Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Monumental: Inspiring Film Retraces America’s Roots of Faith and Greatness

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What made America one of the greatest nations on earth? Can its citizens rediscover that greatness before their nation is overcome by mediocrity, selfishness, and sin? In the new film Monumental: In Search of America’s National Treasure, premiering March 27 for one night in over 550 theaters nationwide, former Hollywood actor (now a Christian apologist) Kirk Cameron (left) takes a look back at the generations that founded America to determine what special characteristics they had that gave the nation its momentum toward greatness and prosperity. He also looks at where the nation stands today to try to determine if its people can reach back and re-embrace the qualities that made America a shining light for the world.

America is “the richest, freest nation the world has ever seen,” Cameron said recently as he spoke about the film project he has been working on the past two years. “Everyone wants to live here. But as I look around, I’m left with a sinking feeling that America is losing her way…. The soul of our country is sick, and history shows me we are headed for disaster if we don’t change course now.”

As Americans by and large look to their political leaders for a plan to get the nation back on track, Cameron suggests that perhaps there is a better way. “What if real change doesn’t start at the top but at the bottom?” he asks. “What if the best place to begin transforming our country is not the Oval Office but the dinner table?”

Cameron explained that Monumental began as his personal journey to find the roots of America’s greatness, “retracing the footsteps of our Founders from England to America in the hope of discovering our true ‘national treasure.’” He said that he suspects “our Forefathers knew we were a forgetful people, that someday we would lose our way as a nation. So they left us a map that would guide us back to the source of America’s success.”

Cameron told Christianity Today that Monumental is an attempt to go back in time and dialogue with the men and women who laid the foundation for America’s greatness. “Who are they?” he asked. “Why did they do what they did? Where did they get their ideas from? How did this whole thing come together?”

He explained that his search took him all the way back to Europe to retrace “the escape route of the Pilgrims to understand who they are and why they came here. The film is like going on a journey, and it’s taking you with me. It’s telling you the stories and putting you in the shoes of the Pilgrims.”

In retracing the steps of America’s Pilgrim forebears, Cameron found that the “true roots of America go all the way back to the ancient Hebrew republic. You can trace those roots at Jamestown back to Europe as well. This is the trail of freedom that leads us all the way back to the ancient Hebrews under Moses where he first delivered those laws of liberty — when he told them to elect leaders, men of character that you willingly submit yourself to, to self-govern rather than have a king. To me, the most inspiring demonstration of those principles was found in the Pilgrims.”

Cameron, who is unapologetically Christian in his worldview, told Christianity Today that with all the confusion and conflict whirling throughout the nation’s political and social climate, the only hope for renewal “is in the power of God and his gospel working in the hearts of people.” He noted, however, that Christianity “is not limited to just getting you and me out of hell. It is all-inclusive and permeates every aspect of God’s world. That means when I live out his principles, my marriage begins to be reconciled to God and it begins to reflect beautiful, godly things. And then my family is being reconciled to one another and to God.”

He explained that the Pilgrims believed that such a faith “would work itself out right through your church, your business, your society, your nation, and the world, so that ultimately you would have filled the land with the glory of God.”

Cameron told the Christian Post that over the past couple of generations a subtle “there’s noting I can do” attitude has crept into the American psyche that places the nation in danger of failure. “If our ancestors had that mindset hundreds of years ago, we would never have produced the most blessed, strongest, secure nation in the world that has then been able to send the Gospel out to the ends of the Earth,” he said.

He said that Monumental is an effort to show viewers how they can be a part of helping America regain the faith and confidence that characterized its earlier history. And such a transformation begins in hearts and homes rather than the White House, he challenged.

“The biblical method of change begins in the heart of man with the Gospel,” he said. “It transforms the mind of man and gradually works its way out. And it builds a nation from the bottom up.” He added that it also includes parents spending time their children, “teaching them faith, character, and courage, and then over the course of generations you fill the country with men and women of virtue and character, and then they are elected by their peers to be leaders.”

More than anything, Cameron said he hopes that his film will convince people that God has not given up on America. “We have hope because God is hope,” he said.

Monumental is scheduled for a one-night premier in over 550 movie theaters nationwide Tuesday, March 27 at 7:30 p.m. ET. That will be followed by a limited release March 30, and nationwide screenings in selected cities. For more information visit the Monumental movie website.

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