New film presents forgiveness message

By February 8, 2011

USA (MNN) — Christian actor Stephen Baldwin on Feb.9 will bring an advanced screening of his latest feature film — centered on forgiveness and reconciliation — to the Prison Fellowship northern Virginia headquarters, according to Assist News.

"Loving the Bad Man," to be released in theaters nationwide in April, tells the story of a young Christian woman who gives birth to a child conceived in rape. The experience forces her to explore and redefine her relationships with God, her family, friends and even her rapist as she struggles to forgive him by boldly visiting him in prison and forging an unlikely bond.

The full-length motion picture describes the full-circle story of a young sexual assault victim who, through her Christian faith, finds healing and the power to forgive her attacker.

Following the screening, a panel comprised of an ex-prisoner, a rape victim, and the film's producers will discuss forgiveness, reconciliation, and Prison Fellowship's role in our criminal justice system's restorative justice movement.

The movement heals and restores victim-offender relationships and entire communities by focusing on offender accountability, reparation to the victim, and full participation in the process by the victim, offender, and community.

"Loving the Bad Man" is the latest work from Baldwin and his media partner, Christian talk show host Kevin McCullough. Their XtreMedia production company develops projects for television and the big screen with a focus on stories of faith. They collaborated on "Loving the Bad Man" with executive producer Tom Conigliaro, who also wrote the screenplay.

"Forgiveness — guiding prisoners to accept God's forgiveness, teaching them to accept God's grace for their mistakes — and reconciliation for families and communities are at the heart of what we believe and what we teach to prisoners and their families," said Prison Fellowship Vice President Pat Nolan, who is also a former prisoner.

The national prison ministry serves current prisoners, former prisoners, their families and their communities using a holistic approach that centers on biblical teachings, including forgiveness.

Nolan says, "There are people [who] have harmed us deeply. Are we able to reach the point where we can forgive them? And, if we can't, then how on earth can we accept Jesus' forgiveness and His death on our behalf?"

The main character of the film does more than teach forgiveness, says Nolan. "She really exemplifies Christ's love for us and His forgiveness for us. So it's also a great tool for evangelism to show how a Christian lives and as Peter said, 'Always be prepared to explain the hope that is within us.'"

Prison Fellowship advocates for restorative justice–a movement in the criminal justice system that aims at offender accountability, reparation to the victim, and full participation by the victim, offender and community.

The film's producers say "Loving the Bad Man" aims to shape moviegoers' understanding of godly relationships, encouraging them to push through hurt and anger to forgive their enemies in all circumstances, ask for forgiveness from those they have mistreated, and seek reconciliation for damaged relationships.

Founded in 1976 by former Nixon aide Chuck Colson following his imprisonment for Watergate-related charges, Prison Fellowship seeks to transform the hearts of prisoners and former prisoners as they reconcile themselves to God and their families.

Click here to see the movie trailer.

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