By Elizabeth Prata
Unplanned the movie was recently released. It is from the Christian film-makers PureFlix, produced and directed by Cary Solomon, Chuck Konzelman, Daryl C. Lefever, Joe Knopp, and Chris Jones.
The movie blurb goes: “Abby Johnson becomes the youngest clinic director in the history of Planned Parenthood, then a life-changing experience turns her into an anti-abortion activist.”
The ‘life-changing event’ Abby experienced was actually watching an abortion on sonogram. The movie is based on the true life story of the real person Abby Johnson.
It is rated R for graphic violence. It shows the procedure of a chemically-induced abortion in realistic terms and also an abortion procedure via sonogram (The sonogram abortion, though not real and done with special effects, accurately depicts a true abortion and it’s pretty graphic). The film is also getting good reviews and is showing at more screens the second week than the first. It came in at #4 in the top ten box office last week, its first week showing.
I have not seen it, nor do I plan to. I’m listing a few reviews for you to ponder. I am glad, as many people are, that the issue of abortion is gaining such scrutiny and debate. I am also glad that hopefully many women will be more mindfully considering other options instead of seeking abortion as a viable alternative to an unplanned pregnancy.
However, please be aware of a few things. The movie is not evangelism. The movie does not contain the Gospel. So what? You say it isn’t a Gospel movie, anyway? Well, the people who made the movie intended it to contain the Gospel and to be an evangelism piece. The Production company it was made under is a Christian company. One would expect the Gospel to be present in movies that a Christian movie-making company makes.
Also, the people involved in the movie, from producers, directors, and actresses, claim that the Gospel IS in the movie. They also use salvific terms like redemption, finding joy, receiving forgiveness and reconciliation, and speak of how much of a ‘God story’ it is.
In an interview, I heard the director say that if Peter and Paul were around today, they would definitely use movies to evangelize. The director intended the movie to used as a method of evangelism.
We see from these three examples, that the movie people consider the film to be an evangelistic tract. But be aware the Gospel is not in it.
Also be aware that the movie’s main character (Abby Johnson) is a practicing Catholic. She was when she worked at Planned Parenthood and she is now. So is her husband. If a person believes the dogmas of Rome, they are not saved. That person does not know the will of God, does not have the Holy Spirit, their prayers go nowhere, and they are destined for the Lake of Fire. A person who is not saved has nothing to tell us about the faith.
Also be aware that Kris Vallotton of Bethel Church is a cast member of the movie, as “pastor.” Bethel Church is one of the, if not THE, most prominent churches in the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR). Vallotton is a heretic and his church is heretical, a no-church. It’s a synagogue of satan. (cf Revelation 2:9).
I’m not speaking against the movie, per se. I hear it has good production values, good acting, and is powerful. I am simply presenting information for you to be aware of when making decisions whether to see the movie or not, and to be aware of as you watch the movie. I was particularly intrigued by the Spirit of Error’s warnings about the insidious influence of the New Apostolic Reformation. Bethel’s presence in the movie is not something to be dismissed. Link below.
As a matter of fact, the producer/directors boasted to the interviewer that the Holy Spirit was very involved in the movie. They described “miracle after miracle”. They described an incident where a man who was flying over set in his jet was praying and Jesus answered and “told” him to give the movie people a million dollars. He prayed 4X and Jesus said yes 4X (even Gideon didn’t dare but ask for confirmation twice).
They said and that there was a permanent on-set prayer team consisting of Catholic priests, atheists, evangelicals, rabbis, and pastors leading prayer two specific times during the day and then wandering around the set all day and night praying as requests or needs came. The producers called them folks “from every denomination.” These people do not know the faith if they believe atheists, rabbies, and preists know Jesus in a salvific sense. In addition, the Lord is under no obligation to listen to the prayer of an unbeliever, and in fact, he does not listen to the prayers of the wicked. (*John 9:31).
With incidents like these being touted as proof that God was involved at a specific and intimate level, one wonders how well they know the scriptures in the first place. They sounded more like the Bethel/NAR folks than God-honoring evangelicals. So beware of the NAR/charismatic influence in this movie.
Now on to some links to consider.
I enjoyed this balanced review by a pastor who went to see the film.
A Pastor’s Review of Unplanned: Uncertain of its Own Message
As far as the story goes, I rather liked the movie, but it was a hard watch. The violence of abortion is portrayed with chilling effect.
Lots of people commented to the pastor that he was wrong in various ways about his stance on the movie. He made a 25-minute video explaining and fleshing out those criticisms, here
. He is extremely articulate and in listening you begin to really understand about the Gospel and the importance of its absence in the movie.
This is the Pro Life Convention video put on by the Family Research Council, at which the producers/writers/directors and the main actress were interviewed. Begin at 26:30. In addition to the previous things I’d mentioned them saying, I also thought it was interesting the lengths Hollywood will go to blacklist and suppress or otherwise thward this movie’s production.
Jon Speed, Pastor at Christ is King Baptist Church in Syracuse, NY wrote a very interesting piece on the evil of abortion in the context of Roman Catholic mythology (doctrine).
From the National Catholic Register, Abby Johnson explains how she went from From Abortion Worker to Catholic Apostle. Read her own words.
Holly Pivec explains how she was Blindsided by Bethel‘s presence in the movie, and bullet lists the NAR’s fingerprints that are deeply embedded in the movie. There’s much more beyond just a quick appearance by Vallotton.
Again, I’m thrilled that a well-done movie about the evil of abortion is getting the attention of the nation. However, remember also not long ago the activists that secretly filmed conversations and interviews with Planned Parenthood workers to buy baby parts, and how they casually described what parts they would sell and how much money they’d cost and how they’d even be able to buy a Ferrari if they sell enough? It shocked and sickened the nation. For about a week.
Don’t let your conversations and strength in the faith be compromised or even influenced simply because a cause we care about is front and center in the news adn the box office. Who brings the issue and how it is presented, also matters.
If you want to see Unplanned, more power to you. See it like you would any other new release this week. View it as a politically activist film out to persuade you on one issue, abortion, and don’t let Christianity tie in to it to the extent that the movie wants it to be. 🙂
*However, while the Lord never obligates himself to the prayer of the unbeliever. He will do what suits his purpose, and that might intersect with the prayer and desires of the unbeliever. (source)