Title: Mercy Streets
Director: Jon Gunn
Having seen an advertisement for this film starring David White, Kurtis and I figured we would check it out because we loved his work in End of the Harvest. Unfortunately we did not see many Christian elements portrayed in this film. The primary plot is supposed to revolve around the elements of Redemption and Reconciliation, but neither of these elements are presented in accordance to Biblical principles. In fact all we learn about forgiveness, is that we have already been forgiven and we just need to accept it. This is a heretical view of forgiveness that was heavily promoted by Charles Finney. He taught that everyone has already been forgiven, therefore repentance is not needed, and only the realization of accepting Christ is necessary for salvation. This ultimately leads to a Unitarian view of Salvation. This is the unfortunate conclusion of this film, for everyone is reconciled to each other without repentance.
The Gospel presentation in this film is a very pathetic illustration of God’s Grace; When Jeremiah is struck with the realization that he is a false convert, he turns to a church and is told by the minister:
“You are standing on the doorstep of the Hotel Forgiveness, but they don’t let baggage inside. You’ve got to leave that with the doorman, Jesus. And he’s happy to take ’em.”
This is a terrible representation of God’s Grace to mankind and man’s required response to gain access to this Grace; namely that he must have faith and repent.
The character development of Josh (the evil twin) focuses on his corrupt nature and need for a new life. This goal for a new life however is never attained, leaving him unregenerated. His brother Jeremiah (the false convert) is a deacon in the church, but has never had his faith tried, and when it is, he demonstrates his need of salvation, but fails to act upon it. Jeremiah’s girlfriend Sam, who is a complete flirt does not portray a single aspect of Biblical womanhood. Rome, the antagonist (bad guy) of the film is portrayed as an evil, yet loveable Danny-Ocean-like character who’s selfishness is not regarded as sin.
There is however, one dim light of hope in this movie – Tex, an honest cop who desires godliness in the lives of his friends. He is the only man who shows himself “grounded and focused” in the Word of God. Unfortunately this is not enough to redeem the negative aspects of this film.
- Production value is above par for a $1M budget.
- Clean in the sense of morality.
- No presentation of a real gospel message.
- Christian virtues poorly exemplified by “believers.”
- Sin is merely referred to as “baggage.”