Fundamentals fundamentally wrong about End of the Spear?

End_of_the_spearI’ve recently become aware of the controversy that’s brewing in Christian fundamental circles surrounding the opening of the movie End of the Spear.

The producers cast a confessed gay man in one of the leading of the roles and now certain ministry leaders are having (and expressing) their issues.

For a little background…

OK…here we go.

For ministry leaders to reject the movie outright based on
the sexual orientation of one of the actors is short-sighted at best and pompous
and pharisaical at worst. I think this is exactly the kind of narrow-minded
perspective that has given the church the current reputation of being out of
touch and irrelevant…and unable to really speak to the issues of our
society or contribute to the arts of today’s modern culture.
Of course it would be much more understanding if the
situation was reversed…a Christian straight guy was playing the role of a gay
man in a movie based on the homosexual lifestyle. Then, at least they could say
that the actor in question was lowering his standards in order to play a role.
This, however, is not that situation; a gay man in a movie with a Christian
I wonder how far these ministry leaders would be willing to
carry their logic? What about Al Pacino, Harrison Ford, Julie Roberts, Meg Ryan,
Tom Cruise, George Lucas, Steven Soderburg, Ron Howard? Are these people devout
Christians? Should their collective body of work be dismissed because of their
sinful lives? Have these ministry leaders come out encouraging their fellow
believers to boycott their films as well because of their sinful lifestyles?
What about books written by Hemingway, Eliot, Dickenson and other legendary
non-Christian authors? When does the book-burning begin?
More on point…if God does not rank sin, in other words,
if my sin is no worse or better than your sin or Chad Allen’s sin, then how can
my work or your work or anyone else’s work be accepted by this strict
I do not condone Mr. Allen’s lifestyle. Personally, I have
a real problem with the prevalence of the homosexual lifestyle being depicted
throughout the media. However, I think Mr. Allen’s performance should be
judged by his abilities as an actor not by his sexual orientation. Likewise, the
film (and the producer’s casting decisions) should be evaluated on it’s artistic
merit and not dismissed out of hand just because one of the actors happens to be
And, who knows what kind of long-term effect this role will
have on Mr. Allen? Let’s pray that the same beliefs and convictions that guided
Nate Saint will ultimately bring Chad Allen around to the
The movie opens this weekend (January 20). I encourage you to go see it (sooner rather than later) and make up your own mind about the movie; its story, its production quality, its on-location shoot, and the artistic ability of its actors. Again, go THIS WEEKEND. Remember, attendance opening weekend often dictates whether the movie hangs around a while or dies a quick and uneventful death. This movie’s message is too important to allow to die.
But that’s just what I think. What about you?

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  • I would agree Mike, that there is hypocracy shown by these ministry leaders. None of us are immune from this offense. My question is how are we to respond to homosexuality? Look at how Hollywood and the media elite have responed to Brokeback Mountain. I seriously doubt that this movie would have garner so much attention if it were not centered around this controversial subject. Granted, all sin is lawlessness and equal in terms of separating us from God, but isn’t there some variance in the consequences of sin? N. L. Wright says that through sin we can lose the image of God we were born with and my opinion is that some sins are much more degrading to us and consequently, to the image of God in us. That is a part of what is so apalling about homosexuality
    to me and I think also to God. “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” How many times have we heard that and has it become just another Christian cliche? To borrow another cliche, WWJD?
    How can we love people without being hypocritical, seeing the splinter in their eye, while ignoring the board in ours? I think the answer lies in the intimacy of our relationship to God in Christ, being so close to him that he takes over and lives his life through us, living Spirit-led lives. This is where the church has gone off track, confusing the form and ritual with the essence. Jesus had a way of loving sinners while not ignoring their sin. It’s a delicate balance, which we have not learned.

  • Someone sent me an email from the Director of the End of the Spear. One comment went something like “there are 3 kinds of people in this world, those who agree and love each other, those who disagree and hate each other, and those who disagree and still love each other.
    It’s no mystery that Christians think a gay lifestyle is wrong and unbiblical. If there is no dialogue between the gay community who hates Christians and the Christians who “love the sinner and hate the sin” which often times and practically speaking, translates to perceived hate by the gay community, then how will we ever show them a relationship with Christ, and why homosexuality is unbiblical.
    The Episcopal church has done more to promote homoesexuality than Chad Allen portraying Nate Saint. In fact (NEWS FLASH), more of the gay community will come see the film because he’s promoting it. That’s a good thing.
    Why “come out of the closet” of not going to movies to stand against a Hollywood film that favorably portrays the Great Commission. Let’s stop cursing the darkness, and light some freakin’ candles.
    1. We can publicly support End of the Spear (Opening weekend I might add).
    2. We can teach people in our churches why homosexuality is a sin.
    3. We can do more to LIVE OUT GOD’s word and build relationships/dialogue with the gay community in our sphere of influence.
    “Meet the one who invented love”…his name is Jesus.

  • I had only heard great things about the movie. I actually remember the incident because my Mom knew some of the people and families involved. Look forward to seeing the movie. It is funded by the son of the Hobbly Lobby owner.

  • What I meant by the “prevalence of homosexuality in the media” was the presence of a hit sitcom like “Will and Grace” a program that actually centers and revolves around the gay lifestyle. If you were to watch primetime television with the idea that it was a reflection of our culture, you would get the idea that homosexuals make up much more than just 10% of our population. Maybe they do, I don’t know. I guess I’m just presuming that because the homosexual orientation is much more prevalent among the actors, writers, and producers in the entertainment industry (again…I’m assuming) than it is in the overall general population, we get a skewed look at what is the norm. I think I’ve got a pretty normal life and it looks nothing like most of what I see on television. Except for 24. My life is a lot like Jack Bauer’s.

  • I have to agree with your concerns about the “prevalence of homosexuality in the media” as it seems to be an agenda being promoted by Hollywood, politics, and many other civic groups. Sort of brings to mind the old adage “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.” Reminds me of early complaints in my church work. Invariably I would be approached by those who would say “Everyone thinks….” and off they would go. Use to bother me until I got wise enough to ask, “Who is everyone?” Needless to say, when I knew it was just two people my perspective changed. Ten percent of the populace has garnered the attention of the public simply based on their sexual orientation and their ability to voice it. Not to say that this small minority shouldn’t have their concerns addressed even if I don’t adhere to their lifestyle. That is one of the things I enjoy most about our God–everyone, regardless of their sin, is treated individually and fairly. As to the casual dismissal of one’s work due to their sin…the only work remaining on earth would be the work of the cross performed by Jesus! The library shelves would be empty, the art galleries would be non-existent, the air waves silent, and our communities huddled in caves! We Christians simply must resist the finger pointing condemnation that alienates people from Christ as our whole reason for still being on this planet is to bring them to Him. Keep up the good writing, Mike!

  • Todd, I suppose the concern for Hollywood’s agenda comes because it is counter to Christ’s agenda, which takes precedent over all human or agency agendas as His is the only way to eternal happiness. If it weren’t for that I could sing with Doris Day “casara sara” or with the Beatles “live and let live”–yet when it comes to eternity either tune falls flat in the seriousness it presents.


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