Reflections on the Sound of Freedom Movie

Introduction: Those of you who have seen the movie will understand specifically what I’m referring to, but actually, the application of the basic principle is much more extensive than just this movie. Why? Because any time we attempt to fight spiritual warfare with worldly methods, we end up making sad and sordid compromises, but in the power of the Holy Spirit, we are “more than conquerors through Him who loves us”! Discernment is the bottom-line issue.


  1. It definitely exposes how extensive and pervasive the huge satanic evil of kidnapping and sex trafficking has become.
  2. It portrays clearly the courage, dedication, and self-sacrifice of rescuer, Tim Ballard.

Biblical Worldview Problems

Does this movie portray huge compromises that violate Biblical principles and commands? Here are my observations:

  1. Not stated, but strongly implied is the idea that the end justifies the means. It is Marxism – not the Word of God that teaches “the end justifies the means.” In other words, it means that it doesn’t matter if you lie, cheat, steal, or murder to accomplish your goal, because your goal provides the greater good.
  2. We (Christians) are not called to fight spiritual warfare with worldly methods! Question – is kidnapping and sex trafficking actually satanic evil? Undeniably! Therefore, this is spiritual warfare! Does the Word of God teach us to fight evil with evil methods? No! Absolutely not! Romans 12:21 says, Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
  3. Evil methods? What am I referring to?
    • A. The Word of God says, “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good” Ephesians 4:29. Does it say: “unless you are making a movie to expose sex trafficking”? No! But parts of the movie are punctuated with intense foul language. I didn’t grow up in a Christian home and I learned to swear and spout foul language not long after I could walk and talk. So, when I surrendered my life to Christ at a young age, my biggest spiritual battle was allowing God’s Holy Spirit to clean up my foul mouth. Therefore, I avoid crowds or movies spouting foul language, because, for me, that would make as much sense as a converted alcoholic staring through the window of a liquor store. I didn’t expect foul language in The Sound of Freedom, so it caught me off guard. (Intense, dramatic movies can be made without foul language – as in the classic Ben-Hur movie.)
    • B. The Word of God says, “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” Ephesians 5:11.   Does it say: “unless you are using lies and deception to expose the works of darkness”? No! So how are we to expose them? Here is the context of that verse: “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.” Ephesians 5:8-11 (NKJV)
    • C. How does God feel about truth versus lies? “A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who speaks lies will not escape.” Proverbs 12:22; 19:5; “You shall not steal, nor deal falsely, nor lie to one another. And you shall not swear by My name falsely, nor shall you profane the name of your God: I am the Lord.” Leviticus 19:11-12; “But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Revelation 21:8 (NKJV)

Jesus Himself is the Way, the Truth, and the Life! Let’s not misrepresent Him!

Not Powerful Enough?

Are you thinking that this evil is so deeply entrenched that it is necessary to use evil methods to expose and overpower it? Really? Remember, light is always more powerful than darkness. Our guide in Carlsbad Caverns demonstrated this when he shut off all electric lights in the cavern, then lit a match. That small match dispelled the darkness! Not powerful enough? Really? The corruption of slavery, idolatry, child sacrifice, and sexual perversions were deeply entrenched in the Greek and Roman cultures when Jesus was born, but it was the power of the light of His truth that penetrated the darkness and brought millions to conversion and redemption.  I realize that it often seems that the coalition of satanic evil is so huge and powerful that God’s power and control are too weak to cope. I encourage you to read 2 Kings 6:11-18 and ask God to open your eyes to His power. He may choose to also show you His display of mighty angelic forces like He did for the servant of Elisha.

Who Does God Choose to Use?

God can choose to use anyone He wishes to accomplish His purposes – even an evil king like Nebuchadnezzar! But does this give Christians the license to compromise truth in exposing evil – and by using hatred of individuals as well as other worldly methods? “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (ESV) “We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.” 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 (NLT)

The early Christians in Jerusalem and Damascus had plenty of reasons to hate Saul of Tarsus. What if they had used worldly methods to stop his persecuting – by killing him? God’s method was to confront him with the Truth, convert him and transform him into apostle Paul and use him to write the most profound description of love in all literature – 1 Corinthians 13! “’My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,’ says the Lord. ‘And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.’” Isaiah 55:8-9 (NLT)

To round out my reflections, it is the appropriate and responsible thing to question myself – what should I do about this? A few things come to mind:

1st – Pray earnestly for God’s intervention to bring down this stronghold of evil.

2nd – Pray specifically, “Lord, what would You have me do?”

3rd – Remember: “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, and of love and a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7

4th – Remember that our ultimate goal is to bring children Home to their Heavenly Father, and to bring perpetrators to repentance by yielding to the Holy Spirit, Who convicts of sin, righteousness and judgment. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:43-45 (NKJV)

5thRemember that for spiritual warfare, we need spiritual provisions!Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—” Ephesians 6:10-18 (NKJV)

6thYou may want to contribute to Rapha International for their rescue outreach (PO Box 1569, Joplin, MO 64802;, 417-621-0373).

By Shasta Hutton

I want to serve my Lord and King

In what I do each day.

I do my best to do what’s right –

To help, and serve, and pray.

But do I have a servant’s heart

In all the things I do?

Is my will yielded to my King,

And filled with joy that’s true?

Or do I grumble, whine, and moan

That I must do His will?

Or has the song within my heart

Grown quiet, cold, and still?

I must make sure that as I serve

My heart is good and true,

And yielded fully to my King

That His love might shine through.

Are You Staying Put?

Stay centered in Christ when the world distracts you. Stay confident in the Word when the truth evades you. Stay compassionate toward others when hate surrounds you. Stay connected to the church when people disappoint you. Stay committed to the faith when doubt overwhelms you. Stay consistent in your walk when life tests you. Stay constructive in your relationships when love fails you. Stay challenged to grow when complacency tempts you. Stay convinced of His Coming when hope fails you. Stay calm in your heart when trials surround you. ~ Anonymous


The problem with doing nothing – how do you know when you have finished your task? “In the beginning there was nothing.” Oh really? If the Big Bang is a true theory, what exploded? Have you ever heard Aristotle’s definition of nothing – “it’s what rocks dream about.” So which do you choose to believe – in the beginning – nothing! Or “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth”? Genesis 1:1

Are you Worried about Growing Older?

The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree, he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God. They shall still bear fruit in old age; they shall be fresh and flourishing, to declare that the Lord is upright; He is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in Him.” Psalm 92:12-15 (NKJV)

I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!” Psalm 27:13-14 (NKJV)

Are you Prepared for Persecution?

“There is a sense in which every Christian has changed sides. When we become a Christian, we put on a new identity; we become a ‘new creation’ (2 Cor. 5:17). Suddenly a trio of forces that did not take much interest in us before begin to pursue us. This ungodly trinity is the flesh, the world, and the devil, and when these three react to the expression of our new identity, persecution is the result! Our world is no longer a playground but a battleground. This is the spiritual meaning of the word persecution. The verb form literally means ‘to pursue.’ As soon as we align ourselves with Christ, we become the object of a pursuit, and this pursuit goes back to a divine-diabolical tension that Christ warned his disciples about as he was about to leave them on earth. He said, ‘I have chosen you out of the world—therefore the world hates you. . . . If they persecuted me, they will persecute you’ (John 15:19-20). . . . {p. 103 – Faith That Endures}

‘Physical courage is common, but  moral courage is extremely rare. That’s why we need the church—because the exercise of moral courage needs a community that will support it, and no other community will.’ (British Catholic politician  Baroness Shirley Williams) Through ordinary people, these faces of the persecuted beckon us all to an extraordinary life and teach us to put our wavering courage in God’s hands, letting Him make the difference!” ~ Ronald Boyd-MacMillan {p. 125 – Faith That Endures}

Insight from an Evangelist in an Area of Persecution

I have discovered that it is dangerous to learn truth at a rate faster than we can practice it.” Corresponding to this, Dietrich Bonhoeffer said that if you read too fast you believe too little.  “How sad it is that so many of us work in the garden for the Creator, but never walk through the garden with the Creator!” ~ Ronald MacMillan

I Come to the Garden Alone

C. Austin Miles

I come to the garden alone,

While the dew is still on the roses;

And the voice I hear, falling on my ear,

The Son of God discloses.


And He walks with me, and He talks with me,

And He tells me I am His own:

And the joy we share as we tarry there,

None other has ever known.

He speaks, and the sound of His voice

Is so sweet the birds hush their singing;

And the melody that He gave to me,

Within my heart is ringing.


I’d stay in the garden with Him,

Tho’ the night around me be falling,

But He bids me go: Thru the voice of woe

His voice to me is calling.


Great Quotes

God is not against us for our sins. He is for us against our sins.” ~ James Dobson

Focus on giants – you stumble! Focus on God – giants tumble!” ~ Max Lucado

We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.”  

~ Chuck Swindoll

“Is prayer your steering wheel or your spare tire?” ~ Corrie ten Boom

“It is better to lose count while counting your blessings than to lose your blessings while counting your troubles!”  ~ Joni Eareckson Tada

When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily. But wise and knowledgeable leaders bring stability.” Proverbs 28:2 (NLT)

“Reformation without transformation leads to deeper degradation.” ~ Adrian Rogers “For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: ‘A dog returns to his own vomit,’ and, ‘a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.’” 2 Peter 2:18-22 (NKJV)

Stormy Life situation

“It’s better to be with Jesus in the boat than to be anywhere else without Him!” ~ Greg Laurie  “And a great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that it was already filling. But He was in the stern, asleep on a pillow. And they awoke Him and said to Him, ‘Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?’ Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace, be still!’ And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, ‘Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?’” Mark 4:37-40 (NKJV)

Unbiased Philosophy?

In my fifth year of Bible college study, I took a course in philosophy – and was sadly disappointed with the nonsense that has been paraded for centuries as the epitome of human wisdom. The word philosophy itself is a good word – it means “love of wisdom.” What? Is it wisdom to believe Zeno’s contorted attempt to prove that it is impossible to prove anything? Why? Because – if it is what it is, then it doesn’t need to be proven! If it isn’t what it is, then it can’t be there! Actually, much of so-called philosophy is really like a blind man in a dark room searching for a black cat that isn’t there. That is an apt description of human wisdom apart from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit of Almighty God! Did you happen to think of the pervasive nonsense of woke philosophy?

Genuine Philosophy

“My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths. Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine. My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights. Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold. She is more precious than jewels, and nothing you desire can compare with her.” Proverbs 3:1-15 (ESV)

Pre-Planned Partnership

In every issue of our prayer letter, I try to cram in as much truth as possible in my seven pages, and Della tries to put in as much encouragement and beauty as will aesthetically fit on her page 8. Also, our daughter, Sandy, patiently works through the revisions and corrections to bring each prayer letter to you as a finished and presentable production of excellence. Little did Della and I realize when we verbalized our wedding vows, nor when we decided to adopt a beautiful baby girl from Holt Adoption Agency, what a pre-planned partnership God had in mind for us! “Therefore David blessed the Lord before all the assembly; and David said: ‘Blessed are You, Lord God of Israel, our Father, forever and ever. Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power and the glory, the victory and the majesty; for all that is in heaven and in earth is Yours; Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and You are exalted as head over all. Both riches and honor come from You, and You reign over all. In Your hand is power and might; in Your hand it is to make great and to give strength to all. Now therefore, our God, we thank You and praise Your glorious name. But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from You, and of Your own we have given You.’” 1 Chronicles 29:10-14 (NKJV)

Consider This

“Be God’s man, in God’s place, doing God’s work according to the opportunity He has given you!” Hudson Taylor

From Our Mailbox

“Rick, I must begin again by expressing my earnest thanks to you and your dear wife Della for all of your many kindnesses. The monthly newsletter always contains friendly words and thoughts – always highlighting Jesus Christ and His saving work on the cross – His burial – His resurrection – thank you. Also the articles that you send from time to time are always helpful. The recent article by Randy Alcorn entitled “The Radical Path to Purity” expresses thoughts that so very much need to be stressed – and put into practice – throughout our communities, our nation, and the church. And your repeated and ongoing kindnesses in the sermon CDs and the “Issues in Education” recordings – how very much I thank you – what a blessing they are.

Please use the extra money to help with the needs and work in the Ukraine – if the needs in the aftermath of the flooding continue – or wherever – thank you. This comes with my ongoing prayers for you and Della, including my Dear Lord’s grace in her neuropathy and pain. May my Lord Jesus bless you both. Ken (Morris)”

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“Rick, out of absent-mindedness I failed to take the opportunity at lunch yesterday to tell you how much I appreciated your newsletter from last month, which I had misplaced and so didn’t read until a few days ago. It was especially good.

By coincidence, I read your new one which had come last week. It was very good too. I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate the time you surely need to put into the letters and that we do enjoy them. Just one of many reasons that we are honored to call you and Della ‘friends’! ‘In God We Trust,’ Tim Beatty”

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“Dear Rick and Della,

We are doing good. At times we feel that we are tired, but God’s mercies renew every morning. Time goes really fast for us. Days are busy with language studies, taking care of Jacob and parents. My father will have to have a few infusions next month. It’s good that we can get such treatment here for almost free. We only had to buy medicine. Mom got her teeth treated. We are excited about new school year for Jacob and especially for his new music school here. We are involved in ministry with our small Mennonite Geminde near our house. They say that our family brought some freshness into the church. A few families invited us in their homes for a visit.

This is a quick note. We appreciate your help and prayers and think of you often. Also, one of the needs here is how we can legalize our missionary activity here. We are open for your insights.

We read your newsletters; they are challenging. We need wisdom in how to live in such a changing world. There is also a lot of freedom here in Austria. We are still learning how free is it in reality? We pray and are trying to understand the culture. It is very complex. We had very good outreach at downtown Vienna and these events are very meaningful. We have so many good conversations about God. I was talking to a Jewish man who at first didn’t want to speak with me. But having learned that I am Ukrainian he opened his heart because his wife’s grandfather was Ukrainian. So this opened the door for a good conversation leading to Jesus. However, he said that he knows everything about Bible but he said I am a Jew. I said that he needs to come to Jesus at night like Nicodemus. Natasha also has many stories like that speaking with Asian people. Thank you for keeping on praying for us, Zhenya and Natasha (Molodchy)”


“Dear Rick and Della, thank you for your prayers and support. It is a great privilege and also a very big blessing to know you. This morning I sent a letter concerning our registration here to the Overseas Outreach address. I also wanted to mention that I have just finished reading the book by Roger S. Greenway and Timothy M. Monsma called ‘Cities, Missions’ New Frontier.’ I was very much encouraged by the book and glad that we are already doing some things mentioned in the book concerning reaching Vienna with The Gospel of Jesus. We have a sense of God’s calling us to be here and we do not know for how long. So we do what we can by God’s grace. We thank you for your continuous support and love. Blessings for your week ahead, Zhenya and Natasha”

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“Rick, the package of books arrived in the mail yesterday – thank you a lot. Also, the “Days of Praise.” I receive that devotional regularly, so I will share this one with someone else – thank you. Thank you also for the August newsletter – your thoughts are always so very timely and thought provoking. And the tragedy of the LGBTQ agenda – how desperately those involved need to repent and come to Jesus and Biblical truth and morals. And I continue to be amazed at how my Dear Lord continues to strengthen and use in a mighty way Sergei and others in the Ukraine even in very difficult times. May my Dear Lord Jesus bless you and Della. I pray for you. Ken”

Prayer Requests

  1. I imagine all of you are keenly aware of the devastating destruction by fire and wind on Maui, and I have both a huge praise and a huge prayer request. Our huge praise is that God answered, Yes! to our earnest prayers for special friends, Greg & Debi Strubhar and family (about 12 in all) to spare their lives and give them opportunity to minister to hurting and homeless survivors. Our huge request is for your earnest prayers for them to have strength, wisdom, and funds to provide for others in this monumental tragedy – and for the Holy Spirit to bring a huge harvest of souls to Christ. If you would like to contribute to help with humanitarian aid, you can send it to Overseas Outreach and designate it. Obviously, the needs will continue for months and years! Please keep praying!
  2. The war, chaos, bloodshed, and confusion continue in Ukraine – so please also keep praying for Ukraine and Russia – for massive spiritual awakening. Likewise for America! When I distribute our prayer letters, I often say, “Please pray for Ukraine – and America! Both nations are in big trouble!”
  3. Stephen & Iryna and children are now in USA (Minnesota) working hard to help all the Ukrainian refugees they possibly can in every way they can, but the task is often overwhelming and discouraging. They are weary! Please pray for God’s Holy Spirit to infuse them with His supernatural strength, wisdom, and encouragement as they deal with one heartbreaking situation after another!
  4. Please pray this for all our co-workers (as well as for us). Della is often struggling with fatigue as she seeks to carry out her tasks.

Have you experienced days when you are so discouraged that you felt like you were in a deep pit and couldn’t get out?  When you cry out, “Oh, God, I can’t take anymore!”  I think most of us have at one time or another had those thoughts.  It is sometimes so hard to remember when we are hurting, either physically or emotionally (or both), that God still is at work and has everything under control. 

My Uncle Del sent me the following poem many years ago at a time when it was exactly what I needed.  Today, when I was needing some reassurance, I opened my file drawer where I keep an “Idea” folder – and right in front was the following story entitled “My Quilt”.  After reading it again, I thanked God for reminding me that He still cares!

My Quilt

“I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt before the Lord along with all the other souls.

Before each of us laid our lives, like the squares of a quilt in many piles.  An Angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry that was our life.

But as my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares was; they were filled with giant holes.  Each square was labeled with a part of my life that had been difficult . . . the challenges and temptations I was faced with in everyday life.  I saw hardships that I had endured which were the largest holes of all.  I glanced around me.  No one else had such squares.  Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color and the bright hues of worldly fortune.  I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened.

My angel was sewing the ragged pieces of cloth together, threadbare and empty, like binding air.  Finally, the time came when each life was to be displayed, held up to the light, the scrutiny of truth.

The others rose, each in turn, holding up their tapestries.  So filled their lives had been!  My angel looked upon me and nodded for me to rise.  My gaze dropped to the ground in shame.  I hadn’t had all the earthly fortunes; I had love in my life, and laughter.  But there had also been trials of illness and death, and false accusations that took from me my world as I knew it.  I had to start over many times.  I often struggled with the temptation to quit, only to somehow muster the strength to pick up and begin again.  Many nights were spent on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life.  I had often been held up to ridicule, which I endured painfully, each time offering it up to the Father in hopes that I would not melt within my skin beneath the judgmental gaze of those who unfairly judged me.

And now, I had to face the truth.  My life was what it was, and I had to

accept it for what it had been.  I rose and slowly lifted the combined

squares of my life to the light.  An awe-filled gasp filled the air.  I gazed

around at the others who stared at me with wide eyes.

Then I looked upon the tapestry before me.  Light flooded the many holes,

creating an image, the face of Christ.  Then our Lord stood before me with

warmth and love in His eyes.  He said, “Every time you gave over your life

to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My struggles.  Each point of

light in your life is when you stepped aside and let Me shine through, until

there was more of Me than there was of you.”

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