A new faith-based movie called The Song will open in theaters around the country tomorrow. I have watched this film twice to make sure I am giving an accurate and fair review. Two others from our ministry have watched it once, and we have discussed the film together. This review is a composite of our thoughts.
The Song is a modern parable about a man searching for love and meaning that very loosely parallels the life of Solomon and a small portion of the life of King David. Verses from the Song of Solomon and especially from Ecclesiastes are quoted throughout the movie.
The plot, which is often music-driven, is the story of Jed King (Alan Powell), the son of the late country singer David King. Jed tries to make it as a singer/songwriter in his own right, but to no avail. A man of faith, he meets, falls in love with, and marries Rose Jordan (Ali Faulkner), a sweet, beautiful woman of faith. He promises her dad never to be a moral failure like his father.
With his love for Rose, Jed finds new inspiration and finally becomes a huge success. Soon fame, fortune, and a pretty vixen of a woman named Shelby Bale (Caitlin Nicol-Thomas) change all that. Jed lives for pleasure and forgets God. I will not spoil the movie for potential viewers by revealing any more. However, I will tell you that this is a story of redemption, and it ends well. Be sure to stay for the credits, because one of the best scenes follows.
Overall, The Song has a great and powerful message. The cinematography and scenery are lush, the acting flawless, and the music professionally performed (except when Powell belts it out a few times and drifts off key).
The producers seem proud to call the film a sexy Christian film. As a book of the Bible, the Song of Solomon has the same reputation. It presents the pure, beautiful relationship of a man and his bride – symbolic of the pure, intimate relationship of Christ to His church.
In The Song, the love relationship between the husband and wife at the beginning is pure and good. I like the way the film portrays pure love as exciting and beautiful, just as God planned it. There is no nudity, but the suggestion of it in one scene combined with the physical closeness of the actors may be a little over the top and could make some viewers, both young and old, uncomfortable.
From there on, The Song presents a great message polluted by content (drugs, alcohol, illicit sex, and a small amount of violence). I realize some content is necessary to portray, in a way our culture will understand, the ugliness of sin and the devastation it causes. However, the movie spends too much time on sin and not enough on redemption. The film does a great job of portraying the reality of sin as ugly, dirty, and distasteful – even sickening – but a little of that goes a long way.
The producers of The Song tout it as a movie that will save marriages, but I don’t see how that will happen with the movie alone. For instance, a person could decide to try living like Jed did, knowing that Jed found it empty, but decide he (or she) could receive forgiveness in the end if sin didn’t satisfy. I don’t think the movie presents this idea, but someone determined to live for self could come to the conclusion “I can do what I want and ask for forgiveness later.”
On the other hand, a person in the middle of an extramarital relationship might feel convicted by the movie and repent. I am a firm believer in the power of Scripture to change lives, and I know the verses quoted throughout the film will not return void but will accomplish what God desires (Isaiah 55:11). Extra study materials are available to supplement the film for couples and church groups. I haven’t seen the materials, but I assume they would help couples understand biblical marriage and apply God’s principles to their relationships.
Compared to secular movies, television, and other entertainment, the portrayal of sin in The Song is very tame. However, as Christians, we dare not compare ourselves or our works with those of the world. Our standard is the Word of God, and God’s call to holiness should be our inspiration.
What does God’s Word say about exposure to evil? One verse that immediately comes to mind is Psalm 101:3-4:
I will set no worthless thing before my eyes; I hate the work of those who fall away; It shall not fasten its grip on me.
A perverse heart shall depart from me; I will know no evil (NASB).
Also Ephesians 5:11–13:
Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them; for it is disgraceful even to speak of the things which are done by them in secret. But all things become visible when they are exposed by the light, for everything that becomes visible is light (NASB).
If we are not even to speak of the evil things done in secret, should we be watching them on screen? Things we see with our eyes stick with us longer than things we hear. Some scenes from life and film never fade from our memories. If something is set to music, it’s seared into our brains – the reason most of us can sing along with commercials or can learn the words to songs we hear without trying to memorize them.
So how do we find a balance and where do we draw the line when faith-based entertainment portrays evil in a realistic way? Heritage of Truth believes that, although The Song has a fantastic, biblical message, it carries the portrayal of evil a bit too far and spends too much time on it. If that portrayal had been toned down, we could have recommended this movie without reservation. We believe The Song will have a good impact on many people, but we must warn our audience about the content. I definitely would not recommend it for immature teens or children.
The main message of The Song is that true redemption and freedom doesn’t come from fame, fortune, or self-indulgence. It comes only through accepting the love and hope that God has given us in His only Son Jesus Christ. We pray that this is the message moviegoers receive from The Song.
Jeanne Dennis, HeritageofTruth.com
As our population ages, many of us have elderly parents to care for. Some of them still may not know Jesus. We need to do what we can to share the gospel with these dear ones before their fate is forever sealed. I believe that, even where dementia is involved, God can provide a moment of clarity and give people the opportunity to respond to the gospel. The Bible tells us God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9). We need to rest in that promise and do all we can to show these elderly loved ones the love of Christ.
Today, my longtime friend and fellow author Nancy Parker Brummett is our guest blogger. Her work with the elderly has given her valuable insights to share with us.
Aging Well with the Hope of Glory
A sociology textbook from the 1980s described aging as “a senseless slipping into nothingness.” As chilling as that definition is, it’s true for many in our aging population.
When I go into any care facility, I soon realize which of the residents I pass in the hall are still alive in a spiritual sense, and which have abandoned all hope and are waiting to slip into nothingness.
The Difference a Relationship with Jesus Makes
Those who know the Lord and know that He knows and sees them, have a light in their eyes the others don’t possess. They often have a smile on their face for all they meet, and a figurative, if not literal, bounce intheir step. They are living out Colossians 1:27: Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Those without hope stare blankly from lifeless eyes, and seem to wish they were anywhere but where they are. Living a life of faith makes a difference in older adults in several key ways:
- First, a difference in attitude: Elders with the hope of glory know they are only passing through this world on the way to heaven. Rather than being surprised that they are so old, they realize old age is a privilege not granted to everyone, and so they deal with the changes and the loss, the aches and the pains, with a sense of humor and a positive outlook—knowing each day brings them closer to their one true home in heaven.
- Second, a difference in processing grief: Certainly even believers grieve, but we don’t have to grieve like those who have no hope as it says in 1 Thessalonians 4:13. In classes where I volunteer, I’ve heard older people share experiences of loss and grief that truly take my breath away. Yet they survived. They not only survived, they allowed their grief to become “good grief” as it left them more dependent than ever on God and His saving grace. Aging well will always include learning how to grieve well. One simply can’t do that without faith.
- Third, a difference in facing temptations: I wrote a lesson for The Hope of Glory titled “Temptations Never Cease.” As I left for the class where I would share it, I questioned my choice of subject matter. Surely, I thought, people this age don’t still grapple with temptation. I was wrong. That morning we had the liveliest discussion ever, as one resident after another talked about the temptation to worry, to stay stuck in a routine, or to grumble about everything from the weather to the cold coffee at breakfast. Many temptations accompany aging, and they can only be overcome through the power of the Holy Spirit that indwells those with faith in Jesus Christ.
- Fourth, a difference in the ability to forgive: As we age, it’s possible to accumulate a long list of grudges, regrets, and even sins. Holding on to any of these things, without forgiving ourselves and others, impedes our ability to age gracefully and well. Older adults with faith have learned to depend on God’s promises from the Bible, and to accept that we are to forgive ourselves and others as He has forgiven us. A spirit of forgiveness is especially beautiful shining from old eyes.
All of us have experienced the feeling of invisibility. That no one sees us. No one cares. The opportunities for feeling invisible increase tenfold as we age. None of us wants to see the elders we love slipping into nothingness. Rather, we want to fill them with the sense of holy purpose God has for them. To gather them together to share in relationship with one another, to laugh, and to hug. To help them choose life as long as they are living—to choose joy over sorrow—and the hope of glory over hopelessness. With God’s help, we can encourage them to live out the remainder of their days with a sustaining, life-giving faith.
Nancy Parker Brummett is an author who now focuses her writing and speaking ministries on her passion for older adults and those who care for them. Her latest book, The Hope of Glory: A Devotional Guide for Older Adults, contains 57 lessons designed for seniors 65 and older, group classes in care facilities and churches, or for meaningful one-to-one visits with older adults. It is available from Amazon.com. To learn more about Nancy’s life and work, visit www.nancyparkerbrummett.com.