Sam Childers is many things to many people not least of which is the fact he is the Machine Gun Preacher. Sam is both a hero to some, a villain and truly polarizing religious figure and all of this is featured in the new movie starring Gerard Butler aptly titled Machine Gun Preacher.
Gerard Butler brings to life the story of Sam Childer’s who was a drug addicted felon who in his earlier years would beat people to a pulp to get a fix and spent his time doing crimes and serving time.
After his stripper girlfriend ( played by Michelle Monaghan ) finds God after a stretch in prison Sam initially continues down his path of destruction and chaos before finding God himself and going down a path of true conviction.
Machine Gun Preacher is a dark story of survival and the human spirit but what makes it truly monumental is the fact it tells the story of a man who to this day lives in the Sudan trying to save orphans from being tortured, raped and sold into slavery by the most vile man on earth known as General Koney.
Before I saw Machine Gun Preacher I watched online video interviews with Sam Childer where he talked about his role in the Sudan and his title of ‘Machine Gun Preacher’. He got the name because unlike most aid organizations he was not willing to sit idle while children were murdered and his orphange was burned to the ground. Worse yet to traditional aid organizations Sam was even willing to go on the hunt and kill the Koney soldiers to prevent future harm in the Sudan to children.
You can find literally hundreds of articles online both praising and critizing Sam Childer as being a villain at worst and at best a man chasing celebrity who exagerates what he is really doing in the Sudan. Is he really an ass kicking preacher who packs a machine gun or is he just a glad hander looking to grow his ministry?
I do not know the answers but what I do know is that this movie is a truly moving experience and having read articles and watched interviews with Sam I have come to the conclusion that both his detractors and his fans are right.
His detractors say he is a mercenary who makes it impossible for Aid Groups in the Sudan to help people. Aid groups are supposed to be neutral and not part of the fight and Sam running around shooting people muddies the lines and puts aid workers and refugees at even more risk.
His fans say he is the sword of God and that in taking up arms to protect innocent children he is doing the work of God and should be praised. Is Sam really hurting anyone in a country where hundreds of thousands are burned alive, mutilated and killed? By taking up the sword as part of his religious beliefs and saving literally thousands of orphans many can see him as a hero.
All I know if having read the stories and seen the movie I can not help but think any man who is willing to go into Sudan when the world’s super powers stood by and did nothing and save children I support it. With 400,000 people massacred by the warlord Koney and over40,000 children abducted and forced to murder their own children before being tortured and turned into child slaves I say a hero comes in many forms and sometimes a hero is the former felon with a machine gun that they call the White Preacher in Sudan.
Say what you will about Sam Childers the Machine Gun Preacher at least he is doing something that he thinks is right and standing up for children who without him would be murdered in the night. Go buy or rent Machine Gun Preacher and then join the conversation.
Watch an interview with Sam Childers below.