Monday, September 29, 2014

An Open Letter to Kirk Cameron along with Glenn Beck, Dave Dwyer, and all their Respective Employees and Listening Audiences

Update:  Related interview with WorldView Weekend (mp3)
Dear Kirk Cameron –

At the outset let me mention that I celebrated your excellent labors with respect to the movie, Fireproof, when it was released. As a husband, father of six children, and pastor, I rejoiced when this work of yours was made public. Gospel-rich and Gospel-centered productions, of significant quality, have become as rare as summer snow in our generation,

…and for this reason I gladly supported Fireproof and its message by showing it to my family, our congregation, along with several of our neighbors as an outreach tool. I mention this because I want you to know that I wish to express some of my thoughts with you in the spirit of Proverbs 27:6 – “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, but deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.” The friendship that I have in mind is not a personal one (we have never met), but it has to do with my historic sense of a friendship with you in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I say historic because I am left to wonder about the trajectory of your life and doctrine over the years. For example, your work, Monumental: In Search of America’s National Treasure, along with the manner in which it was promoted with the help of Glenn Beck, produces multiple concerns. The movie itself focuses on the quest for a “secret sauce recipe card” – a “strategy” – a “matrix” that “built America.”[1] This idea was repeated in your promotional interview on the Glenn Beck program, when Dr. Foster referred to the movie’s message as “the same thing that you (Glenn Beck) have been teaching on your program about internals and externals – it begins with character – it begins in the home.” It seemed quite apparent that the content of your film, along with your description of the Puritans’ historic beliefs, posed no threat to Glenn Beck’s Mormonism, moralism, patriotism, and works-righteousness ideology.

Respectfully, this should give you serious pause.

Whatever your goal may have been regarding the film, your attempted focus on the Puritans’ legacy here in America fell short of the mark. I will leave it to William Bradford himself to issue the core correction to your film’s message:

“…they left that goodly and pleasant city which had been a resting place near twelve years; but they knew they were pilgrims, and looked not much on those things, but lift up their eyes to the heavens, their dearest country, and quieted their spirits.” [Hebrews 11:13-16] [Italics mine][2]

Respectfully, the thought of reducing the Pilgrims’ heavenly focus to a mere “secret sauce recipe” for rebuilding earthly kingdoms exceeds credulity. Additionally, I wonder if Glenn Beck knows that if he were found within the company of these early believers, that his religious views would not be tolerated for one second. Would anyone venture to believe that the Puritans could endure a member of a cult which teaches that Jesus Christ is the brother of Satan, both of whom are called the offspring of deities called “Our Heavenly Father” and his God-wife?[3] More importantly, I must ask this: after the promotional tours have been completed and all the Monumental DVD sales have been tabulated, what is to be said about Glenn Beck’s soul along with that of his vast audience of individuals who were exposed to your promotional videos along with the movie itself? Does their hope remain secured in rebuilding America, while clinging to a mere morality that is devoid of the hope in the true Messiah and His eternal kingdom? The great regard that you showed for Christ’s supremacy, sufficiency, and exclusivity in Fireproof seems to have been traded in for a far lesser alternative. But I must ask this question – If you could speak publicly to Glenn Beck and his audience, would you be willing to share the true Gospel of Christ – the one that anathematizes the cult of Mormonism and every other belief system that is raised up against the Knowledge of God (2 Corinthians 10:5)? This very question is why I write to you in hope.

In addition to this, your September 4th interview with Dave Dwyer on The Catholic Radio station, Busted Halo, supplies a similar concern for myself and many others. Throughout the interview, several expressions were given which seemed to convey the idea that you embraced Dave Dwyer as a fellow brother in Christ. This has stirred much discussion among brethren, and many are concerned that a sense of false affirmation was given to Dwyer as if he believes the Gospel of Christ rather than the false gospel of Rome. I realize that there are those who strongly take issue with this - many have charged that such a concern is unfounded; that it is unfair to criticize your actions; that your intentions were of a good nature in the interview and you should be left alone. Of course, any reasoning which seeks to interpret another man’s intentions is a domain of judgment that I will leave to God alone, but the question still remains: did you intentionally speak to Dave Dwyer, a Catholic priest, as a fellow brother in Christ? Those who resist this question as being unfair should consider this alternate query:

What did Dave Dwyer and his audience think?

If Dwyer and his listeners perceived that you [Kirk] embraced him as a fellow brother – a fellow soldier of the Gospel of Christ – then I would suggest that all such collegial debates about what you thought, meant, or intended would vanish upon such a discovery. In the end, the final fruit of your actions is what matters most. Please know that I sought to connect with the Busted Halo program on Friday, September 26th with the above query in mind. With several attempts (by email and by phone) I sought to have Dave Dwyer answer the question: “Do you believe that Kirk Cameron embraces you to be a brother in Christ?” After several tries, the program managers indicated that they were “unable” to get to the question, however, I did have an extended conversation with their screener:

Me: My impression is that you seem to believe (and I'm not assuming that you are speaking for Father Drwyer either) but...

Screener: Yeah

Me: ...but my impression is that you seem to think that Kirk Cameron might have had a more negative view of Roman Catholicism in the past...

Screener: I have heard that there's... there might have been statements taken out of context that might have made people think he had a negative view towards Catholics, but I think even just coming on the show is an example that, clearly he doesn't have any.... that we're all brothers and sisters in Christ...

Me: Right, so In other words, when I listened to the program, there was nothing that I heard that would give me an indication that Kirk Cameron did not think that Father Drwyer was a Christian...

Screener: ...Right....

Me: So, was that your impression?

Screener: Exactly. 100%

Me: Would Father Dwyer... do you think he would...

Screener: Well, I can't speak for him but...yeah I think so, but that is something that he would have to address...

Me: Obviously, but I was just...

Screener: I would assume 100% yes.

When all the dust of the debate settles, I would respectfully suggest to you, Kirk, that there is a grave problem that remains when those who believe a false Gospel are given a false sense of security from someone who has heralded the true Gospel. I say “has heralded” because of this very concern: the more confused and attenuated your message becomes in the public eye, the less capable believers are to affirm you as a clear herald of the Gospel. While I hope that you intend much better than this, please accept this friendly wound: if Dave Dwyer and his listeners continue to believe that Rome’s false gospel is no different than what you have taught, then what good was your interview with him?

Clearly, their souls are more valuable than any movie.

Finally, before calling in to the Busted Halo program on September 26th, I listened to another program where Dwyer discussed sharing his Catholic faith with others. This included using various symbols like crosses and rosary beads as a means of sharing the Catholic religion with others. Amidst the discussion about facing opposition from others, Dwyer made this statement to a fellow Catholic about relating to others:

“I love my Catholic faith, because I have this great relationship with Mary – that when times in my life when I’ve been really struggling – that has gotten me through and given me comfort. If that rustles somebody’s feathers, that is zero percent your fault!” [audio]

Kirk – I would hope and believe that your “feathers” are greatly rustled by such a statement as this. As a Catholic, Dwyer’s Mariolatry is not surprising. Sadly, he is a man who is devoid of Gospel hope, as is evident in his response to this caller’s question from the September 26th program:

Lysa from Charlotte: “There is a passage from the Gospel of Matthew…chapter 7, where Jesus says: ‘Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom…’ and um…I believe these…are disciples…and somebody says to him: ‘Lord did we not prophecy in your name, did we not cast out demons in your name…’ and He says: ‘get away from my you evildoers, I never knew you.’ And I guess my question has always been: If they have evil hearts, how are they able to do works in the name of Jesus?”

Lysa’s question was haunting because, though it was a rich question full of Gospel opportunities; it was sadly handed over to a man whose hope is in Rome’s message of justification by sacramentalism. Thus, Dwyer’s response began with this: “Jesus, and Saint Paul, and all of the other authors of the Gospels were writing about what Jesus said and did… um used rhetorical techniques to get us to perk up and pay attention.” He then concludes that Jesus is saying “walk the talk – put your money where your mouth is – make your actions match your words” [audio]. Unfortunately for Dwyer, Christ’s words are not a mere “rhetorical technique” to get us to “walk the talk.” He is promising judgment for all those who trust in their own righteousness rather than Christ. The problem with these false professors is that their focus in life was set upon their walk as the basis of their justification. Sadly, Dwyer’s answer gave Lysa over to the very condemnation that fell upon those false disciples in Matthew 7.

It must be said – Dave Dwyer is not victim, he is a false teacher.

In short, Kirk, it is people like Lysa, Brett, Kia, Dave Dwyer, Glenn Beck, and the countless host of others who have yet to hear a Gospel presentation that is clear enough to rustle the feathers of those who cling to Mary; who cling to their morality; their earthly patriotism; their Dominionism; their book of Mormon; their rosary beads; or a pantheon of countless other idols that exceed enumeration in this letter.

For their sake and for the sake of a watching church, which needs to see the bold proclamation of the Gospel which heralds Christ’s riches above the royalties of this world - I appeal to you to address these individuals in public, sharing with them the unmitigated truth the Christian’s justification through faith alone in Christ alone for a salvation that is by grace alone – rooted in the authority of the Scriptures alone for a redemption that is to the glory of God alone. Make use of your public popularity that you have garnered through such interviews and films, and direct people to the genuine message of the Gospel – which is clear enough and powerful enough to pierce through the world’s countless heresies and cults. I can assure you that whatever negative consequences may come to you as an actor and movie maker, in eternity, it will be worth it all.

I pray that you would receive this friendly wound for Christ’s sake in place of the world’s deceitful kiss.

Soli Deo Gloria
Michael John Beasley

For anyone else reading this letter, I offer this Gospel testimony to you for His glory. As one who was raised as a Catholic myself, may this be a blessing to you:

  Where do you Stand?: Atheism & Religionism vs the Gospel from The Armoury Ministries on Vimeo.


[1] Cameron: "I wish they (the Puritans/Pilgrims) had left us some kind of a training Manual, some kind of a secret sauce recipe card that we could pick up and go - alright, here's what it is - here's what we do! What do we do? How do we get back to that?" Dr. Marshall Foster [referring to the National Monument to the Forefathers]: "So Kirk - this is that recipe... this is that strategy, that matrix that was what built America..." From the Movie, Monumental: In Search of America’s National Treasure.

[2] William Bradford, Of Plymouth Plantation 1620-1647 (New York, Alfred A. Knoff, 2000), p. 47.

[3] Gospel Principles, (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Salt Lake City, Utah), pp. 9-15.