What kind of feedback have you been getting at the many preview screenings of Machine Gun Preacher?

We had a thousand-plus people already e-mail our office, call our office, Facebook us that they went to see the movie for many different reasons. The main reason was Gerard Butler’s in it. Other people say they heard it was a true story about Sam Childers and Africa, so people went to see it. But when they left the theater, it wasn’t about Sam Childers. It turned out about them and what are they doing. So I believe that this film—if we can push it, if we get behind it and we push it—I believe that we can help the world to change a little bit. If you got just from screening the thousand-plus people that’s making commitments in their lives, imagine if this thing goes worldwide. I’ve been encouraging the churches all over the place that if you want to do an outreach, buy tickets, buy seats in the theater and hand the tickets out in shopping malls. Hand them out in bar rooms for people, because anyone that gets two free tickets to go to a theater, they’re going to go. So it could help to make this world a better place ‘til the Lord either comes or takes us out of here.

In recent weeks, I’ve read some more controversial feedback about you from a former employee of yours at the orphanage in Sudan, government officials, community leaders and others about untruths, poor conditions, neglect or inaccuracies in how you’ve portrayed yourself. It’s hard to know what to believe now after reading your book and watching the film. How do you respond to these accusations?

There’s nobody on this earth, including Christ, who has ever done anything good that people didn’t come against him. Nobody. And I made the comment the other week: If they keep coming up with any more garbage or accusations, I’m going to run for president in 2016. [Laughs]. So I’m really considering running for president. But I think people have got to realize that in America we have such a thing called freedom and freedom of speech, and I’m a freedom fighter. And even those people that might come up with accusations you know, I’ve been called [everything] from being someone that’s a fraud down to being a gun dealer, a diamond dealer. You name it, I’ve been called it. I fight for freedom that everyone can say I fight for the good person, the bad person, for everyone to have that freedom. And you know I’m not going to let things get me down. I’m not going to let things stop me. God’s the one that knows what’s truly going on. So I just keep doing my thing, and let them keep doing their thing.

So then do you view opposition and accusations like these as spiritual attacks on you and your outreach work?

Yes. You know, our biggest problem actually comes from one organization. It’s happened since right from the very get-go. Right in the beginning. But it doesn’t bother me. Matthew 5:10-11 says that if we are persecuted for his sake, we’re blessed. Well, you know, I claimed the name “Machine Gun Preacher” a number of years ago because someone tried to discredit me in a story over a decade ago. There’s not only a movie that came out [called] Machine Gun Preacher, there’s a clothing line that’s come out now. So it goes to show you that the sky’s the limit for God. And as long as we handle the persecution properly, no one has ever heard me speak out against those people that say those things [about me]. And I’m not going to. It wasn’t too long ago somebody in my hometown was saying something and one of the bikers from the church said, “Reverend, we need to go over to this person, and we need to tell them they need to be quiet.” I said, “Let them keep talking, man. We keep getting blessed.”