Saturday, February 2, 2013

Exposing Extremism: The Kendrick Brothers

Fireproof, Facing the Giants, Alex Kendrick, Stephen Kendrick, Doug Phillips, Geoffrey Botkin
The Christian film making duo Alex and Stephen Kendrick have had a great deal of success with their Christian movie making ventures. Many of their movies have become wildly popular in evangelical and fundamentalist circles, including Facing the Giants, and Fireproof, whose cast include 80's sticom actor turned fundamentalist, Kirk Cameron.

Their movies are favorites in church crowds in most conservative denominations, but what would shock even many of these groups is who is actually behind many of these movies. 

Sure, the Kendrick brothers are making and producing these movies, but there are some very extreme people who are supporting them by promoting the movie, and even giving money to help the cause.

According to the extremism watch site, The Wartburg Watch, the brothers not only participated in, but accepted an award and cash prize ($101,000) from a group called the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival

They also attended a conference held by the SAICFF called the Christian Filmmakers Academy in 2009, and gave a speech to the crowd.

It's rather disturbing the list of people who are behind this film festival, the full list is available at The Wartburg Watch article:

Doug Phillips: He is the founder of SAICFF, and is also a leader in the pro-Christian Patriarchy group Vision Forum. Vision forum is anti women's rights, anti birth control, and are supporters of the Quiverfull movement, which teaches families to have as many children as they possibly can. 

There are also pro Young Earth Creationism, and believe that their daughters should not be allowed to go to college.

 Here's a quote from Phillips on evolution:
"Evolution says the struggle of the survival of the fittest, there are no differences between men and women, there is no charity, there is no deference, and in an evolutionary world feminism reaches its height and we see no distinctions. The result is babies are killed en masse, women are treated like chattel and men no longer take on their masculine role as defenders. "
Geoffrey Botkin: A man that one of the Kendrick brothers, Stephen, calls his "friend". That's right, he's of the family whose dysfunction, Christian extremism and psychological abuse (especially of women and children) inspired the term "Botkin Syndrome" to describe the psychological impact on cult survivors.

He is also a part of the Quiverfull mentality, and is so obsessed with having children, and teaching them his extremist views of Christianity that in a book he wrote, he said after his oldest daughter was born at home and his wife almost died because of it, (some families in the Quiverfull movement are opposed to medical care and science). He said at this moment, minutes after his daughter's birth, was thinking about his newborn daughters ovaries and the millions of eggs in them, and he felt moved to pray for the future of her descendants.

I honestly wish I was making this kind of bizarre behavior and beliefs up, but there are actually people out there like this, and it raises the question, why are the famous (in conservative Christian circles) Kendrick brothers so heavily involved with people like this? Either they are merely exploiting the support of cultists like Phillips and Botkin to further their career, or they agree with them, but don't want to say it due to fear of losing support from many Christian groups.

 Either prospect is frightening, because these two brothers and their movies are very popular in Christian circles. Many of their fans, who are relatively fundamentalist themselves, would be very concerned to find out that these kind of extremists are supporting them. Their movies are wildly popular in many groups, I remember myself watching Facing the Giants and Fireproof in my fundamentalist days. It makes me wonder just how much influence their movies have on this crowd.

If you know anyone who is still in the evangelical/fundamentalist world, send them a link to this post, see what they think, and they respond. I'm sure most of them would be very concerned about this.


  1. I think non-fundamentalists would be surprised at some of the other names associated with the San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival. Colin and Euan Gunn come to mind, the brothers behind "IndoctriNation", "Shaky Town" and "The Monstrous Regiment of Women". If the Kendrick brothers are in league with folks who celebrate THOSE films, it says volumes.

    1. Yep, the others are mentioned in The Wartburg Watch article. I think even many fundamentalists would be shocked to see who backs the Kendricks.

      Quiverfull/IFB types scare even many fundamentalist denominations like the Southern Baptists and Assembly of God/Pentecostal groups, and that's saying something.

    2. As a conservative Reformed Christian, I am scared by the whole Quiverfull/Patriarchy/Christian Reconstruction/Vision Forum/Etc./Etc./Etc. movement, and many of these people come from my own theological camp.

    3. ^^ Point proven.

      I know anyone who was familiar with these groups when I was involved in the Southern Baptist denomination either were scared of groups like them, or tried to distance themselves from them/dismiss them as a cult (that's not true Christianity!).

      I hope you stick around, Johnny FM, you may not necessarily like much of what I post, but I hope you stay and read, and comment. I appreciate a good discussion.

  2. great piece. And so true. My sister actually entered a film at the SAIFF a few years ago. Her film was shown. Had she won, she would't have been able to receive the award by herself for being female. I don't know if they've changed since then, but its absurd.

    1. So no matter how good her film would have been, it wouldn't have been shown, because it was made by a woman?

      Knowing the backers behind this, it's not surprising.


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