things. I do believe the movie was “good.” But a missed opportunity and potentially a display of a direction that I hope Kirk isn’t headed into partnership with nonbelievers.

29 thoughts on “Monumental Movie Review”

  1. I was sad to see Glen Beck talk too. I understand he supporting the movie but he is not a believer in the Jesus in the Bible. I don’t know who else in the movie may or may not be saved and not my job to know. I only care if I’m saved and will tell everyone I know about the truth. The Bible those who believe in the gospel will rejoice in the preaching of the gospel. If you do not rejoice this bad fruit that you may not be saved. Only God know who saved.

    1. Yes, Jon, you’re critique was excellent and one of the reasons I didn’t feel I needed to write one. As you said to Tony a couple weeks back … we still have brotherly love even in millennial disagreement, right?

      In fact, I address the very situation that Kirk brought up in a previous blog post. Simply stated: If people misapply what they believe, that doesn’t prove the belief false. It also doesn’t make it true either.

      http://www.michaelcoughlin.net/blog/index.php/2010/06/church-part-of-the-problem/

  2. I really appreciate what you wrote that you felt was the underlying theme of the movie:

    if we use God and His bible –>> Then we can get what we want (whether that is freedom, prosperity, whatever).

    Actually I came to see this same type of thinking regarding homeschooling. As a former homeschooler, I had been led to believe this is the way it would work with Christian parenting too, and especially with homeschooling. If we teach him the bible and homeschool him then it will be a slam dunk – he will grow up to be a godly man. My son graduated in 2003, went to Christian college for 3 semesters, flunked out and shortly afterwards left church. Now he says he does not believe the gospel that he professed at age 13. As a parent I was devastated as you can imagine. But later on I came to realize that I had bought into a sort of formula — that same formula that you laid out in your article. But this is not how life works. This is not how God works. We are never promised any of this in the scriptures. We live in a sinful fallen world and life is not so neat and tidy. God is not a genie in a bottle that we can manipulate by doing x, y and z. God’s will will be done. Does God will those things? yes and no. He is sovereign and will do all according to His will and plans. Proverbs gives us general principles to follow…but these are not guarantees. There is no guarantee in life except the promises in the scripture. God never promises us that everything will go according to a formula. It is so sad to see Christians fall into this kind of thinking and especially to follow the Pied Piper of our day — Glenn Beck.

    1. Hi Pat!
      THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! THANK YOU!!! I couldn’t have said it better myself!! I know that If I had written it, people would have said,” Oh, she is just Kirk’s mom” and of course she wouldn’t agree with all the naysayers!!! You spoke everything that has been stirring in my heart and didn’t know how to convey my thoughts. You spoke them in your post Pat! Thank you so much!!

    2. I read everything you said and I totally agree with your message. I am LDS, so I do think Glen Beck and Kirk Cameron can be on the same page with basic spiritual convictions without it being ridiculous. I do realize there may not be many or ANY evangelicals that agree with that assessment. Still, I loved what you had to say, so thanks for speaking up in defense of Kirk Cameron’s efforts. I really love everything I’ve seen Kirk do over the past several years. He seems to be the kind of courageous person who would have been right there with the early Christians walking with Christ and braving the corrupt government Christ dealt with.

  3. Nice job, Michael. My wife and I looked shocked to each other when Glenn Beck came on. I think a Gospel message could have been included and not seemed out of place given the Pilgrims had sacrificed everything for their beliefs.

  4. This is one of our major problems. Christians who believe in jesus christ as the son of God and the only way to salvation arguing with each other. We are humans and not perfect but our beliefs in the post mil or premil or post trib vs pre trib should not be a factor to seperate us. Christians regardless of how we interprent profecy should be banding together not critisicing each other. This moving was about what made America great not about religion. It was about our country being based off of the bible yes but the purpose of the movie was not religous. Churches fighting amongst themselves and christians fighting amongst themselves as well as their judgement are what sends many people lookimg the other way. Just saying we must stop fighting amongst ourselves and work together.

    1. Awesome: Lori, T. Dawson, and myself wanting peace and unity. Maybe a true Christian approach can be reached after all. I hope we do ban together for faith, freedom, and love.

  5. Thanks for the review! I agree that partering with Glenn Beck the Mormon was a terrible idea.

    However, I disagree with both you and Kirk Cameron that homosexuality is a sin. The Bible can be used to “prove” just about anything. Do you believe that slavery is justified today? Oppression of women? Those are justified by Bible verses as well.

    I am a Christian, but I do not subscribe to the school of thought that homosexuals are sinners but women can go to church when they’re on their period. That’s hypocrisy and is a big reason why Christianity continues to be less relevant.

    Now your blog has 16 followers. 😉

  6. Thank you Michael for taking the time to write a review about the
    movie and trying to correct Kirk in love.

    Below is a copy of my response to the movie:

    Unfortunately, I haven’t had a chance to see the movie so I apologize if what I’m about to say is covered in the movie.

    Even though it’s important to study what our Founding Father’s believed, it’s just as important to study Scripture and see what God has to say. What does Scripture have to say about healing a nation:

    “if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14).

    For many years, I thought I was saved because I had a pastor go over the Roman Road with me, prayed a prayer, was baptized, and believed Jesus was the only way to heaven. As a result, I continued to live a life of heavy drug use, alcoholism, homosexuality, clubbing/raving, sex, self mutilation (cutting), and suicide attempts. To my shock and horror, after watching Way of the Master, I realized I had believed in the wrong Jesus, in the wrong God, and was never truly saved. Unfortunately, I believe this is true with many Americans who claim to be “Christian,” but do not believe in the true Jesus Christ of Scripture. As a result, God’s wrath is on America for our idolatry and immorality.

    It was not until God showed me mercy and granted me repentance that my eyes were opened to His truth and my life began to dramatically change. Only God can transform our evil and wicked heart into a new heart of holiness, righteousness, and a love for His truth.

    We cannot change the direction of our country until we first change the hearts of people. And that change begins with the preaching of the true Gospel and allowing God to do the rest.

    Thank You.

    1. You should see the movie. It actually does send the message that it all starts with our personal relationship with Christ. I wonder if some of us saw the same movie? I feel this movie opens the door for non-believers without judging, without hammering them over the head. You can’t force someone to want to know God, but can peak their interest, and I think that is what this movie will accomplish. It was not supposed to be a church service.

  7. It really blows my mind that even after seeing Monumental, some of you insist on resorting back to the very same religious bigotry that divides us in the first place. There is absolutely no excuse for one religion/denomination to feel they are superior to any other. If God is your center, who is anyone to tell you that the way you interpret the Scripture is wrong. This is the problem. The individual gets so fixated on the belief that their way is “correct”, that soon the real message is lost. Im not going to pretend I know the difference between a premiller and a postmiller or any of the other comparisons made in earlier post. I couldn’t care less to tell you the truth…. The message is that our great nation needs to tune its moral compass. It starts at home, God is the key, and following these steps will lead to better individuals who are less corrupt, less egocentric and make better choices because they are able to base their decisions on the morality taught in their given religion. Get over yourselves! You’ve missed the point.

    1. Amen! I have been very discouraged at the evangelicals that slam Glen Beck etc. and are quite judgmental about his faith. Who do they think they are? I completely respect their right to believe and worship as they choose without condemnation. I am saddened to hear such divisiveness in their words and tone. So, thank you T. Dawson for centering the topic back to our own individual responsibility to God, not to be a brother’s judge. I hope there are more of us that are just glad so many people want basic goodness whatever religion you espouse.

  8. Ahh, the post and the responses serve to remind us of the dramatic need of discernment in the Body of Christ. “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in knowledge and all discernment, that you may approve things that are excellent..” (Phil. 1:9-10a)

  9. While I do not agree with Glenn Beck’s beliefs, and admittedly was surprised by his appearance, I think maybe Kirk was trying to show that while all may not have the same beliefs, many can agree on the value of the Bible (like the Pilgrims)and how our nation was founded, even if not a Christian. I found the movie to be very interesting and inspiring. The movie was about the founding of our nation, the history, a history many people are unaware of, and thats what Kirk did quite well in my opinion. I think the movie could inspire unbelievers to seek out God and the Bible, I believe it did witness to people, just in a different way.

  10. It actually does send the message that it all starts with our personal relationship with Christ. I wonder if some of us saw the same movie? I feel this movie opens the door for non-believers without judging, without hammering them over the head. You can’t force someone to want to know God, but can peak their interest, and I think that is what this movie will accomplish. It was not supposed to be a church service.

    1. “It actually does send the message that it all starts with our personal relationship with Christ. I wonder if some of us saw the same movie? I feel this movie opens the door for non-believers without judging, without hammering them over the head.”

      Yes, so did Purpose Driven Life. ugh.

  11. I agree with Kirk Camron that America is heading in the wrong direction, but the best rallying point for Christians is the bible rather than the National Monument to the Forefathers funded and dedicated by Masons. David Barton showing the printing of English nobles in America is a good illustration of that point. Herb Ritua’ pointing to the Christian roots of Harvard University with the motto of Christ, the Church and the Truth is the real truth for our educational system and our nation!

  12. I was supprised to see Glen Beck supporting a Kirk Cameron Movie but it is not out of keeping for a Mormon to support a monument dedicated and funded by the Masonic Lodge. I iiked the aspect of the movie that support ed the printing of English bibles by congress and the Christian roots of Harvard University. I think that the return to the bible in our schools and culture is a better rallying point for Christians than a monument.

  13. I’m not sure this has anything to do with Amillenialism. In fact I think Amills are the ones who primarily stay away from the politics or moralistic messages as any way to advance God’s kingdom. It tends to be the reconstructionist/restorationist postmills and premills primarily.

  14. Michael, you did an excellent job in this review. Any other issues aside the fact the movie is endorsing Glenn Beck and claiming him as a Christian is in of itself a point of concern. Mormons are not Christians, they are cultist. It only takes one drop of poison to contaminate a glass of water. Regardless of any positive aspects this movie may hold, the embracing false converts and false religions could ultimately cause a person to believe they are a Christian when in fact they are a member of a cult. True Christianity can not and should not embrace any form of false religion, period. Claiming Glenn Beck as a brother in Christ is like claiming a Muslim as a brother in Christ. Neither know the One True Jesus Christ of the Bible.

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