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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
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(2006), PG [PG*] (1hr 24.5min)

Final Score
Analysis Date
Date Posted
Influence Density
July 8, 2011
July 9, 2011

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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)

If Scriptural references appear, the full text appears at the end of the Summary / Commentary.

(2006), PG [PG*] ... Let God be God

Production (US): Alpine Medien Productions, Larry Levinson Productions, RHI Entertainment
Distribution (US): Fox Faith, The Bigger Picture
Director(s): Michael Landon, Jr.
Producer(s): Brian J. Gordon, Erik Olson, Michael Landon, Jr., Nick Lombardo, H. Daniel Gross, Michael Moran, Robert Halmi, Jr., Larry Levinson, Amy Goldberg
Teleplay by: Michael Landon, Jr., Doouglas Llyod McIntosh, Bridget Terry
Novel: Jeanette Oke
Cinematography/Camera: Brian Shanley
Music: Kevin Kiner
Film Editing: Collen Halsey
Casting: Penny Perry, Amy Reece
Production Design: Niko Vilaivongs
Art Direction: Eugene Wyrick
Viewed Fox Home Entertainment DVD

This is our analysis of the fourth in the series of eight films based on the books by best-selling author Jeanette Oke.

It is 1885, eight years since Willie (Logan Bartholomew) and Missie LaHaye (Erin Cottrell) were married. The pair have solidly planted roots near Tettsford Junction. Missie continues her passion for teaching and Willie continues to build the cattle ranch with their sons Jeff (Drew Tyler Bell) and Matthew (Brett Coker). Missie's father Clark (Dale Midkiff) finally finds an opportunity to come and visit. But now, a tragedy strikes Willie and Missie. Their infant daughter Kathy suffers a sudden infant death which drives an emotional wedge between Willie and Missie. Missie has lost her will to teach. Willie accepts a previous offer from wealthy Mayor Samuel H. Doros (John Laughlin) to help make ends meet. Willie becomes the town sheriff - and a good one. Adopted Jeff becomes smitten with the mayor's daughter Colette (Mae Whitman), But along with Colette comes trouble. Not just from her. And not just for Jeff.

Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 57 out of 100
Framing. Extortion. Threats. The mayor is good at these.. [Ezek. 22:12] A drunken Joe Paxton (Blake Gibbons) endangers the Tettsford Junction townspeople by shooting up the town with reckless gunfire in anger at Mayor Doros' uncaring dealings. Erin Cottrell gives a very believable performance in a screaming tantrum at the loss of their baby girl, Kathy

Again it is advisable to remind our readers of God's Word about violence. He warns that violence is "catching" and can lead one into a "way that is not good." [Prov. 16:29] And, probably unknowingly, man echoes God with four public health agencies jointly publishing their finding that states "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence" and "Children exposed to violence are more likely to assume the acts of violence are acceptable behavior."

Impudence/Hate (I) - 72 out of 100
In her emotional distress, Missie walks out of the schoolhouse, leaving the class full of students without adult supervision. The mayor's daughter, Colette blames her father's reaction to her misdeed on his rudeness, sneaks out at night to meet Jeff and expresses arrogance at her father. Whether Collette's cinematic arrogance is deserved by her father is not our call to make. And she lies to her father.

God insists we honor our father and mother [Exod. 20:12]: that errant parents will answer to Him. [Matt. 18:10] Maybe God will use tools and vehicles on Earth to visit His Justice on errant parents but let us not try to be God. Let God be God.

Sexual Immorality (S) - 92 out of 100
Also in this episode the writers have Bartholomew and Cottrell snuggling in bed. So the same standards apply. While marriage is blessed as the two are one in the sight of God, Bartholomew and Cottrell are not married. Things married folks do are private and not for public display. To put Bartholomew and Cottrell in a bed together snuggling as a married couple, even when clothed, is inappropriate. "Acting" does not excuse it. Though not likely in this setting, such display might invoke desire and desire gives birth to sin. [Hebr. 13:4, James 1:15]

Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 53 out of 100
Joe Paxon shows up dropping a whiskey bottle and is drunk. His drunkenness emboldens him to threaten to kill and endanger many with reckless gunfire. Mayor Doros smokes a cigar a number of times. As a saloon and drinking might to be icons of the Old West, exposing children to booze and drinking (and smoking) in and as entertainment carries dangers.

A 2002 study by the American College of Physicians (ACP) revealed that adolescent exposure to drinking in and as entertainment undeniably leads to abuse of alcohol among underage viewers. The finding entitled Relation Between Parental Restrictions on Movies and Adolescent Use of Tobacco and Alcohol reports that of 4544 youths from grades 5 through 8 of fifteen Vermont and New Hampshire middle schools (90% of the youths were under fourteen years old) only 16% were completely restricted in their entertainment diets. Within the ACP study population, the prevalence of having tried alcohol without parental knowledge was

  • 46% for those with no viewing restrictions
  • 16% for those with partial viewing restrictions
  • four percent for those with complete viewing restrictions. [Eph. 5:18]

    Offense to God (O) - 84 out of 100
    In their grief, Willie and Missie utter God's name in vain three times. [Deut. 5:11] While the situation may have been desperation, it is not acceptable to God to use His name as an expletive to fill out a sentence. Maybe their cinematic baby died but in real life no one died. "Acting" does not excuse sin especially since the "acting" may cause (and has caused) others to stumble. [1 Cor. 8:9]

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
    No murders or suicides were found.


    If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. 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.


  • Ezek. 22:12 In thee have they taken gifts to shed blood; thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbours by extortion, and hast forgotten me, saith the Lord GOD.
  • Prov. 16:29 A violent man enticeth his neighbour, and leadeth him into the way that is not good. [The issue is the violence, the 'way that is not good' no matter how "small" or "justified" the violence might seem, and its "leading" effect on the observer. "A violent man" can be any character of any age, any gender, human or not in the act of committing (demonstrating in the case of entertainment) violent behavior/action whether for good or evil OR the violent behaviors/actions themselves. Such exposure can and does embolden the viewer into aggression, especially youth. It took years for the American professional health community to finally affirm, probably without knowing it, that which God told us in 1 Cor. 15:33 below. See also Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children: Congressional Public Health Summit for more information. Further, God speaks darkly of violence 56 times in the Old and New Testament of the KJV.]
  • Exod. 20:12 Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.
  • Matt. 18:10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. ["Despise" is kataphroneo {kat-af-ron-eh'-o}: to condemn, despise, disdain, think little or nothing of, to look down upon (which includes abuse, even by influence or bad example, lying to them, enticing/teasing them, seducing them and/or their thoughts, involving them in sin or crime, etc.). What do you want the angels for your kids to say to God? By the way, "little ones" is mikros meaning less by birth, younger. All of your children are "less by birth" than you. All of them are younger. So, "little ones" includes at-home teens, the most easily influenced, morally malleable age stratum.]
  • Hebr. 13:4 Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure [which includes before AND during marriage AND gender], for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.
  • James 1:15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to [spiritual] death.
  • Eph. 5:18 Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. [Since "drunk" is methusko {meth-oos'-ko}: to intoxicate; make drunk; to get drunk; become intoxicated, "wine" can be any intoxicating substance including illegal drugs or abuse of prescription drugs. The issue is do not abuse the body by intoxicating it [1 Cor. 6:19]. Though it is not a sin to drink, it is a sin to get drunk OR to influence to get drunk OR to drink in defiance such as underage drinking.
  • 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 responsible discussion and in praise and prayer is in vain. That includes the popular three syllable sentence with His name trailing it AND the misuse of Jesus' name or title. So, trying to excuse such expressions with "I was talking TO God/Jesus when I said that" or It's just words" or "I was acting" will not work with Him. Nor will "Everybody says that" excuse the sin of using His name in vain. If everyone on the planet who has ever drawn a breath used His name in vain, it would still be a sin to do so. If no one ever did, it would still be a sin to do so.]
  • 1 Cor. 8:9 But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak. ["Liberty" - exousia {ex-oo-see'-ah}: the power of choice, liberty of doing as one pleases, in this case of the filmmakers to, for example, have characters use God's name in vain. "Stumblingblock" - proskomma {pros'-kom-mah}: that over which a soul stumbles i.e. by which is caused to sin: anything that can cause another to sin such as by example, a tease or lure to do or think/feel wrongly.]
  • Matt. 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment [krisis: accusation, trial]: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca [senseless, empty headed: a term of reproach among Jews at the time of Christ], shall be in danger of the council [any session or assembly or people deliberating or adjudicating]: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool [moros: impious, godless], shall be in danger of hell fire.
  • Matt. 26:41 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.

    ***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
  • Jer. 37:9 This is what the LORD says: Do not deceive yourselves, thinking, 'The Babylonians [the destroyers from within] will surely leave us.' They will not!
  • Ps. 12:8 The wicked freely strut about [e.g., create progressively vile/offensive entertainment with impunity and no consequences and present it to younger and younger audiences every year] when what is vile is honored among men [when enough people continue to defend it, embrace it, enjoy it, want it, submit to 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 Be not deceived: evil [kakov: of a bad nature, not such as it ought to be] communications corrupt good manners.
  • Rom. 5:19 For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
  • Jude 1:4 For there are certain men* crept in unawares [secretly slipped in among us], who were before of old ordained to this condemnation [whose condemnation was written about long ago], ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [a license for immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. [*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 one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
  • Luke 17:2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. [Offend: skandalizo {skan-dal-id'-zo} - scandalize; to entice to sin; to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away.]
  • Ps. 119:133 Order my steps in thy word: and let not any iniquity have dominion over me [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. ["Evil" includes all things that are sinful.]


    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.
    (The objective heart of the CAP Analysis Model, independent of and insulated from the Summary / Commentary section.)

    Love's Abiding Joy (2006) CAP Thermometers

    Wanton Violence/Crime (W) - 57 out of 100
  • sudden infant death
  • screaming tantrum
  • reckless gunfire with endangerment, repeatedly
  • threat with firearm
  • verbal threat
  • framing of the innocent as a horse thief
  • extortion to deflect guilt

    Impudence/Hate (I) - 72 out of 100
  • one use of profanity
  • the only teacher abandoning a schoolhouse full of young children
  • daughter claiming father's reaction to her misdeed as being rude
  • daughter showing arrogance toward father
  • daughter sneaking out after dark to meet boy
  • lie to father

    Sexual Immorality (S) - 92 out of 100
  • teen girl tempting teen boy [Matt. 26:41]
  • man and woman in bed snuggling, clothed

    Drugs/Alcohol (D) - 53 out of 100
  • unlit cigar in mouth, twice
  • drunkenness
  • booze, repeatedly
  • drinking
  • smoking, repeatedly

    Offense to God (O) - 84 out of 100
  • three uses of God's name in vain
  • "Fool!" [Matt. 5:22]

    Murder/Suicide (M) - 100 out of 100
  • none noted

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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 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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    Please note our new manner of indicating a film's Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) rating in comparison with the CAP equivalence such as "PG-13 [R-13]." The first term is the Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA) rating. The second term [in brackets] indicates that which the film earned under the CAP analysis model. In the example, "PG-13 [R-13]" indicates the MPAA rated the film PG-13 but the film earned a CAP final score in the scoring range earned by R-rated movies in the comparative baseline database. Other comparative terms used might be "PG [13-PG]", "G [PG-G] or even 'PG-13 [PG]" as was the case for Alien vs Predator. I doubt there will ever be a "G [R]" used, but only time will tell. The CAP analysis model is Rock-solid. The MPAA is not.

    The current CAP to MPAA** nomenclature is:

    For G rated Films with
    G equivalence: G
    PG equivalence: PG-G
    PG-13 equivalence: 13-G
    R equivalence: R-G<
    For PG rated Films with
    G equivalence: G-PG
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    PG-13 equivalence: 13-PG
    R equivalence: R-PG
    For PG-13 rated Films with
    G equivalence: G-13
    PG equivalence: PG(13)
    PG-13 equivalence: PG-13
    R equivalence: R-13
    For R rated Films with
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    PG-13 equivalence: 13-R
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