Interview with Sam Childers of
ďMachine Gun PreacherĒ
, September 26, 2011
: Do you think they portrayed you accurately?
need to buy the book. The movie was
based on the book. What makes this all
messed up is the time line. This took
place over a period of 30 years. And
the biggest thing they got wrong is that after I quit doing drugs and alcohol,
I never went back. Not once in 23
years. Totally not true.
Why they put it in there, I donít know.
Somebody I work with says to me, ďSam, let it go, because maybe that
person who has slipped up can know he can walk back out of it again.Ē
So other than that part, overall, I was pleased.
The screenwriter, Jason, spent about a
year with me, because he wanted it as close as he could get to the truth.
The action scenes are amped up. But
the first part of the movie, who I was 30-something years ago, was not amped
up at all. I wasnít a good person.
I still think Iím kinda messed up. But
thatís what Jesus Christ is for. Any
interview that Iíve ever done, I donít try to hide my faith.
I donít care where Iím at. When
they asked me on the red carpet in
, ďWhat do you think?Ē I said, ďWhat do you think, knowing that God is
real?Ē Because Iím the first
hillbilly to walk the red carpet. Thereís
gotta be a God.
: Did they get the conversion
time line was messed up. When I decided
to change my life was in
. I was in a bar fight, turned out to
be a shootout, I almost got killed, and on the way home that night I made up
my mind, ďIím done.Ē And if
thereís one thing I share with everyone, I speak on drugs and alcohol all
the time, no matter who you are, if you want to stop an addiction, itís all
right here (points to his head). God
can do anything, but God can only help us through a problem.
It wasnít until four years later that I said, ďIím going to spend
the rest of my life walking with the King.Ē That
, I went home, and told my wife weíre moving, because somebody was out to
kill me, and I donít have a problem dying, I just didnít want to die for
: There are some in the religious
community who would take issue with meeting the violence with other violence.
: How do you feel about that?
SC: I would never condone violence, or
condone that what I do is right. But I
would ask you this here: who was David?
Who was Gideon? Who was Joshua? I could
go on and on, but Iím not here to discuss that.
Iím not here to try to make anything Iíve ever done right or wrong
in somebody elseís eyes. You know, I
shut drug dealers down. I shut three
major drug dealers down in my area. Eight
children died in five weeks time. Do
you have children?
I lost my son to heroin five years ago.
Iím not going to lose any more kids to drugs.
Ainít gonna be a drug dealer in my town. So it donít matter if
or where Iím at. Iím gonna get it
done. And I would never stand behind a
pulpit and try to let on that Jesus Christ condones violence.
But He did say to His disciples after He was resurrected, ďIím
sending you out this time, take an extra pair of shoes, take an extra coat, if
you donít have a sword sell your coat and buy one.Ē
What was the sword for?....I rescue children.
Thatís what I do. Doesnít
matter if itís here or AfricaÖ.Letís stop working on criticizing people,
letís work on getting something doneÖ.I donít want to sound like a
religious person, because those are the people that hung Jesus on the cross.
But I pray all the time. Iím not an educated man, but I wrote a book
that they made a movie about, so that goes to show you that God is real.
So I go to Him for wisdom and knowledge.
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Interim Pastor,
St. Stephenís Presbyterian Church,