Thursday, January 19, 2006

End of the Spear

This is movie about the martyrdom of five missionaries attempting to spread the Gospel in the jungles of South America. The story itself was widely publicized by Elisabeth Elliot's book Through Gates of Splendor. Elisabeth Elliot is the wife of one of the deceased, Jim Elliot.

There is some controversy surrounding the film. Namely that Chad Allen, who plays Nate Saint and his brother in the film, is gay and a gay activist. Some people have real trouble with this. Reverend Ed doesn't and explains why. I'm not so sure.

If Chad Allen was just a gay actor I wouldn't really have a problem. I'm not a fan of his lifestyle, but if he does a good job in the movie, then ok. He's also a gay activist. That bothers me a bit, but I suppose he's allowed to advocate his lifestyle. It's a free country. As long as the movie is ok, I'm still willing to look the other way.

As part of his activism he produced and starred in the LA version of Corpus Christi. This is a movie that tells the story of Joshua, a gay man, and his twelve male lovers. The writer of Corpus Christi boasts in how blasphemous the play is.

Now I don't have an opinion about the film. I may still see it if I hear it's good. But now I very uncomfortable with this actor playing a Christian role. Yes, he's just an actor playing a part. But his actions have shown that he really doesn't get what is motivating the character he plays. Now he certainly isn't the devil shooting gay rays at me from the silver screen, but part of me wonders if I'm now condoning blasphemy by supporting this film with my entertainment dollars.

So I'm very torn. Part of me thinks that this movie could still be a great film and may be a great witnessing tool. Another part of me wonders what kind of witness I will really be if I go to see it. Is seeing the film going to be construed as supporting this guy's lifestyle and body of work? We've been working through 1 Corinthians in small group. Paul makes it pretty clear you need to think about this sort of thing.

The answer is that I don't know. I think protesting a film you have never seen based on hearsay is foolish. It is being proud in ignorance and exercising poor judgment. If the politics had never come up, there wouldn't be a problem. But now they have and there is. I think the Christians leading the charge chose poor ground to fight over. I don't think this is a worth the fight and I don't think there will be a clear winner in this round of spiritual warfare either way.

No comments: