Honk for Jesus Save Your Soul Christian Review | Disappointing Ending

Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul.

Director: Adamma Ebo

Date Created: 2022-09-02 00:00

Editor's Rating:

Respectful critique of Christianity, specifically the church, is a welcome discourse in my book. The church is not perfect. There have unfortunately been so many really disappointing scandals within Christianity. God is perfect but unfortunately, the people who are supposed to be examples of Christ are often very imperfect. 

This Honk for Jesus Save Your Soul Christian review doesn’t take any offense to the satire of a man-made institution that prides itself in goodness, yet participates in behaviors incongruent with its sermons. 

With that in mind, I was all for the movie Honk for Jesus Save Your Soul. I was excited to see what they did with the megachurch narrative and interested in seeing their honest, insightful, and comedic take on the flawed Christian church.

honk for Jesus save your soul Christian review
Honk for Jesus Save Your Soul follows Pastor Lee Curtis and first lady Trinitie Childs as they document their journey to rebuilding their church after enduring a massive scandal. 

They did touch on some important critiques but at the end of the day, ended up really not saying much anything at all. When the credits rolled, I was annoyed, unsatisfied, and very disappointed. 

So first, I’m going to touch on the three main critiques of the church that this film addressed, then I’m going to dissect the aspects of this film that made this reality-based story come off as contrived. 

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Honk for Jesus Save Your Soul Christian Review

Valid Critiques of the Church

1. The Prosperity Gospel

One prevalent critique of the church was the emphasis on the prosperity gospel. 

The prosperity gospel is the belief that good health and abundant wealth are God’s consistent reward to those who give to the church, attend church religiously, and pray fervently.

“God blesses the ones He loves,” Pastor Lee Curtis preaches, implying that we need to win God’s love somehow, in order to be blessed.

Prosperity gospel sounds a lot like a self-help book with sprinkled-in Bible verses. 

In Honk for Jesus Save Your Soul, Pastor Lee Curtis and his wife are constantly flaunting their expensive suits, mansion, and private jets, with the explanation being, “Isn’t God good?” This implies that their monetary blessings were a result of God’s favor. 

A lot of Pastor Lee Curtis’ message was if you want to be rich and successful like me, you need to do these certain things for the Lord and for the church. 

Instead of focusing on the gospel of Jesus Christ, pastors who preach the prosperity gospel are instead focused on how to be successful, how to get promoted, how to make a lot of money, and how to wear cool suits and own private jets. That’s not what the focus should be. 

The reality of life is that you can do everything “right” religiously and still fail, fall sick, and suffer. You can’t bribe God.

2. Performative Christianity

Another critique of the Christian community that Honk for Jesus Save Your Soul brings to light, is performative Christianity.

Performative Christianity is an outward expression of Christian attitudes that are not authentic.

For example, lifting your hands in worship, closing your eyes, and singing loudly to the music because that’s what you’re supposed to do in church, not because you’re actually feeling any spiritual connection with God.

One great example of this in the film, Honk for Jesus Save Your Soul, is when a young girl, one of the few church members who stayed after the church scandal, was having a Holy Spirit revival moment during Bible study.

After doing all of the theatrics of a black Pentecostal church, she does her testimonial with the documentary crew and says, “I love the theatre.” This pretty much implies that she was just playing the role of a holy-ghost filled, saved, and sanctified Christian. 

None of it was real, it was all just a performance.

There are so many genuine, real Christians but unfortunately, there are also Christians who are just playing a role. Outwardly, they seem to be godly but inwardly, not so much…

3. Competition

In Honk for Jesus Save Your Soul, because Pastor Lee Curtis’ church was dismantled, a neighboring church experienced exponential growth.

We see a catty and immature dialogue between the two “rival” churches throughout the film as they compete over who can “win the most souls” as if they’re a commercial business.

This competition shows how the focus of the church has shifted from elevating the kingdom of Christ to elevating oneself or one’s “business.”

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Pastor Lee-Curtis Child’s scandal

As the story unfolds, we learn that Pastor Lee Curtis was having same-sex, grooming relationships with some of the young adult boys in the church. He would give them a lot of attention, purchase expensive items for them, and take on the role of a father figure to them in exchange for some close intimate relations. This is why their church was shut down.

Very standard Church scandal.

Interestingly, a lot of Church scandals are of a sexual nature. Either of sexual nature or illegal financial practices nature. Very power-driven perversions.

After the details of Pastor Lee Curtis’ scandal unfolds, the rest of the film fails to maintain any intrigue.

Not long after the reveal, the little building blocks of this narrative begin to really crumble. This film intended to imitate real life, but the more it progressed, the more unbelievable the story became.

Why It Felt Fake

The pastor and the first lady were not believably manipulative enough.

The whole premise of this film is that these pastors are creating a documentary to save face from their destructive scandal. They should be on their A-game by giving this pristine image of themselves that makes us go, “Wow, these are genuine, repentant, disciples of Christ.”

And then there should be little cracks, little cracked moments of, “Oh, wait a second, that behavior was a little incongruent with how they were behaving before.”

But instead, nearly all of their behaviors, all of their mannerisms, and all of their words, whether on-camera or off-camera, were incongruent with a good Christian woman or man. How did anyone ever believe that they were genuine people in the first place if they couldn’t even convince a camera they were good people for more than 30 seconds?

First of all, they didn’t properly use the language of a religious Christian.

There was one point in the Honk for Jesus Save Your Soul where Pastor Lee Curtis said, “Won’t he do it?” and first lady Trinitie said “All the time.”

Then Pastor Lee Curtis repeated himself a SECOND time and she still said “All the time.”

And they never addressed how incorrect this call and response was.

If you’ve been to church you know the correct response to “Won’t he do it?” is “Yes he will.”

And when the pastor says “God is good,” that’s when you say “All the time.”

This is elementary-level Christian-speak! How did they not know this?

Apart from this slip-up, the pastors also used a lot of curse words very frivolously which is not something that a successfully manipulative Christian leader would do.

Second of all, the pastors as characters were so shallow. And I don’t mean only that they were too absorbed in superficial things (which they definitely were) but also that their motivations were indecipherable.

Were you broke before? Were you struggling before and the church was the only place like that that saved you? Why did you need the church?

Is it the money that you’re wanting? Because there are other ways to make money. 

Is it the power that you want? Because maybe you can go into politics.

Their fixation on the church, when they didn’t really seem to have a relationship with Christ, didn’t make any sense.

On top of that, their emotional monologues near the end of the film felt so vacuous. Their words were not striking any chords at all, whatsoever.

The characters felt very muddy and inconsistent. They did not feel real nor they did feel believable. Every attempt to imbue the characters with depth, either through an emotional encounter or long monologue, fell flat.

Why The Ending Was Disappointing

I hated the ending because it did not tie anything together.

You didn’t see if the church actually got better.

You didn’t see if the characters got better.

You didn’t see ANY character development at all.

There was just no change, really, from the beginning of the movie to the end.

The end of the film has us staring into the eyes of the pastor’s wife trying to figure out what in the world she’s wanting.

She doesn’t seem to care too much about her husband’s infidelities. We’re not even sure if she loves her husband because she openly considers divorcing him. Then near the end of the film, during her dry monologue, she says, “I would much sooner kill my husband than leave him.”

So does she want to kill him?

Who she was was so unclear. I could not connect with her as a character at all because she just seemed so artificial. She didn’t seem like a real human. I just didn’t understand her motivations at all. I can tell that she was putting on a brave face to disguise the hurt but for what cause?

For more fancy church hats? For stage time?

Like, do the creators of the film even know what any of this is supposed to mean?

I was so excited to see how this film was planning on highlighting the issues of the church. Maybe highlight a potential solution for the church, highlight hope, or highlight justice for the victims. Something!

But at the end of the day, this film said nothing at all.

It attempted to be funny, I had a few chuckles, but there was no big picture. There was nothing that you left the screening of the film with besides disappointment.

In Conclusion…

If the beginning of a movie is a bit slow, I can forgive it if the end brings everything together. But vice versa, I feel like I wasted my time.

Honk for Jesus Save Your Soul started off so strong and slowly built up scintillating details only for the details to mean absolutely nothing by the film’s end. You start off connecting with the character only to become more and more disconnected as the movie progressed.

The creators of this film seemed to have lost sight of what they were trying to say by the end making the conclusion of this movie feel really rushed and incredibly unsatisfying.

Love you Sterling Brown, love you Regina King, but the top-notch lead performances can’t compensate for the really poor character development. This film had the potential to be so much better if there was a clearer focus on the message that was intended to come across.

I don’t think they figured that out before cutting and editing and putting this thing together. 

What were you trying to say? I don’t know. 

Rating: 4.8/10

What do you think this film was trying to say? Let me know in the comments below!

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Peace, love, and lots of popcorn,


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  • IMO Flicks

    When I'm not over-analyzing movies, I'm eating chocolate, belting my favorite songs, and binge-watching reality dating shows. Feel free to share your opinions with me and follow me through my social links!

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