Scandal after scandal has broken over Hollywood and, for perhaps the first time, we are all seeing what goes on behind the lens. And now I think it’s time we, as Christians, had a talk about Tinseltown. You can watch this video in YouTube or Facebook formats or scroll down for the transcript.
These have been some dark days for Hollywood. I’m not talking about box office receipts. I’m not talking about Rotten Tomatoes reviews. I’m talking about scandal. A few weeks ago, a scandal erupted in Hollywood. Since then, it’s risen, it’s grown, and it’s threatened to become a full-blown crisis that might disrupt the whole industry there in Hollywood. I think it’s important that we as Christian at a place like this start to think about our relationship to Hollywood. Christians, I think we need to talk about Tinseltown.
A few weeks ago, some allegations were made against Harvey Weinstein. Weinstein, of course, is a Hollywood producer. He’s produced some very well-known, very high-quality, award-winning type movies. You’ve probably seen some of them. An actress brought these allegations that he had assaulted her, or attempt to assault her. That seemed to just open up the floodgates. Soon, person after person, actress after actress was charging him with various sexual crimes and misdemeanors. That sort of grew into this crescendo. He very quickly was shoved out of Hollywood, shoved out of his company. His reputation is completely destroyed. His career is over, and for very good reason. Sadly, you know, where this many women have stepped up and said, “Yes, this happened to me,” there must be many, many more who are bearing the shame of what happened to them and have not stood up. He’s been revealed as an absolute predator, and for good reason, has been discredited. There’s a very good chance he’ll end up in prison, again, justly so.
But, I think this is an opportunity for us to think about an important principle, and it’s that where there’s power, there must be character, and there must accountability. Otherwise, that power will be misused. That’s almost invariably the way of it. Where there’s power, where there’s authority, where there’s position, where there’s prominence, it’s so important that we also have character, the growth of character, especially, we hope godly character. See, that’s true in Hollywood. This man was given prominence. This man was given position, but he completely lacked character. So what happened? He used his position, he used his prominence for his own greedy gain to feed his own lust. Sadly, we’ve seen that in the church many, many times where people are given prominence, yet they have no godly character, and they misuse it. We as a church, we need to learn from this.
He was also a man without accountability. There was no one who was holding him to a higher standard, and so he could do what he want. When other people found out, they didn’t care. They just swept it under the carpet. But one of the saddest things about this whole situation is how many people are saying, “Yeah, we knew that about it,” or, “We always suspected that about him,” or, “That happened to me, too.” If only people had spoken up sooner. But he had no accountability. He lived in his own world. There was nobody holding him to a higher standard. There, too, in the church, we must have that kind of accountability. Pastors, anyone with prominence must be held accountable, first to the standard of God’s word, and then also to other people. From Harvey Weinstein, church, Christians, let’s learn the importance of always attaching to position, always attaching to it accountability and godly character.
There’s another thing I want to say about this crisis that’s sweeping over Hollywood right now, and it’s this: I think this is a time that we as Christians need to seriously consider our relationship to Hollywood. See, we as Christians, we love our movies. We love television. We watch it. We enjoy it. We participate in it. But at some level, I think now we’re seeing exactly what’s going on on the other side of the camera, right? We like to watch what Hollywood shows us. Now, for really one of the first times, that the screen’s been pulled, and we see what’s going on in the lives of these people. We see that Harvey Weinstein was not an isolated individual. We’ve seen many other people be brought down through serious, serious allegations. There’s many more to come, we know. There’s some people are saying there’s a huge pedophilia ring within Hollywood. That’s been whispered about forever. Now finally, they’re saying they may reveal what’s going on. This should not be a great surprise. See, we know this is true because so many people are talking about it.
We can get to it from another angle as well. In the book of James, it says that you should be awfully surprised if you go to a freshwater spring and you find saltwater flowing out of it, or you got to a place where there’s saltwater and you find yourself drinking fresh water. That’s weird, right? Saltwater doesn’t flow out of a fresh spring. Well, sadly, for years now, Hollywood has been producing saltwater. They’ve been producing movies that are just horrid. They are full of depravity, debauchery of all kinds. We might make the mistake of thinking that’s just something they put on the screen, but that’s not who the people really are behind the screen. Think what we’re learning is that the saltwater that’s on the spring shows that there’s saltwater there as well. The saltwater that’s been shown in movies for years now just shows what’s going on in the hearts and lives of the people who are making those movies, not all of them, but generally.
Let me ask you this, think about popular movie stars, popular movie producers, people who have really made it in Hollywood. How many of them are believers? How many of them are truly following the Lord with integrity without compromise. I don’t think you can find very many. You can look in the world of sports, and you’ll find athletes who are true believers. Go to the world of finance, the world of education, you’ll find people who are true believers following the Lord. You got to Hollywood, you’ll have a very, very hard time finding it. Why? Because there isn’t room for Christians in that world.
I think we as believers need to think seriously at this juncture about our participation in this world, this world which is proving itself to be absolutely vile, absolutely full of the worst kind of sin and depravity. To some degree, at some point, by watching it, we’re supporting it. By buying those movies, by buying tickets to those movies, we’re supporting this entire industry and all the depravity that lies behind it, just a couple thoughts as we think about Harvey Weinstein, as we think about the growing scandal. We as Christians, I think this is a time for us to seriously consider our relationship to Tinseltown.