Differences on one Saint’s capacity for forgiveness

Saturday, January 21st, I went to the blog of my favorite Contemporary Christian musician, Steve Camp (www.stevenjcamp.blogspot.com) and was disheartened to find he’d posted part of an article criticizing the new movie, “End of the Spear,” (PG 13 for intense, not graphic violence), which is the famous story of Nate Saint, Jim Elliot and three other missionaries in Equador whose lives were taken by a tribe considered at the time one of the most violent in the world, only to be converted to Christianity and true and lasting repentence of their violent ways once the wives of some of the slain missionaries went to live with the tribe, partly so that a young female member of the tribe, whom they’d previously rescued (it’s a long story), could prove to her tribe that not all foreigners are out to kill them. It’s a beautiful and compelling story, portrayed in the film from the perspective of the tribe, and is well worth watching. Below, I have cut and pasted the correspondence between myself and Steve Camp over the production company’s surprising and controversial decision to hire an activist for the unrepentant, sodomite lifestyle in the lead role.

“Capt. HeadKnowledge” said…
Forgive me if I’m getting off topic, however, I am compelled to defend Steve Saint’s decision to retain Chad Allen as the lead in “End of the Spear.” I was not sure how to respond otherwise, so I must intrude on this line of comments.On Thursday, before the release of the film, Steve Saint and Bill Ewing were interviewed on Michael Medved’s radio show. When Medved asked about the controversy over Allen, Saint commented that Allen had simply been the best audition, and they hired him. Fair enough. Saint, not being an American citizen, was originally unaware of Allen’s “politically corrupt” (PC)sodomite lifestyle. When he was informed, he was very let down. His initial response was much as your own. He feared this would tarnish the missionaries’ good names and bring undue stress to the Woudani people from any controversy over Allen’s participation, and Saint realized that the only way to rectify this would be for him personally to fire him. He found it hard to bring himself to do this. As Saint began to give it a second thought, he decided to keep him in the hopes that the message of the film would somehow affect him toward righteousness; undoubtedly, Saint prays for his salvation, as your post encourages all of us to do. Seems Steve’s “evangelistic” motives are paying off. A lot of Christians are praying for Allen who weren’t previously doing so. To Steve Saint’s own Master he stands and falls. His motive was honorable and I believe defensible. Forgive him if your faith is not such as can approve him in his decision, but he made the decision with the heart of a forgiving Christian himself.Now, if I may offer my own two-cents’ worth on Saint’s decision to keep Allen: I believe there is nothing inherent in film that is able either to promote the Kingdom of God. It is, after all, specifically the Gospel preached which is the power of God to salvation. Western Christianity is too turned on by the modern spirit of “Christian” commercialization and entertainment, as if it’s going to “help” advance God’s Kingdom. This is a pipe dream. Preaching is preaching and art is art, and outside the intervention of God, rarely shall the latter “assist” the former; rather Christians need to learn to leave the entertainment to the entertainers. To discriminate against the best audition because of his outside commitments is to consciously choose to make a film of lesser quality than possible. To consciously lower your production standards to satisfy a bunch of trigger-happy brethren is to compromise the quality of art. Sure, it may not have been the greatest work of art ever made, but they did what they could with what they had; Saint’s sanctified conscience is clear on the matter, he regrets the controversy this may cause, but he stands by his decision because Jesus and his dad both died for unlovely characters such as Chad Allen in the past. Steve’s honestly trying to follow in his dad’s footsteps.
January 22, 2006 7:15 AM

SJ C@mp said…
Captain Headknowledge:Here is a link to read the complete story.Steve Saint is wrong on this… The spin he is trying to do to justify his actions are shameful and probably driven by the motive that he doesn’t want this to hurt box office support (always follow the money). He should own this, repent of it, and ask forgiveness from the Christian community that he is desperately trying to market this film to.In the meantime, don’t go see the movie, but pray for Chad Allen that he comes to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
January 22, 2006 10:38 AM

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One response

  1. This is a movie, many thespians are sodomites and the fact that this person was the “best” actor for the part is strictly for oommercial reasons. I do not condone the lifestyle, however how elso are we “Christians” going to get the message to the “gay” community that their liftstyle is “an abomination unto the Lord” and help them to change from their sins even as we have been changed by Jesus Christ. Hate the sin, llove the sinner! Help them to see Jesus and study the Word.

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