If you have been thinking about watching it, don’t. Machine gun preacher is entertaining, but not God-honoring.
Based on a true story, Sam Childers, was drug addicted, booze loving member of a motor cycle gang that had done some hard time. After getting out of the slammer, he comes home to a changed wife, Lynn, who had gotten saved and cleaned up her act. Eventually, Sam comes around, or so it would seem, gets baptized, then before you know it, is off in Africa playing hero. Sounds like a great story, right? Well, not quite…
There are two big problems I have with this movie that would like to touch upon, the more smaller ones I will leave for you to discover if you decide to watch it.
First, it portrays both God and the church as weak, impotent, and incompetent. This truly did frustrate me, I had such high hopes for this movie. The Christian people in the movie, except the main character, if we can call him a Christian, were portrayed as gun shy, don’t-hurt-the-butterflies type of extremely naive people. And in the end, God was not ‘able’ to save Sam’s friend…and so Sam got fed up and ‘walked out’ on God. But continued to work in Sudan as a orphanage building gun-slinger.
Secondly, if you take a good hard look at Sam Childers in the movie, it very clearly comes across to me that he is trying to earn his salvation. His best friend, Donnie, asks him on the phone if he thought that God would really forgive them for all they have done. Sam never gives an answer, in the movie at least. But there are many subtle clues that indicate to me that he was trying to earn his salvation; his neglect of his family, a lack of praying to God or trusting in Him to provide and protect for example. I think even the bad preaching, where Childers says that God wants wolves instead of sheep might point in this direction…not sure what part of Scripture he found that in, but it all gives a very wrong impression to people about what Christianity is like. I do not recommend this movie for anyone, saved or unsaved. I do not know how accurate this movie was and I can only hope that it is not so.
I apologize for this being such a short review, but I encourage you to do some digging on your own before you watch it. I will provide a link below so that you can read the reviews of his book on Amazon. Keep in mind to take everything with a grain of salt, but it may prove helpful.
I would like to make sure that I do not want to discredit Sam Childers himself, and hope that I have not been too harsh. I have done some more digging myself, and it seems that the movie was incredibly inaccurate. I of course do not recommend the movie, but in regards to Sam Childers himself, I will of course extend the benefit of the doubt and love, and hope that my negative review of the movie does not do discredit him on his part. From an interview I am reading, and will post below, the movie is incredibly inaccurate. Chalk up another one for Hollywood 😦