Pastor Chad Veach believes God is unrelenting in His pursuit of His people - and He is willing and able to grant freedom and healing from sexual brokenness and shame.
Veach, pastor of Zoe Church in Los Angeles, California and author of the best-selling book "Unreasonable Hope," serves as the executive producer on a forthcoming film that drives home that very truth.
"The Heart of Man, hitting theaters for one night on Sept. 14, is a powerful re-telling of the Prodigal Son intertwined with the stories of real-life individuals who have struggled with sexual brokenness - and experienced freedom.
"When I first screened 'The Heart of Man' I stood up and said, 'every person needs to watch this film,'" Veach told The Gospel Herald in an exclusive interview. "It's not just about addiction and sexual struggles - it's the story of God's unrelenting love, that He pursues us in the midst of our brokenness. I think if we can get people to watch this film, we're going to start a lot of really great conversations and see a lot of people get freed up."
The film, produced by Jason Pamer and Jens Jacob, directed by Eric Esau and executive produced by Brian Bird ("Captive," "The Case for Christ, "When Calls the Heart"), features interviews with notable faith leaders, including authors William Paul Young and Dr. Dan Allender, and spoken word artist Jackie Hill-Perry.
Each individual shares their own experience with sexual brokenness, from porn addiction to same-sex attraction and infidelity, and overcoming the shame and condemnation that follows. Their stories of healing, hope, and freedom reveal the compassionate heart of God the Father in a tangible way.
"Most of the stories in the film are relatable; people can watch this film and say, 'I've dealt with that, I've felt that shame and condemnation,'" Veach said. "But, this film shows every person getting to the end of themselves and saying, 'I had to start that facing this, and then God could work on my life and my relationships."
Paralleled with each story is a stunning dramatization of the Prodigal Son, starring Justin Torrence, Serena Karnagy, and Robert Fleet.
"I think a lot of people have the wrong idea of who God is and what He does," Veach said. "So, to have the imagery of God's love finding us in the most broken, dark, chained up place is so powerful - it's just not something most people think God is willing to do for them. Most people think God is writing them off, waiting till we get cleaned up. But in reality, God is unrelenting in His pursuit and in His desire to be in relationship with us."
As the Internet makes X-rated content more accessible, more Americans are watching -- and the Church isn't immune. According to statistics, the use of pornographic material among Christians continues to escalate, and as many as 65% of men and 55% percent of women will have an extramarital affair by the time they are 40.
"I think these kinds of sexual issues are way more common than we'd like to believe in the church," Veach told GH. "It's such a quiet, secretive, isolating struggle. Shame says you gotta keep this a secret, you gotta protect yourself. But, the gospel doesn't work till you're vulnerable and open and transparent."
He added, "The Apostle Paul says, 'nothing you're facing is uncommon to man.' In other words, the temptation you're facing - everybody's facing it. I think the problem is, nobody's talking about them. Hopefully this movie gives people the opportunity to open up and say 'you know, what I've gotta be honest, I've had this issue, I've dealt with this."
The screening of "The Heart of Man," which will take place at about 500 North American locations, will be followed by a roundtable conversation with both Veach and Young. The pastor said he hopes the film will not only encourage those struggling with sexual brokenness to remember that there is hope, but that it will motivate churches to come alongside those seeking freedom.
"We have to be willing to journey with folks and embrace them where they're at," he said. "Most Christians are afraid of getting written off or judged or ostracized, and we've got to prove to people that we're willing to journey with them and that we're not afraid of getting messy and talking about real life issues."
"The Bible says, 'love covers a multitude of sins,'" he continued. "Are we going to provide covering? Are we going to provide prayer? Are we going to journey with people for the long road and not just the short term? This is the Father's heart. This is God's view of humanity."
To learn more about "The Heart of Man," click here.