The Play’s the Thing

So I came the slow realization that Chad Allen, the actor in End of the Spear who plays Nate and Steve Saint is gay. My response was, “Oh my, evangelicals are going to have a cow!” What I fear is that we as a community are going to rush to eat our young. End of the Spear is an excellent movie that deserves to be seen. Yet I’m sure there will be evangelicals who will refuse to see it because a lead actor is gay.

This tragic knee-jerk reaction will accomplish two things. First, it will prematurely kill the movie’s run in the theaters. This will be tragic because it will reinforce the idea that independent Christian films can’t make money and no one wants to see them. This should not be because this was an excellently made Christian indie film. It deserves attention, positive attention. Second, it will reinforce the notion amongst gay people that Christians hate them. The wall remains in place and the best Christians can do is lob bricks with a fragment of the gospel message attached to them over that wall, largely killing the folks we want to save. Instead, shouldn’t we embrace the positive aspects of this man’s work? He plays a straight, loving father and husband who is willing to give his life so that a vicious tribe can hear the gospel. Isn’t that what we want?

The other problem here is that we once again single out homosexuality as the unpardonable sin. What if we had gotten a man to play the part who was a fornicator? Or a Roman Catholic like James Caviezel? Or a Mormon? Or are we so incredibly parochial that only an evangelical can play in an evangelical movie? What if the key grip is not a believer? Should we boycott the movie for that? In other words, when we make arbitrary rules where do we draw the lines? For that matter, exactly what is an evangelical? Is it TD Jakes or David Jeremiah? Who’s out and who decides that?

Look. Steve Saint and the widows from the story were very involved in making the film and they were cool with Chad Allen playing the lead.Or does this mean that the families the story is about are not evangelical? Please.That should satisfy us. He did an excellent job. His acting was impeccable if his lifestyle is not. We need to not turn this into a literal show stopper. Pray for Chad Allen. See End of the Spear. Praise God for what he did amongst the Waodani Indians. Let’s get our collective head out of your collective belly button.

Gene Veith has some good comments on the subject.

Seems to me that as Hollywood is falling all over itself to love and adore Brokeback Mountain, a film about gay cowboys, they should have a problem condemning this film which features a gay activist actor and presents Christian missionaries in a positive light. This film should present a real moral dilemma for them but critics have pretty much hate it.

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One Comment

  • Excellent.

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