"My Thoughts"

Monday, January 23, 2012

Courageous, the Movie; Review, Unrealistic!

Courageous, the Movie, Smarmy, unrealistic While I know many Christians found this movie to be top notch, I will have to respectfully disagree.

I found the overall premise of the movie good with believable acting and a powerful message, and for these reasons I think the movie is certainly watchable.

HOWEVER, and I am sad to say many movies of this Christian Genre also are often unrealistic, and this movie was no exception.
In fact since the message was very powerful and true, the unrealistic aspect of "Courageous" was all the more difficult to take.

I will also go a step further, that when movies such as "Courageous" with a true and powerful message paint an unrealistic picture, they can actually cause physiological harm (or worse).
What writers of this movie failed to realize is when you paint a picture of honor both paternal and Godly, and then show an outcome that sadly is often not the case, it leaves the door open for the "Evil One" to make those who have attempted to live just such life feel they have let God and others down.
In fact after watching this movie I had a horrible night of torment where in nightmares/visions I felt like a total failure. As well it brought back feelings of bitterness that I have long been working to give back to God (often by giving up even music that brings back such memories). The last thing I needed was an unrealistic movie to bring back these memories!!

What us missed is that we take these stands in life "to do the right thing" for God. I personally know the extreme pain of rejection and isolation that I struggle with to this day.
I personally know full well that we need to be "filled" by God, but God also made us not as robots, but beings that also need to be filled by others; See Genesis 2:18 "It is not good for the man to be alone".
So when unrealistic hopes are painted by a movie such as this it can cause self destructive pain for many and judgment by those who simply do not understand.

What am I referring to?

(1) When confronted with wrongs on the job, doing the "right thing" often does not end well as the movie portrays.
I know personally I confronted the owners son of our largest service contract for sexual harassment of an employee. What was the result? The loss of 40% of our business and worse this guy was vindictive and sought to harm my business further by calling others & convincing others to bail on us too.
For me I still feel I did the right thing, however friends, and worse my church questioned my wisdom of placing my family "second" (via a poor financial situation). Even after later moving to Oregon, this followed me here with an employer looking at this as a "failure" on my part.

The bottom line is this should be done for simply the correct reasons and then show what the likely real results will be.

(2) When praying for an answer to financial problems, opportunity rarely is going to jump out at you.
Again from my life it was quite the opposite; after moving to Oregon to protect my family, I was collecting cans and other recyclables early in the morning while walking down Rogue River Highway (in pray I might add) when an attendant at the Union 76 Station suddenly ran out after me calling me every #!@# name in the book and thinking he knew my life story.

(3)The Promise Keepers like scene at the end again was unrealistic.
I too made such "promises" and in fact went to a promise keepers rally in Los Angeles. When it came time to stand up and be a father and a husband after a severe episode of postpartum depression on my wife's part (which resulted in a very destructive affair that also harmed my daughter), chose to give up everything, home, business and more; yet where was my support or support for my family?
Not one person called with support, yet alone came by to see us off.
We literally left quietly 10 days prior Christmas with only business associates saying goodbye and showing any support.
The results of this move and lack of Christian support are still felt by our family to this day.

I could go on, but I think my point is made.

Now Compare Courageous to Schindler's List;

In Schindler's List, Oskar Schindler gave up much to do the "right thing", not everything turned out OK either, including him, as he died in poverty.
Not only is this a true story, it IS life and his reward is in heaven, not on earth!


I personally know of the extreme personal pain I still struggle with to this day.

I know of the pain of rejection by my Church in LA, and here in Grants Pass.

I know of the pain of rarely hearing a praise for my standing with others, doing the right thing, my testimony, or simply "your a Good Man Carl" (I am glad to know you, work with you, etc.).

I am constantly attacked on my job where I feel like a "recovering alcoholic bartender" that is not only good at his job (maybe the best), but cannot find anything else do to the rejection by his community and church that is doing the best he can to please God, yet I am in an environment where I am forced to face my struggles daily and am then told when this pain is often too much that I am practicing Idolatry by letting this hurt me (REALLY??) I do not think so, reference: Types of biblical idolatry
Yet this is the kind of judgment I still get (this person was/is an ardent supporter of the movie Courageous).

My family is and has been first (many have judged me for sticking around in the first place).
What I most if not all do not even understand is that I am in almost constant severe pain from neuropathy (for which I do not take the Codeine based pain killers out of fear of addiction, as well this gets better when I am away from the negativity and am feeling positive), I have given up flying (which I loved passionately), skiing (which I rarely talk about since this actually brings up even more pain than flying for reasons I will not go into), my businesses (PLURAL), music, and my home (only to move to a community that shows contempt for me as exemplified by a local Church and the Oregon DHS and supporters there of)
Reference: DHS, DCS, CPS; Oregon, LA, Children Protective Service Abuse of Authority

What does all this have to do with this movie? PLENTY as this movie brought out these feelings of rejection and also brought out judgment by others upon me.

While I know I should not desire a human "pat on the back" over one from God/Jesus, I also know from a complete in context reading of the Bible, God made us this way for a reason and it is not Idolatry or some other sin to feel hurt or simply pray and hope for God to remove the negativity and add a few positives to my life such as "your struggles have inspired me to try harder, give my life to Jesus, etc".

By Carl Strohmeyer of Grants Pass Oregon & founder of American Aquarium Products

My Bio and business resources:
*Carl Strohmeyer Bio
*American Aquarium Products

Labels: , , , , , , ,