Chosen by Love

Chosen By Love Challenges the Church to Live Its Message (Movie Review)

Billie Jo YoumansBy Billie Jo Youmans6 Minutes

Like every JC Film (Jason Campbell) production, Chosen By Love is ambitious and well-intentioned. Unfortunately, the multiple storylines and oversimplification of deep and complex issues will tempt you to shut it off. Don’t.

Jason Campbell is a micro-budget filmmaker who understands that Christians are called to step up to the plate and bring the hope of Jesus Christ to the troubling issues of our world. And he uses the medium of film to show us the way.

Chosen By Love challenges viewers to consider the desperate plight of the hundreds of thousands of children in America whose families have been shattered by addiction and violence. The movie honors the courageous love of parents who give up children to adoption—and the sacrificial love of foster and adoptive parents. And Chosen By Love calls the Church to see and respond to the needs of parents and children.

With six families being portrayed, there is quite an array of actors. Kevin Sorbo (Hercules, God’s Not Dead) and Dean Cain (Superman) are the most well-known of the cast. Nearly every character in the movie faces deeply emotional issues—an abused orphan, a searching adoptee, some “too-perfect” parents—but most of the scenes and performances lack texture and depth. But again—stay with the intent and Chosen By Love will bless you.

A Little Entertainment

The movie launches you right into the midst of several families engaged in the messiness of life. It took me a few minutes to sort out who was who and what was happening. Chosen By Love courageously confronts many of the heartaches of 21st-century living—child abuse, drug addiction, and divorce to name a few. You quickly enter into several scenarios:

  • A single mom “forced” into choosing adoption—and a family desperately longing for a child.
  • Several “professionals” in the broken child welfare system who are willing to fight for justice for the children they serve.
  • A loving Christian family embracing the needs of traumatized children.
  • An adoptee seeking to know her birth mother.

And with all that, I think I may be still missing a storyline or two.

It’s a busy movie with some sugar-coated solutions that portray how things “ought to be.” Oddly, that presentation feels right—because as Christians, we should aim for what is right. It won’t be quite as easy (or executed so perfectly) as the movie portrays, but there is much we can do to change the sad realities around us. Those situations break the heart of God, and as His children, we have been Chosen By Love to make a difference!

A Little Deeper Digging

God declares that the pursuit of justice is His expectation. Isaiah 1:17 states it concisely:

Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, and plead the widow’s cause.

Chosen By Love calls believers follow that instruction – and the dozens of other Scriptures that urge believers to act on God’s behalf. Let’s pause to consider what the Bible says about the justness of God:

But you must return to your God; maintain love and justice, and wait for your God always (Hosea 12:6).

Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him (Isaiah 30:18).

…and what the Bible says about the believer’s responsibility with regard to justice:

Give justice to the weak and the fatherless; maintain the right of the afflicted and the destitute (Psalm 82:3).

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne [God]; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you (Psalm 89:14).

He has showed you, O man, what is good, and what does the LORD  require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God (Micah 6:8).

Chosen By Love wraps up with very clear suggestions on making a difference for children in crisis—not everyone can adopt or foster parent, but everyone can be part of the solution. A simple Google search will put you in touch with ministries that can help you accomplish any of their suggestions:

  • Open a foster care closet to support those who open their homes,
  • Offer a free night out to foster and/or adoptive parents,
  • Connect with (or start) a mentoring program for community children,
  • Encourage the birth mothers, honor them for their courage, love, and sacrifice,
  • Be educated and involved on the legislative issues surrounding children,
  • And PRAY to the Father above who loves each of these children passionately.

The Bible tells us that God knows when a sparrow falls to the ground. He is a loving compassionate God. Certainly the 400,000 children in the foster care system in America weigh heavily on the His heart. How will you help these little ones feel God’s loving concern today?