Produced and written by Brad J Silverman.
The plot is as follows:
Ben Marcus, a former stand-up comic in mid-life crisis, tries to become a social-media star until he and his family are radically changed by the Bible.
Does the plot glorify God? Yes, as it says the main character, during a mid-life crisis looks to the world for help, instead of God. But it's the Bible, the Word of God, that is able to transform him and his family.
Does the film content glorify God through His Word: Use of Bible verses and adhere to His commandments?
Psalm 16:11 is shown towards the end of the film (the first part - then the whole verse is shown later on). It says: You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.
The Pastor in the church service spoke from 1 John 2:4 He who says, I know him, and keeps not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. This is also referenced in 1 john 5:3
Towards the end of the film there are lots of Bible verses said by the family characters and people who subscribed to the main character’s social media channel.
All scripture is breathed out by God (2 Timothy 3:16)
Great peace have those who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble (Psalm 119:165)
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Psalm 119:105)
For the Word of God is living and active, sharper than a two-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow (Hebrews 4:12)
Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4)
The grass withers, the flowers fall, but the Word of God endures forever (1 Peter 1:24-25)
Promotes God as the only God
A colleague of the main character, Ben, speaks of God throughout the film and how we need to be connected to Him through Jesus Christ.
Ben turns to God, through His Word (suggested by his colleague, Mickey), when everything in his life continues to spiral out of control.
Promotes being free from idols or refrain from promoting idols
The main character made his social media channel and all the trappings of social media (subscribers, sponsors, merchandise) his idols. The film shows how Ben’s focus towards worldly values furthers the downward spiral in his life. It shows the consequences of worldly focus, for example, him not reading the Bible and not prioritizing his wife and children.
The film shows how lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and the pride of life draw us away from God. It separated Adam and Eve from God in Eden (Genesis 3:6), was what Satan used to tempt Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1-11), and is used on us every day. These categories of these sins are also mentioned in 1 John 2:15-17 - Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passes away, and the lust thereof: but he that does the will of God lives forever. The film shows that the only way to break the chain that sin wraps us in, is to repent, accept Jesus and have the Word of God as the foundation for our life (2 Timothy 3:16-17).
Ben’s wife supported him in his decision to delete the video where he talked about the Bible in order to try and salvage their loss of subscribers on their social media channel. This reminds me of Matthew 6:33 Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added unto you. Also, Matthew 6:24 - No one can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other, or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. When Mickey heard about Ben’s decision to delete the video, he told Ben that he thought the video was great and that Ben didn’t have to delete it in fear of where his income would come from because God would not forsake him. This promise is found in Hebrews 13:5, where the Lord says, I will never leave you or forsake you.
Promote the Sabbath or refrain from promoting Sunday as the day of
There was a church service shown, but the day was not mentioned.
Honours parents or refrains from promoting dishonour of parents?
Ben makes a pledge that he was going to be a better father, with help from the Lord. In turn his children (and wife) react to him differently, as he uses his will and God’s grace to become a true disciple of Jesus Christ and spiritual leader of their household.
Speak against adultery or refrain from promoting adultery?
The main character makes a decision to not have an affair - reaffirming his devotion to his family. The past sin of adultery in his family (his father) needed to be broken, by God’s grace.
Speak against theft or refrain from promoting theft? N/A
Speak against lies or refrain from promoting lies?
The character goes away from the wrong path of denying his faith in order to keep subscribers on his channel.
The character also started to go down the road of keeping things from his wife.
There is deception in the family (his daughter sneaking out at night - and repentance for the deception.
Ben lies to his boss - but later repents.
Speak against jealousy or refrain from promoting jealousy? N/A
Question: What Christian standards does the film convey?
The Bible is spoken of through most of the film as being our only authority, First, by a colleague of the main character, then by the main character himself.
The main character, Ben, told his colleague, Mickey, that he couldn’t afford to use lots of time on the Bible. But Mickey told him, he couldn’t afford not to. The Bible describes the remnant of the church in Revelation 12:17 - those which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.
Ben, the main character and his daughter were reading a book, given to them by Mickey, about the Bible and why it was important to read it.
Mickey exclams to Ben how amazing the Bible is as it was literally God himself speaking to us
Salvation through Christ alone (does not promote good works)
Our need for Christ is spoken of through most of the film, first by Mickey, then Ben, the main character.
Although Ben deemed himself a Christian, he hadn’t submitted to God and accepted the gift of Christ's sacrifice. When his colleague, who was studying to be a Pastor, talked to him about the Bible, it was obvious that he wasn’t acquainted with the word of God. In fact, he was depicted as being the type of person his colleague spoke of, who went to worship service once a week, out of obligation and then forgot about the Lord for the rest of the week.
The character, Ben, said he had messed up and wasn’t sure if he could go to God - but Mickey’s answer was taken from the Lord’s promise in 1 John 1:9 - if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness
State of the Dead
There is a scene where the main character is speaking out loud to his mother at her graveside. This can be seen as the character just airing thoughts, or the character displaying the non-biblical doctrine that we go to heaven right after we die and not when Jesus returns, as the Bible states in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, among other places in the Bible.
We see the couple's marriage transform from relying on their own strength to relying on the Lord in prayer and His Word.
We see his wife go from not praying for her husband to dedicating prayer for him.
We see God protect their marriage against adultery, in answer to Ben’s wife’s prayer.
Husband as the head in his home and the local church
We see the transformation of the main character from thinking only of his own needs, to seeking the Lord and wanting to do the will of the Lord for himself and his family.
We see the transformation of the main character as he reads the Bible to find the support he needs to care for his spiritual health and that of his family..
Recognition of the value of life and blessing in children
We see the character come to the realization of the blessing he had in his children. The character mentions that when he opened up the Bible, the Bible opened him up - as in changed his way of thinking.
Modesty of dress N/A
Recognition of the body as the temple of God
While there was no specific talk of the body as the temple of the Holy Spirit, the main character realizes that his daughter was in danger of becoming intimate before marriage - something he did not want her to do, as it went against the principles of the Lord.
There was also the scene when the main character walked away from the temptation of sexual sin - adultery against his wife. As he saw that biblically, his family came first.
Question: Does the film give glory and honour and thanks to God?
As the character and his family are transformed by the Word of God, the character and his wife give glory and honour and praise to the Lord.
The character’s wife felt differently towards her husband as she saw him start to focus on the Lord. There was a renewal of their love for each other.
Question: Did the film encourage my faith?
I am not really one for comedy, but I decided to give the film a try because I want something more light-hearted and recognized a couple of the actors from the film War Room. I was not expecting to add it to my recommendation list, but the film definitely encourages us to have the Word of God as the authority in our lives. So yes, it encouraged my faith, because it promoted the Word of God and our reconnection to God the Father, through Jesus Christ’s sacrifice. Even though it was a comedy, there was a serious undertone and somber message about how easily the world can pull our focus away from Jesus Christ - especially in the age of social media.
Question: What actions did I do, as a result of seeing the film?
I looked up Psalm 16:11, as I liked the verse. I already had it underlined in my Bible. The whole Psalm is about the joy we have in the presence of the Lord.
On that note, Ben’s wife commented that she did not like Christian films. She didn’t expand on her reason why, but you were left with the feeling that she actually preferred worldly films - showing the spiritual state of their household . Having said that - there are a lot of Christian films out there - I would even go as far as to say the majority, that fit a stereotype, rather than using the Word of God as their foundation - which is why the so-called Christian film industry is flooded with so-called Christian films - that do not mirror the Word of God. Films that are no better than mainstream, worldly films - or in some cases even worse, because they claim to be something they are not, therefore misrepresenting the Word of God. Renewed Faith Media is praying that more films will be created that stand only on the Word of God.
Question: Would I change anything about the film?
There was a scene right in the beginning, where there were two shining stars and a conversation, maybe between the stars - I have no idea what that was about, or who it was supposed to be. So I would take that out.
The scene where the character is talking to his mum’s grave, even though it was a bit ambiguous as to why the character was doing it and what his belief was about the state of the dead. So I would take that out, as the Bible clearly says the dead do not go to heaven, or hear or do anything. They are in a state of sleep until Jesus returns (1 Thessalonians 4:13-17, Ecclesiastes 9:5-6, 10, John 11:11-14)
At first glance, the cover picture used for the film and the title gives the impression of a light-hearted, even silly film - not my taste. However I got a pleasant surprise - there is a strong, underlying message of the power of the Bible and our need for God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the world. The issues shown in the film are very real in today’s social media infused society. Diminishing faith can fade away slowly, and this film shows how Christians can deceive themselves into thinking that they are devoted followers of Christ, when their lifestyles show that they are devoted to the world. It’s a similar message to the film, The Power of the Air, that I reviewed a few weeks ago, but from a totally different angle - comedy.
Thank you for reading this review. Until next time - peace be with you.
Film site: www.christiancinema.com or your film streaming company of choice.
NB! The links I reference for my films is the source I used, but it is not an endorsement of the entire film streaming company. I am sure this particular film can be found on various digital streaming companies.
Source for film thumbnail: www.christiancinema.com