So I’ve been really pumped about seeing a new movie, End of the Spear. It’s based on the true story of five missionaries who journey to Ecuador to minister to the Waodonis, one of the most violent tribes in history. It’s a really amazing story, chronicled in Elisabeth Elliot’s book, Through Gates of Splendor (an absolutely riveting and beautifully written book that is a must read), and so when I read about this movie I was absolutely pumped. A movie about missionaries actually being released nationwide? How awesome!
Then I read Tommy’s blog earlier, and now I’m very torn. I urge you to visit Tommy’s site and read the article he linked, but in case you don’t, the gist of it is that Chad Allen, who plays Nate Saint (and later his son Steve), one of the missionaries, is a very vocal gay activist whose been in and produced movies and plays promoting the homosexual lifestyle. Even more troubling is that Every Tribe Entertainment, who produced this film and has evangelical ties, knew about this when they cast Allen in the film. They, and the real life Steve Saint, saw no problem with this. The article on Tommy’s site delineates several problems the writer finds with this, and I find myself struggling with whether or not to see it. The cons are listed in the article. On the pro side, the story itself is a truly incredible story, and the fact that it was made into a movie at all is encouraging, and I would like to support films that promote wholesome, even godly, messages. Furthermore, Allen is simply an actor playing a role. That’s what all actors do. So if I were not to see this movie because he’s a homosexual and I disagree with that lifestyle, wouldn’t I also have to abstain from seeing movies with actors who are known to be adulterers, alcoholics, etc.? Should we judge the quality of a movie based on the people portraying its characters? And is this movie a different matter, since it’s not just any character, but the character of a Christian? I hate that I can’t make up my mind about this. What does everyone else think?
EDIT: The more I think about this, the more I feel like I might be making a bigger deal out of this than is necessary. I guess what bothers me is that, as Mary pointed out, this is going to be what people talk about concerning this movie (and I’m not helping things, obviously), and if they had just gone with someone else that controversy might have been avoided. Then again, for all I know people would find problems with a different actor, for a different reason, but aren’t there more pressing issues that deserve our attention? Because in the end, we’re all horribly sinful and flawed. Keep commenting; I’m enjoying the responses.
EDIT 2: I’m going to see the movie. (Not today probably, but I’m going.)