American Gospel: Christ Alone is a film about what Americans understand to be the good news of the Christian faith. It asks, “Is Christianity Christ + the American dream?” It then tells “how the prosperity gospel (the Word of Faith movement) has distorted the gospel message, and how this theology is being exported abroad.” It is, in short, a film about how the gospel espoused by so many so-called Christians is not good news at all. This gospel is not drawn from the Bible but from the worldly desire for a long, comfortable, and affluential life.
Much of the film is spent exploring the history of the Word of Faith movement, explaining its key claims and promises, and showcasing clips from its foremost leaders. We see how its chief proponents live in ostentatious wealth, how they take advantage of their hopeful but gullible followers, and how they misuse the Bible to suit their own purposes. We see their empty promises and the long trail of devastated lives they leave behind them. We see the sheer ugliness of this gross distortion of the true and glorious gospel of Jesus Christ.
American Gospel is framed around several key characters and a number of ongoing narratives. These provide the cohesion, the interest, and the human dimension that makes it so compelling. We hear from Costi Hinn as he tells of the days he traveled in luxury with his uncle Benny before he eventually came to see that he was participating in something abhorrent. We hear from Sean Demars and Katherine Berger as they explain how they once bought into the promises of the Word of Faith movement before finally seeing them as the Satanic distortion they are. Christians leaders like Michael Horton, Jackie Hill-Perry, Matt Chandler, Bryan Chapell, Nate Pickowicz, R. Scott Clark, Julius Kim, and Justin Peters serve as teachers and guides.
The great strength of the film is that it’s not only a negative examination of the Word of Faith movement, but also a very positive and helpful examination of biblical truth. Those who watch it will not only be convinced that the prosperity gospel is evil, but they will also know exactly why it is so evil. Even better, they will hear the true and saving gospel of Christ’s atoning death and resurrection. They will be equipped to resist and refute what is wrong and to explain and celebrate what is so much better.
We didn't make this film—our friend Brandon Kimber did. But we believe in the message of the film so much that we manufactured our own Media Gratiae Feature Edition Series version of the DVD, and we are distributing it worldwide. Let me put it bluntly: I think that everyone you know needs to see this film.
To all my irreligious friends: I want you to know that much of what you have seen touted as Christianity and have rejected, I utterly reject it too. In fact, I despise it. I hate it with a perfect hatred.
To all my religious friends: I want you to know that much of what we are being fed from pulpits and bookstores today could not be further from the Word of God, no matter how many Bible verses a preacher strings together to make his point.
To all of you: More than anything else in this world, I want you to hear the Gospel—the true and genuine Gospel. And that is going to mean that the lies and deceit of the so-called "American Gospel" are going to have to be exposed for what they are. That is just what my friend Brandon Kimber has done in this film, and I commend it to you wholeheartedly.
- Matthew Robinson, Director, Media Gratiae
American Gospel is an excellent film to watch individually or as a family. It may also be ideal to play before a church, youth group, or young adults gathering (though you’ll want to talk to Transition Studios about a special license for that before you do it). I highly recommend it.
- Tim Challies, challies.com
This is the best clarifying juxtaposition of truth and prosperity preaching I know of. I pray that millions of people around the world will watch this for the glory of Christ and His good news.
- John Piper, desiringgod.org