Acting and God's glory:

Discussion in '2005 Archive' started by amazinglove92, Jan 14, 2005.

  1. amazinglove92

    amazinglove92
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    I am a huge fan of acting and dramatical works. I love the stage, the lights, the audience...
    Well I have been trying to figure out, since we are to do all to the glory of God. (I Corinthians 10:31) Can I act out a character who portrays evil and still be doing it to the glory of God?
    For instance:
    There is a play I am in where I have to make some sexual references. Nothing to explicit, but something not very proper. Could I do this and still be to the glory of God? I am not really saying it, since I am playing the character. This has really confused me. Can you help?
     
  2. Johnv

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    In high school, I played Skylock in "Merchant of Venice". I have yet to have anyone tell me I've sinned.

    I don't think James Earl Jones sinned when he played Darth Vader, or that Anthony Hopkins sinned because he played Hitler and Hannibal Lechter. I do, however, think that Dustin Hoffman sinned by being in "Ishtar". :eek:
     
  3. amazinglove92

    amazinglove92
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    I should have written that better.
    Can my character swear or do something perverse on stage and I can still be acting to God's glory is my question.
     
  4. yabba

    yabba
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    It greatly depends on the context. I once had a Christian actor tell me he feels comfortable with acting out things unbecoming of a Christians if the action is not being glorified. For example he once played a drug dealer but the role was not glorified or made to look cool.
     
  5. Johnv

    Johnv
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    I'm in agreement with Yabba here. It always depends on the context, as per the examples I've given you. Also remember that you might have a problem with one example, and another Christians might not have a problem with that at all. That doesn't make one of you right and the other wrong. Likewise, you might come across a part which you don't find compromising, but another person would. Again, it's not right or wrong. To borrow from Paul, let each be convinced in his own mind.
     
  6. Debby in Philly

    Debby in Philly
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    I agree. If you character does or says something unbecoming a Christian, and suffers the consequences, then your character serves as an example of what not to do. Although if it went too far, I would still have objections. If asked to do a nude scene, etc. then I would have a problem, because it would still be me out there. Your use of the word "perverse" bothers me.
     
  7. Pastor Larry

    Pastor Larry
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    The point of Shylock was to show the results of sinfulness, was it not? (Though Shakespeare would likely not have used those terms.). Wasn't he a bitter old man who insisted on a "pound of flesh"? I can't remember hte whole story. It has been years ...
     
  8. Johnv

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    Yep, that's pretty much it. In the end, Shylock, whose arguement was "I'm entitled to the pound of flesh we agreed upon" is told he can have his pound of flesh, but since the contract said nothing of blood, he would be held liable if one drop of blood was spilled.
     
  9. Marcia

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    But what if the character is saying obscenities and/or doing bad stuff but is not made out to be the bad person in the story? This is really quite common nowadays. It seems like you all are almost assuming that the "bad" character will be portrayed as someone bad. What if he or she is not?
     
  10. donnA

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    Even the suposed 'good' guys in movies say bad things and act in bad ways. No matter what it is still a christian saying filthy words, dressed in very immodest alluring clothing. I don't care if it is only a charcter, it is the christian doing it.
    Excusses don't eliminate sin as Adam and Eve found out.
     
  11. Johnv

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    It all depends, again, on overall context. For example, if you played Mozart on stage in "Amadeus", the script calls for some adult language and situations. That said, I personally see no problem with a Christian playing the part. Or, what if you played the part of Barbbas in a passion play? You're playing a bad guy who never repents. I think you get my drift.

    Bottom line is, use your own judgement.
     
  12. av1611jim

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    My 2 cents. Take it for what it is worth.

    Some professions are unbecoming of a professing christian no matter what the "context".


    Examples;
    Bartender. Though some would say it is ok for a christian to drink in moderation, it is the bartenders job to supply drink. Some/many folks drink to get "tipsy". A bartender therefore partakes in their ungodly pursuit. He has supplied the means for drunkeness.
    Card Dealer. Gambling is thought by some to be evil. Gambling has caused great harm to many families, even to the point of their being rendered homeless. The card dealer therefore partakes of this evil. He has provided the means for financial ruin.
    Just two of many examples. You get my point.
    Next, Acting. The word acting comes from a word related to hypocrisy. Pretending to be what you are not. Should a christian play the "hypocrite"?

    Seems self evident to me. This is one profession unbecoming of a christian testimony.

    (Forrest Gump) "That's all ah've got ta say 'bout thaht."

    :D
    In HIS service;
    Jim
     
  13. Debby in Philly

    Debby in Philly
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    But apparently you don't mind watching them.
     
  14. Aaron

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    What? It's not your voice or tongue or teeth? It's not your face, your physicality? It doesn't matter how you slice it, YOU are yielding your members as instruments of unrighteousness to the playwrite.

    What saith the Scripture? Yield your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
     
  15. Johnv

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    I'm going to say this again, in the spirit of brotherly Christian advice.

    Use your own God-given judgement in each circumstance. In every case, someone who is Christian may have an objection or concern. That is fine, but don't be overly concerned with them, so long as you have practiced sound and discerning judgement.
     
  16. Johnv

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    So, it was a sin for me to play Shylock in my high school production of "The Merchant of Venice"?

    Sounds to me with your diatribe on the word origin for "acting" that you're adding to something in a manner in which it was not intended. Then again, you're KJVO, so why am I not surprised?
     
  17. James_Newman

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    I used to be a huge fan of rock music, movies, pornography, drugs, fornication... Some things ought not be done. As for acting/theater, most Christians today would not believe that years ago preachers would speak against such things as going to see plays. Today we have gone far beyond going to the theater for an evening of entertainment, now we have 24 hour entertainment piped into our homes through cable or satellite. I'm not going to say it's right or wrong. I'm just going to ask one question. Does it glorify God? You may ask 'Do we have to glorify God all the time?' What does the bible say?
    I realize I am just reiterating the parent question. Does the question really have to be asked?
    1Co 10:31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.
     
  18. Aaron

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    In case you haven't been following the discussion, he's already judged the action as "improper" at best. In a play, someone may pretend to steal or kill, but they are not really stealing or killing. With speech it's a bit different. He can't merely pretend to say something. He really has to say it.

    That's his real question. Not, is acting right or wrong? That didn't even enter his mind. He said he's confused about his justification about the statements he must make. I'm probably safe in assuming he would not take the name of the Lord in vain even in acting, and it wouldn't be because he didn't think it was really himself up there saying it either.

    Why would it be different in this respect?

    BTW, if you could appeal more to the Scriptures than to your own practices you would be more help in matters like this.
     
  19. donnA

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    erxactly, you can pretend to do somethings and not actually do them, but what you say and how you dress in acting are things you must actually do. How can curing while acting be to God's glory?
     
  20. av1611jim

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    How can you "pretend" to do something, but not really do it?
    Mt 5:27
    ¶ Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery:
    Mt 5:28
    But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.
    Mt 5:29
    And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
    Mt 5:30
    And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.

    The principle is the same here. One does not have to DO the act to be GUILTY of the act.

    Of course, I am KJVO so my appeal to Scripture means nothing to they who seem to think their OPINIONS are above Scripture. :rolleyes:

    Please! That concept is ridiculous. Makes about as much sense as if to say, "Of course, you are Californian so we would EXPECT you to defend the Acting profession.

    :rolleyes:

    You just can't win with some folks who seem to think somewhat of themselves, over the testimony of Scripture.
    In HIS service;
    Jim
     

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