The Social Shame of the Film, “Father Stu”

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The trailer for the film “Father Stu” declares that the movie “follows the Life of Father Stuart Long, a boxer-turned priest who inspired countless people during his journey from self-destruction to redemption.”

What the trailer fails to reveal is the pervasive profanity, from the opening scene to the final scene, and all the personal perversions of the main characters in the film, both prior to any alleged religious conversion experience, and afterwards.

The father of Stuart Long, played by Mel Gibson, and his mother, Kathleen Long, played by Jacki Weaver, and Father Stu himself, portrayed by Mark Wahlberg, take reprehensible gutter language to a new low in the general viewing film industry, even when artistic realism is allowed.

The utter filthiness of the graphic words used is beyond cinematic justification and can shock even the most jaded non-Christian. No parent should ever allow a child of any age to be subject to such verbal vileness, and no adult should ever speak that way, especially as a professing born again Christian, which Father Stu confesses to be.

The Bible teaches that when a person is truly converted, they are a new creature. “Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17).

Holy commandments are given to be obeyed. Holy conversation is to take place.

“Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers” (Eph. 4:29).

“But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth” (Col. 3:8).

While the virgin Mary is exalted in the movie in a vision, and then in a statue form, Jesus is not duly honored. Snide remarks are made about Christ, and about God the Father, that are unworthy of both. These comments are not just offensive, they are blasphemous.

It is wrong to use God language, and religious images and ideas, to communicate what is really a secular religion of humanism. The “redemption” conveyed in the film is not from sin to salvation through faith in Jesus Christ the Lord. It is a “redemption” designed to make the consequences of inappropriate decisions stop hurting, not for God’s glory, not in sorrow for sin, but for self-centered comfort, and peace of mind.

While the movie does have some cute moments, flashes of clever dialogue, and several heart tugging  themes relating to unexpected physical suffering, and premature death, everything is ruined by the intensity of injurious behavior as one crisis follows the next without relief.

The film is filled with blood, violence, stolen virtue, arrogant self-centeredness, mean-spiritedness, slobbering drunkenness, and chronic alcoholism, tempered by moments of self-awareness and spiritual discovery. The thematic assault on the Catholic Church in general, and Christians in particular, is not lost in the depths of depravity on display.

This is not a family film. This is not a Christian film. This is not a theatrical work that has any social value. This is not a film that brings honor and glory to Jesus Christ, or any born again Christian. This is a film which covers the name of the Savior in shame.

It is possible that the real Father Stuart Long has been mischaracterized. There is indication that he was able to help many people find personal comfort prior to his early death at age 50. What is certain is that the hatred and hostility of Hollywood towards Christianity is a constant theme in this movie. Mel Gibson, Jackie Weaver, and Mark Wahlberg have produced a film without honesty about true Christianity. The film is without honor.

Mark Wahlberg says Mel Gibson inspired him to spend millions on “Father Stu”. Such investments have given rise to the popular saying, “The fool and his money are soon parted” (Thomas Tusser, 1557).

Christian, keep your money, and forsake “Father Stu”. It is a work of indisputable iniquity.

“Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven. 22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matt. 7:21-23).

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