I recently plugged End of the Spear, a dramatic telling of the story of Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, and 3 other missionaries in Ecuador who were killed by natives. The story is incredibly powerful, but my enthusiasm for the movie has waned a bit. Why? (I’m glad you asked)
The movie focuses on Saint’s part of the story. Saint is portrayed by Chad Allen. The movie’s website is effusive with praise of Allen, but given what is probably the movie’s primary target demographic, leaves a few somewhat important things out.
- From Allen’s website: “Courageously, in the October 9, 2001 issue of The Advocate, Chad came out as a gay man.”
- In 2001, Allen starred in and produced “Corpus Christi” in Los Angeles. The movie website mentions the play, but leaves out any further detail. You may have heard about this play. It’s a modern-day retelling of Christ’s story, with the Christ figure set as a homosexual.
- It is noted on the movie website that Allen has recently completed work on a movie for Here TV, the first of six movies he’s doing for them. What is not noted is that Here TV is “a gay and lesbian television network” (as noted on Allen’s website).
- It is noted on the movie website that Allen has started a production company. What is not noted there (but is cited on Allen’s website) is that the company is “entirely dedicated to turning the page on gay and lesbian storytelling in film, television, and theatre.”
- Allen’s website states that among the organizations which he supports financially is “the Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund”. It also features a picture of him addressing the DC Youth Pride Day in 2002. (Just to be clear — the rally was not about being proud to be young.)
I am fairly certain that I am still going to see the movie (more on that in a minute), but more disturbing to me than Allen’s background/lifestyle/philosophy is the fact that the movie company couldn’t find anyone else (or did they even try?) to portray Saint. Even more disturbing is their cherry-picking of information about Allen, stacking the credentials high without noting anything about them. I really feel like someone was trying to pull a fast one.
But as I said, I’m still going to try to see this movie, as Allen’s agenda is not espoused or condoned in the story. There were definitely some questionable elements in the story of The Passion of the Christ, but that did not prevent it from being a good movie. In addition, Monica Bellucci (who played Mary Magdelene in that movie) has a fairly spotty career herself. Finally, when I was discussing this with my pastor via e-mail, he was disturbed by the news about Allen, but noted:
In Scripture, many are appalled that the men God uses are ‘non-believers’ and haters of God, even our ‘forefathers’ have details about them in Scripture that (from a promotional viewpoint) could have been left out!
Apparently, PR doesn’t rank high on God’s priority list.
UPDATE:? Dr Al Mohler linked to this post.? If you are coming from his blog, I’d commend to your reading this follow-up post as well, which includes further thoughts and a rather lengthy and (IMHO) valuable discussion in the comments section.