A Conversation With Kirk Cameron on Media Discernment (Part II)

Cameron and doctor

Yesterday, we posted the first part of an interview I had with Kirk Cameron who just so happens to be releasing Connect, a film about the need for media discernment and technological awareness. We continue today with more thoughts along that line as I ask him why he chose to interview a young man about his pornography addiction.

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Bob Waliszewski: In Connect, you interview Christian Muñoz, who admits getting into porn at a very early age. He says, “A phone can get you anything you want.” Of course, he’s referring to pornography. There are other things a phone can get you into. Why did you choose to use Christian in your film?

Kirk Cameron: We wanted to use Christian because I think his story is very relatable. I think there are a lot of kids who can relate to Christian: [They] have gotten tangled up in the world of pornography because it’s so prevalent. It’s so accessible today. We wanted kids to understand you’re not alone and that there is a way out of this and there is hope and here’s a guy who can tell you how he did it.

Ultimately, [that help is] found through a real relationship with Christ. When a child’s faith really becomes their own—when it’s no longer something that’s just believed because their parents told them, but it’s really something they’ve experienced through their own genuine repentance and faith in the Lord—that changes everything. It breaks the chains of the past. Because you’ve done some bad things doesn’t mean you’re a bad kid forever. It doesn’t mean that your past defines you. You can have a new beginning and you can find freedom from all of that bondage through the power of the Spirit of God who breaks every chain and raises the dead and give sight to the blind. That’s exciting to me. I wanted parents to see that and I want young people to see that.

Waliszewski: Kirk, describe how a movie or a song as you were growing up made a positive difference in your life. Or, on the other hand, was there any movie that was a huge stumbling block in your life?

Cameron: That’s a great question. Nobody’s ever asked me that before, so I’m just taking a moment here to think about that. …

I remember seeing a movie, I think it might have been Risky Business with Tom Cruise or maybe it was Sixteen Candles when I was a kid, [or] The Breakfast Club. You remember some of these movies back in the day. This is before I was a Christian, so I didn’t know what a worldview was, but those began to shape my worldview. That looks like a good time. That looks like lots of fun. Hey, there are people who think like this and maybe it’s okay to behave like that and that’s cool. You want to be like that. These people are famous and successful. I think it was ultimately when someone shared the Gospel with me that I began to change in terms of my media choices. I wanted to see things that would reinforce my faith and what was going to build me up in that. So, then when I started to listen to Christian radio, that’s when I started wanting to be involved in making media projects that were more geared toward just reinforcing the right worldview. I have to think some more about some movies and projects that have had a real positive impact on me. I actually don’t watch that many movies or watch that many TV programs. It’s kind of weird because I make movies and I was on TV, but I actually don’t watch that much.

Waliszewski: Let me ask a similar question: How do you think some of the Christian films that you’ve been involved in impacted someone else’s story? Have you heard from anyone who said, “Hey, thanks—my marriage was restored because I saw you in Fireproof”?

Cameron: We received so many emails and stories from people who saw Fireproof and were rocked by that movie. Their marriage was impacted greatly by it. I’ve even met people who have tattooed the artwork for Fireproof on their body because of the impact that it’s made on their marriage. People have come up to us at live events and said, it was Fireproof that rescued our relationship. I’ve heard stories of people being in the movie theater standing up at the end during the credits, and one man stood up and said … I need ten men to come over and pray for me right now because my marriage is falling apart.

I heard a story of a guy who was having an affair and took his mistress to the movies one evening to see a film and they thought, this looks interesting. Some firefighter movie. Maybe it’s like Backdraft or something like that. So they go into watch this movie together and he’s feeling convicted about the affair because of the content in Fireproof.  She wants to leave and he says I want to see how this whole thing ends and what this guy does, and by the time they leave the movie theater, they’re walking out and he breaks the whole thing off. He goes home and confesses his adulteress affair to his wife. They’re in counseling and are reconciling as he’s writing up this email. It’s been some pretty powerful stuff.

Waliszewski: It really is. Last question. Tell us the details about your film and how people get tickets to it. Should parents take their kids to see Connect, or would it create a wall between them?

Cameron: Yes. Parents should take their kids to see Connect. I made it for them in mind and to bring walls down between parents and kids. … I think kids will find it fascinating. It will educate and empower them as well as parents and start some great conversations.

Thanks to strong demand, Fathom Events is adding two encore presentations of Connect: Tuesday, March 20 and Saturday, March 24, both at 7 p.m. (local time). Tickets will go on sale March 14 and can be purchased at participating theaters or by visiting www.ConnectMovie.com.

Who wrote this?

Bob Waliszewski is the director of the Plugged In department. His syndicated "Plugged In Movie Review" feature is heard by approximately 9 million people each week on more than 1,500 radio stations and other outlets and has been nominated for a National Religious Broadcaster's award. Waliszewski is the author of the book Plugged-In Parenting: How to Raise Media-Savvy Kids With Love, Not War. You can follow him on Twitter @PluggedInBob.

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