"Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. - Matthew 6:1-2 (ESV)
In 2016, Edgar Maddison Welch drove from his home in North Carolina with three guns to go to Comet Ping Pong Pizzeria in Washington DC. Welch had been convinced through QAnon conspiracy theories that there was a secret child sex trafficking ring, organized by Hillary Clinton, out of this pizza shop. This is a central belief among conspiracy folks. That the global elites, who apparently reside only in the Democratic party of course, are secretly kidnapping the world's children to have sex with them, drink their blood and harvest andrenochrome which the claim goes is a super-drug popular with pedophiles. It of course is not as it is a routine chemical compound created by oxidizing adrenaline. Welch descended upon this pizzeria, brandished a weapon at one employee and shot a lock off one of the doors. He was arrested thankfully without anyone being hurt and did four years in jail. The point is that there are countless numbers of Edgar Welch's in this country just waiting to be set off by the most absurd conspiracy theories. If you believe that a candidate for president of this country is secretly harvesting bodily chemicals from child sex victims, while drinking their blood in a pizza joint in Washington DC then you have serious mental problems. Those problems however do not need to be encouraged and cultivated. That is what QAnon specializes in. Unfortunately, that is what many people in the apostate church believe as well and that fact alone so damages the cause of Christ.
Which brings us to the new movie, The Sound of Freedom. This movie is the new Christian cause du jour among false churches and teachers. The NAR is positively giddy about it. This is just another example for them of conquering the cultural mountain of entertainment. Don't believe me? Just look at the press surrounding this film's release, which granted has grossed a lot more money than anyone would have projected, built upon the backs of NAR churches that have rented out theaters and demanded their congregants buy tickets see. They manipulated the truth to pretend they were beating the new Indiana Jones movie, which granted has underperformed. I have had folks ask my opinion about this movie because they are very wary when something smells so NAR. Let me be clear. This movie is fact based but not an actual accurate depiction of what really occurred in real life. Many liberties were taken to puff up the main star, which the man behind the story admitted to. That is fine to take creative license when retelling a story as long as we do not start thinking this is a documentary - because it is not. Let me also be clear. The fact that the hero of the story really quit his government job to fight sex trafficking in other countries appears to be a very true and noble. The organization he created to rescue kids across the world also appears noble in intent but has had many accusations and even investigations into it. The model created by this organization was to film the raids upon the alleged traffickers in what can only be inferred as self-promotion because that is how it is used. This flies in the face of our key verse, where God explicitly tells us to not do our good deeds to be seen and praised by man.
I can already hear the chorus of "who cares." The answer of course is God cares. These are not carnal points being made but rather Christian points because the apostate church has shoved all their chips into the middle of the table over this film because they feel they have an impenetrable defense by attacking anyone who does not bow down to this movie as somehow supporting pedophilia, which is an absurd and specious charge for people trying to point out inconsistencies and how loving this movie is not a Christian imperative. One of the more recent defenses from the multitude on Charisma News is written by J. Lee Grady who makes this morally bankrupt argument that smears anyone with the temerity to question the misplaced zeal. Again, this is not to speak against the efforts to eradicate child trafficking but to say that as a Christian enterprise maybe we do not have to fudge the statistics which Grady points out "varies." This is true if by vary he means that the movie overstates the problem. This is of course a losing argument because even though the American trafficking numbers are around 100,000 annually, I am sure we would all agree that one child is too many. That said, Grady claiming the international number is 4 million when it is actually 1.2 million is easily fact checked by a world begging to find another reason to dismiss the church and Jesus Christ. I just want to focus on one paragraph from the Grady article:
"I'm not a follower of QAnon, and I don't know anyone who is. Ballard himself has gone on record saying that his work to stop sex trafficking has nothing to do with the QAnon conspiracy. But let me ask this honest question: Why in the world would so many people in the media and the entertainment industry be upset that a film is exposing the evil of sex trafficking? Isn't this something that liberals, conservatives, Democrats and Republicans could agree on?" - J. Lee Grady
Note the sleight of hand employed here. No one is disagreeing about the evils of child sex trafficking. Grady has determined that you must like this movie, or you are equated with the worst of humanity but that is a ridiculous argument. As for not knowing anyone who follows QAnon, sure he does! The lead actor of this movie is an avid supporter. Jim Caviezel has spoken about his beliefs in the adrenochrome conspiracy theory where this bloodthirsty cabal of global elites and Democrats are secretly kidnapping kids for sex and to harvest this chemical that they claim is produced in children when they are so terrified because of impending death. This is about as crazy a theory as the pizza parlor trafficking shop and remember where that one ended. The disturbing thing here is the almost gleeful dismissal out of hand of the secular criticism of this movie as being wildly exaggerated or "QAnon adjacent", which is clearly is. The man behind this story is also not Christian, but Mormon and a lot of the funding to bring this project to the screen was paid by Mormon mega-activist, Glenn Beck.
Now I am sure many will hear all of this and still dismiss it out of hand because of the good being done to save kids. Caviezel recently chided the Pope as not speaking out against this scourge because he himself is a rabid Catholic. Considering the Catholic Church's history with kids, perhaps this is an imperfect messenger, supporting an exaggerated story, mixed throughout with the type of conspiracy theories that led Edgar Mattison Welch to drive from North Carolina to Comet Ping Pong Pizzeria with three guns in his vehicle. That is the point of the opposition. The apostate church is doing victory laps because Sound of Freedom is right out of their NAR dominionist dreams of conquering seven cultural mountains. It is a movie they have adopted as a Christian cause but they point to the criticism from the world is proof they are right when it proves the opposite. When the world sees the corners, you cut with the truth your message gets watered down. When they see your cause du jour as being directly attached to the very conspiracies that have led to the craziest people undertaking the most violent of actions, maybe it is not the Christian cause you thought it was. The problem is that that NAR dominionist teachings that are taking over local churches turns the people who need the gospel the most into the enemies. J. Lee Grady used to know this but unfortunately, he has been swimming in the cesspool of Charisma news for too long now. Before you start whipping yourself into a frenzy, save your breath. I have stated and will always state that the horrors of child trafficking is a worthy topic for exposure. I will add that the back story has some very compelling elements, and the hero here should be given credit for his actions. I also give him credit for admitting the Hollywood embellishment of the story, which I take no issue with. When you start mixing in QAnon elements and cast the leading role with a QAnon nutcase like Caviezel who believes that global elite Democrats are secretly harvesting adrenochrome from their child victims, you unfortunately forfeit all of the good you could have done and lost those who see the dark, murky craziness behind whatever light you were trying to bring. Some may say who cares and I repeat if that is asked from a Christian perspective the answer is, God cares.
Reverend Anthony Wade - July 19, 2023