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ChildCare Action Project:
Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones (which includes at-home teens) through you, their parents and grandparents, in His name by His Word

(2003), PG-13

Analysis Date
CAP Final Score
CAP Influence Density
September 29, 2003
74 out of 100

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ALERT: To fully understand this report you should first visit the topics suggested by the CAP Site Map (Table of Contents). Further, if you do not want the plot, ending, or "secrets" of a movie spoiled for you, skip the Summary/Commentary. In any case, be sure to visit the Findings/Scoring section -- it is completely objective to His Word and is the heart of the CAP Entertainment Media Analysis Model applied to this movie.


If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary likely using a mix of KJV and NIV.

(2003), PG-13 -- ...I break with my own policy of not recommending any film...

Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (DE): Neue Film produktion TV
Distribution (US): R.S. Entertainment Inc.
Director(s): Eric Till
Producer(s): Dennis A. Clauss, Kurt Rittig, Brigitte Rochow, Peter Schiller, Christian P. Stehr, Alexander Thies
Written by/Screenplay: Camille Thomasson, Bart Gavigan
Cinematography/Camera: Robert Fraisse
Music: Richard Harvey
Film Editing: Clive Barrett
Casting: Brigitte Rochow
Production Design: Rolf Zehetbauer
Art Direction: Ralf Schreck, Christian Schäfer, Václav Vohlídal

The tag line for Luther is "Rebel, Genius, Liberator." But 16th century Dr. Martin Luther did not rebel against the Holy Roman Catholic Church. He rebelled at what he found in it. Indeed he joined the Catholic church to serve as an Augustinian monk. Dr. Luther "rebelled" to correct what still prevails in many organizations which profess to be Christian: that which I call situational redefinition, counterfeiting and conditional application of God's Word to suit cultural tolerances, political correctness and man's own belly [Rom. 16:17 - 18, Acts 20:30].

During a visit to Rome hoping to fortify his faith, Dr. Luther found some practices of the Catholic Church to be in conflict with Scripture. He found abuse of power by the church. He found that the Catholic church was teaching people that they could purchase forgiveness: that payment plus performance would release their loved ones from purgatory (purgatory is temporary condemnation of sinners after Salvation to a place like Hell as punishment for our "venial" sins not fully atoned); that forgiveness was taught as attainable through money and deed and without Jesus. He found the worship of sainted Christians, of artifacts and relics. Dr. Luther even took issue with the church saying that man (a priest) could forgive man's sins apart from Jesus; that a mediator between man and God was provided by a priest. All this even though by God's Word all we need to do for forgiveness of our sins is to ask Jesus for forgiveness in faith believing that He is Lord and resurrected Savior: that it is a free gift; that His death paid the price of our sins; that His resurrection defeated death and gives us eternal life if we believe on Him as Lord and Savior.

Dr. Luther wrote 95 theses about the wrongs he found and nailed them to the door of the church in Wittenburg, Germany. This act set forth a flurry of dissent and anger and served to divide the people regarding the Catholic Church. A Cardinal told Luther "Christianity is tearing apart! And just when we need unity the most, you create confusion!" Well, if "Christianity" was being torn apart by God's Word, it was not Christianity but rather "Churchianity." "Churchianity" might be described as a system of worship and obedience doctrines which satisfy man but any adherence to the teachings and expectations of Jesus - the Christ in Christian - is coincidental, superficial, or counterfeited. A noble destination does not excuse an ignoble path.

As word of Luther's arguments with the doctrines of the Catholic church spread, so spread violence. Isn't it so typical that we resort to violence when threatened with Truth that splits what we have lived for years? The "commoners" were emboldened by Dr. Luther's findings and revolted against the church. Thousands died. The Catholic church was split beyond reconciliation. Dr. Luther was made an outlaw, exiled and excommunicated by both the church and the Emperor in purely political moves. He was even threatened with being burned at the stake.

Dr. Luther stood fast in his faith in God's Word: "My conscience is captive to the Word of God." Indeed, his example rightfully shows us that if we find friction with God's Word by our faiths, beliefs, practices and doctrines, we must look to our faiths, beliefs, practices and doctrines for the cause of the friction, not to God's Word.

As you might imagine I, in this ministry which places all faith and foundation in His Word, found fuel in Dr. Luther's complete reliance on the Word of God. Jesus spent three days in Hell so you and I would not have to spend one moment there How dare we pabulum feed the people with watered down versions of His Word to suit our own lifestyles and desires! In a nutshell, that is what Dr. Luther was preaching. And the church revolted against Luther's preachings since its security was being threatened by them and since it had built an empire on convenience and manipulative "interpretations" of God's Word. God warned of great woes for s/he who would "take away from the words of the book of this prophecy." [Rev. 22:19] God also told us exactly what His Word is to us. [2 Tim. 3:16] Luther may very well have been God's tool for implementing His Wrath on the then Catholic church for its corruptions of His Word.

One lesson that can be taken from this accounting of the Life of Dr. Martin Luther is given us in John 7:24 that tells us "Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment." All the rituals and rites, all the the relics and religions -- the appearances -- do not make them Biblically correct and cannot be taken to usurp the Word of God. Indeed, if, in our ignorance of His Word we fabricate and follow rites and rituals which fly in the face of His Word for whatever reason, we err and miss the matter of His Word which can cause us to lose our way [Matt. 22:29].

Another lesson to be taken is that Salvation is a free gift. A gift that cannot be earned by deeds or bought with money [Eph. 2:8 - 9]. A free gift that will not be denied us even if we feel "unworthy." Salvation is God's Grace and is available to all who ask forgiveness straight of God, not through a priest or pennies, believing that Jesus is Lord and Savior.

I am not going to spend any more effort in speaking to the story of Dr. Martin Luther as depicted in Luther in hopes that, even though I break with my own policy of not recommending any film, you will consider seeing this dynamic film of the Truth that set the Christian world on its ear and changed it forever. But understand there are examples of programming that you might not want to tolerate. There are eight uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary [Col. 4:6] and one use of God's name in vain but without the four letter expletive [Deut. 5:11]. To add to these ignominies are some issues of graphic violence such as being burned at the stake, brutality of civil unrest and a room full of body parts. The greatest issues likely to concern the caring Christian parent are the plot-necessary presentations of Salvation through giving and deed; that outside the Holy Roman Catholic Church there is no Salvation.

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If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ]. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.

  • Rom. 16:17 - 18 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned [God's Word]; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
  • Acts 20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.
  • Rev. 22:19 And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
  • 2 Tim. 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
  • Matt. 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them [the Sadducees, as they tried to trip Jesus in His knowledge of the Scriptures], Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God.
  • (KJV) Eph. 2:8 - 9 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (NIV) For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith -and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God - not by works, so that no one can boast.
  • Col. 4:6 Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.
  • Deut. 5:11 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain: for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain. [Vain is shav' {shawv}: emptiness, nothingness, vanity, such as an expletive. With or without the four letter expletive, the use of God's name in any way other than respect, reverence or thoughtful discussion is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the misuse of Jesus' name.]

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, pay for it, enjoy it, want it. I call attention to Ps. 12:8 to warn of the creeping desensitizing power of "entertainment."]
  • Col. 2:8 Beware lest any man [by his influence] spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
  • 1 Cor. 15:33 (KJV) Be not deceived: evil communications corrupt good manners. (NIV) Do not be misled: Bad company corrupts good character.
  • Jude 4 For certain men* whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are godless men, who change [warp, distort, falsely represent, situationally redefine, counterfeit, conditionally apply] the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. [*men: anthropos {anth'-ro-pos}, generic, a human being, whether male or female]
  • Matt. 25:40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto [or for] one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto [or for] me.
  • Luke 17:2 It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. [cause by teaching or example]
  • Ps. 119:133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.
  • John 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
  • 1 Thess. 5:22 Abstain from all appearance of evil.


    As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.


    Luther (2003) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
  • civil frenzy
  • threat to kill
  • threat with weapons
  • abduction
  • double hanging (hanging bodies seen)
  • civil unrest with brutality
  • room full of carnage gore
  • battle gore

    Impudence/Hate (I)
  • eight uses of the three/four letter word vocabulary
  • father's emotional brutality of son

    Sexual Immorality (S)
  • prostitution
  • drawing of human nudity - posterior
  • man and woman in bed together - clothed

    Drugs/Alcohol (D):
  • none noted

    Offense to God (O)
  • "I wish there were no God."
  • preaching of being able to purchase forgiveness/Salvation with deed or money, repeatedly
  • "Outside the Holy Roman Catholic Church there is no Salvation"
  • a single use of God's name in vain but without the four letter expletive
  • preaching a man can forgive our sins

    Murder/Suicide (M)
  • hanging victim - suicide
  • burning at stake

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    There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.

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