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Which came first, the chicken or the egg? In Matter of Faith (Christian film maker Rich Christiano’s latest film) college freshman Rachel Whitaker (Jordan Trovillion) is faced with just this question. Setting out for the adventure of college from a Christian home, Rachel’s faith was pretty strong. Her beliefs start to crumble, however, when her favorite Biology professor Marcus Kaman (Harry Anderson) starts teaching evolution. Shocked by the change in his daughter, Rachel’s father Stephen Whitaker (Jay Pickett) sets out to discover the root of the problem--and to do something about it. This family friendly film will remind parents and children alike of the importance of being ready to defend your faith.
The film Matter of Faith was written less as a film chock full of defenses for Creationism, and more as a wake up call to parents. Although Matter of Faith does present some valuable defenses and explanations for Creationism (especially during the debate scene between Rachel’s father and Professor Kaman), much more of the focus is directed toward opening parent’s eyes to the world their children will enter. Although most parents, unlike Stephen Witaker, will not be surprised that a public university is teaching evolution, many are not aware how swaying day after day of evolutionary teaching can be on a young person’s faith. Matter of Faith is intended to remind parents, and children, that the enemy will use every power to trip us up, and education is one of his biggest tools.
While this film attempts to open the viewers eyes to the reality of education and a person’s beliefs, it also indirectly calls us to action. When Rachel’s father travels three hours to confront Professor Kaman he is challenged to a debate, which he accepts, much to Rachel’s horror. While I doubt many viewers are willing to take a Professor of Biology head on in a collegiate level debate, it points out a valuable lesson--for parents, the most important thing should be your child’s faith. Stephen Witaker cared for his daughter’s reputation, education, and immediate future, but her eternal future and heart attitude trumped these in his mind. Instead of sitting in a chair bemoaning the fact that his child was leaving the faith, he did something radical to bring her back--love does radical things.
While Rachel’s father was willing to take radical steps to save his daughter’s faith, many parents hope they will never be in that situation. Matter of Faith has a lesson for these parents to--a Biblical lesson (Proverbs 22:6). If parents are aware of the opposition their child’s faith will have when they enter higher academia or the workforce, then they should be equipping their child to stand strong. This lesson can honestly be applied to ever viewer as well, each should be striving to equip themselves with godly knowledge so they can stand strong, in spite of what the world may throw their way (a Biblical lesson as well, see 1 Peter 3:15). Once Stephen Witaker equipped himself, he could stand against Professor Kaman’s arguments during the debate. In the same way, we should equip ourselves and be ready to “give an answer.”
This is an important movie for parents to watch as it will encourage them to talk to their children and help them be ready for when they must face a university and the real world.
As if the previous ones mentioned are not enough, Matter of Faith is filled with other valuable life lessons viewers of all ages can learn. First, viewers will be challenged to have the courage to stand for what they believe in, even if they do not have all the answers. When Rachel’s father accepts Professor Kaman’s challenge of a debate, he defiantly does not know every in and out of the belief he is defending, but he is willing to step out in faith to defend his faith. The second valuable lesson viewers can glean, is trust. Trust that God will faithfully support you when you step out to defend him. Trust that your parents will not destroy your life aspirations. Trust that the Word of God is true, and powerful. The final lesson, is faith. Faith that God will provide whatever we need--answers, protection, support, a job. Faith that what you believe is true--no matter what the world may try to convince you of. And the knowledge that it takes just as much faith to believe in something else as it does to believe in God. Because when it all boils down, it is just a Matter of Faith.
The film Matter of Faith is perfect for the entire family--especially if you have a child headed of to college. It will serve as a reminder that we must always be on our guard, but that God is faithful. It will remind you to be “in the world but not of it.” It will challenge you to do something--even radical things. It will encourage you to become equipped to “give an answer,” whether to your children, professor, or friends. You will be encouraged and inspired by the answers given in Matter of Faith, and will probably learn something new from the Creation v. Evolution debate! It will give you valuable tools to start discussions with your children, small group, or friends on endless topics ranging from Creation v. Evolution, to how to equip yourself to defend your faith and give an answer. Most importantly, you will be reminded that wherever you stand, everything rests on faith, belief, and trust.
Matter of Faith has been rated PG by the Motion Picture Association of America for mild thematic elements. This film did, however, receive the “Faith Friendly” seal for ages twelve and up from Dove Foundation. As always, it is recommended that parents preview all content to determine what is considered suitable for their children, but this film is acceptable for most audiences.
A Christian girl, Rachel Whitaker, played by Jordan Trovillion, goes off for her first year of college and begins to be influenced by her popular Biology professor, played by Harry Anderson, who teaches that evolution is the answer to the origins of life.
A movies that gets you thinking (Posted on 1/5/16)
We really enjoyed this movie... I would highly recommend this for parents and teens to watch and discuss together. There are many good talking points! (Posted on 12/30/15)