Countering the Critics of “Sound of Freedom”

Dealing with the critics – again:

Yesterday I viewed this vitally important film and penned 2000 words on it. But I knew I would continue to get objections, criticisms and attacks for daring to do so. And sure enough, that has happened. Half of my film review dealt with the critics and the criticisms. It seems I need to deal with some more of them.

‘But we should not look at evil’

One person said this online: “Well written article, Bill. I’ve had a couple of Christian friends give the argument they won’t see the movie because they don’t want to watch evil. Almost saying it’s a horror movie. Philippians 4:8. I don’t agree with them.”

I replied: Paul tells us not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices (2 Corinthians 2:11). These clowns with their heads in the sand are ripe pickings for the enemy. Sure, that exhortation needs to be taken with passages like Ephesians 5:12 where Paul talks of not even speaking about those things done in darkness. We need the biblical balance here. But I am sure that Paul would not have chewed out Wilberforce and others for exposing the dark, ugly secrets of the slave trade.

Sometimes we must uncover the works of darkness. Being salt and light means exposing darkness and corruption. If the exposure of the satanic child trafficking industry in films like this means that many children will be saved from it, or kept from it, then I am 100 percent in favour of such films. One friend (Kerry) put it this way:

Some people cite Paul’s words in Philippians (‘Whatever is true, whatever is noble….if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things’) as if it says think about these things ONLY. Well my response to that is yes, child trafficking is not excellent, praiseworthy or noble, but the actions of the Tim Ballard’s of this world are noble and praiseworthy and I love to ‘think about such things. Applying such an attitude in a broader sense would mean we would have to avoid reading books like Jeremiah…his words were hardly the good kind in the sense that these folk think we should be thinking on. But Jeremiah’s words of condemnation came precisely because of his 100% preoccupation with the good, true and noble, pure worship of God that was being trampled under foot.

And one gal (Jacqueline) rightly said this: “I get frustrated by parents that say I can’t handle it. They need to handle it, they can watch trashy Hollywood horror – they need to educate themselves. There are many trafficking movies made over the last 20 years all of which should be watched. Human Trafficking, Trade and Trafficked all an education, some are on YouTube.”

Yes exactly – many of them will happily watch sleazy films like Fifty Shades of Grey but not this!

Sectarianism, again

I already spent some time with this objection in my first piece. But it keeps coming up, so let me speak to it a bit more. One social media discussion on this went as follows:

Her: While I appreciate the film, “non-Christians/Protestants” and “Mormons who are actively trying to get themselves the support of Christians and are utilising media to do so” are two very different things.

Me: I fully support saving children from rape, torture and death.

Her: Me too. I just find it sadly ironic that many of the people involved in making the film follow a man who raped, trafficked, and married children

Me: I have no time for cults and heretical beliefs – but if your daughter was kidnapped, would you only allow an evangelical Protestant to save her?

Her: Of course not. But in situations where I have the choice, I’m going to do my best to be aware of cultish influence and avoid it. I love and rejoice in theologically sound worship music, but not if it’s made by Planned Parenthood

Me: Of course I am not aware of any worship songs coming out of PP! As to this film, there was just ONE biblical passage mentioned (Matthew 18:6 – plus its parallels in Mark 9:42 and Luke 17:2). Otherwise, no one would ever know it was a ‘Christian’ film – or showcased a Mormon or used a Catholic actor.

Now, if there were quotes from Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon all throughout the film, then I would want nothing to do with it. But that was NOT the case. And we must not reject God’s common grace. Non-Christians, pagans and cultists even can say true things. A non-Christian or a cultist made in God’s image can care greatly about trafficked children and risk everything to save them. I support and thank such people. I need not like their theology. But I will love their concern for stolen children.

If a son or daughter of these critics were in a car crash, with flames starting to erupt, will they put a rescuer through a theological test first? ‘Hmm, you are not an evangelical Protestant, so stay away from that car and my child!’ Only a fool would think and talk like this.

Another person put it this way: “If we can only be involved in endeavours with evangelicals and Protestants, then there isn’t much point going outside my front door. I shouldn’t go to the shops, or even go to work on that basis. In my current workplace of 15 I’m the only EP working with one Catholic and 12 unbelievers and 2 gay pagans. We are a good team and do a lot of good in our local families.”

As I have said countless times before: yes, doctrine matters. False theology will send you to an eternity away from God. So there is a time and a place to say no to false teaching and have some separation from those who push it. But this is not the time nor the place.

It is just like what Martin Niemoller (the German pastor and Holocaust survivor) said: “In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist. Then they came for the Jews, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.”

And then we have folks whining about ‘they are all Freemasons” and “this is just a ploy to get us all micro-chipped”. Good grief. When people care massively about the kidnapping, torture, rape and murder of children, and are willing to risk everything to stop it, this is NOT about some Masonic plot nor a ploy to get us all micro-chipped. All that these folks do with such foolishness is aid and abet the enemy – with more kids being trafficked.

Other objections

-When someone asked, “Who in their right mind would pick a fight about child sex trafficking?!” I answered; “Not everyone is in their right mind.” There are far too many brainless wonders out there – including in the Christian churches.

-Another person said there is so much more going on here, with so many more involved in this evil – things the film did not even cover. I said yes that is true, and if she reads my article and sees my link to the Jordan Peterson interview with the pair, she will see that both Tim and Jim DO tell us to be aware of the bigger picture.

Tim says for example that we need to “connect all the dots” on how children are being targeted. That includes unaccompanied minors coming through the southern border of America (85,000 of them are missing), as well as the sexualisation of children via sex ed, attempts to lower the age of consent, porn, the trans agenda, and so on – all softening us up to the peds.

-One person said to me, “enjoy the film” when I was about to go see it (I had not mentioned what film I was seeing). This of course is NOT a film you enjoy seeing. It makes you sick in the stomach – as it should. I prayed before seeing it that God would give me grace, and show me how to best utilise it for the Kingdom and to do my bit to help stop this diabolical trade.

-While some folks think the film is too graphic and hardcore, some others argue that the movie is too tame and doesn’t go far enough in exposing the horrors involved. Well, if they really want all the full-tilt graphic gore on this, it would have been slapped with an R or X rating, and no one would have seen it – or very few. I believe the film-makers got the right balance here in encouraging folks to see it without turning them off.

-There is the old canard ‘yeah, what about all the sexual abuse in the churches by priests and others?’ A few quick replies: Only a tiny fraction of Christian leaders and shepherds do this – just as a fraction of doctors, lawyers, politicians, atheists, and social workers do this. This film is about trying to protect children. It is not for the cranky old God-haters trying to score some more cheap points.

Indeed, one serial pest misotheist who often comes to my site said this: “you support and comment on a mostly fictional and discredited movie from 5 years ago”. Gotta love how these guys are so willing to lie about everything to defend their irrational hatred of God and his people.

In sum, while there might be some good reasons why some people will not go see the film, most of the reasons proffered are so much crappola. Guess what: the world does not just revolve around you. Try thinking of the stolen and abused kids, and how you might help them.

I quite like what my social media friend Beth said:

Fantastic article, Bill. I really implore my friends and family to go and see this film. Stop looking away like you can’t see those crying for help at the mercy of these predators. Stop imagining that these predators are creepy loners who hide out in alley ways….they oversee the courts, they teach your children, they operate on your sick, they own luxurious hotels and they make movies that you love. Open your eyes to the horror that children can be exposed to. Slavery is well and truly alive and thriving today – with children making up the majority of slaves…this movie might just wake up a sleeping society.

Closing quotes

Tim Ballard: “[Child sex trafficking] has already surpassed the illegal weapons trade, and soon it will surpass the drug trade. Do you know why? You can sell a bag of cocaine once. A 5-year-old child, you can sell them 5-10 times a day, for 10 years straight.”

Tim Ballard: “Do you know there are 22 million new images of child porn on the internet? That’s up 5,000% from just 5 years ago. 5000%.”

Katherine Ballard: “I don’t care if we end up living in a tent, but we will not go back to our Maker and say we didn’t try to help these children.”

Katherine Ballard: “Okay, so you quit your job, and you go rescue those kids.”

I am so glad he did, and ignored the many critics.

[1913 words]

15 Replies to “Countering the Critics of “Sound of Freedom””

  1. As Bill recommends: everyone should make the time to watch the 95 minute Jordan Peterson interview of Tim Ballard and Jim Caviezel, at
    It’s a powerful must watch! Caviezel actually breaks in and says it’s the best interview he’s ever experienced.
    The only negatives from an Evangelical perspective are irrelevant to saving children: the Shroud of Turin is mentioned; and Ballard mentions, hesitantly, that his wife may have had insight from pre-birth experience. But those Catholic and Mormon ideas are not mentioned in the film and in no way detract from the interview or from the clear intent of Ballard and Caviezel to follow God’s leading – and I certainly can’t throw the first stone to condemn any sin.

  2. Many thanks Peter. Yes it is a very important interview, and yes, there are a few small bits that biblical Christians might find problematic. But they are minimal in the overall interview.

    You are right about traditional LDS teaching and their idea of learning and developing in pre-mortal existence. I watched this interview twice, and the context of Ballard’s remarks is this: Peterson asked Tim how his wife had so much good insight and wisdom, and Tim spoke of what she had learned in childbirth and being a mother of 6 kids. Then he went on to say “I think she came with certain gifts as well before this life, but whatever it was…” (see from the 1:18 mark). Both times when I heard this I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt, hoping he was merely referring to her life before his work in the child trafficking trade. But yes, he more than likely was referring to this heterodox teaching. And you are right again to say that all this does not impact on the film itself.

    I have said so often that good theology and sound doctrine matter very much indeed. But as I said here, 99% of those watching the film would have no inkling about anything religious or theological going on. If false teaching WAS very evident and prominent in the film, I would NOT recommend it. But it is not. So this is where I think those risking life and limb to save trafficked children can be supported. Although as I also keep saying, I cannot support unbiblical teaching. So thanks again for your helpful and discerning insights.

  3. I read you often and appreciate your comments

    I saw the movie before I knew the funding behind it

    “Would you only want a Protestant/Evangelical to rescue your child”.

    That is truly a sad argument for us as believers

    So you disagree with the faith of the funders but appreciate the message

    Think about that

  4. Thanks. Ben. I have already said plenty of times that I disagree with the theology of some of those involved. But I am very grateful that hundreds of children have been rescued from these despicable abusers. So let me ask YOU again: If you had a child or grandchild kidnapped and abused by traffickers, and the ones seeking to rescue them were not someone in your “correct” and “safe” theological camp, would you oppose them or want them to stop? If you say yes, you may be a Pharisee, or a fool – or worse. If you say no, then you have made my case. Think about that.

    To be honest, I find it quite bizarre that I have to keep repeating myself here. Let me say it one more time – slowly: If you are seeking a new pastor, a Bible college professor, a Christian school teacher, a marriage partner, or a very close business associate, etc., then yes, a theological checklist is essential. If you want to rescue your enslaved child, or see a film about it, it is not. Think about that.

  5. I’m visiting in the US. One leftie relative said he will not see the movie because it’s political. I heard that politicians in DC were invited to see it. Several Republicans went but not one Democrat… I questioned why and a Republican friend chimed up.”It’s because of their border policy”…. Yes of course! The Dems are responsible for 85,000 children who went missing at the border. I guess that “makes it political.”

  6. Perhaps those who are wary of Mormons and Catholics making us aware of the evils of child sex trafficking might consider putting themselves forward.
    To my knowledge, Fred Hollows wasn’t a born again Christian. But I’m sure that didn’t matter to those whose sight he restored.

  7. If I had a nickel for every brain dead Christian siting in the pews…..

    I don’t know if the Shroud of Turin is real or not, couldn’t be the burial cloth those were strips but I’ve heard the explanation of it being the cloth used to cover him when taken down from the cross and transported to the grave, but I really don’t care. My faith isn’t dependent on a piece of cloth.

    I’ll work with anyone for non theological common goals. On those build a coalition of people with the same non theological common goal. On theological goals however yes I have prerequisites. Much could be done on the conservative side of the aisle if Christians would work with other conservatives on issues that aren’t theological. (I’ve seen conservatives who are occultists and while I want NOTHING to do with their religious views and don’t want them involved in anything religious in non religious battles with the secular leftists I’m not afraid to accept their help).

    The trans issue is bringing together muslims and Christians in Michigan as neither what this forced on our children. It might surprise you if you try to find out how much you have in common with INDIVIDUALS of non Christian beliefs. And that’s the big thing they are INDIVIDUALS. And perhaps you’re working with them on NON theological issues will expose them to Christianity in a way they have never been exposed to it before. Maybe YOUR working with them on some NON theological issues will open the door to converting them to Christianity. By refusing to work with non Christians you could be missing to opportunity to win a soul for Christ.

  8. I’m surprised that anyone would criticise this film on the basis of the theology of those involved in the production. We don’t judge, or even ask, about the beliefs of our doctor, our plumber or the supermarket checkout person.

    I’m also surprised, Bill, that you advocate a “theological checklist” be applied to a potential marital or business associate. Having worked in several workplaces in my career, I’ve rarely known what beliefs my fellow workers hold, nor has it seemed of any relevance in the secular world of business.

    I married a man from a different faith tradition and we’ve been very happy together for over 30 years. We don’t argue about theology because we both know it’s a matter of personal opinion. Who knows, we could both be wrong. We’ll never learn or consider a new viewpoint if we don’t discuss such matters with an open mind.

  9. Dear Bill, Thank you for the article. I went to see it last Monday night and I thought it was very well made. Explicit without being too graphic. All it needed was a bit of imagination but some people haven’t got any unfortunately. For instance it showed the little girl cowering on the bed and then the paedophile closing the curtains. Then you see the distressed little girl crying in the bath. As far as I am concerned it is not a religious issue. Everyone should be concerned about it, even atheists. They are children and as children they are helpless and vulnerable. Anyone who claims to be Christian should be horrified at the size of this and why was the MSM so quiet about the film? As far as I am concerned this film needs to be seen by everyone. Hope you are managing alright Bill.

  10. To Patricia – MSM not covering why?????? Two reasons I can think of: 1) it was a Christian made film, and 2) Christians weren’t the bad guys. If 1 wasn’t the case the probably could get behind it although that’s not guaranteed, if 2 was the case they DEFINITELY would get behind it. As it is it doesn’t have the “right” bad guys and if Christians say something is bad these Anti-Christians immediately say either it’s good or it’s no big deal depending on what it is.

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