We received this movie as a gift with a good commendation for the story line and the portrayal of the main characters faith. While the movie is entertaining and has several good aspects there are some dangerous elements introduced into the film that the viewer should be attentive to as well.
Several good aspects of the film that merit commendation are the portrayal of a godly family (after the man's salvation), the father's devout desire to please God, and his true demonstration of faith when it was tried.
Immediately after the family's redemption, there is clear evidence of their new faith. Angus, formerly a selfish, self-serving sinner, radically turns his life around with the desire to do something for God, striving to serve God and put Him first in everything that he does.
This desire is truly in earnest and he starts talking at revivals and sharing his testimony. At the climax of the film, when he could loose everything, he puts his faith in God alone and plants potatoes, trusting that God will provide the rain for the crops during the hottest year on record.
These elements all make the movie worthwhile, but there are many elements in the film that though subtle, they are dangerous.
Sadly, the method through which we are saved, namely faith, is not presented as clearly as it should be. In a conversation with the reverend, Angus states the following as his definition of faith:
"Incredible. Those who dared to follow Jesus and believe that he was God. Believe that he could heal the sick and...fix broken hearts and brought messed up families back together again. That's real faith. And that's what I want."
He completely misses the part that faith has saved him from his sin. He relegates faith to something that will make your life better - not something that will enable you to stand sanctified in the sight of God on Judgment Day. Sin is only mentioned twice (in context of the old covenant) and relegated to "what's not meant to be" another time.
Throughout the entire movie, there is little reverential respect toward God as a Holy and Righteous Sovereign, who commands men to repent. This is overlooked and he is represented as a benevolent father ready to give whatever you ask. When the rain stops and a drought ensues, Angus organizes an event were all the farmers from the region would gather and pray for rain. Unfortunately, the majority of those who gather are unsaved pagans, and God will not hear their prayers as stated in the following verses:
"If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened." (Psa 66:18 ESV)
"but your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear." (Isa 59:2 ESV)
The gospel presentation was severely lacking in theology. There was no mention of sin or the proper response to the gospel in repentance and faith. With this testimony, it was presented only to those who were depressed:
"My life was a mess. I had nowhere to go to. I had no interest in religion. My heart cried out for reality."
The news of restoration and redemption was given without mention to Jesus as the propitiation for our sins after a group of people watched an unseen film.
"When you watch a show like that, it just shows us there's an emptiness in the hearts of all people. An emptiness that nothing but the Lord himself can fill. For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, so that whoever -- And that means whoever -- believes in him will not die, but will have everlasting life."
The problem with mankind is not that they have an unfilled hole in their heart that they need God to fill, but that they have iniquity embraced in their heart. This from radio personality Todd Friel:
"I don't care if I've got a sore thumb, a hole in my heart, a longing and a loneliness. It is irrelevant and puny, if existing at all, in comparison to my greatest need which is forgiveness of sins!"
Bottom line -- I would not recommend this movie to be viewed by an unsaved, unbelieving sinner, because it would only muddy their understanding of the gospel and the person of Jesus Christ. But for a Christian family who wants to see the life of believers in Africa who have their faith tested, this video is one that I would suggest.
- Clean in the sense of morality.
- Production value was good for an independent film.
- Good presentation of the Christian family and the walk in faith.
- Missed the truth of the Gospel.
- Very little reverential respect toward God as Holy.
- Plot development was too slow.
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