Few could deny that
Jody Eldred is an Emmy-Award-winning producer-director. He said,
�Did you know that nine out of ten
Biblical Christianity is anathema in
If an actor becomes involved in Scientology, Kabala, Buddhism, atheism or any strange religion, he or she will have
What should you do?
So, how can you make a difference? How can one person influence the powerful Goliath of the entertainment industry? The answer is in your own hands. You have a powerful sling that can hit the blaspheming giant right between the eyes, and believe me, it will leave a deep impression on his mind.
Make it your aim to never pay
A few years ago, there was a movie called �The Time Changer.� It was about a Christian gentleman from a hundred or so years ago, who invented a time machine that brought him into the era of modern Christianity. He joined a contemporary church and found himself doing things the rest of the congregation did--he found himself watching a modern movie. But shortly after he entered the theater, he ran out into the lobby with a look of pain on his face, crying, �They blasphemed the name of the Lord! There must be a mistake! They blasphemed His name. Stop this!�
Many years ago I went with my daughter (when she was 14 years old) to see a movie that had been enthusiastically recommended by a Christian. Within five minutes of the beginning, the name of Jesus was blasphemed, so we immediately walked out.
What good did that do; we had already paid for the tickets? We walked out because I want to set an example for my daughter. If I sit through a movie that blasphemes the name of Jesus, I�m saying �It�s okay� to
You say, �But if I had that standard I would rarely get to see a modern movie!� That may be true, and it shows how far
So, what�s the big deal with using God�s Name in vain? Movies simply reflect culture, and that�s how people talk nowadays--it�s just a word. Not to God. Using God�s name in vain is more serious than a heart attack. The Old Testament gives the death sentence for blasphemy, and that same Law will be enforced on the Day of Judgment. The Lord will not hold him guiltless who uses His name in vain.
Look at this news release from early in 2007:
ATLANTA (AP) � So much for God and country, at least during some in-flight showings of the Oscar-nominated movie The Queen. All mentions of God are bleeped out of a version of the film distributed to Delta and some other airlines.
Jeff Klein, president of Jaguar Distribution, the Studio City, Calif., company that supplied the movie to the airlines earlier this month, said it was a mistake, committed by an overzealous and inexperienced employee who had been told to edit out all profanities and blasphemies.
"A reference to God is not taboo in any culture that I know of," Klein said. "We excise foul language, excessive violence and nudity."
Airline passengers watching the movie hear "(Bleep) bless you, ma'am," as one character speaks to the queen. In all, the word "God" is bleeped seven times. (At no time in the original movie is "God save the queen" uttered.)
Klein said he discovered the mistake after a London-bound Air New
The �overzealous and inexperienced employee� had been told to remove filthy offensive words from the movie. So he removed the Name of God. What does that say about him, and what does it say about
Hallowed Be Thy Name
God�s name is to be revered. It is to be honored. It is to be hallowed. But
If I went to a movie and for some reason the producer decided to have an actor say that my wife was a prostitute, I would immediately leave the theater. I don�t care how much I am enjoying the movie, I would not sit back and let anyone insult the good name of my precious wife.
Now let�s bring it closer to the issue. Imagine if, for some strange reason, the actor began to equate my wife�s name with human excrement? What a terrible insult it would be to her character if I was even tempted to sit there for a second, because I liked the movie! If I did so, you would be justified in questioning my love for her.
How much more should I be jealous of the good Name of the God who gave me my wife and gave me life itself? How much more should I esteem the Name of the One who suffered and died and the cross for me?
Godly Jews won�t speak or even write the Name of G-d because they consider it so holy. Yet we pay
Christianity Today cited a study that looked at the movie-viewing habits of "religious" Americans. They found that when it came to watching R-rated films, �there isn't much difference between the religious and nonreligious.�
With the advent of cable TV, now anyone can have R-rated movies pumped into their home. No longer is there the concern about someone from church or the workplace seeing you at a dirty movie. What�s more, these movies have no moral boundaries--�This kind of programming�a mix of violence, sex and sophomoric stunts�is bursting out all over basic cable, which is not regulated by the Federal Trade Commission and is therefore, theoretically, reined in only by concerns of cable operators and advertisers."
Every Christian has his own liberty before God, but I�m curious to know how do they react when they hear blasphemy? Do they blush, not notice it, or just whisper a sincere apology to the Lord?
An actor friend of mine once called me and said that he had been offered a great movie deal, but he had a problem with one part of the script. The story line was wonderful, but as usual in a romantic movie, it included an intimate conversation and ended with a passionate kiss. He would get $100,000 for doing the movie, but he said, �I won�t kiss another woman like that, and besides, what would my kids think of me if they saw the movie?� He turned down the part because it could also be used to undermine his Christian testimony.
I greatly respected him for it. Think of it. Could you bring yourself to kiss someone other than your spouse for ten seconds�for $100,000?
The incident reminded me of a story I heard of an English Prime Minster, who during a dinner leaned over to the woman sitting next to him, and said, �Would you go to bed with me for a million dollars?� She said, �I would think about it.� He then asked, �Would you go to bed with me for one dollar?� She widened her eyes and said, �What kind of woman do you think I am!� He replied, �Madame, we have already established that. Now we are just negotiating the price.�
For what price should a Christian prostitute himself? What amount tempts us to compromise our convictions? $100,000? One dollar? An entertaining movie? God isn�t impressed with the cost, and neither should we be impressed with anything the world offers us. We are called to live out our convictions, not to be hypocrites.
Imagine your indignation if you found a peeping Tom peeping through your bedroom window at night. You would probably call the police and have the dirty pervert arrested. But if you have ever found pleasure by watching a sexually explicit scene in a movie, you are a peeping Tom�a lust-filled heavy breathing pervert. The only difference is that you pay a fee to peep through a window you call a movie screen. Remember that God says that if you even look with lust you are committing adultery in the heart.
So, if you and I are going to support
�Whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things� (Philippians 4:8).
�I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes . . . � (Psalm101:3).
Why are so many who profess to be Christians feeding on R-rated movies that are filled with violence filthy language, blasphemy, and graphic sex scenes? Perhaps it�s because magazines like Christianity Today (despite Philippians 4:8 and Psalm101:3) actually promote them:
The Number 23 is rated R for violence, disturbing images, sexuality and language. The Lord's name is taken in vain along with all the big swear words. There's very graphic, bloody and sudden violence�throats being slit and bodies dropping on pavement. There's no nudity, but there are several sex scenes that show a lot of action�and degrees of perversion such as violent sex.
The magazine kindly provides a �Talk About it--Discussion Starters� section--for after you have peeped at the "lot of action" sex and listened to them blaspheme the Lord�s Name.
Hollywood producer Ralph Winter says, �I've made R-rated movies, and if I think that's warranted, I'll do it again, because sometimes you need to show the depravity of where people come from, to show how they can be changed into something else.�
�Ralph is important to the Christian community of
Winter calls himself a Christian and yet sees fit to produce films that blaspheme the Name of God and the Name of Jesus.
And Winter says that Christians better beware of hypocrisy when they judge their
It�s become popular for church websites to give a little insight into the pastor�s likes and dislikes, so that you can get to know him better and perhaps imitate him. On one site, when the senior pastor is asked about his favorite movie, he says, �Tough one; I�m a movie freak -- used to be Lost Boys (vampire movie) . . . I like anything intense, brutal, mind-bending, etc.� His associate one-ups him. He answers, �Snatch with Brad Pitt and Benicio Del Toro. Great film if you can get past the 493 F-bombs!� He got past them without a problem. Actually, he was exaggerating a little when he said that the movie used �F� word 493 times. It was only used 156 times, and the name of Jesus was blasphemed 11 times.
It�s Not Okay
Every dollar bill that is given to the box office goes towards helping to feed the giant. But when we don�t pay them to produce movies that blaspheme the Name of God, we are saying to the producer and the script writers, �It�s not okay.�
Protesting with the wallet gets the attention of the entertainment industry, because it articulates the only language
The studios learned an important lesson from Universal's Walden-financed Oscar-winning biopic, Ray, which was previewed at churches. Congregations loved the film but objected to the word "God" being used as a cuss. Ray's director, Taylor Hackford, who had already cut four-letter profanities to satisfy Anschutz, the Walden boss, insisted he would not edit the film further, but it cost Universal the support of some church advocates. As Hackford says: "People in
Famed family-film maker Disney is headed back to its roots, with confirmation yesterday of cuts of 650 employees that will include a phase-out of its R-rated movies.
It seems that Disney had already been feeling the pinch. A year or so earlier they took the drastic step of actually removing blasphemy from a script:
Peter Sarsgaard, co-star of the Jodie Foster Disney thriller Flightplan, had the exclamation "Jesus" removed from his lines of dialogue. "They said, 'You can't say that. You can't take the Lord's name in vain.' I had to say 'shoot', and that isn't as good."
Perhaps Mr. Sarsgaard should have used his mother�s name in place of human excrement. That might have been as good. Or if he wants to draw attention to the movie and himself, why doesn�t he consider using the exclamation �Mohamed!�? It may be a first for
So, why don�t we see actors blaspheming the name of Mohamed? There are probably two main reasons:
1. Screenwriters are aware that if they even draw a simple cartoon of Mohamed they could lose their head.
2. Mohamed�s name isn�t despised enough to use as a cuss word. That�s reserved for the Savior. He said that the world would hate Him, because He would testify of their deeds�that they are evil.
Perhaps you are consoling yourself with the thought that contemporary
Then there was the much awaited trilogy of Lord of the Rings. I sat through more than nine long hours, waiting for some sort of gospel message. There wasn�t one. Not even in the faintest of allegories.
Facing the Giants was a good Christian movie. However, it wasn�t a
Neither was The Passion of the Christ a Hollywood production. It was filmed in
Luther was a good movie, but again, it had no gospel message. Neither did Disney�s production of Prince of Egypt, The End of the Spear, etc., etc.
Here�s the problem.
So don�t hold your breath for
 Hollywood Stars Encourage Youngsters to Smoke, www.mascotcoalition.org
 On December 11, 2006, actor Charlie Sheen gave a "vulgar adaptation," as the American Family Association described it, of a few favorite Christian Christmas carols, including "Joy to the World." The Monday episode opened with Sheen singing about his sexual activity to the Christmas tunes. �CBS approved Sheen's adaptation of the favorite Christmas carol, making it into a vulgar sex song," said Donald E. Wildmon, Chairman of AFA, in a statement. "The network and sponsors paid Sheen to mock Christ, Christmas and Christians. Many in the Christian community are growing tired of this bigotry by the networks and
Early March, 2007, Comedy Central rebroadcasted an episode of the Sarah Silverman Program on Thursday in which the female comedian has sex with �God.� The installment, titled �Batteries,� first aired Wednesday night and features a �one-night-stand� with a �Black God,� whom Sarah Silverman tries to brush-off the morning after. Many Christians disagree strongly with the rebroadcast, noting that the content is extremely insensitive and degrading toward religion. One such group, the Timothy Plan, has urged Christians to boycott the network�s parent company, Viacom, and pull out from all investments with them. www.christianpost.com
 If viewers aren�t influence by what they see and hear why then do advertisers pay $2.6 million to air 30 second advertisements during the Super Bowl? Billions of dollars are spent each year and advertisers get their returns of their dollars because viewers are influenced.
� Over the past 40 years,
 Even in the
 See Romans 2:12.
 Exodus 20:7: Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain.
 Jews interpret the law given by Moses as a prohibition against transcribing the name of God, because they feel that if God is recorded onto a piece of paper, there is the possibility that the name will be disrespected or destroyed in some way. The general concern with writing G-d in its true form is that it might be erased, defaced by being crossed out or scribbled upon, torn, thrown in the trash, or ravaged in some other way. Writing G-d instead of God communicates the writer�s idea effectively, but since G-d is incomplete, there is no risk of defacement. http://www.wisegeek.com/why-do-jews-write-g-d-instead-of-god.htm
 �Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed . . .� (Corinthians 12:3).
 �You have heard that it was said by them of old time, You shall not commit adultery: But I say to you, That whosoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart� (Matthew 5�27-28).
 Christianity Today is an Evangelical Christian periodical based in
 If you don�t go to modern movies, you may like to consider passing this book onto something you suspect does.
 �The world cannot hate you; but me it hates, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.� (John 7:7)
 Produced by Sherwood Pictures, part of the media ministry of the Albany, GA.-based
 As a result, lots of us who love movies end up minimizing the obvious distortion in a project and focus on its subtle strengths. But the fact remains, if a good man would turn his face in disgust and shame from what is on the screen, that should inform our own discernment about a movie. We can get so caught up in technique, that we are essentially gobbling down well-prepared sewage. "Stunningly arranged!" "Daringly conceived!" "Strikingly performed!"-it's still just poisonous filth. What makes this year's nominations even darker is the fact that there was one big cinematic elephant that, as we all predicted, was passed over for all the top awards. This movie was...the biggest independent movie in cinema history...the third biggest box-office movie of the year...a movie that moved millions of people to tears, had the entire world talking, and even led several murderers to turn themselves in! www.beliefnet.com/story/160/story_16008_1.html
 It its opening weekend it grossed $7,849,304. Disney�s production budget was $35 million. The Passion of the Christ grossed $83, 848,082 on its opening weekend. Its production budget was $30 million. www.boxofficemojo.com/movies