Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Good Conversation Alert

There's a great discussion going on over at Choosing Home Blog regarding Chad Allen's role in End of the Spear.

The controversy is this: a gay actor is playing Nate Saint in a film about an event that is very precious to many Christians--the martyrdom of several American missionaries to Ecuador in January, 1956. Many Christians are upset at the selection of an openly gay activist for the part of Saint.

Like many women who have commented on Molly's post, I see both sides of the argument. Many women there have made excellent, thoughtful posts that don't come across as snide or angry. I love when we can disagree so kindly (Molly and Spunky are historically good at that, by the way!).

Molly quotes Randy Alcorn:

Many nonbelievers know only two kinds of Christians: those who speak the truth without grace and those who are very nice but never share the truth. What they need to see is a third type of Christian — one who, in a spirit of grace, loves them enough to tell them the truth.

And really, that "third type" is the only "type" with any legitimacy. Speaking the truth without love drives people away from the Lord and exposes the speaker's hardened heart. Never speaking the truth exposes cowardice and a false love.

I like Molly's point about Christians and homosexuality; I think she and Holly together make a great point:

Molly: "Sodomy is an abomination, yes, but so is lying....[I]f we must boycott this movie because it has a gay man, let’s be consistant. We need to discover the character and morality about everyone else, not just this one movie. Movies in general, probably need to get the boot (and maybe that would be a good thing?). Grocery stores need to be investigated, the product makers searched out. Where does my toilet paper come from? Are the folks who run Google morally acceptable? Does the lady at my bank indulge in fornication or drunkeness after hours? Pensees says that the fact that Chad is an activist is where we must draw the line. Maybe he’s right. But to me, it’s more complicated than that.

We need to ask the question--it’s important--and consider the relationship the Christian should have to the world. But let’s be able to clearly explain where we draw our lines and where, instead of reacting emotionally simply because a gay activist is more repugnant to us than a heterosexual adulterer.

Holly, later, in a comment: The only thing I would like to insert here is the underlying reason evangelicals tend to be particularly annoyed by homosexual sin. It is not that it is a pet sin, or “worse.” It IS the agenda, the radical agenda, which evangelicals perceive (rightly, I think) as being shoved down their throats via public school educations and television and movies. Do you all realize how much things have changed in the last twenty years regarding this issue? When I was a kid, being “gay” was not a good thing. It has become normalized, even celebrated…it has and will continue to change the face of our world (not just the US) by manner of inclusive laws, curriculum, and directly affecting the “specialness” of marriage. By glorifying it in the media, many kids copy cat it….they declare themselves bi or gay simply because it is cool…not because they have been abused. (By the way, my sister was left to raise three young children because her husband abandoned her for the gay lifestyle. I’m not remote from this. I feel the pain of the individual who struggles with this…I just don’t think it has to be widely celebrated and lauded as an acceptable lifestyle.)

Okay, enough...I'll let you read it all for yourself. :)

Ryan and I actually just watched a documentary about the missionaries and the Aucas called Beyond the Gates of Splendor, so we probably won't see this movie. I'd rather see the historical footage of the missionaries and the interviews with the living Aucas than actors any day.