Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Are Homosexuals Acceptable in Christian Films?

Question: Can someone affirm both of these statements at the same time?

1) Homosexuality is an abomination to God
2) Homosexual [actors] are acceptable in Christian films

14 comments:

  1. A: apparently yes, based on the arguments so far.

    However, if one is consistant, then the answer must be no.

    SDG...
    Carla

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  2. Yes homosexual sex is a sin, therefore an abomination, just as any sin is an abomination before God. However the sinner is not an abomination, the sinner is God's creation, in his own image, yet an imperfect reflection, due to the corruption of sin.

    Therefore the depiction of a gay person in a "Christian" film would only be an abomination if the film denied the sin of homosexual sexual relations or the glorification of that sin. It would be patently false to assume that any depiction of same sex affection or proclivities of a character would spoil the film.

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  3. Ok, years ago we endured the jokes about sodomites. Now must we endure these same sodomites as lead actors in our "christian" movies?

    Can anyone say apostasy?
    Is not God angry with the wicked everyday? Are the sinners going to hell, or just their sin?

    From what I can gather, God did not destroy Sodom and Gomorrah for their fornication and adultery.

    Can we ask these questions?

    Should christian musicians living in fornication be promoted as role models for our children?

    What role does Hollywood have in preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ?

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  4. Could someone define "Christian film" for me? I think that might help clarify some things.

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  5. A Christian film is that which attempts to depict Christian history, stories, or characters in some fashion via silver screen.

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  6. Jim,

    I didn't intend to disassociate the sin from the sinner, if you indeed interpreted my comment that way. However, the sinner is not condemned by the sin, but by the sin unrepented. Only two possible outcomes lead to judgement, the return of Christ, or mortal death(unless you are Catholic or hold to the belief in purgatory). Therefore any sin may be forgiven, and need not result in damnation.

    My main point, however was to the context of the homosexual or disordered sexuality. To condemn a film about the redemption of a repentant sexually disordered individual would deny the power of the holy spirit to change individuals. Not to mention it would also inhibit the holy spirits use of the film as an example to ther with disordered sexuality.

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  7. I would encourage more depictions of homosexuals in Christian films if it was done correctly [i.e. without graphic depictions of sodomy, etc.]. Many of the comments above have touched on important points already, but it is sufficient to say the true side of homosexuality needs to be revealed. There is hurt, guilt, and disease - all alongside God's judgment. Currently, the entertainment industry glorifies homosexuality. Christian films should reveal the truth in a way that offers the hope of Gospel in the redemption of sinners through Jesus Christ.

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  8. Eric said: "Therefore the depiction of a gay person in a "Christian" film would only be an abomination if the film denied the sin of homosexual sexual relations or the glorification of that sin."

    While to my knowledge there aren't any "homosexual roles" depicted in this movie, I find your statement interesting.

    Since the story behind this movie is the story of the life changing message of the gospel of Christ (mercy, forgiveness, repentance, and all that goes along with that), it would appear to me that the very premise of such a story would in fact, EXCLUDE the acceptance of any pro-homosexual involvment, in the production of the film in the first place.

    It's an absolute slap in the face to the very heart of the gospel. What's so incredible, is that this issue has caused Christians to take the position of contending for the faith, to other Christians - who want to argue in favor of tolerance on this one.

    Phil Johnson made a very good point today when he said this:

    "It disturbs me that even while they are ratcheting up their ongoing campaign against everything righteous, Hollywood moguls want to exploit evangelicals. It disturbs me even more that so many evangelicals seem blithely willing—almost eager, in fact—to be exploited."

    SDG...

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  9. Since the story behind this movie is the story of the life changing message of the gospel of Christ (mercy, forgiveness, repentance, and all that goes along with that), it would appear to me that the very premise of such a story would in fact, EXCLUDE the acceptance of any pro-homosexual involvment, in the production of the film in the first place.


    I think this may be the biggest difference in opinion that I have. Everyone, on the one hand, seems to say that there is no Gospel presentation in the film, while on the other maintain that with the story being about the life chaning aspect of the gospel,we must exclude the Pro-homosexual actor.


    In other words, the real attempt seems to be that as Evangelical Christians we want to distance ourselves from this movie. To do so, we then provide a series of reasons. The problem is that if we accept 1) The gospel is not present, then we cannot later use 2) "The Gospel in the film exlcudes...".

    Now, for my point. It seems to me that we would be far better in saying that this is Not a Christian movie. I think we could then view the movie as a civil good.

    The fact that Christian characters are present does not make it a "Christian movie" in my opinion. There are plenty of movies that use "Christian" characters in them (albeit they are generally portrayed negatively). So, the fact that Christians are in a movie does not make it a Christian movie.

    Now, the clear objection is that there is a difference between simply a "christian character" and a movie that is all about Christians going into an area with the message of Christ.

    However, this is where my objection comes in. If we have no gospel transformation, then ever though they may have been trying to capture some "Christian history" they have not done so.

    With that in mind, I would not classify it as a Christian movie and would thus distance myself from that title. Once distanced, I would of course lament the fact that it could have been a fantastic Christian movie (eg. The biography of the same events is very good), but I would also rejoice in the fact that it does have some qualities that make it significantly better than the other options at the theater.



    Now allow me to ask a question:

    If we just said "This is not a Christian film" would any of you agree that this movie has some benefit in that it is better than several of the big hits presently in the theaters?


    In Christ alone,
    mike

    P.S.
    One might not suspect this in light of my comment, but I completely agree with Phil when he says:

    "It disturbs me that even while they are ratcheting up their ongoing campaign against everything righteous, Hollywood moguls want to exploit evangelicals. It disturbs me even more that so many evangelicals seem blithely willing—almost eager, in fact—to be exploited."

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  10. Mike:

    If you noticed in my first post concerning the matter, I stated this:

    If this movie purely intends to represent history accurately, then whatever actors play the parts is irrelevant as long as they correctly portray the situation. But if this is Justin’s viewpoint on the movie, then it would have been much better of him to clarify this. In addition, he must establish that this is indeed the purpose of the movie, and that Christians are wrong to interpret it in the way they do in the first place.

    So, if the premise is that this movie does not intend upon promoting gospel truth, then the conclusion that the question of whether or not homosexuals should play roles in "Christian movies" in the first place is irrelevant.

    However, there is a problem. You and I may very well choose to not label the movie as "Christian" based upon its (supposed) lack of gospel content. However, this is merely our interpretation. My criticism is this: if the makers of this film intended it to be Christian, then this choice was absolutely unwise and worthy of criticism.

    So what really matters is the intent of the producers, not whether or not you and I view it as Christian. I stated in my post:

    However, I believe there is much reason to conclude that this movie intends to represent not just the people of the occurrence (Steve and Nate Saint), but the principles for which they lived. For instance, the mission of Every Tribe Entertainment is “To create quality entertainment for a broad audience that inspires hope through truth.” Truth is a risky word to use, and anyone who uses it must do so with great care. What is the truth that ETE is wishing to inspire in its audience? As Christians, we affirm that the gospel is truth. If ETE wishes to inspire anything that is contrary to the gospel, then that in itself is cause for objection to their portrayal of this story. But Christians around the nation are interpreting this movie evangelistically. They see it as an opportunity. I believe I would be correct in stating that ETE views it in the same manner.

    Thanks,
    Evan

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  11. if the makers of this film intended it to be Christian, then this choice was absolutely unwise and worthy of criticism.


    Indeed.

    You might notice at the post at Challies.com I made sure that at least my first two points stated this. In light of the intent, the producers made a very unwise decision in casting this actor. In light of the intent, it is absolutely tragic that this movie apparently does not explain the Gospel.

    That having been said, in the entertainment world it is very seldom that we judge things based on the intent of the producers. For example, I think Contact is a great example. The movie attempts to provide a naturalistic worldview with no over-arching metanarrative. However, what the movie actually presents is entirely opposite of the intent. In my estimation, Christians would be wise to use this movie regardless of the intent.

    An example that proves the same point but in the negative is The Passion of the Christ. The staff may have intended an ecumenical movie that Evangelicals and Romans could both appreciate is not what the end product leaves us with. As a result, people like Alan and I would object to the movie.

    In both cases, Contact and The Passion of the Christ, we have overlooked the original intent of the producers and judged the film on what is actually present.

    So, this movie may attempt to be "Christian" and certainly wants to capitalize on "Christian dollars" but if we want to remain consistent then we judge the movie based on the contents found within. When this occurs, I think what we are left with is clearly a non-Christian movie.


    I'd like to point out again that in light of the original intent, the choice of Chad is a terrible one. The maintained support by the director is even worse. The fact that the Gospel is not present is worst of all. These are all points that are worthy of criticism.


    However, after all of the criticism is done, we are still left with a non-Christian movie. The question, at least the one I am adressing, is what we do with the movie at this point. I think we take it as a civil-good non-Christian movie. When viewed that way, the homosexual issue becomes non-existant (as you pointed out) and Christians can actually find something of merit.

    Maybe we could even take a worldly movie (much like an Unknown God) and use it to preach the Gospel.

    In Christ alone,
    mike

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  12. Real your bible a bit deeper and you'll discover evidence of rape, pillage, torture etc. If these aren't abominations to God but homosexuality is then perhaps you need to start asking questions of your religion.

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  13. If USA goes homo, then we can expect sex w/young children, public RR sex w/children/teens, then we can expect increase in wonderful stds, hiv/aids, and we can fulfill the Global Union goal of decreasing the world pop.! Yes, sex w/animals too. because if we listen to Global 1, we are nothing but worthless, no value animals that have to be beaten, controlled, starved, so why not listen to the propaganda? Or r we too smart to be suckered into the world leaders plan to get rid of the losers (us) of society. This is how you rid the world of people. Legalize drugs, alcohol, suicide, murder, Hitler followed these rules look he almost did it, imagine what these world leaders will do if humans believe in the propaganda or will we be too smart? Doesn't look like it...stupid humans, die, for nature needs your space!

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