A thinking Christian's perspective on using gay actors in "christian" films.

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Bunyon, Feb 17, 2006.

  1. Bunyon

    Bunyon
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    The e-mail was sent to me by Vision Forum. Vision Forum is a Christian company that deals in Christian education and home Schooling. Check it out. The founder, Doug Phillips, also founded the San Antonio Christian Film Festival. I think his words clear up a lot of foggy thinking. (PS. Since this was mailed to me personally, I don't think there are any copy right requirements.) The links listed below did not transfer so here is their web sight if you want to look up the articles. http://www.visionforum.com/

    “We did not know Chad was gay when we offered him the roles of Nate and Steve Saint. We learned just before he accepted the roles, and then faced the decision of whether we should love him and include him in the journey....” (Quoted from the Bearing Fruit Communications and Every Tribe Entertainment e-mail of Feb. 8, 2006)
    We are at the crossroads of a fundamental and historic shift in the perception of the duty of the Christian community toward homosexuals. Historically, Christians viewed it as their responsibility to demonstrate biblical love by openly confronting the perversion of homosexuality with the condemnation of the law of God and the hope for deliverance from that condemnation provided by the Gospel. Christians also understood it to be an act of biblical love to refuse to give this immorality legal sanction or cultural refuge within our nation. Recently, a new view is being espoused — namely, that the best way to show the love of Christ to homosexuals is to set aside our differences and work closely with them on Gospel projects. This shift is not being driven so much by careful theological inquiry as it is by secular entertainment trends and the evolving values of cultural spokesmen from within the Christian community.

    Christian Filmmakers Academy Opposes Ethical Neutrality“Filmmaker acknowledges the importance of bringing glory and honor to the Lord Jesus Christ and keeping His law at every step of the film production process (e.g., script-writing, casting, direction, production, marketing, etc.). With this in mind, the filmmaker warrants that, to the best of his knowledge, primary actors and senior associates of the film submitted are persons of good moral character. He further warrants that, to the best of his knowledge, he is not knowingly casting or hiring individuals for key acting roles or as senior staff who could reasonably be expected to compromise the message and worldview of the film through their interactions with the press or comments in the media.” (From the guidelines for filmmakers submitting competition entries for the 2006 San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival and the $10,000 Jubilee Award)
    Last year, more than one hundred and fifty aspiring filmmakers attended the 2005 Christian Filmmakers Academy (CFA), sponsored by Vision Forum Ministries. This intense program not only included practical and technical training but also rigorous discussions on biblical ethics for filmmakers.

    A characteristic of the CFA is the attention given to the filmmaker’s responsibility to utilize filmmaking as a culture-changing industry, not simply as a medium for personal artistic expression. Filmmakers must not only strive to make “epistemologically self-conscious films,” but they must embrace all of their ethical duties before the Lord. These duties include the filmmakers role as (1) a theologian engaged in communicating; (2) a responsible agent making a public statement by his work and methods; (3) a promoter bound by biblical ethics to advance his project and the message it advocates; (4) a spokesman for the project capable of publicly defending his decisions, reasons, and purposes; (5) a shepherd not only of the souls who will see their films, but of the lives of those who will work on the production; (6) a steward of God’s valuable assets; and (7) a servant of God’s valuable interests, not his own.

    During the CFA discussion on production, a question was posed to the faculty:

    Question (paraphrased): “How important is it that Christian producers draw from a distinctively Christian talent base when casting their films?”
    Answer (paraphrased): “The more significant the role, the more critical it is that there is philosophical and ethical unity. The idea that actors are neutral agents — mere aesthetic technicians in a Christian production — is a myth. Primary actors represent the film to the world. Also, the public often associates the actor himself with the film, idealizes the person who plays the role, and craves more information about him. Few things could be as devastating to a Christian production than to release a film to the public where the producer has a reasonable basis to believe that his lead actor is a God-hater who could mislead thousands and disgrace the name of Christ by communicating — through his words or lifestyle — disdain for Jesus Christ and the true message of the film.”
    As filmmaker Geoff Botkin has noted:

    “The embarrassment and shame associated with the End of the Spear could have been avoided if the producers had attended the Christian Filmmakers Academy and heeded this caution. Visionary investors (like the owner of Hobby Lobby who backed End of the Spear to the tune of more than $15 million) will be in a better position to advance the cause of Christ... by only choosing production people committed to the type of filmmaking ethics specifically advocated and taught by the Christian Filmmakers Academy — values and ethics which are embraced by many CFA graduates.”
    You can read more about the upcoming 2006 Christian Filmmakers Academy here.

    Vision Forum’s Four-Part Inquiry into the ‘End of the Spear’ ControversyThe single most disappointing development of the last decade in the rising independent Christian film movement was the decision on the part of Every Tribe Entertainment (ETE) to knowingly and deliberately retain a practicing sodomite and radical homosexual rights activist in the role of Christian martyr Nate Saint for the film End of the Spear — even after they had been notified of his behavior and were given the opportunity to release him from the project. Also disappointing has been the response of many in the Christian media and church leadership community to justify this behavior.

    The mistakes made by the men behind End of the Spear are serious. They include: (1) knowingly and willingly closely yoking in a Gospel effort with a man in a state of moral reprobation and at war with the Gospel, contrary to the Bible’s prohibition against such; (2) communicating to the world a pragmatic “ends justifies the means” philosophy of cultural evangelism and filmmaking; (3) presenting a patently unbiblical “dream theology” view of decision-making and the will of God as justification of such behavior; and (4) advancing the homosexual agenda through the promotion of Chad Allens’ pro-homosexual material on their Web site and providing a national platform to an unrepentant sodomite activist, hell-bent on a public crusade against Jesus Christ and the Christian family.

    For a careful analysis of the facts, and to understand our position on this subject, I would request that you carefully read the following articles:

    Part I: “Is it Loving to Be Yoked with Homosexual Activists in a Gospel Performance?”
    Part II: “How Christian Filmmakers Should Biblically Show the Love of Christ to Sodomite Activists”
    Part III: “Critical Facts in the Unfolding Controversy of ‘End of the Spear’”
    Part IV: “The End of the ‘End of the Spear’”
    Special Feature: Why does at least one family member of martyred men who died at the hands of tribal warriors on the beach with Jim Eliot and Nate Saint declare, “I feel betrayed” and, “I will never buy the DVD, encourage anyone to watch it, or consider it a part of my kids heritage”? Click here to read.
    Two Visions of Responsibility for the Christian FilmmakerAs the independent Christian film movement gains momentum, it is critical that our leaders turn to Scripture, not to Hollywood, for their ethical standards. Frankly, whenever we dream big dreams for God, we are going to make mistakes and judgment errors. Our Lord knows that I have made plenty of them in my own ministry. The key thing is this: The response of believers to such mistakes should not be to justify bad behavior, but to squarely face such errors and take responsibility for wrongful actions. This simply has not been done by ETE. At the end of the day, while they would have done some things differently, they clearly stand behind their choices and have declared them to be morally righteous acts of wisdom and love.

    It is my sincere desire that independent Christian filmmakers will look to the End of the Spear episode as an example of what responsible Christian filmmakers should not do. More important than the cinematic artistry and emotional power of this one film is the catastrophic message being sent to the Christian community. Our standard in evaluating the decision by ETE to yoke with a homosexual activist is not The Lord of the Rings or Chariots of Fire (both of which were secular productions from beginning to end that cast homosexuals in lead roles). Our standard remains the Bible. It is by this standard alone that Christian filmmakers must be evaluated. By this standard, we must learn from the mistakes of this film company and aspire to make godly films in a godly way. We must recognize that our Lord is just as concerned with the means as He is with the ends.

    Learn more about independent Christian films. Read the Ten Commandments for submitting a film to the SAICFF. Apply for the 2006 Christian Filmmakers Academy.
     
  2. BroTom64

    BroTom64
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    Very Good.
     

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