When actor Kirk Cameron has a rare, quiet moment to sit and watch his six kids laugh together, his heart wells not just with joy, but also with concern.
“I am very concerned about the world my kids are growing up in—morally, spiritually, economically. I think we are headed for disaster if we don’t change course,” he said by phone.
But instead of joining the political blame game, Cameron thought, “Let’s talk to the people who built this country” and began a journey across the United States and Europe to discover the true national treasure of America.
Known for his role on ABC’s Growing Pains, Cameron in recent years portrayed Cameron “Buck” Williams in the Left Behind film series and Caleb Holt in the 2008 drama film, Fireproof.
He is also an active Christian evangelist, currently partnering with Ray Comfort in the evangelical ministry The Way of the Master, and has co-founded The Firefly Foundation with his wife, actress Chelsea Noble.
Cameron’s journey, documented in the new film Monumental, re-traces the escape route of the pilgrims from England into Holland, where they stayed for 12 years under the care of their pastor, John Robinson.
It was in Holland, said Cameron, that the Pilgrims learned the nation-building techniques that they brought to America on the Mayflower.
So what happened to America’s Christian roots and how do we rediscover what the Pilgrims intended in founding this nation?
“They knew we would get off-track one day,” Cameron explained, “so they left us their strategy on how they did it. It’s in the form of the largest granite monument in America—180 tons of granite sitting on a hill—overlooking Plymouth Harbor. Her name is Faith and she is holding the Geneva Bible and her foot is on Plymouth Rock.”
The monument lays out a biblical worldview and a strategy for how to build and sustain a free and just society under the Word of God—and so does the documentary.
Cameron said the live, one-night event was “phenomenally successful” this past Tuesday. “And now Monumental is going out everywhere else. We need people to see it this weekend. If it’s not in your city, you can go to demandthemovie.com and type in your zip code and bring the movie to your town.”
As the church, Cameron added, we need to stand together: “If we want a future for our kids, it’s not going to be found in a person or the White House or in a political party. It’s found in the gospel.
“That gospel needs to soak and saturate the hearts of our children, and we need to teach it to them at the dinner table. They need to understand the principles and lead this country like our forefathers did to liberty and blessing for the entire world.”
Before Monumental and Fireproof, of course, there was Growing Pains. One of the highlights of that era for Cameron is a day in October 1989, when his path intersected with a certain evangelist’s on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
“I actually met Billy Graham when I was probably 17 years old, when Mr. Graham got his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame,” Cameron recalled. “I was there with him, standing behind him. I had no idea if he had ever heard of the TV show Growing Pains—I was there and a man named Johnny Grant had presented him with his star.”
Cameron remembers Billy Graham saying, “Some people may ask me why I would agree to have my name put down on the Hollywood Walk of Fame—isn’t that kind of egotistical?”
According to Cameron, Graham responded, “It may be for some, but the reason I agreed to do this is that I thought one day some little child will walk along this street and look down and say, ‘Mommy, who is Billy Graham?’ And she would be able to tell her child, ‘Son, Billy Graham was a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Let me explain to you what that gospel is.’”
Cameron noted: “I was so impressed by his faithfulness to the gospel, his perseverance over all these years, and the many exciting things he’s been able to do. Billy Graham had a very profound impact on me in terms of inspiring me to want to passionately pursue preaching the gospel.
“In his era, he was able to take the message of the gospel and get it out to the masses of people through secular media, when that is really so much more difficult to do today.”
Used with permission from the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
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