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God’s Purpose for Masculinity on Full Display in "Kingdom Men Rising"

Chris Carpenter - Director of Internet Programming

Anthony Evans has emerged over the last decade to become one of Christian music’s top male vocalists.  But he is also a person who knows a thing or two about having a great spiritual legacy.  The son of well-known evangelist Dr. Tony Evans and the brother of evangelist/actress Priscilla Shirer, Anthony is a prime example of someone striving to live his life as God intended.

Anthony plays a key role in his father’s new Fathom Movie event, Kingdom Men Rising, a film that explores the Biblical intentions of masculinity and what it takes to be a true man of God.  In theaters nationwide today and tomorrow only (April 29 and April 30), the movie event also features NFL Hall of Famers Tim Brown and Tony Dungy as well as Grammy Award winners Kirk Franklin and Lecrae.

Find a theater near you to view the Kingdom Men Rising live movie event.

Digging a little deeper, Kingdom Men Rising is a powerful documentary that explores what it means to be a real man of God living in a modern age.  In the film’s 93 minutes, Dr. Evans challenges men to step actively into lives of purpose that are rooted in fundamentally sound Biblical principles. 

I recently sat down with Anthony to discuss the new Fathom event, the definition of true manhood, and why it is so important for men to be emotionally present in their family’s lives.

There have been a lot of projects about being better men and fathers.  Why create a film geared toward Kingdom men at this time?  What’s different about Kingdom Men Rising?

We are creating the film now because it goes along with the Kingdom series my Dad has been preaching for the last five to seven years.  He has done a series on Kingdom women, Kingdom singles, and now Kingdom men.  It's all been part of his journey. In doing the film I believe we have a lot of people who are moviegoers and not necessarily book readers. It's really making sure that the message gets out as broad as it can because it’s a relevant message about changing our culture in general and as it relates to what the definition of manhood is. 

Before we get too deep into the conversation, how would you define “Kingdom Men”?

The major thing that's different about the definition of a kingdom man versus just an American male is that being a kingdom man starts off with being submitted. A lot of times in our culture we are taught that as men, part of our being a man is just running your own kingdom. You're the head of it and your accomplishments are the thing that matters most. That is not necessarily a Biblical definition. In fact, it isn’t at all. This film is about turning people back in general to the concept that we have a Maker. When you get something in the mail that has a maker it comes with instructions because the person who designed it knows how they intended it to be.  When you put it together the way that the instructions say, you're going to get the biggest and the fullest use out of it. What's happened in our culture now is that we feel like we are the final say and we don't need an instruction manual because we know how it's supposed to work. And then what we end up doing is we're trying to put ourselves together years later because we simply will not go to the Maker to get the instructions on how we're supposed to be doing it in the first place. This movie is about redirecting us to our Maker and our instruction manual, the Bible, and how it relates to our design as men.

To continue on this theme, what defines true manhood or being a true man?

The first thing that defines a true man is being submitted. That's the first step, submitting your will to the will of the One who made you, admitting that His design is going to be best. That literally is it. And then, from that submission, following Him in the direction that He has specifically designed for you to go. My Dad, my brother and I are all built different and God has a very specific path for us that we only get to be on when were submitted to Him. 

One major undercurrent that I picked up on in the film is the importance of being known to your family. Why is it so important for men to be emotionally present in their family’s lives?

Feeling connected to your father in general is one of the most important life giving experiences you can have. It’s so important to be emotionally connected. Our emotions are indicators in our lives for a lot of different things, but God has given us a gift of emotions. And to be able to connect those to your father who then kind of helps you define how you're going to be and what your worldview will be like. A lot of our worldviews are defined by our fathers. That emotional connection is the epitome of how that all begins. It's one of the most important things for us to be vulnerable, transparent and authentic with others.

How is pop culture trying to dictate the conversation on manhood?  What is it saying?

It's saying that your money, your accomplishments, your success, your status are what you're working for. That is what it's supposed to mean, especially pop culture. It seems all that matters is how much is in your bank account. And then that's it. You are a man based on that. That couldn't be further from the truth because when you allow success to be your definition of manhood, there's going to be a point in all of our lives where we are not successful. For you to lean on success heavily, it's setting yourself up for disaster in general. I really believe that. That's why my dad made this movie. It's a relevant and current way to get a message out that's counter cultural. 

Turning in the other direction toward principles of faith, what are the Biblical intentions for masculinity? 

I believe the Biblical intention of masculinity is for it to be a conduit by which legacy is set up. Biblical masculinity is a conduit by which God's message gets to reverberate through the generations. And that is not what we are making it about today. It's how big of a deal I am and how strong I am physically. Emotionally I'm cut off because that's me being strong. The generational impact that it leaves is not an impact on how you define yourself. That's the difference. 

A lot of well-known men are featured in this film … Tony Dungy, Jon Kitna, Tim Brown, Kirk Franklin, Lecrae just to name a few.  Why is it important to feature these guys?

I think it’s important to share different perspectives. When you shoot a film or television show there are usually five or six different camera angles that are used.  If you use only one it would be sort of stagnant and dull.  Different people provide different perspectives. 

For example, my perspective is that of an emotional, artistic person. With Tony Dungy, you're going to get the more traditional American male. But he's also been through a whole lot. You get to see the same thing from six or seven different perspectives. When you can do that, you can obviously take and learn more when you get to see it. 

Changing gears a bit, would women receive any benefit from seeing Kingdom Men Rising or is this strictly a guy's film? 

No. It's an everybody film because everybody's impacted by this. There are some films that lean toward certain audiences, but then it's an everybody moment. There are certain fans of Marvel movies but they're made for everybody. And I think that's what this is. It's very obvious by the title what it is. But if a woman wants to be encouraged and capture nuggets of truth to talk to her friends about a male then this film is for her. This is a film for husbands to bring his kids too so that the daughter knows what she needs to be looking for in a man. For the son it sets the stage for what he aspires to be.  It’s for everybody.

You mentioned earlier that your father has been working on the Kingdom series for a quite a number of years.  Furthermore, he has been a well-known evangelist for a long, long time.  Do you see this movie as his swan song for his long-standing ministry?

It is one of many. There's so many projects in the works though that I believe are part of that. But yes, this is legacy stuff. This whole Kingdom series is all part of his legacy moment. This movie plays a very vital role in a bigger picture. 

After people have seen Kingdom Men Rising, from your perspective what would you like to see viewers take away from the experience?  What is your greatest hope for the film?

My greatest hope for the movie is that it's a call to action and not just an entertaining movie. Not just an, ‘oh that was nice’ moment for someone. That's not the point. If my Dad wanted to entertain people he would have just made a regular movie. This is about a call to action. I would love to see lives changed.  I hope this movie’s message actually reverberates in the hearts and the spirits of the people who are leaving the theaters. So much so that people who aren’t even at the theater feel the impact because life lives have been changed.

Find a theater near you to view the Kingdom Men Rising live movie event.
 

Watch a trailer for the Kingdom Men Rising live movie event:

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