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Church produced film 'Courageous' lights up box office on opening weekend
Produced by a Georgia church, “Courageous” opened in the number four slot last weekend.
October 4th, 2011
09:05 AM ET

Church produced film 'Courageous' lights up box office on opening weekend

By Gabe LaMonica, CNN

(CNN)– A Baptist church in Albany, Georgia, is getting Hollywood's attention - the church, Sherwood Baptist, has developed a movie-production operation, and its latest offering opened last weekend as the Number Four top money-grossing film in the country.

The Christian-themed film, "Courageous," was developed in connection with TriStar, Sony, and Provident Films. It is meant to inspire fathers to not leave their families, to love their children, to not fail.

"Courageous," which opened in just 1,161 theaters this past weekend, depicts four police officers who share a commonality both as fathers and in their effort to become better ones. The movie and its characters, played by amateur actors and members of Sherwood Baptist are enveloped in various ways in a devastating tragedy.

According to boxoffice.com, which tracks movie response nationwide, put "Courageous" at the fourth position for the weekend with gross revenues of just over $9 million. The fifth- and sixth-place movies ("50/50" and "Dreamhouse") both opened at far more theaters but did not come close to the weekend box-office income of "Courageous."

"Courageous" takes on a timely topic - fatherhood.

The National Fatherhood Initiative, an organization dedicated to "educating and engaging fathers across the country," lists wide-ranging adverse affects that correlate to children growing up in fatherless households. Fatherless households are common in the United States, and there is no causal evidence linking fatherless households to increased suicide rates, incarcerations, aggression, behavioral disorders, delinquency, criminal activity, confused identities, low achievement, and criminal activity.

But the correlating evidence is so strong that in a country where the most recent census lists 24 million children - one in three - living apart from their biological fathers, it is remiss to discount it.

"No matter what your scenario is - you're single or married or whatnot - we want to really inspire and encourage men to see the value of their role as a dad," says Alex Kendrick, the co-writer, director, and actor who plays the character Adam Mitchell in "Courageous."

Kendrick, who co-writes with his brother Steven, says, "The reason we put it in a law enforcement setting was that, as you know, a motto from law enforcement is to serve and protect, and then we drew a correlation to what a father is supposed to do."

"We drew that correlation and said, 'Wouldn't it be interesting if we put this in the context of police officers who are also dads, and they may be heroic on the streets but it also takes courage to be a great dad - not just a good enough dad.'"

Ken Bevel, who plays Nathan Hayes, a sheriffs' deputy in the film, says that everyone has a dad and can relate to a fatherhood story. "We just pray that this movie resonates in the hearts of men and women and families across the globe," he says.

"If you go to Sherwood (Baptist Church) on any given day you will see a bunch of people that are in the movie," says Bevel, who played Kirk Cameron's fellow firefighter in "Fireproof," the last film from Sherwood Pictures.

"Our desire is not to become the next movie-making sensation or to make millions and millions of dollars at the box office," he says, "our desire is to see hearts changed and families touched."

Kendrick's character, Adam Mitchell, makes a general statement over grilled steaks to his fellow officers in the movie: "Half of the fathers in this country are already failing," he says, "and I don't want to be one of them."

The Christians at Sherwood Baptist Church, says Kendrick, "want especially men to walk out of the movie theater saying, "This movie makes me want to be a better dad and really a better man as a model and mentor to my children.'"

"You will see a difference and it will make a difference in our culture," he says.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church • Georgia • Movies • United States

soundoff (1,517 Responses)
  1. hippypoet

    may the ALMIGHTY SUN shine a light on the ignorant fools in the world, they know not what they do. May the warmth of the ALMIGHTY SUN be upon them..

    October 4, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
  2. hippypoet

    may the ALMIGHTY SUN shine a light on the ignorant fools in the world, they know not what they do. May the warmth of the ALMIGHTY SUN be upon them.

    October 4, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • Republicans for Voldemort

      No, no, not the sun. I'm meltinnnnggggg.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • 500 Questions

      All hail Ra, god of the sun! May he shine on us all!

      October 4, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
  3. Bravomom

    I am a Christian. I saw the movie. I loved the movie. I would say before knocking it, give it a try first. There was wonderful messages in the movie aimed to fathers, mothers, mentors, brothers, sisters, teachers. It is one of those kick in the pants movies with some great reminders. My family lost a beloved family member last year, he was so very young, not even out of his teens...one of the greatest messages of the film reminds us never to take our loved ones for granted because tomorrow is not guaranteed.. As Christians, there is a pleasure for us sharing the word, but you don't have to be a Christian to enjoy or be touched by the message this film offers.(And for as much emotional parts to the film, they really did find a good balance of humor and action as well)

    October 4, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • Republicans for Voldemort

      Pump it up, pump it up. Go team.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • GodPot

      "I would say before knocking it, give it a try first." The same can be said of atheism, it's just most kids never get the chance before some peer is stuffing them full of doctrine.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
  4. Triple A

    Heheh, Hollywood can make movies of the most horrible, evil, gross, and pervrted plots and the Left lap it up. Let a church make a movie and the Left launch a hate campaigne. America at its' greatest.

    October 4, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • squiggy

      And the Religious Right are supposed to be the ones that are close-minded? I don't think so.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • GodPot

      Thats because the Church is "the most horrible, evil, gross, and pervrted plots" and just uses peace, love, happiness and redemption in movies like this as a cover for their financial gain.

      Oh, and by the way, when Hollywood makes a movie they at least let you know up front that they are in it for the money and are trying to give the largest audience what they want, which is usually "horrible, evil, gross and perverted plots". And if 2/3 of Americans claim to be Christian then who exactly is voting with their dollars and getting these "evil" movies made? Hmmmm?

      October 4, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
    • Scott - other

      That’s right, it’s those evil lefties. Not like the warm and supporting what the Christian community embraced Harry Potter

      October 4, 2011 at 9:48 pm |
  5. Reality

    Summarizing Parts I, II and III of Courageous with a Power Point Slide: (see Parts II and III on p. 1 and p. 2.)

    SAVING 2 BILLION LOST CHRISTIANS:
    THERE WERE NEVER ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS AND THERE WILL NEVER BE ANY BODILY RESURRECTIONS I.E. NO EASTER, NO CHRISTIANITY.

    SAVING 15.5 MILLION FOLLOWERS OF JUDAISM:
    ABRAHAM AND MOSES PROBABLY NEVER EXISTED.

    Added details upon request.

    October 4, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • squiggy

      Wow! Who are you and how can I follow you? You have persuaded me in my inane thinking to change from what I know is true to something that makes no sense just by posting here on CNN.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • Reality

      Courageous – Part II (from p. 1)

      Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection/Easter Con/Disease:

      From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15 St. Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

      Even now Catholic/Christian professors of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

      To wit;

      From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

      "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
      Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

      Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

      Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

      The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

      Only Luke's Gospel records it. The Assumption ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

      "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."
      http://eternal-word.com/library/PAPALDOC/JP2HEAVN.HTM

      The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

      With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

      An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,

      p.4

      "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

      p.168. by Ted Peters:

      Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

      So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

      October 5, 2011 at 7:54 am |
  6. Mario

    The film is incredibly offensive. A father acting as if his daughter's soul and body are his property to give away, that's insulting to women. Painting African American boys without fathers as thugs, that's racist. I'm not really surprised by how idiotic these films tend to be considering the idiots that make them and having a token Latino character that's portrayed as both a racial stereotype and a moron aren't cute, it's offensive.

    October 4, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • squiggy

      Did you actually go see the movie or are you regurgitating what you read somewhere?

      October 4, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
    • yomamayo

      u have a very hard heart

      October 4, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
  7. hippypoet

    how a dad should raise there kid is completely a cultural issue and can't be sumed up to a movie. sry folks if this movie is to show dads how to be a dad then that dad is a waste of time as a human no matter being a father – if the wife or whatever is still there then she should get those kids away of him.

    October 4, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • GodPot

      Someday, hopefully, religious indoctrination before a child is 18 will be called what it is, ideological statutory r a p e. Once children reach 18 they should then learn all they want about magical beings and imaginary sky fathers and pick one for themselves if they like. Odd's of as many choosing the same religion as they do now? 0. Odd's many would choose atheism or at least agnosticism? Likely very high.

      But before 18, keep your God's hands off my childs most private part, her brain.

      October 4, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
  8. Terry

    How does it work for Mormons who have multiple wives, and of course multiple children? How do people interpret these different bibles and bible stories? I guess if your father left home, and you became famous, rich, or both, that was a fluke. MLB, the NFL, the NBA, and Professional Soccer have a whole bunch of flukes.

    October 4, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • TheCaptain

      Your sarcastic generalization is poorly received.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
    • Republicans for Voldemort

      Hey, let's keep the Mormon remarks down, team. We don't want the voters to question Romney too much.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
    • Matt

      If becoming rich/famous is your goal then you've already missed the point. If your kid becoming rich/famous is your goal then you are setting THEM up to miss the point.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
    • Republicans for Voldemort

      If you're not rich and famous, we don't care about your point.

      October 4, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
  9. iowajohnbirchsociety

    Is this one of those "Christian" movies like 'Genesis Code' and 'Soul Surfer', that doesn't have Jesus? Or does this one have the Gospel message?

    October 4, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • TheCaptain

      This is a very Christian movie developed by a church that keeps none of the profits for personal gain. Any money they make goes back into the Ministry or missions work.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • hilreal

      I am sure the minister works for free and they are paying taxes on all this profit.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • Republicans for Voldemort

      Never show them clues about our accounting. NEVER.

      October 4, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
  10. Punjab83

    Before I read the article, I figured that Pixar picked up the production seeing how it is a story based on a fairy tale. However I was wrong... and further it was wrong for me to judge so quickly.

    October 4, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
  11. Cyle in Dublin

    I'm an father to two wonderful kids and I am an atheist. One of the best fathers I know is a Muslim. Most deadbeat dads, including my own biological donor, would label themselves a christian. Christian mythology provides a few examples of bad fatherhood. God commanded Abraham to kill his son as a "test of faith". Exodus 21:7-8 How to sell your daughter and what to do with her when she disobeys. And instead of simply forgiving humanity for our collective sins, god impregnates another man's wife so that his son can be tortured to "death".

    October 4, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • right

      glad to hear u are a great dad, not sure where you are going by misquoting scriptures. if you are muslim say so,u don't need to hide behind a facade.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • Cyle in Dublin

      @Right... I'm an atheist. I do not believe in anyone's mythological magical fairy beings

      Genesis 22:2 Then God said, "Take your son, your only son, Isaac, whom you love, and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on one of the mountains I will tell you about."

      Exodus 21:7 And if a man sell his daughter to be a maidservant, she shall not go out as the menservants do.
      Exodus 21:8 If she please not her master, who hath betrothed her to himself, then shall he let her be redeemed: to sell her unto a strange nation he shall have no power, seeing he hath dealt deceitfully with her.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • tom

      It's appropriate that Agnostic means "with out knowledge" in Greek. I always love how you Agnostic's all go on to praise ONE person you knew that was Muslim that was a good father and one you knew that was Christian that wasn't. As if that means anything. There are 2.5 Billion Christians. The fact is YOUR father wasn't a good father and CALLED himself a Christian, and that skews your view of the world and Christians. Tell me if he WAS a Christian, what did he do, as commanded by scripture that was bad as a parent. You and I know, that he wasn't following scripture, so it wasn't Christianity you have a problem with, but it's you DAD you have a problem with. Be clear for once in your life!!!

      October 4, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • Joao Araujo

      One of my best friends is Muslin, and also some of the worst people I met are Muslin.
      I have a good Atheist friend, and also know a bad husband atheist.
      So, what that has to do with all Muslims, or all Atheists ?!!! exactly nothing.
      Just because your father beat you up and call himself a Christian it does not mean every christian does the same.
      Anybody can call himself whatever he/she wants.
      As for the bible quotes, it is clear you never read it.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • Lettuce Prey

      @right, no one is hiding, and here's a quote for you:

      God said to Abraham "Kill me a son."
      Abe said "Man, you must be putting me on!"
      God said "No."
      Abe said "What?"
      God said "You can do what you want to, but
      the next time you see me coming, you better run."
      Abe said "Where you want this killing done?"
      God said "Out on Highway 61."

      Bob Dylan

      October 4, 2011 at 6:56 pm |
    • Cyle in Dublin

      To be fair, I should have said that it does not take a religion to make a good father. Men can be good fathers or bad fathers regardless of what they believe to be true in their lives.

      All that is needed is to love our children, raise them to be good people, and teach them how to properly behave in our society, No religion necessary.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:57 pm |
  12. do as you know you should and all will be well

    be kind and others will be kind to you. not ! people are not nice in the least. do what you know is right to do and most things should be fine. being a good father is more important now then ever with all these insanely religious people everywhere preaching hate, its time for real humans to spread peace. the hippy movement teaches that all people can be happy as long as we are understanding, thats what is really means to be a parent – understanding.

    October 4, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • Amused

      I agree completely! It is completely unnecessary to "worship" and "fear" a non-existant invisible being in order to understand why we should be good parents and good examples to our children and to treat others with love and respect regardless of who they are or what they believe in.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • Cyle in Dublin

      R'amen... ~~(FSM)~~

      October 4, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
  13. rocky

    The movie is very relevant for our generation and I hope Sherwood keeps producing movies of this type. I hope they nerver go out of business.

    October 4, 2011 at 6:07 pm |
    • hilreal

      The only people who go to movies like this are the ones who don't need it. Do you really think the father of 10 illegitemate children by 4 wives is going to leave his football game to catch this flick?

      October 4, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
  14. me me me

    My single mother was an awesome parent and I never remotely felt the lack of not having a father around. SIngle parents do twice the work and get four times the criticism from outdated moralists who insist every family has to be identical. Thanks Mom, you did more than enough of an awesome job of both parents and no one has the right to say I lacked a thing.

    October 4, 2011 at 6:02 pm |
    • Nyghtowl

      I wonder daily why so many people in this country are so threatened by faith, God, religion and moral ideals. It is as though they have been programmed to believe that any time a person speaks of "morals" or "God" or a "greater good" it is some sort of backhanded judgment of them. My understanding of God is not that he seeks to label people as "good" or "evil", as "follower" or "sinner" but that He just wants people to live selfless, loving lives. I know a great many people use religion and religious beliefs as a justification for hating, judging, and lecturing, but that doesn't mean that religion or being faithful is what that is about. Encouraging men to be good fathers doesn't mean that children who were raised by single mothers are inferior in some way. But the fact is, involvement of two loving, caring, dedicated parents in a child's life increases the chances that the child will grow up to be a well-adjusted, contributing member of society. Stop seeing everything that encouraging righteousness as a slam on how you live.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • Todd

      It's great that your mother did a fine job raising you, and a shame your father didn't...he's the one who failed.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • Mary

      Nyghtowl, the problem is that you are conflating morals and god, by wrapping them together . One can have morals without belief in god, and in fact many of us do. Most of what most people would state as their morals are quite independent of any god, and independent of the Christian bible, for example; they stem from much earlier origins than the bible and from just mutual agreement and an understanding of how to get along. No god required.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • yomamayo

      u r in denial

      October 4, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • Patrick

      Nyghtowl,

      Do you think having three loving, caring, dedicated parents in a child's life would be better than two?
      Would four be better than three?
      Where do we stop, and why?

      October 4, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • Lettuce Prey

      @me me me, THANK YOU! I raised a son as a single mother, and he's become a really good man. He's never been a criminal, he's kind and generous, warm and funny, smart and caring. He has thanked me the same as you just thanked your own mother for being a wonderful, loving parent. Good for you!

      October 4, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
  15. NoOn8

    I hope this company goes out of business soon. No movie is going to make a man a better dad. Let's get men to stay in a bad marriage and make them and their spouses unhappy and create messed up kids. What's next, movies trying to tell women not to have abortions because it's against gods will? Keep your religion in your church where it belongs and out of the public.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:55 pm |
    • TheThinker

      We can say whatever we want.

      Remember the First Amendment???

      [Nelson's voice]
      Haa haa!

      October 4, 2011 at 6:00 pm |
    • leslie

      and people wonder why we have a messed up country......people would rather watch movies that depict violence and bad morals than a film with a positive message to strive for the best!

      October 4, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • Terri

      Our religion can be public. That is a RIGHT in this country! Your RIGHT is not to see it if you so choose. Can I get an AMEN???

      October 4, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • Terri

      Our religion can be public. That is a RIGHT in this country! Your RIGHT is not to see it if you so choose. Can I get an AMEN?

      October 4, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • Mary

      leslie, it's called excitement. You don't get much of it.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
    • Reason

      1. Not all marriages are horrible. People who think otherwise tend to get divorced regardless of outside influence.
      2. I don't think there's such a thing as a perfectly functional family — so kids are going to be "messed up" whether the parents are good or not (and abortion doesn't have to enter into every religious discussion unless someone unhealthily obsessed with one side or the other brings it up).
      3. Anything can inspire someone to be a better person, whether it be a better parent, a healthier person, a more ambitious person, etc. It could be a song, a sunset, a smell, an experience, or, yes, even a movie. You are correct that a movie can't MAKE anyone be a better parent, but it can spur someone to think about their life. Whether it has a religious source or not.

      So, considering the above, your argument is...what? That kids are better off with one parent than two? That those who try to improve their lives and the lives of others are foolish, mindless, bad people?

      October 4, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • Cyle in Dublin

      We cannot stop xtians from making their movies. It is a right of free speech. But we can point and laugh at those who believe in an ancient mesopotamian sheep diety who lives in the sky. Their own personal imaginary friend who knows everything they think and feel. Someday they will realize that the same reason they reject every other diety that has ever been worshipped on this planet, is the reason atheists reject theirs.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • when

      No on 8. Have you seen the movie? Do you even know what you're talking about? Ever heard of Freedom of Speech? You should think before you post. Everyone has a right to express their opinion. In case you haven't heard, that's what a BLOG is! You sound bossy and controlling. This is a belief blog, ya' know? Rather than to impose your insecurities on others, why not go to a non-belief blog and spew your hate there?

      October 4, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • steveinmo

      And why shouldn't a movie with that message be allowed NoOn8? You're free to make all the movies with the filth that's corrupted this society, but you're saying movies about decency aren't appropriate or shouldn't be allowed? What does this say about the REAL mindset of all those progressives claiming to be for liberty?.

      You're free NOT to see the movie if you don't want, and you're also free to leave this site and this country if you don't like it.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:26 pm |
    • stickityplickity

      And, of course, NoOn8 will never respond intelligently to any of these remarks because it is simply a cowardly troll that likes to cause trouble, hear its own anonymous voice and then run away.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • Lettuce Prey

      @NoOn8, no one is being forced to buy a ticket and see this movie. Sheesh!

      October 4, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
    • Les

      @Terri

      The US gives you a personal right to free speech. Your religion tells you to pray in private and not make a public display of it as the Pharisees did. Period. If someone offends you, you are to shake the dust from your feet and walk away. If you are a woman, you must be SILENT in the churches and NEVER teach men. And, you are commanded by Jesus to OBEY your husbands. You must NEVER take anyone to court. You MUST turn the other cheek always. The list goes on and on. So I would suggest you and all the other pretend Xtians waddle off and practice your religion as it was intended to be practiced.

      . Making films with money that should have been spent on the poor is NOT biblical. And the real everyday crimes of the church dabbling in commercial enterprises and politics should be dealt with by the arrest and incarceration of the pastors that practice it and denial of non-profit status to the churches complacent in the crime.

      The ugliness in the movie, is its portrayal of the NECESSITY of a father as a guiding influence in a family. That premise is based on questionable research and is by itself a complete lie. That is the problem with the movie. Period.

      October 4, 2011 at 8:04 pm |
  16. 500 Questions

    If God REALLY loved children, He wouldn't cause 10 million of them to suffer and die each year. No offense to God, but He labels me as "evil" and even I wouldn't consider doing those things to kids. If God fails to protect our most innocent from the most evil, what hope is there for us???

    http://500questions.wordpress.com/2011/06/05/17-why-does-god-allow-children-to-suffer-and-die/

    October 4, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • TheThinker

      Friend, you need to understand what God is. God is the Creator, who has revealed Himself through the Bible at least, and perhaps through the Koran and other religions as well. As far as wars, pestilence, hunger, and other problems that are caused by people, well, that's our fault. And while the sadest thing on earth is a sick child, God has given us the means to research cures.
      Sorry, but this "God wouldn't allow suffering" notion has no basis in the Bible. I don't think it makes much logical sense either. (Just sayin.)

      October 4, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • leslie

      it's called sin, it's in this world and God doesn't control us like robots...he gives people free will

      October 4, 2011 at 6:04 pm |
    • dont blame God

      It is not God that causes the death of children. It is the sick,evil, greedy hearts of men.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
    • 500 Questions

      @Leslie. He doesn't give ALL of us free will, only the ones that survive. For those that do, He's dumbed us down so much that we might as well be robots. And sin? You mean because great-grandma was convinced to eat some fruit by a talking snake? That's why millions of children have to suffer and die?

      October 4, 2011 at 6:12 pm |
    • Atul Chaudhary

      I am sorry to be blunt but let me put it simply that you're too ignorant and way too biased. If you would ever research the topic, you would know what is God's love and he has given us the free will to do whatever we want. There were no deaths when God created (I don't care if you believe in creation or not) Adam and Eve. When they sinned, death, consequences came as a result of disobedience. Let me give you an example: You're told to wear seat belts whether you're driving or you're a passenger. If you choose to ignore these rules, if you do meet with an accident, you will have much more damage compared to if you were wearing a seat belt. And if cops catches you, you will be given a ticket, probably a hefty penalty and a class to attend. Whose fault was that? Well, accident could have been your fault or somebody else's fault but the end result was very sever for you. Don't blame God for your own mistakes.

      Agree that there are millions of innocent lives that you're talking about. If you go back in history, you will find that somewhere they did some mistakes. No one likes untimely deaths. I have to have God like mind to comprehend why he does it what he does.

      In a democracy, I wouldn't like to change your opinion but please don't try to dilute mine because you don't have full information and personal experience.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • right

      500, sin and death came into this world because of one man Adam. This place would have been heaven if not for that disobedience, look at the consequences of disobedience we see so much evil in this world.

      Eternal Life and forgiveness is available because of the one true God in Christ.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • Matt

      Atul, Right on!!! well said!

      October 4, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
    • steveinmo

      Judging by your remarks 500 Questions, I'm going to guess that you're a sodomite. I'm sorry, but there is only one Truth and one way. The Lord is waiting for you to look to and seek him, but we all must make sacrifices. Please don't begrudge people just because you've CHOSEN a way of life that's wrong.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • Patrick

      Free will is a myth. It doesn't even have a valid definition.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:39 pm |
    • Republicans for Voldemort

      steveinmo, the one Dark Lord appreciates your support. You may assume the position.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:40 pm |
    • Amused

      Right ??? – So, if Adam had never "sinned", then Jesus would have had no reason to exist? And because Adam DID sin, then every imperfect person who lived after Adam sinned and before Jesus was born were all simply sent to hell to burn for eternity?????? Just because? This is how an all-knowing "loving" God treats his "imperfect" children???? And supposedly God "loves" all of us, but still sends us to burn in hell for eternity if we fail to understand and "correctly" answer the most perplexing question that man has ever pondered?? Anyone who gets this question wrong simply burns in hell for eternity? Does any of this makes sense? No, I'm afraid it doesn't make even the slightest bit of sense... This is why intelligent people get tired of listening to senseless religious dogma. It is all based on circular logic...

      October 4, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • 500 Questions

      @ Atul – Thanks for the reply. But ignorant and biased? Lack of personal experience? Having spent 30 years as an evangelical Christian, I have plenty of experience.

      Ad hominem attacks aside, free will is no excuse for God to allow so much suffering. You believe Satan was once fell from heaven, right? Why? Because he sinned against God. If he was perfectly capable of sinning in heaven, in place where there was no sin and no suffering, and in the very presence of God, then clearly suffering is not necessary for free will.

      God had a choice to create mankind or not, and should've voted "not," knowing the consequences would be the allowance of evil and billions of people suffering here and in hell for eternity. (What a guy!)

      As of Adam and Eve, seriously? It's a myth. If it were true, all cultures would've passed down the same story to their children, especially when you had folks like Methuselah living a thousand years. The story was made up long after the event (a good example is the flashing sword that God places in front of the garden, swords were not invented until many years later).

      What makes more sense to me is that nature is indifferent, and causes us to suffer without intent. It also makes sense that we evolved and do not remember our own creation, and make up stories to fill in the gaps.

      Peace! 🙂

      October 4, 2011 at 6:42 pm |
    • Patrick

      Atul, you have some hubris there.

      Your example fails in a number of ways. First, you example has a real-world empirically verifiable result that can be inferred when a car rider is told that the seatbelt needs to be worn for safety.
      Contrarily, a Deist cannot verify the results empirically or infer them from empirical evidence. Second, the source of the information is, technically, hearsay. You can verify the law regarding seatbelts and the statistics. You can't do the same with Deist mythologies.

      Of course, you make a great case for anyone who does not follow a particular religion. A Muslim or Hindu could cut-n-paste your post and feel it with the same veracity, the same fervor, the same delusion.

      Thanks for the laugh.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:46 pm |
    • ummm

      "Agree that there are millions of innocent lives that you're talking about. If you go back in history, you will find that somewhere they did some mistakes. "

      LOL! children born into starvation made a mistake back in their history – right – some really poor logic you got going on there. Wow it's incredible the excuses people make up in their heads to justify their belief and find excuses for their gods.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:48 pm |
    • Darmac

      I watched this movie last weekend and loved it. It has values, morals, and a great message, families with both parents are important. I have looked at a lot of these responses and realize how God is being blamed for all the issues in this world...it's not God, it's man. So many have gotten away from just being good human beings. Don't judge the movie unless you see it.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • ummm

      "please don't begrudge people just because you've CHOSEN a way of life that's wrong.

      I think the other religions would say the very thing about you – you've chosen the wrong god. LOL!

      October 4, 2011 at 6:55 pm |
    • Troy

      @Amused

      The scriptures tell us that the wages of sin is death, there is no need to sugar coat what the consequences of Sin are. It is there in the scriptures. The scriptures also tell us that eternal life is in Christ Jesus. Now, there is free will that God has given all mankind, it is upto you choose Eternal life, no one will force you.
      Discipline is always required for wrong, otherwise what sense does it make to have right or wrong? if there are no consequences?
      The Choice is yours!

      October 4, 2011 at 7:00 pm |
    • ummm

      "God is being blamed for all the issues in this world...it's not God, it's man. So many have gotten away from just being good human beings. "

      So man is responsible for droughts, tsunamis, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, lighting strikes that create massive fires, etc... the poor logic behind peoples responses is just remarkable. It's like all reasoning goes out of their head when believing in a non-existent god. If you're god created everything, he created all of those destructive forces that ruin peoples lives and kills millions of innocent lives.

      October 4, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
    • Jerrod S.

      @Atul

      Perhpas we are using the wrong words for 500. If we were to describe our ability as freedom of choice perhaps then he/shewould understand. I also find it amusing that those who don't belive in God are the first to quote scripture in support of whatever they want to spew. As for me I am a father aof a young child and I have grown to understand what Gods love for me is. Over the course of my child growing up I have had to learn patience and understanding to the degree i never had before I became a father. I do intend to go watch this movie to see if there are any other aspects in my life I can improve upon, because as christians we all understand that we are never perfect in all areas of our life.

      October 4, 2011 at 7:04 pm |
    • 500 Questions

      @ Jerrod S. – "If we were to describe our ability as freedom of choice perhaps then he/she would understand."

      If evangelical Christianity is right, then God isn't giving us much of a free choice. God says "Figure out Christianity is the correct religion, accept salvation from Jesus of faith, and love me... or spend eternity in hell for not figuring it out." Is that freedom of choice or coercion? Freedom of choice should be as non-threatening as "Vanilla or chocolate?” not “Your money or your life!” If there were NO negative consequence to rejecting God, THAT would be real freedom of choice.

      And why is it people who disagree with you cannot reason, but can only "spew"? That doesn't seem fair.

      Getting back to the film, I think a film that encourages fathers to do their duty is an excellent idea. But if it's suggesting the only way to be a better father is to be Christian, then I disagree. There are bad Christian fathers, and awesome agnostic/atheist fathers.

      October 4, 2011 at 7:38 pm |
    • Scott - other

      @ leslie & dont blame God: How silly of me. Here I thought it was malaria (created by your god (like everything else)) that was kill thousands of children in Africa each year; but, it turns out they die of free will and greedy hearts

      October 4, 2011 at 10:04 pm |
  17. Dave in TX

    Did you actually look at the box office #s? Yes Courageous had 9 million, but 50/50 grossed 8.6 million. Dont know where your "not even close" statement came from.

    Also, today (monday) Courageous grossed less than 50/50.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • squiggy

      Maybe it comes from actually reading the article. It stated that 50/50 opened in far more theaters than Courageous and still fell behind. I would say that Courageous was much more successful.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • Lettuce Prey

      When did we start judging movies by how much money they make? What does that say about us?

      October 4, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
    • Patrick

      Oh...my...god...we...must...be...CAPITALISTS!!!!

      October 4, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
  18. db

    thot the movie was about being a good father....we all can use work.....so why do you beef about that....seems hard to argue about being a better man or not....

    October 4, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Patrick

      Depends on what the movie thinks a "good father" entails. Like faiths and fingerprints, everyone is different.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
  19. John

    What a high call,being a man and a father in Todays times-this movie nails it.

    October 4, 2011 at 5:48 pm |
    • Darmac

      It sure did John.

      October 4, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  20. To my Dad

    Dad, You were a courageus Man who stood for every core principle in life and led by example.

    Love you much!!!!

    October 4, 2011 at 5:45 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.