this is a missionary?

Posted in: media, political rants, theological rants- Jan 11, 2006 6 Comments

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. 😉

Hat Tip to Randy Brandt for giving me the heads-up on this issue. You can read his take on this here.

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.

6 Responses to “this is a missionary?”

  1. Reply Musings from Two-Sheds Gomer » Blog Archive » gates of splendor re-visited says:

    […] ng to try to see the movie, but in the interest of full disclosure, you might want to read this too.   [Perma-link]   [Trackback Link] […]

  2. Reply Kathi Knaus says:

    I guess this bashing will go on for a lot longer than it will take
    the movie to reach DVD sales. It is a sad reflection on
    believers who take issue with a sovereign God and His purposes
    in allowing this movie to be produced as is.

    I am the niece of Ed McCully, one of the missionaries portrayed
    in the film. Having grown up in the shadow of this story for
    50 years (I am now 55), I have seen the impact of so many lives
    this story has made. Judging is for God and God alone. We are here
    to serve Him. Pray about it. Kathi Knaus

  3. Reply Brendt says:

    Kathi, nice to meet you. I think it’s even cooler to have you visit my blog than Dr Mohler. 😉 Did I get your uncle’s name wrong in my initial post? I wrote *Jim* McCully.

    Unfortunately, you may be right about the bashing. Just so we’re clear — I’m not bashing. (Well, maybe I bash the bashers a bit.) But be sure to read my follow-up (linked in the last paragraph of this post) and a more recent follow up here:

    Two retired missionaries to South America in my church, who were largely influenced to go to the field because of these men’s story, gave the movie a big thumbs-up. I don’t know the Elliots or the Saints (although, now I barely know one of the McCully’s :-) ), but I do know Ron and MaeEllen. That’s good enough for me.

  4. Reply Leslie says:

    As someone who had followed Chad Allen’s acting career for a few years, I was EXTREMELY disappointed when he announced in 2001 that he was homosexual and chose to succumb to that temptation and live a homosexual lifestyle. I am also very disappointed that the makers of “End of the Spear” either could not or did not choose to cast a Christian actor (of which, contrary to popular belief, there are many) in the role of Nate Saint. As a Christian, however, I believe in an all-powerful God who often uses the most unlikely of tools to accomplish His work and spread His message. If God could use Rahab the prositute and Balaam’s jackass to accomplish His will, He can certainly use a talented but seriously-deluded man like Chad Allen. My prayer is that God will in some way use the stories of these five missionary families and the gospel message for which they sacrificed to help Alen understand the truth about God and His plan for the lives of every human being.

  5. Reply .: What's Bruin :. says:

    End of the Spear Commentary…

    While this movie is just that, a movie that entertains, I believe the gospel message is preached loudly and clearly. Despite the fact the main actor in the film is openly against the God that I know, who sent His only Son, Jesus, to die for the sins o…

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