After watching American Gospel: Chist alone, I had no choice but to watch the 2019 sequel to the documentary; American Gospel: Christ Crucified. Directed again by Brandon Kimber, the documentary covers and examines the rise of progressive christianity in the United States.
If you have not watched the previous documentary by Kimbor, “Christ Alone,” or have not read my analysis on the movie, I recommend you do. Like Kimbor’s previous movie, AG2 is a very thought-provoking, very well-made, analysis of its subject matter. At a nearly two hour and thirty minute plus runtime, the movie may seem daunting to some, but AG2 is structured in such a way where you can watch the movie in intervals so your minute 6.66 second American attention span is not bogged down completely.
Much like the first American Gospel, AG2 relies entirely on interviews by various figures within the progressive and conservative Chrisianity bubble. Some of the more notable names include appearances by Mike Winger, Voddie Baucham, Justin Peters, and John MacArthur. It should be noted that Paul Washer is heavily used in this film as well. This is no surprise as Kimbor himself in an interview claims that he started to really get serious about his faith after watching the Shocking Youth Message by Paul Washer. What surprised me the most with the format of the film is that Kimbor featured much time with interviews and points-of-view from progressives such as Tony Jones. Although some of the bigger names in this progressive clan declined to be interviewed by Kimbor and instead relied on clips from progressive figures such as Richard Rhor and Rob Bell.
AG2’s central issue that it tackles is progressive “christianity” and its rise in the church. The movie looks at this issue through the lens of three major characters. The first is former Zoe Girl singer and current apologist Alisa Childers. She explains how she was blindsided by a doubting Pastor and began to question her faith. This eventually led her to start listening to Ravi Zacarious (that aged badly) and entered the world of apologetics. Her current ministry is dedicated to defending the faith from those on the progressive side. I have followed Childers ministry and although I am very critical of apologetic ministries, Childers is very othodox to a new believer who is looking to deep-dive into this subject more thoroughly.
Another main character is Russell Berger, husband of Katherine Berger who was featured in the first American Gospel. Russell, a lifelong atheist, tells the story that as his wife got critically sick, he started to look for answers which eventually led him to the scriptures and gained a love for them. This contrasts to the last main character, progressive Bart Campolo, son of famous pastor Tony Campolo who went from believer, to progressive, to secular humanist.
A lot can be said and a lot has been said about this movie. I have read reviews on AG2, both praising and criticizing it’s material. There are so many theological topics in this movie that you can do 100 deep-dives on each of the issues at hand. Some of the stuff AG2 covers, some briefly, is the emerging church, youth groups, deconstruction of faith, the homosexual question, historic Christianity, the attributes of God, love, Hell, Universalism, Sola Scriptura, atonement history, and “cosmic child abuse.” All of these topics are touched upon. However, the movie’s focus is primarily on progressive christianity and, in the later half of the movie, a deep-dive on penal substitution and the nature of Christ’s sacrifice. AG2 does a fantastic job at addressing all of these subjects. Dare I say, AG2 could lead someone to Christ. However, I fear that American Gospel could be too big brained to those who are not initiated in some of the more harder to understand material.
While watching this movie that is rich in theology and addressing the many issues the progressive side brings up in regards to the “historical Christianity,” I can’t help but feel almost perplexed and sober at the modern day downgrade the western church is going through and that so many who proclaim to know Christ, are attacking the very cross He died on for our sins. But then again, this is not new to the faith if you studied the scriptures as there have been many false gospels, and false teachers doing this schtick since the ascension of Christ. But this just proves and gives light to the theory that America is not a “Christian” nation in the least.
In my opinion, I believe progressive christianity is a fad, and as the movie points out, will eventually metamorph into Universalism and Humanism. If anything, prog-christianity is nothing more than a secular operation agansit conservatice christianity (which is also just as gay and cringe) by bad actors looking to disrupt the political side of their agendas. Nearly every big-name false prophet in this deranged movement has said something eye-rolling against the Orange Goblin and/or vomited leftist talking points such as social justice, gender equality and other worldly distractions. Yes, I agree with the Progs that Conservative Christianity is a major cancer on the Bride of Christ but this does not mean as followers of Christ we should remove the dog leash of the ladybug Republican Party, only to be shackled to a leftist political creed that has nothing to do with the Great Commission of Jesus Christ and everything to do with the Gay Commission of the anti-christ. You hypocrites! Progs complain about Evangelical Conservative Christians (and rightfully so), yet are themselves lapdogs and useful idiots to an openly demonic liberal party. Can anyone see the reprobate mindedness of this madness?
But at the heart of this issue in this movie, and the progressive christianity question is Sola Scriptura. This is ultimately a war on the Bible, not a war on “historical” Christianity. It is as simple as that. This is a fight against those who believe the Bible is the Word of God and those who would either twist the scriptures or downright reject them. This is a war on the truth, and people who want to get their postmodernism on and define truth for themselves. One of my major criticisms with this documentary is that it does not say plainly that these men and women who reject the gospel and instead craft these heresies, love darkness and won’t come to the light because their deeds are evil. These men and women have heart problems. Their hearts are hardened, and are completely spiritually blind. Nearly all of these false teachers promote and advocate for LGBT butt stuff when the Bible clearly opposes this behavior and it even states that it is a sign of a reprobate mind. Russell Berger studied the scriptures to learn more about who God is when his wife got sick and was desperately seeking after Him. This contrasts with Bart Campolo who based more on God by his feelings and not the scripture. Then when he had a bicycle accident that almost killed him, instead of rushing to God, he decided to leave the faith all together. Guess which one had the saving faith and built their house on the rock?
The last and best part of this movie is on the doctrine of penal substitution in regards to Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. Yes, all of this is good stuff. This is by far, the best and most thought-provoking portion of the movie. I believe that Kimbor, or whoever edited this movie, did a fine job with the back and forth between progressives and evangelicals in regards to the work of the cross. This portion alone is worth the watch due to the detailed deep-dive in the atonement history. I am never going to criticize this movie based on the content that Kimbor and crew provided. But watching this part of the film made me constantly reflect on Jesus Christ saying that unless you have faith like a child, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. The fact is, the Cross is still mysterious and we do not know all the answers on what happened that day at Calvery. I think a lot of this has to do with the Trinity, and how we just can’t wrap our minds around it. But, as the movie points out, a lot of this has to do with the fact that we do not know God or know how Holy He truly is. It is impossible for man to know because we have marinated in sin since we were in our mother’s womb. This is why we cannot “see” God, because Holiness is so foriegn to us. We are blinded by our own inequities. Still, this portion is worth the watch. And this issue MUST be addressed.
I must ask if defending the faith by pointing to the “historical” side of Christianity the right way to address progressives? You can show the people all the doctrine, theology and history in the world. But just like Pharaoh in Egypt, just like unrepentant Israel, and just like the Pharisees, we are dealing with a hard hearted people. If progressives and reprobates won’t listen to Earthly things, how can they listen to Heavenly things? Christ’s life is a testimony to the evil of man, the wickedness of the world, and at the same time the love of God and His love for the world. That through this sacrifice that God provided, there is real hope for a new Heavens, and new Earth without this mess that we brought through our prideful hearts and lustful souls. That we will finally be reconciled with our creator and death will be no more for the things of old have passed. Progressives can’t see this message because they are blinded. It either interferes with their grift, with their political agenda, or judges them based on their obsession with LGBT trannie butt stuff. They are more concerned about Earthly matters and can’t see that the world is passing away and people need this gospel message badly.
Progs and the like will never be convinced to repent if we focus on the teachings and musings of dead white guys from 666 A.D. Yes, there is a time and a place for theology, I get it. But tell the millennial normie who is 100,000 shekels in debt with a worthless degree, no friends, no opportunity for jobs, no opportunity to buy a house, sick from a diet of taco bell and lead tap water, no hope of getting a non-psychotic girlfriend, a divorced set of parents, porn addicted, video game addicted, constantly depressed, and has no hope for anything whatsoever, about Martin Luther, the TULIP, or the history of the council of “whatever” from 9001 years ago and lets see if he repents and believes in the gospel. What we have is a massive heart and soul issue. Ears cannot hear, and eyes cannot see. The result we get from ears that cannot hear nor eyes that can see is the doctrine of “Cosmic Child Abuse.” Younger people are drawn to progressive christianity, not because of their teacher’s warped theology, but because these teachers preach nothing about sin, say it’s ok to be a sexual degenerate, and give them a worldly movement to satisfy their flesh like BLM, or your social justice movement of choice. This contrast with the evangelical side which comes across as just some sect of the conservative party with dead churches, a dead book that they don’t even believe, a white Jesus, and no gospel message whatsoever. There is a massive disconnect.
Part of the problem with how we got here and fell into utter progressive nonsense and cringe mind sludge is that, as Americans, we have no idea just how evil and horrific the World really is. We have no idea how sinful and evil we really are. We have no clue, not a single shred of a hint how our words and deeds affect those around us. We don’t care if we hurt one another. We live like there is no Heaven. We live like there is no Hell. We live as if the hope for the Kingdom of God is subpar as we gorge our minds, bodies, and souls will worldly gunk. We live as if God is some gay jolly Santa Clause, burping “aw-shucks” at our inequities instead of the Almighty, Holy Creator Yaweah. We live as if Jesus Christ is some white European hippie instead of the only Begotten Son of God Almighty, Mighty in words and deeds, who crushed the serpent with His heel and conquered death itself. Instead of drinking His blood and eating His flesh, we drink our iniquities like it was precious water, and eat food sacrificed to unclean idols like sportsball and vidya. There is nothing new under the sun. Just like every other nation and people groups, just like in ancient Judea and Israel in Jesus time, Every nation and tongue have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory and standard.
Above all else, we live like there’s no coming judgement. We do not talk about the Day of the Lord. We do not preach of the coming judgement. We do not do apocalyptic preaching or point out that the World is passing away or that the signs of the coming of the Lord are near. We do not preach on Job, or Ecclesiastes to get the full picture on what the shot is at life. We preach as if we have all the time in the world instead of preaching as if our days are numbered. Do not light-switch your brain, this is not a declaration that Christ is coming back in this wicked and adulterous generation. No one knows what time that will be except the Father. What I am pointing out is how no one puts things into perspective about the World’s and our own mortality. That no one stops and looks at the sign of the times and that the world is passing away. Who can really save us from this mess we are in but God? Who can really change the hearts of men but God? How can we really know how to love one another but from our creator?
One thing I do agree with Progs on is that being a follower of Jesus Christ is not about believing in a system or certain theology, or saying a sinner’s prayer, or voting for a political party, or upholding a certain political system. This is about faith, and faith alone in the work of Yashua Hamashiach. Do you believe THIS gospel message, the whole package of the gospel. That Jesus Christ is the Son of God according to the scriptures, that He is God according to the scriptures, that while we were sinners, Christ died for our sins, that God so loved this wicked world and the people in it, that He gave us His only begotten Son, that whoever believes on Jesus Christ will not perish but have everlasting life. And this is the sign that this message is true; that Christ rose from the dead after the third day and is the first fruits of the resurrection to come. It is this truth that gives people the way and life. It is this message that makes the hearts of men melt. It is this message that causes a new birth in the spirit. That God loves us this much in this broken world that He provided us with the ark for the coming judgement of fire.
The problem with progressives is, what Jesus are they worshiping and proclaiming? Are they proclaiming Jesus from the Bible? Or are they proclaiming a different Jesus from their own delusions? Are they proclaiming a gospel from the Bible, or are they proclaiming a different gospel constructed by demons? Progs think they have the right way, but ultimately it leads to destruction.
Christ Crucified is the right movie for the right time and I recommend every follower of Christ watch it. Kimbor (and his handlers) did an excellent job with this film. I do look forward to more movies in his career. Still, the documentary is a sobering reminder that we are at war. That America is no longer (or never was) a “Christian” nation and that the emerging church movement evolved into something extremely confusing and cringy in the form of progressive christianity. Can someone be saved through this progressive movement? I don’t know. What I do know is that with man, it is impossible, but with God, all things are possible. The Great Commission is still at play in the west. All of us need to repent. We need to renew our minds, and do our due-diligence when it comes to our walk with the Lord. We need for God to start opening eyes to our condition and just how really bad it is.