As you may know, Al Mohler was a guest on Larry King Live last night, discussing homosexuality in general, and homosexual marriage in particular. The impetus for the discussion was, of course, the film Brokeback Mountain which won several Golden Globe awards on Monday night and which seems primed to walk away with several Academy Awards a few weeks from now. The members of last night’s panel were: “conservative radio host Janet Parshall; the openly gay actor Chad Allen; R. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary; and Guy Padgett, openly gay former mayor of Casper, Wyoming, the city where Matthew Shepard was murdered for being gay and the state where ‘Brokeback Mountain’ is set.”
While I did not watch the discussion last night (I just plain forgot!) I read the transcript this morning. It seems that Dr. Mohler did a very good job of presenting biblical insight into the marriage debate. He said that his main concern with this issue “is not with the gospel of heterosexuality, even though I think that’s very important. It’s with the gospel of Jesus Christ and what I find lacking in the movie, the screenplay and in the short story is any resolution that really brings these persons to know why they were created and how God really intends them to live and how they would find their greatest satisfaction in living just as God had intended them for his glory.” He shared the hope of the gospel, saying “What I hope for is that persons, heterosexual and homosexual, will come to know the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, would come to know new life in him, would come to understand that sinners can find the only help that is — that is worth finding and the only salvation and solution to our problems by coming to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and then understanding that God, our creator, has the right to define every aspect of our lives including our sexuality.” He said that marriage is an objective reality and not something we are free to change or define as we see fit. He exemplified speaking truth with grace.
It is interesting to note that Al Mohler was defending a biblical view of marriage and sexuality against none other than Chad Allen, the actor who has been the topic of much discussion at this site over the past couple of days. Allen is, of course, the homosexual actor who was chosen to play Nate and Steve Saint in the upcoming film The End of the Spear.
Just yesterday I wrote, “I can’t help but conclude that the producers of this film erred when they hired a known, proud, activist homosexual to portray a man who gave his life for the Lord. I just hope that we, as Evangelicals, haven’t provided a platform to a person who will share a message that dishonors the One whom this movie ought to honor.” Clearly Allen was asked to be on last night’s panel because of his work on The End of the Spear. Sure enough, the platform he has been provided has already allowed him to share his views with a wide audience, even before the film has opened. Here are a few of the things he said last night:
- “Listen, I question myself all the time to make sure that I’m operating in the right way and the way that I want to operate in the world. And this what I’ve come to, again and again and again. It’s been where my heart has been brought. You are whole, perfect and complete right now, exactly as you are.”
- CALLER: “Chad, by whose standard do you think that it’s right to live the way you have chosen to live?”
ALLEN: “By the standard that I judge all of my actions. These days I judge all of my actions by my relationship with God of my understanding. It is a deep-founded, faith-based belief in God based upon the work that I’ve done growing up as a Catholic boy and then reaching out to Buddhism philosophy, to Hindu philosophy, to Native American beliefs and finally as I got through my course with addiction and alcoholism and finding a higher power that worked for me.”
- “You know, I had to sit down with that same God today and say, “Do you want me to go on this show? Do you want me to speak the things that are in my heart? And if not, I’m happy not to go. Do you want me to make this movie?” It’s the same God that I go to for every decision.”
- “Steve Saint called me today, and he said, I need you to know that I’m sitting here with Mincayani. We’ll be watching you tonight. We love you. We are on your side. And I know that we have those differences, but we are walking through this together. That’s where we’re going to go.”
Without diving into the issue of whether or not it is right or good or proper for Christians to support The End of the Spear, we must at least concede the impropriety of casting a homosexual advocate as a Christian man in a film that (we hope) seeks to honor Christian men and the message that was of such importance to them that they were willing to die for it. Here is a man who shares a message antithetical to Christianity using the platform provided by a film dedicated to Christian men. He speaks of finding a “higher power that worked for me.” He declares that he is perfect and complete exactly as he is. He declares that he is a Christian, but one whose views were shaped by other religions as much as by Christianity.
Of course we would expect him, as an unbeliever, to have views that contradict the Bible. So the heart of the matter is not Chad Allen but the producers of the film who selected him as the lead actor in the film.
As I have spoken to people, observed the comments on this site and others, and read through emails, I have come to understand that many Christians are just plain disappointed with this choice. It is rare that a movie of this type is produced, a movie based on one of the most important missionary endeavours in the last century. People were eagerly anticipating seeing the film and were disappointed to find that the producers had made such an odd choice in casting. For some people this would remove any enjoyment they could derive from the film. For others it is simply a disappointment but not one that troubles their conscience. This is an issue that must be decided by the individual – the choice is between the individual and God.
So let me say this one more time just to be clear what my point is! As Christians we need to be careful who we select to represent us. It may be only a film, and Chad Allen may be nothing more than an actor playing a man of God, but the fact is that he now has a widened platform that he can use to share his beliefs – beliefs that just so happen to contradict Scripture.
Despite this strange choice of casting, I do hope and pray that God uses this film to bring honor to Himself. He can use whatever means He chooses, no matter how imperfect. I hope that He will see fit to use The End of the Spear to stir the hearts of those who see it, homosexual or heterosexual, Christian or non.
If you would like to read the transcript, you can do so here.