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A Formal Apology to 'Mom's Night Out

I took issue with the film, not the people, but my actions should have been kinder.

Image source: MomsNightOutMovie.com

Last week I saw the movie “Mom’s Night Out” and I wrote a scathing review, based solely and myopically on the film’s content.

For my hurtful words, I must apologize as publicly as I disparaged the film itself, because I now realize I hurt some very talented artists and even friends who were trying to make a movie about Christians simply being normal human beings, like everyone else.

For their efforts, they deserved better than I gave them in my review, because they succeeded in making a very funny, quirky, and entertaining film about honest, believable, flawed Christian characters. It made me laugh.

Image source: MomsNightOutMovie.com Image source: MomsNightOutMovie.com 

Unfortunately, despite the humor, some of the plot twists in the film distracted me. My critique was so strong because I took offense at the messages I discovered in the film - messages that perhaps weren’t even intended.

I have long maintained that one should not be offended if no offense is meant, and I unwittingly broke my own rule. For this, I am ashamed. My reaction was knee-jerk and presumptuous, and though I stand by my critique of the elements of the film, my review lacked the necessary grace that my Christian religion calls me to.

The actors in this film were, to a person, excellent, and while my review honored them with the occasional positive adjective, I want to directly comment here that they all played their parts with incredible aplomb, striking the notes of humor adeptly yet with dignity. The direction of the film was mostly masterful – few films are perfect, and doing a comedy is especially hard, so, kudos to some fantastic direction, and a terrific script, with my previously noted plot-turn exceptions.

I cannot rescind my critique, nor do I intend to rehash it here. (You can read it here.) If you are not a Christian, this film will probably mean a lot of laughs and giggles for you. If you are a Christian, despite the few things I’ve already pointed out, you may thoroughly enjoy yourself in the theater. The audience seeing it with me certainly did!

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“Moms’ Night Out” does not preach Christianity, and that is precisely what disappointed me, but it is also what others may enjoy about it.

I believe Christianity raises us up. As followers of the One True God, we are meant to hold ourselves to a higher standard and although it is my wish to see that standard portrayed for others to witness, perhaps I have no right to demand that in films I watch. This may, in fact, be a crucial discussion our society should be having today.

But regardless of my reaction to the film, the Christian response is to be modeled after the love Christ showed the world; the woman at the well and the lepers and the Roman whose ear He healed as He was being dragged off to certain death. The Christian expectation stands, and I must honor it. Sometimes (often) Christians fail, as depicted in the movie and as I have so spectacularly shown in my review, but we are ever called to strive (and even to apologize). That is what sets Christianity apart from other religions: the constant struggle, against our human weaknesses, to emulate a man who sacrificed His very life for all of us.

I don’t claim to be judge and jury, only an individual with an opinion – a strong one that admittedly gets me into trouble sometimes. I beg for the forgiveness of those I have hurt. I took issue with the film, not the people, but my actions should have been kinder. The Good News is that we can all find forgiveness if we look in the right place.

TheBlaze contributor channel supports an open discourse on a range of views. The opinions expressed in this channel are solely those of each individual author.

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