A Must See Heart-Rending Life Story
During the Exodus International Freedom Conference, I and the other delegates received an unexpected blessing. We were invited by Movie Director Chad Ahrendt to screen his new film, RECONCILIATION. I’d seen the trailer and knew a bit about the story line, so I admit to some pre-conceptions. “It will most-likely be a nice story, but I doubt it will be a real tear-jerker or pack an emotional punch as others reported,” I thought, and . . . “it probably won’t convey a real Christian message; it will most-likely compromise in some way.”
WOW, was I ever so blessedly wrong! RECONCILIATION is not only very tastefully done; it is believable, realistic and definitely packs that emotional punch, and not at all contrived. Based upon a very real and gut-wrenching life story, this movie confronts complicated life issues in an honest way without any sugar-coating.
Just the opening scenes dismissed any doubts on quality. I was concerned that it wouldn’t be well-done. Many low-budget films sacrifice story-telling and film artistry. Again . . . I was so wrong. RECONCILIATION is excellent. The actors are professional, believable; the editing and artistry of the film top-notch. Writer-Director Chad Ahrendt crafted an amazing heart-rending movie. In meeting with Chad, I could see that his personal passion is reflected in his artistic expression. This movie affirms his depth, conviction and vision. I’ve seen a lot of movies in my time; this one is definitely on the top of my movie list, EVER!
RECONCILIATION provoked a lot of questions for me. Why does this movie so bless me? Will it bless others as deeply? Why do I feel so strongly about this movie in particular? Are my strong feelings only because I can SO relate to this movie in SO many ways? Is it because I lived as a gay identified man for eight years? Is it the acknowledgment in the film of the struggles I have lived over the past 28 years within the Church and in ministry? Is it because I know what it is like to hate my father and then to be reconciled to him? Is it the raw emotional impact of the movie’s closing scenes, so similar to scenes I lived out with my own father?
The answer to all of these questions is “yes.”
Some who know me might just say, “well that’s Stephen, he’s so emotional.” And, it’s true. I am. However, it would take a hard-hearted soul indeed to not be moved by this movie. People in audiences vary greatly in everyday emotional expression, but all were clearly moved to tears at this screening. Was it because these viewers were delegates to the Exodus International Freedom Conference? Perhaps that plays a part because they can so relate. But I think it goes well beyond that. People love it when reconciliation takes place and the truth is presented in a real life story. It gives us all hope as we view whatever brokenness lies around us, and that reconciliation is possible.
My tears began to flow in the middle of the movie and were present through the final credits. My heart leaped for joy when the truth was presented to the Dad-Jeff McDowell, (played by Jack Maxwell). The presentation of truth is so freeing . . . and I was finally able to let my guard down and embrace this beautiful movie. This movie affected me so deeply because it is obviously truthful to real life. It confronted my own need to love more deeply and in truthful compassion. It demonstrates deep LOVE and FORGIVENESS. The power of grace is presented and treasured. My tears flowed as I relived my relationship with my own dad though this message of hope and great kindness. The Son-Grant Taylor, (played by Eric Nenninger) demonstrates accurately the battle that many Christians have in dealing with a loved one in homosexuality; yet the Son-Grant prevails with dignity, love and forgiveness.
RECONCILIATION reveals how very kind and long-suffering God IS with every last one of us. So many gay men and women have been deeply wounded by the Church; God desires reconciliation. Here we see it and it gives us hope.
The movie is honest and realistic, revealing varying views on the issue of homosexuality. Thank God it rises above the temptation to be politically correct and commits itself to just be about real life and the struggle we all face to overcome grief and hatred. It respects the real “issues” of hurt from both perspectives, gay and Christian.
I highly recommend this movie to everyone I know, gay, straight, Christian or uncertain. This is a must-watch movie for everyone that has been touched by the issue of a gay lifestyle. Whether you have a loved one involved in homosexuality, or you are someone trying to reconcile your own homosexuality/same-sex attractions and Christianity, this movie will speak to you in your journey. Every Christian should see it to help us deal with the issues with which our fellow brothers and sisters struggle in the Church and those who struggle outside the Church.
A film about the issue of homosexuality and the impact it has on families must, to be real, express the raw emotions of misunderstanding and pain. That realistic expression makes this movie a bit intense for children. The film does not avoid the impact of living in a fallen world. However, this movie is not just for those who struggle with same-sex attractions or those with surrounding relationships. It is for anyone who desires forgiveness and to love more deeply. It is for those who hope for better relating in any broken relationship.
Chad Ahrendt created an excellent and impacting movie; one he will never regret. As a courageous telling of the truth and a willingness to look beyond what many deny, this movie has the potential to be a sneaker-blockbuster. Some may mock it, as they did Mel Gibson’s the Passion of The Christ movie. Remember, many mocked the Billy Graham Association, saying The Hiding Place was lame. However, both movies are timeless and continue to express powerful truths. Both movies are watched over and over and are becoming multi-generational. RECONCILIATION will join these two as one of my favorite Christian movies. Why? Because RECONCILIATION is truly redemptive. Yes, it is the story of reconciling a father to his son, but it speaks to the inner need of all us, the desire to be reconciled. I loved this movie and I will definitely see it again on the big screen, with friends and tissues.
Please join with me in supporting the message of RECONCILIATION and help bring it to the Big Screen in your community.
Watch the Trailer:
Fact: Barack Obama opposes and has promised to see all Defense of Marriage Acts overturned.
Fact: Barack Obama supports homosexual marriage ensuring that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits of natural traditional marriage are extended to same-sex couples. In addition, it will be illegal for you to preach against homosexuality.
Legalizing homosexual marriage will end the value of traditional marriage in America. How do I know?
The Homosexual Movement tries to paint an “Ozzie and Harriet” picture of the poor homosexual couple that wants to get married and raise a family. But what are the facts. We know because homosexual marriage is legal in the Netherlands and has been for some time. Surveys conducted in both America and the Netherlands show that there is no comparison between a “homosexual marriage” and a “heterosexual marriage.”
- In heterosexual marriage 90% of women and 80% of men surveyed have never cheated on their spouses. Contrast that with the fact that surveys show homosexuals in “committed” relationships have sex with eight other partners in an average year (the number of liaisons with each of those eight was not recorded).
- In heterosexual marriage, studies show that 70% of first marriages last at least 10 years while 57.7% last over 20 years. In homosexual marriage the average relationship lasts 18 months.
What homosexual marriage has done in Scandinavia is kill marriage in general. If the definition of marriage means you can have 8 extra marital partners a year and then change relationships altogether every 18 months, why bother to get married at all? And that is exactly what has happened in the Netherlands. Currently, in Scandinavia, 60% of first-born children now have unwed parents.
Is there a cost to society for not having a Mother and a Father in a home?
In America, single parent homes are 700% more likely to live in poverty while in our prisons, 70% of prisoners are from single parent homes. Just as the cell is the basic building block to the human body, the family has been the basic building block in America. If we destroy the family,America will not be far behind.
But even if a person didn’t care about our Nation and didn’t believe the Bible, if a person claims to have compassion for his fellow man, he would still oppose homosexuality.
Over the past 15 years, there have been many surveys trying to determine what percentage of the population in America was homosexual. Even liberal think tanks, such as the Guttmacher Institute, place that number at around 3% of the population. The percentage of sexually transmitted diseases, depression and suicide should be consistent with other population groups if homosexual behavior was a safe alternative. The evidence proves the opposite.
In 2003, the Centers for Disease Control reported that homosexual behavior was responsible for 60% of all HIV cases in America. A 2004 study on Gonorrhea revealed that 64% of all cases were the result of homosexual activity. When such a small percentage of the population is responsible for such a large percentage of STDs a question should be asked about the safety of that behavior.
An epidemiological study released in 1997 from data gathered over a five-year period in Vancouver, Canada, concluded that homosexual practitioners lost up to 20 years of life expectancy. If someone truly cared about the homosexual, this data should be cause for concern. By the way, we’ve heard the statement “what happens in my bedroom is my business.” Really? The Center for Disease Control reports that there were over 50,000 new HIV/Aids cases this past year. 99.3% of those are caused by behavior and 71% of all cases in men are the result of homosexuality. In November 2006, the Associated Press reported that the average additional health care cost associated with a person diagnosed with HIV is $618,000. Do the math.
Not only is there the tragedy of suffering and death associated with these terrible sexually transmitted diseases, but there is also the financial burden placed upon the rest of America. Almost $31 billion dollars incrementally added each and every year that must be absorbed by the medical industry either through the increased cost of health care or the increased cost of health insurance. In addition to the obvious structural damage that results from homosexual behavior, the list of medical diseases found with extraordinary frequency among male homosexual practitioners include anal cancer, HIV, herpes, gonorrhea, viral hepatitis B & C, syphilis, and genital warts. Along with the medical risk is an unusually high occurrence of mental disorders and illness among homosexuals. Research results in the October 2000 issue of the American Medical Associations Archives of General Psychiatry reported that homosexual youths were 600% more likely to commit suicide than their heterosexual peers. The excuse is made that suicides and mental illness among homosexuals is a result of bias or “homophobia” in America, but that myth has also been proven wrong. The Dutch are considered progressive in their sexuality and homosexual marriage is legal in the Netherlands yet, statistical results there are consistent with the statistics in America.
We in America have taken great care for the well being of our fellow man.
We require seat belts to be worn in order to save lives. Cigarette smoking is discouraged because of the increased risk of lung cancer. We even have limitations on vending machines in schools because of the danger of obesity. Yet, if someone dares raise a question about the obvious dangers associated with homosexual behavior, that person is labeled a homophobe. It is more loving to speak the truth in love than to placate those practicing self-destructive behavior.
Homosexuality is dangerous. Homosexuality is sinful. Homosexual marriage will destroy the very existence of the home in America. Never in the history of America is the traditional home facing the threat of extinction as it is today. Christians, we must take a right stand and cast our vote in defense of the sanctity of the Traditional Judeo-Christian Home. There are over 60 million “Evangelical” (political definition of professing believers with more traditional beliefs) Christians in America. We need a Spiritual Revolution and Awakening in America. If we wake up, pray up, show up and vote we can BEGIN to take a right stand for America.
Pastor Paul Blair speaks about the unconstitutional law prohibiting free speech for pastors and ministers concerning Biblical truth dealing with elections.
You can contact Pastor Paul Blair at:
1230 North Sooner Road
Edmond, Oklahoma 73034