In 1991, Francine Rivers published a book called Redeeming Love. Since then it has sold over three million copies. That’s amazing for a Christian author....maybe any author.
It had mixed results as a novel, Rivers has a way of writing than can be a little steamy to an innocent mind. The controversy even then was that the book was a “gateway to soft porn.”
For me, my daughter and many of my friends, Redeeming Love was a powerful book. For many of us, the thought that our Lord pursues us the way that Michael Hosea pursued Angel or the picture of Isreal in Hosea was so moving that it brought us to tears. I understand why Rivers is so protective of it. It is a masterpiece.
The popularity of the book made many of us desire a film and Rivers herself longed for a contract. The film was many years on the drafting block for various reasons. When Rivers began tweeting about the film the Christian community went crazy.
And then the film was released.
I heard many people talk about the nudity and (excuse the next graphic language) the sexual movements of couples, considering if those elements had a place in a “Christian film.” I began to wonder if it was “right” for me to watch it.
I decided (giving warning to my friends) that we should see it and then give our thoughts. We didn’t talk about it before we filmed-we wanted the conversation to be raw and real. After watching the video below, I must admit, I wish I had waited a few days. I think the peace maker in me wanted to be pleasant and entertaining, but as I ponder the film I think I would have changed my rating. I give it a thumbs up at the end, but that was too generous. This film needs to come with more warnings than it does. Yes, the subject matter is difficult. Yes, I think Christians should show a realistic picture that sin is ugly and life is not always handed to a Christian all wrapped up in a bow that gives us a happily ever after. Yet…as a director and a Christian, I think some of the elements in this film could have given us that realistic picture without “crossing the line.”
Is it possible that people will know about God’s love from this movie?
God doesn’t need any of this to call people to him.
Is it possible this movie could cause people to sin by watching it?
I believe the answer to that is also yes.
Doesn’t the Bible warn us to not be a stumbling block to others?
What is considered “nudity”? (The aurgument is that at one point Michael’s hand covers her beast so that you cannot see…well, you know.) So that makes it not nudity? I disagree. You see too much. It is nudity to me. In fact, I think one of the problems with the movie is that it tries to have a little steaminess with the sex scenes.
I wonder if we have become desensitized to “things of the world?” Arguing that “you don’t really see anything”, or that the people that are acting out the sexual scenes are portraying married couples doesn’t sit well for me. I think we should require more from a film that labels itself “Christian” or one that is supposed to show us God’s holy, pure, and unconditional love.
Before you use this argument on me….I KNOW the BIble is filled with stories of sex, sin and murder, but it isn’t written in graphic detail. Song of Solomon is the exception, but it isn’t written to be steamy and doesn’t include full color video.
Please watch the video below and let us know if you’ve seen the movie or if perhaps the video will help you make a decision. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Join us next week as our discussion goes a different direction. I seriously cannot wait for you to see part two!
Rebecca Leland, Naomi Rogers, thank you for your frank discussion. Thank you Rebecca for filming and your efforts in editing this mammoth job!
I would love it if you would like, share and follow!
Until next time this is just me talking to you from the wings-