Our brokenness and shame isn't a barrier to God's love. Rather, it's a bridge to freedom, healing, and hope.
That's the message of the powerful new docudrama The Heart of Man, a re-telling of the Biblical prodigal son parable paralleled with real individuals sharing their testimonies of sexual brokenness and the shame that follows addiction.
"We're seeing sexual brokenness everywhere, whether it's infidelity, gender identity issues, or porn addiction - even in the church," producer Jason Pamer told The Gospel Herald in an exclusive interview. "Yet, it's very rarely addressed. There's a lot of shame surrounding this issue, and shame feeds us this lie that God wants nothing to do with us; that we can't come before Him with our struggles and addictions."
Through vivid dramatization intertwined with poignant interviews featuring "The Shack" author William Paul Young, "The Wounded Heart" author Dr. Dan Allender, and spoken word artist Jackie Hill-Perry, The Heart of Man highlights the compassionate heart of Father and how He relentlessly pursues those He loves.
One motivation for creating this film, Pamer said, was to change the way far too many people view God the Father - that is, as an "angry distant entity" who "has to have Jesus between Him and us because otherwise He'll destroy us."
"Often, our earthly version of a father is distorted, so we in turn have this earthly paradigm that in many cases inhibits our view of God the Father," he explained. "At the same time, the Church has lost sight of who God is, what His face is for in the midst of our darkest moments. Is He mad at us? Or is He inviting us to something better?"
"In the Church, we often talk about what NOT do, what to restrict," he continued. "This film is an invitation to the feast table, to be fully known, to expose oneself fully. God is a wooing, winsome Father who is on a rescue mission to save us - that's the essence of the Gospel. Once we begin to know who God is, we then see who we truly are. It's there that we find freedom."
Shot on location in Hawaii, "The Heart of Man" is produced by Pamer and Jens Jacob, directed by Eric Esau and executive produced by Brian Bird ("Captive," "The Case for Christ, "When Calls the Heart"). The film will be in 500 theaters across the country September 14 for a one-night screening event.
After watching The Heart of Man, Pamer hopes viewers realize that freedom is available for those seeking to break the chains of addiction - and that they're not alone.
"Evil succeeds by messing with sexuality, which then produces shame which then develops a persona," Pamer said. "Over time, we begin to speak those lies over ourselves. Our sexuality is so tired our identity, that it messes with people in such a core level. I think one of the most insidious lies shame tells us is that we're alone, that nobody understands. That couldn't be further from the truth. In any given context, the majority of humans will relate to it."
"I want people to experience freedom," Pamer said. "Freedom from a 'religious view' of God the Father, freedom from addiction, freedom from shame and from isolation. I want people to experience the right view of God and a have a better view of themselves."
Following the one-night screening of the film, Fathom Events will host a roundtable with Young and pastor Chad Veach, author of "Unreasonable Hope." Tickets for The Heart of Man can be purchased online by visiting www.FathomEvents.com and www.heartofmanmovie.com or at participating theater box offices.