Here and there, Christian bloggers have been debating whether gay activist Chad Allen should have a lead role as martyred missionary Nate Saint and his son Steve. They feel it’s not right somehow for a non-Christian — a sinner (gasp!) — to portray a Christian on film.
This Toledo Blade story touches on both sides of the controversy and hears from Steve Saint on his own concerns about using Allen. He believes the Lord gave him clear direction on casting Allen. Here’s an excerpt from the article:
Mr. Saint said he had an early morning dream that convinced him it was God's will for Mr. Allen to be in the movie.
"In this dream, I saw a mob of Christians chasing me. They had these signs, 'Why did you do this to our story?' And I turned around to them and I was trying to yell, 'I didn't want to do this, I'll ask him to step down,' and — boom! — I was standing in front of God. He said, 'You, of all people, should know that I love all my children. I went to great lengths to orchestrate an opportunity for Chad Allen to see what it was like to be a true God follower. Why did you mess up my plan?'"
If we believe God to be sovereign, that His grace applies to all, and that none of us did anything to deserve the gifts of faith and regeneration … then who are we to say that God is allowed to work only in certain ways? Could He not use this movie role to awaken Chad Allen? Do we assume to know who is or is not out of the Spirit’s reach? Can God not do what He wants, when He wants and how He wants?
Of course, these are rhetorical questions. God did not die and leave us in charge of deciding who gets into the Kingdom (or the elect) and who does not. If those five men had decided beforehand that the Aucas were too evil for God to reach them, this story would not have happened. Instead of complaining about how awful this is, why don’t we get on our knees and pray for God to use this to change Chad Allen’s life. What a great testimony and witness he could have!
Kind of makes you wonder what all the fuss was about in the first place.
Contrary to one of the commenters on the nbc.com Web site, I don't think the power of the religious right had as much to do with the cancellation as the general failure of the show to win viewers. So don't be crowing about a victory for conservative Christians. For television networks, it's all about dollars. Ad dollars, which are driven by ratings. If people watched the show in droves, you can bet it would have lasted for years. But it didn't, so it won't.
Maybe Real Live Preacher was right. The overall suckitude of the show turned a lot more viewers off than its offensiveness to the conservative Christian.
I gave my new KitchenAid mixer a workout Saturday with this recipe for Lemon Angel Food Cake. Yum! And healthy to boot.
So what am I to do with 12 egg yolks left over? I can’t just throw them out … what a waste!
So Sunday morning was Eggs Benedict, with this super-simple recipe for Blender Hollandaise. Besides, it kind of balances out that healthy angel food cake with a mighty dose of good things like egg yolks and real butter.
Strive for balance in all things, that’s my motto.
I’ve been looking forward to the return of “24” ever since the end of Season 4, I guess. After last night's 2-hour premiere, I was not disappointed.
The first hour grabbed viewers by the throat in the first few minutes and didn’t let go. Lots of action and mysteries right from the start: Why are these guys out to get Jack? How did they know he was still alive? What is up with the First Lady … is she just whacko, or is her husband (the slimy, wimpy President Logan) trying to keep her in a drug-induced state of oblivion? Will Jack finally be able to make a relationship last through the day? Or will his old flame, the indecisive Audrey Raines, try to get back into his life?
The thing I like about “24” is that its supporting characters are just as interesting as its main protagonist. I’m glad to see the return of Chloe in a more prominent role. And clearly, she’s been doing some target practice since Season 4. Still waters run deep, right? There’s so much below that geeky computer whiz veneer she puts on. And a love interest? As she kept trying to throw him out and pretend she wasn’t interested, I was howling, “Chloe, girl, wake up! He’s hot, and he’s clearly keen on you. Don’t let him get away, he’s a good guy.” Or is Chloe secretly pining for Jack?
I’m eagerly waiting tonight’s 2-hour installment. They like to sink the hook in deep, don’t they?
I decided to watch the new NBC dramatic comedy just to see what all of the fuss is about. It’s been condemned by some fundamentalist groups. TV stations in Arkansas and Indiana refused to air the show, sight unseen.
I don’t know that I’d go so far as to say the show totally sucked, but it wasn’t very good either. If I want to watch a TV show about somebody addicted to pain-killers, for example, Dr. Gregory House is a much more interesting character than Rev. Daniel Webster. Daniel’s family problems are just way too over the top, even for a nighttime soap.
And the Jesus character … don’t even get me started. Granted, it’s a tall order for an actor: you’re omniscient and omnipotent, yet fully human. But the Jesus in “Daniel” is such a wimp, you can’t imagine him coming up with the Beatitudes, let alone calling the Pharisees a brood of vipers. My Jesus has a spine, folks. He doesn’t hand out squishy spirituality in the form of cute one-liners. He’s challenging and sometimes hard to understand. He is both Lord and friend.
I especially like Real Live Preacher’s statements to fellow Christians. Why are we wasting our time trying to get the world’s culture to somehow validate our faith? It ain’t gonna happen, people. The cross is foolishness to the world. There’s no way non-Christians are going to “get it.”
Here’s what RLP wrote, and I wholeheartedly agree: “Since when do religions need affirmation from television stations? That's a little shallow, don't you think? What we should be doing is practicing our devotion and letting our changed lives speak for themselves.”
As we begin a new calendar year, the eyes of the world have turned quickly away from the Babe in the manger and moved on to parties and resolutions. Ring out the old, ring in the new!
But for the church, it’s still the Christmas season, and I think we would do well to linger for a while longer in the humble stable in Bethlehem, meditating on the Incarnation and all it means for us as believers.
Today’s Scripture isn’t a typical Christmas text, but I think the lectionary includes it in today’s readings because Paul is telling us an important aspect of why Jesus became the Word made flesh.
“You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.”
Paul makes a sweeping statement here, setting up a more detailed explanation of the believer’s status. Believing in Jesus as Savior and Lord has changed our position. We are no longer outcasts from God’s family. We don’t have to stand outside the warm house, with our noses pressed against the glass, watching the feast from afar. We’ve been invited in and given seats of honor at the table.
This is just for fun. But here's a cool blog I discovered. It's the Dress a Day Blog, and it's just that. The blogger posts about dresses that she finds for sale, usually on eBay. Or vintage dress patterns. Or cool fabrics that she finds. She writes well, so it's fun to read (note: there occasionally is some profanity, in case you're sensitive to such things). And if you sew, she'll make you want to get back to the pattern box. And even though her taste isn't quite like mine (she has a penchant for wild prints), I love her affinity for vintage styles. So, you girly girls out there, check this one out.