By Jocelyn Andersen
According to one source, churchgoers made the Christian drama Courageous, produced by Sherwood pictures, No. 1 on DVD in January of 2012.
I just watched the movie.
I was not moved to tears because of the movie’s emotional appeal, which was remarkable. I was not moved to tears because of a father’s grief over losing his daughter and his regrets over all he had missed with her and over what he perceived as his failures as a father, although his grief and regret were legitimate and truly touching. I did not cry because of Javier’s courage in doing what was right on his job which resulted in a promotion and was in fact heroic on his part considering the awful pressure he was under to provide for his family without his wife's help.
I cried because men were being depicted as heroic for stepping up to the plate and committing to become involved (as they should have been already) in family matters.
I cried because the decision for fathers to become more involved with their families was depicted as extraordinary, above and beyond, and worthy of ceremony. I cried because the commitment depicted, in this movie, was for fathers to not only become more involved with their families, but become the family kyrios (lord) as well.
I did not cry because of the emphasis placed on the importance of fathers in the healthy development of children—I totally agree with that—but rather that the importance of fathers was made to appear far more critical in the family balance than that of mothers. Rather than stressing the immeasurable importance of both parents working together equally to raise children into emotionally healthy, responsible adults, statistics were quoted emphasizing the importance of fathers only while mothers who struggle to raise children without fathers were given a weak, marginalizing, honorable mention along with a pitiful, condescending, “but they’re doing the best they can.”
I cried because the movie depicted wives and mothers as utterly dependent, to the point of possible starvation and homelessnes, on the abilities of a husband to provide for them and their children. The movie made no allowance for the fact that God can and does provide for families through the efforts of wives and mothers as well as through husbands and fathers.
I cried because women were told, through the male characters, that divorce was not an option no matter what they were forced to endure. I cried because it was falsely claimed that people do not fight for their marriages. That is simply not true. The scene was of men responding to the fact of a divorce caused by a father's infidelity. The father was kindly described as having "learned" from his mistake while the mother was subliminally blamed for the break-up of that family by divorcing her unfaithful spouse.
|The Purity Ball: Another popular trend in the "Father Cult"|
I cried because, though fathers were depicted in the movie as calling out their sons to manhood (lordship), daughter’s were depicted as never achieving autonomous adulthood, but rather covenanting with fathers to accept their father’s lordship, not only as minors but into adulthood as well where daughters agree that they will not date or marry anyone without father’s approval. In the movie, that covenant is sealed between father and daughter with a ring along with a promise from the daughter to remain under the father’s authority and “protection” until he, in the father’s own words, “gives her away” to her next kyrios. The daughter was for all intents and purposes married to her father until he passed her on, by marriage contract, to her next kyrios. This tradition has nothing to do with biblical Christianity but comes straight out of the “Family Cults” of ancient Athens Greece, where the father was the legal head of the family cult and kyrios (lord) over all females in his household no matter what their ages.
I cried because this movie is promoting the pagan “Father Cult” to Christians and claiming that it is biblical, which it is not.
In the movie, Courageous, a destructive and unbiblical ideology sugar-coats the power complementarianism bestows upon men, depicting husbands and fathers with a god-like control over their families acting without selfish ego or impure motives. This is not only unbiblical, false, and dangerous, but pure propaganda.
In the movie, simply doing one’s duty, if one happens to be male, is depicted as being amazing, godlike, and heroic.
Whatever happened to humility and simple obedience to Christ in loving the LORD our God with all our hearts, souls, and minds, loving our neighbors as ourselves (that would certainly apply spouses and children as well), and saying, like Jesus commanded us to, that in doing so, “We are unprofitable servants in that we have only done that which is our duty to do?”