Thursday, January 26, 2006

:: sigh :: Chad Allen, End of the Spear... one more time

As far as I know, the best place to go to stay up on the developments of this controversy continues to be Sharper Iron.

Jason relays a conversation he had with the powers behind the movie HERE. The upshot is that knowing of Allen's pro-homosexual-agenda would have made no difference as to his being given this platform, and they'd cast him again in a sequel if one were made.

Frankly, I find any pretense of not knowing beforehand very hard to believe. Do these people not know how to use IMDB? Re-read my own first encounter with this situation here. Now, I'm not even in "the business," but when I saw the movie's web site bragging about Allen's involvement in Corpus Christi, a red light immediately started blinking in my brainium. (By the way, that little factoid has now been removed from the web site. Coincidence? I think not!) I went to the indispensable IMDB, and less than two minutes later I knew what these show-biz professionals seem to be trying to say they didn't know, before they offered him the role.

Ideally, we'd all like not to make mistakes. But we do. So Plan B is to admit the truth, deal with it, learn, and regroup. The fool will never do that, the wise man will (Proverbs 10:8-9; 26:12; 28:23). I figure I really don't want to be the last to know and admit the ugly truth about some foul-up I perpetrated. They folks don't seem to mind being in that position so much.

Clarifications, one more time (I develop this a lot more here and here, but because of some folks' evident insistence on misunderstanding, I'll try to be briefer and more plain):

  1. My issue isn't that a Christian movie hired an imperfect person, or a sinner, or even necessarily that they hired a non-Christian. It is that they gave an illegitimate missionary platform to a known dysangelist for the homosexual agenda, contrary to the wisdom of Proverbs 26:6 and 10. It would have been the same to me had they hired someone who campaigned publicly for normalizing adultery, rape, theft, incest, adult/child sex, or abortion.
  2. Chad Allen may be a very nice man, and may be a very competent actor. I pray for his conversion, and would urge every Christian reader to do the same. What he is most, though, is a lost sinner in need of a clear presentation of the Gospel of Christ. This experience seems to have muddled Gospel issues for him, rather than clarifying them. This could easily have been predicted. I predicted it, and I am no rocket scientist, nor do I play one on TV.
  3. The gift of this assured platform to this broken man did him a disservice, and put the Christian community in a lose/lose bind. It was just plain stupid.
  4. I myself neither advocate nor oppose a boycott of the film. Individual decision. Just make it informedly, and for Biblical reasons.
  5. This hiring assured the result that this man and his sin of preference would become the focus -- not Nate Saint nor the other martyrs, nor the Gospel they died to proclaim. No one can seriously argue that this a surprising turn of events. Anyone not living under a very large rock in the middle of a very large desert could have seen it coming.
UPDATE: Okay, this just gets weirder and weirder. In this story, from Agape Press, January 19, 2006, Steve Saint is quoted as saying this:
I thought, 'What happens if I stand before God someday and He says to me, "Steve, I went out of my way to orchestrate an opportunity for Chad Allen to see what it would be like to live as your father did.' And then I could picture Him looking at me and saying, 'Steve, why did you mess with my plan?'"

Saint presents himself as just thinking this through, just speculating and wondering and musing. But now in this story from Christianity Today, 01/26/06, Saint's version seems very different:

...Saint had already decided to keep Allen on board. He said he had been praying about it, and that God clearly revealed the answer in a dream.

In the dream, Saint says he was "being chased by a mob of Christians who were angry with me for having desecrated 'their story.' The answer to their hostility was easy: Just ask Chad to remove himself. But as quickly as this thought came to me, I found myself standing before God. His look was not as compassionate as I had expected. God said, 'Steve, you of all people should know that I love all of my children. With regard to Chad Allen, I went to great lengths to orchestrate an opportunity for him to see what it would be like for him to walk the trail that I marked for him. Why did you mess with my plans for him?'

"I was fully awake by the end of this sleepy mind play.I knew that there would be a price to pay for any position I would take on this issue, regardless of the fact that I had not wanted to be involved.I knew one thing for sure: I would rather face the anger and even hatred of people who feel I have let them down, than to take any chance of having to stand before my Savior and have to answer for messing up his plans for Chad."

So what seems to be presented as Saint's musings in the older article, becomes a trump-card semi-revelation from God in the later article. (The implication is that anyone who has a different view is opposing the purposes of God -- but we have to take Steve Saint's word for it, because God made this revelation only to him.)

In this article, Saint is presented as very conflicted over the casting, and the powers-that-be (incredibly, to me; see above) still present themselves as blinded by Allen's very open homosexuality. And Allen is just a great guy, offering to walk off the production because of his great respect for Saint and his family.

What do I make of it? Honestly, I do not know. I just know it seems really weird, and the pieces aren't fitting together very well for me.

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