War Room: Dishonouring God — a review by John Ellis (from ADayInHisCourt)
When John Ellis watched War Room, he almost walked out of the cinema when he saw how it depicted spouse abuse. Here are some excerpts from his review of the movie. We hope you read his whole review War Room: Dishonoring God, but be aware that it is fairly long and the power punches which we are quoting below come near the end of Ellis’s review.
Ellis’s review has a ‘reblog’ icon at its end, so we trust that he does not mind us picking out the following quotes.
With its theology, War Room weaves together three serious errors: Manichaeism, name it/claim it, and the belief that evil/sin resides outside of a person and not within. Manichaeism, the dualistic and odd heresy that claims there is a cosmic struggle between the equal forces of good (the spiritual world of light) and evil (the material world of, well, material and darkness), is a kissing cousin of Gnosticism. It’s often worked out in strains of Christianity by the belief that God and Satan are locked in a cosmic dual and that the good side, God, needs the spiritual engagement of His foot soldiers in order to ensure the day to day besting of Satan.
This is obvious in War Room, even beyond the war motif. Miss Clara’s treatment of prayer and Satan reveal that the filmmakers believe that God needs our help to defeat today’s evil; prayer isn’t a humble response and recognition of total dependence before a holy and sovereign God, it’s a battle tactic. The scene in the movie that elicited the largest applause from my fellow audience members was when Elizabeth, enacting a form of Protestant exorcism that reminded me of Poltergeist, chased Satan out of her house by her prayer/non-prayer(?)/incantation. Whatever you want to call it, Elizabeth, by strength of will, went toe-to-toe with Satan and won. Of course, that set the stage for the complete and almost immediate reversal of her troubles. …
Most of War Room’s theological errors may slide by unnoticed by many, but the Kendrick brothers’ main plot device, the heresy of “name it, claim it,” is hard to miss. … [T]he characters of War Room, once they start rubbing the genie lamp disguised as prayer, find that life is great and devoid of consequences. …
… a movie that teaches that real Christians, if they pray hard enough and in the correct way, will see everything answered exactly how they ask, is a movie that heaps piles of guilt on those for whom prayers aren’t answered in the warm and fuzzy manner of the Kendrick brothers’ movie world. … God isn’t Santa Clause, and prayer isn’t a wish list of the goodies and toys that we hope to find under the tree.
Before wrapping up, I want to bring up one more serious concern that I have with War Room – its depiction of spousal abuse. Having read several reviews, I was aware, going into the movie, that many saw this as an issue. To be honest, I was skeptical and assumed that some critics were looking for boogie men behind every tree. I mean, there’s no way that the Kendrick brothers would actually do that, right? Well, when Elizabeth was told, by Miss Clara, that she’s at least partially to blame for Tony’s abuse, I almost walked out. If nothing else in this review convinces you to avoid War Room, please allow the sickening display of blaming an abuse victim for her abuse cause you to wash your hands of this movie. …
Note from ACFJ Admins: Please note that we do not necessarily endorse everything at the ADayInHisCourt website. We have not examined it in depth. But we found this movie review very helpful.