Some AiG supporters have been asking if we would be commenting on a film that releases nationwide this afternoon titled Persecuted. One of our staff members saw a preview of Persecuted last night, and has filled me in on it.
Now, the plot does not deal with AiG’s main thrust of biblical apologetics, and so we will not be writing a detailed movie review (as we have done with other movies and television programs). But Persecuted does bring up some intriguing topics that we at AiG have been concerned about for many years in this nation: a growing intolerance of Christian teachings (and the ministries that proclaim them).
A Synopsis of the MovieThe story revolves around a “Fugitive”-type character, a televangelist, who is on the run after being drugged and framed for murder. Such an injustice was a plot hatched by one of the minister’s supposed supporters, a powerful U.S. Senator, and the betrayal is backed by the American president. Their scheme was in response to the popular televangelist’s opposition to passing a “Faith and Fairness” bill in Congress. The bill intended to unite all faiths and supposedly lead to a culture of peaceful coexistence, including the possibility of fewer terrorist attacks from Muslim extremists. In the bill, considerable tax advantages are offered to organizations who comply with the bill’s provisions, particularly not to be intolerant of others’ religious views and not proclaim that there is only one true religion. Unity or ecumenism is the goal of the president and his ally, the U.S. Senator. Without the prominent evangelist’s support, the Faith and Fairness bill is doomed. When he refuses to endorse the proposed law, the evangelist is set up for murder and is on the run the rest of the film.
How Legitimate Is This Storyline?In a nation where courts and legislatures are increasingly outlawing Christian things from the culture—for example, Ten Commandments displays removed, prayer in schools thrown out as well as the Bible and creation—the film plays off this phenomenon. Indeed, how much longer will ministries be able to stand up for truths like biblical marriage and the sanctity of human life and not be persecuted by government action?
Already, there is a growing movement that is accusing groups like AiG of committing a form of “child abuse” because they dare present biblical truths to children, including at our Creation Museum and through other outreaches. They assert that by not teaching children the “truth” of evolution, AiG is committing a form of psychological child abuse. These accusers are now putting pressure on the government to help them stop the so-called abuse.
When a ministry takes a strong stand in controversial issues like “gay” marriage and abortion, there may come a time when the government will tell us we can’t say such things at all. Already, private businesses run by Christians are being forced to provide drugs in their employee health care plan that cause abortions (though some Christian businesses like Hobby Lobby are exempt), Christian companies who are refusing to bake cakes for “gay” weddings are being persecuted, and teachers who are bringing up the scientific problems with evolution in the science classrooms (without even mentioning creation) are being reprimanded or fired.
Also with Persecuted—and just as AiG constantly points out the rampant compromise in the church regarding biblical authority—the film portrays certain Christian leaders as willing to accept the rewards of complying with the new bill as they compromise what the Word of God teaches and water down the gospel for the sake of unity (and more money).
Christian Teaching To Be Outlawed in the Public Arena?The film ends with the possibility that there could come a time when Christians won’t be able at all to speak their minds. In a film that I recorded in the 1980s, The Genesis Solution, I stated that America was turning its back on the authority of the Bible and hinted that aspects of Christian teaching might be outlawed in the public arena. Recorded in 1986, the film even mentioned that gay rights might be forced on the culture and that the sanctity of marriage would be increasingly ignored as the nation rejected God’s Word. I was mocked by some church leaders at the time for making such suggestions, but I wonder what these leaders might be thinking now almost thirty years later as they see secularists taking over America with their own anti-God religion?
Secular movie reviewers will probably attack the filmmakers of Persecuted for paranoia concerning the government and its dealings with the church. But for Christians who have been following the state of the nation over the decades, this political thriller’s theme of a growing anti-Christian intolerance in America is not that far-fetched.
You can watch a movie trailer of Persecuted.
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