Tuesday, February 07, 2006

'End of the Spear' Doesn't Pierce Hearts
...why? there is no gospel proclaimed

“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” -James 4:17

“What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good? Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.” –Psalm 34:12-13

"This is the ministry of the new agreement which God in His mercy has given us and nothing can daunt us. We use no hocus-pocus, no clever tricks, no dishonest manipulation of the Word of God. We speak the plain truth and so commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. If our Gospel is "veiled", the veil must be in the minds of those who are spiritually dying. The spirit of this world has blinded the minds of those who do not believe, and prevents the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, the image of God, from shining on them. For it is Christ Jesus the Lord whom we preach, not ourselves; we are your servants for his sake. God, who first ordered 'light to shine in darkness', has flooded our hearts with his light. We now can enlighten men only because we can give them knowledge of the glory of God, as we see it in the face of Jesus Christ." -2 Corinthians 4:1-8

THE END OF THE SPIN
"Sin is a cheat, a lie, and therefore lurks privily and puts on false names and colors; for if it were to appear like itself--as sooner or later will do to all, either for conversion or confusion--it would frighten men into dying fits, as it did the Apostle, and when they come to themselves they would abhor and hate it, as Paul and the Prodigal did. Men would never be so hardy in sinning but that sin hardens them by deceiving them; so the writer of Hebrews says, 'Take heed lest any be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin' (Hebrews 3:13).

Sin uses all manner of arts, methods and devices to attract us and inveigle us. It uses many tricks on us and has all the knacks of deceiving and cheating us. So I may with truth say that sin has not learnt but taught all the deceits dissimulations, flatteries and false diplomacies that are found in courts; the stratagems of war; the sophisms and fallacies of the schools; the frauds of tradesmen, whether in city or county; the tricks of cheaters and jugglers, the ambushes of thieves, the pretensions of false friends, the various methods of false teachers--these and every other kind of cheat and deception in the world, sin teaches and practices upon us all to make us sin."
-Pastor Ralph Venning, 1662, St. Olave's Church in Southwark, England.

The Need for Repentance; Not Rhetoric
I am about to issue a public call for repentance to Steve Saint and Mart Green of Every Tribe Entertainment for their 'vacant of the gospel' movie called “The End of the Spear.” The “spear” in this movie fails to pierce hearts for it contains no mention nor proclamation of the gospel of sola fide, sola gratia, solus Christus--the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. It comes then as no surprise that there is no mention of the law of God to bring conviction upon men’s souls; there is no call to repentance of any of the Waodani to flee from their sin and their dead demonic idols of worship to follow Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives; there is no proclamation of justification by faith alone.

Jason Janz at at Sharper Iron writes:

"Steve Saint estimates that 430 of the 2000 Waodani have been baptized. The Gospel made a definite impact upon the Waodani people. So, why not share the reason for the change? (emphasis added)

So, in a movie that shares the story of what has been happening among the Waodani over the last five decades, why not share the missionaries’ Gospel-driven motives? Rusty Benson of AgapePress writes, “The authentic and passionate Christ-centered motive of the missionaries is lacking, rendering an incomplete portrayal. In contrast, [Elisabeth] Elliot's book [Through the Gates of Splendor] clearly documents the Gospel zeal that drove the mission endeavor.”
Well said. So why not be true to the historical account of these men and keep the gospel of Jesus Christ central to the theme of the moive? It is obvious that it was the gospel that fueled the flames of missionary zeal to proclaim forgiveness of sins to the Waodani people.

Frat Boys or Ambassadors for Christ
This film further depicts the five missionaries who were killed there--not martyred--(Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, Pete Fleming, Ed McCully, and Roger Youderian) more like frat boys on leave from “Animal House” than burdened men of God intent on proclaiming the gospel of grace to lost sinners where Christ is not yet named (Romans 15:20). They are presented like humanitarians, but not ambassadors of Christ who have one goal in mind, "to know nothing among [the Waodani] save Jesus Christ and Him crucified" (1 Cor. 2:2).

Why not be truthful and show the sacred calling and faithful lives these godly men lived that drove them to proclaim the gospel to the ends of the earth--to the Waodanin people? Why not be clear about their motives, message and mandate as missionaries for Christ? I find it very interesting that the despicable gay 'love story' between two cowboys in "BrokeBack Mountain" isn't ashamed of presenting its depravity clearly in their film; but ETE and Steve Saint are not as bold in communicating the gospel of Jesus Christ in their film. It is a profound tragedy when the world is more bold about its sin, then Christians are about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Why Not Tell Their Whole Story?
In giving such a bashful and weak portrayal of their ministry to the Waodani, they dishonor their memory by not telling their whole story; and in light of this, further perpetuate the lingering doubt as to what kind of gospel the Waodani were really given? If Mincaye (one of the Waodani warriors who killed some of those missionaries and who has been traveling around with Steve Saint in promotion of this film) is my brother in the Lord, why didn’t ETE or Steve Saint afford him the opportunity to give his testimony to the gospel of grace in EOTS? Why not let him briefly share his testimony while the credits are running, rather than the condescending anecdotes told by Saint poking fun at Mincaye's primitivism to our "advanced society?" Have any of you heard him [Mincaye] give a clear witness to his faith in Christ in any public appearance? I would be grateful for any evidence to that effect (again, not someone else’s commentary about his testimony, but HIS testimony that HE gives HIMSELF about the saving work of Christ in HIS life).

FYI: Neither in this film or in “Beyond the Gates of Splendor” was the gospel alluded to, presented, declared or proclaimed. And the mention of the name of the Lord Jesus Christ was also strangely absent. The "why?" is the $64,000 unanswered question of the moment.

Doesn't Their 'Google Search Bar' Work?
In addition to the gospel concerns, there was also their less than forthright proactive admission to the church at large of Chad Allen's homosexualism and his production of Corpus Christi, a play, where Jesus is portrayed as a gay man. This is blasphemous beloved. But it's reality left Steve and Mart unfazed in their final decision to still cast Allen to play the lead role of Nate Saint in EOTS (Steve was convinced by a dream and Mart by feeling the peace of God after he prayed that he had made the right decision).

Their severe lack of discernment in casting Allen coupled with their failure to do what was right in rescinding the offer of the role to Allen after discovering that he was a gay activist is troubling (Allen even offered the role back to them for he didn't want to tarnish the message of this film due to his homosexual activism. He showed more integrity than Steve and Mart did on that issue). Do you wonder why they (ETE, Mart, Steve, etc.) didn't check out Allen's character ahead of time? Hollywood is a small community, just like the music industry is. Talk of Mr. Allen's gay activism and homosexualism has been public for sometime. You can read the personal thoughts from one member of Roger Youderian’s family who was absolutely disgusted with this decision here.

Did ETE's 'Google Search bar' not work as it does on yours and mine computers? No one can claim ignorance in today's techno-rich world beloved. They simply didn't do proper front end due diligence and are claiming they were completely surprised by the news of Allen's gay lifestyle (I was born at night, but not last night). In the aftermath of this knowledge, they openly deceived the body of Christ when asking churches and organizations to help promote and recommend this film without first coming forward with this information. They only now have come clean publicly since members of the Christian blogosphere exposed this news.

ETE's own mission statement says, "Every Tribe was founded to bring to life stories of courage and strength of the human spirit. Courage, tolerance, mercy, forgiveness, faith and love." This is possibly why the gospel was not given prime-time by ETE in EOTS - it is courage and strength of the human spirit, not the glory of the riches of the grace of Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:6, 12, 14) that is given preeminence. But more than that, the word "tolerance" is a postmodern buzz word for an egalitarian form of multi-cultural inclusivism. Taken to its logical conclusions, this has disturbing doctrinal implications (under this definition, Jesus is not the way, the truth, the life; but a way, a truth, a life - something I am sure that Steve nor Mart would not embrace, but they must be very careful of when using "tolerance" to describe their companies mission).

A Genuine Repentance
Mart and Steve have much to be accountable to and answer for. I know this sounds strong, but biblically, they need to publicly repent of this unfortunate situation and we need to be quick to publicly forgive.

Please pray that the Lord will bring godly sorrow for repentance in their lives under the weight of conviction of His Word to produce fruit in keeping with their repentance, which, in the words of Charles Spurgeon, “when someone’s repentance is more notorious than their sin, then it is genuine.”

This is very serious beloved and deserves our prayerful attention.

Grace and peace,
Steve Camp
2 Cor. 4:5-7

100 comments:

Brandon Jones said...

"Neither in this film nor the "Beyond the Gates of Splendor" was the gospel alluded to, presented, declared or proclaimed. And the name of our Lord Jesus Christ was purposely kept silent. Why? is the $64,000 unanswered question of the moment."

I realize that I should keep silent, that the TR crowd much prefers to tear down then to see the work of the Gospel in people's lives but I'm going speak up for a moment anyways.

Did you actually see the movie? The Gospel was there. It greatly moved and touched many people that I know, including many non believers.

I'm glad that Mart Green and Steve Saint made this movie and I look forward to future releases from Every Tribe Entertainment and I'm glad that there are those in the Christian blogosphere that actually respect their fellow believers (See: Justin Taylor and his thoughts on End of the Spear).

Why do Christians always have to be the ones to shoot their own?

SJ Camp said...

No one is shooting their own here... I did see the movie and I wonder which one did you see?

Can you tell me what gospel you heard?

I would rejoice if the real gospel had been proclaimed.
Steve

sally apokedak said...

What is their sin?

Is it a sin to make a movie that doesn't preach the gospel and doesn't mention Christ?

Why are you calling them to repent? It's their film company and if they want to make nice family films instead of Christian films that's their business.

The gospel was not preached. But a big part of it was. I posted about this issue on my blog if you really care about what I think--
http://paraklesis.com/childrens_publishing_news/?p=119
--it's a bit too long for a comment and I'm tired of writing it over and over on people's blogs.

But I think you err to call men to repent when you have not charged them with a clear sin. You have shown no sin. You have said you don't like ETE's mission statement, and you think they have somehow tarnished the memory of the martyrs (you've not proven that--I have nothing but respect for those men so they weren't tarnished in my eyes and I saw the movie twice).

Then you ask if Mincaye has made a profession of faith that would satisfy you. In The Atlanta Journal Constitution dated Jan. 21, 2006, there is a story about the movie. In it Mincaye is quoted as saying his heart was dark until he learned about Jesus. He says, "Waengongi [the Creator] used his son's blood like soap. He cleaned it and I saw a new trail."

You may find that explanation lacking. I am happy to leave the judgment to God on that, but what does his profession of faith have to do with your accusing Mart Green and Steve Saint of sin?

It is one thing to ask them why they didn't tell the whole story. If you feel the need to do that, then do it. But it is a completely different thing to accuse them of sin. What is their sin? Sin is a real thing. Adultery, murder, false witness, being uncharitable . . . what sin are you calling for them to repent of?

You accuse them of a "less than forthright proactive admission to the church at large of Chad Allen's homosexualism and his production of Corpus Christi ." Is that the sin you want them to repent of?

I certainly didn't find their "admission" as less than forthright or proactive. First, they owe no man an admission of anything. They are not guilty of a sin because they cast Chad Allen in the film. If they owe no admission how can it be less than forthright and proactive when they come out and explain to people why they hired a homosexual?

And your slams about the dream and the peace of God are extremely uncharitable and I believe you are sinning to make them. You are taking their comments out of context and not reporting the whole story--twisting their words to make them sound like idiots. These are men Jesus Christ loves. These are men he died for. Have a care, Steve.

But even if you believe, and I'm sure you do, that they were lacking in discernment, why would you call them to repent of sin? Lacking in discernment is a pretty flimsy accusation. They have already said that if they'd known he was gay in the first place they wouldn't have offered him the part. Why is that not good enough for you? You want them to say they are sorry for giving him the contract after they found out about him? You may want it but the bottom line is that it is not sinful to offer a part to a homosexual. It is not sinful to have a homosexual play the part of the Apostle Paul, even. If you don't like it, don't go see any more of their movies. But why are you accusing them of sin?

Did they lack discernment? They failed to discern the blather that would erupt over this, perhaps. But did they fail to discern God's will? Show me where the Bible tells us that we cannot hire unbelievers, even disgusting unbelievers who are in your face with their hatred of God, to work in our businesses, and I'll repent and urge ETE to repent also.

donsands said...

Jim Elliot is a true hero of the faith, as the four others were as well. Elisebeth Elliot is a true hero as well. She went and lived with the tribe of murderous Indians with her daughter, after her husband was killed for the glory of the gospel.
Jim was a powerful man of the faith, and he was 100% pure gospel. He lived it, breathed it.
To make a movie about this great man of God, who was humble, yet loved the Savior, Jesus Christ so much, that he obeyed Him to take the gospel to people who never heard, and had no chance to be forgiven for their sins.
What a shame they missed all this.
That's my thinking for what it's worth.
I don't know if they need to repent or not. But I would love to see ETE say they made a mistake, but they haven't. And there is millions of dollars involved.
If they want to make a fictitious story that is moral, ehy, I'm all for that.
I loved Looking for Bobby Fisher, or National Velvet. But if you're going to tell the story of Jim Elliot. Enough said.
God will reveal all this in the end. Amen.

ScottyB said...

have you spoken with Mart Green or Steve Saint ?

I think your shooting off at the mouth in the name of Gospel Supremacy, brother.

There is no other message I would want
Gospel supremacy, Gospel fidelity but I think it would be wise if you at least had a phone call with Steve Saint.

He is easy to find you know just as easy as the movie Corpus Christi.

SJ Camp said...

1. To be deceitful and not proactively in a forthright manner disclose information that knowingly will hurt your support with an evangelical church audience is wrong--and yes, deceitfulness is a sin (Psalm 32:2).

2. To offer Chad Allen a contract after he had already disclosed that he was a gay activist and not rescind the offer to him is wrong--and yes, as James says, the failure to do what is right is sin (James 4:17).

3. To partner in ministry (not a business) with an unbeliever is being unequally yoked; it is wrong and yes it is a sin (2 Cor. 6:14-7:1).

4. To water down the gospel message or remove it entirely from a story that is solely based on the spreading of the gospel is timidity and compromise. Peter, when he denied Christ, was acting our of fear and it was a sin... This movie was a compromise--they were not being straightforward about the gospel of Jesus Christ--for whatever reason, they chose to not boldly represent Christ or even mention His name.

I'm not sure why your anger is being directed toward me and my comments when they are the ones who have purposely left Christ out of this film. BTW: this was not a "family film" as you suggest; but a true story of five missionaries whose lives were dedicated to proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. This was a ministry film. Jim Elliot surely would not have condoned this kind of veiled Christianity--no way.

But don't take my word for it, the husband of one of the children of the five missionaries was outraged at this movie. But maybe you think he's being too harsh too.

Here is part of his statement: "My name is Dan Kachikis. My deceased wife, Beth Youderian, was Roger Youderian’s daughter. Roger was one of those men who died on “Palm Beach” in 1956, at the end of a spear.

Beth and I were strong supporters of the work Mart and Steve have been doing. Beth would have been appalled at this decision and I feel betrayed...

What bothers me is that the story of what happened on the beach wasn’t just one man’s story. There were five men and five families. I don’t mind them taking “artistic liberty” with the way Nate Saint died. Factually, he was probably the first man dead on the beach, speared in the temple. Although Mart knew it was controversial to use Chad, he didn’t ask the other families. Why did he take this liberty with our hearts and our heritage?

My mother-in-law, Roger’s wife, was in Panama for part of the filming and was never told. She didn’t find out until 3 days after the film’s release.

Apparently everyone else in Panama, the other wives, knew [about Chad Allen as a homosexual playing Nate Saint]. I can only conclude that this was kept from her because my brother-in-law, Roger’s son, has not been a fan of this project. Had they asked both of them, they would have said “no.” Had I known, I would have said no, for myself and for Beth.

It [the movie] is for me a symbol of a confused North American church. Many Christian groups will see it. Some will glory in the testimony, others will wish they had found out first that someone who doesn’t represent what they want their kids to be, plays the most important part in it [Chad Allen being a gay activist]. Maybe in four or five more weeks, after the film has made most if its revenue, someone will broaden the “sorry if you feel hurt” line to “we’re sorry we made such a selfish, spiritually blind decision.”

But until then, maybe we can make Hollywood sit up and take notice. We’ll show ‘um what good Christian entertainment is all about. We’ll make ‘um notice us Christians. Oh, I think they already have, as we stand here with egg dripping down our faces. We showed ‘um."


ETE and Steve Saint compromised the integrity of these five men's testimonies and the gospel of Jesus Christ. They were not forthright with the body of Christ and did not reveal the "behind the scenes of this the controversy" until the blogosphere turned up the heat. They were deceitful and they should repent and ask forgiveness of this.

Steve
2 Cor. 4:5-7

SJ Camp said...

I have tried to make contact with both men--and have not spoken with them yet.

I don't shoot off the mouth my friend... These are well documented and biblical concerns.

I am proactively pursuing them which is more than they did with the church at large. They didn't care to contact the Christian community before trying to market this film to the body of Christ. They purposely hid the fact about Chad Allen from the general evangelical audience precisely because of this kind of fall out.

For one who claims to be "exhibiting the value of knowing God" (I really do like that name you've chosen) I can't believe you're not outraged at this. But then I see that you have chosen to post Randy Alcorn's emotional outburst against Sharper Iron.

Talk about shooting off at the mouth... Please.

Steve
Col. 1:9

ScottyB said...

after Jason Janz spoek with these men he came to a different conclusion.

By the way Consider the Cost is one of my top 5 favorite albums. Bert Suluvale always spoke well of you to me. So did Rob Wilkerson.

Just talk to them Steve and pray for them that the Lord would bring conviction where the Master sees fit.

JohnTheReformedBaptist said...

My wife and I caught Steve Saint and his friend Mincaye at a Steven Curtis Chapman concert a few years ago. I must admit I felt sort of "used" to fork over $50.00 to be "preached" to by these guys. The whole deal about paying for the gospel just makes me shudder now. Anyway, I was listening to "The Way Of The Master Radio Show" tonight, and heard the interview they did with Chad. OUTSTANDING!! Not once was his lifestyle mentioned.Todd(Host)merely stayed on point covicting him with the law !! This man is not our brother. He needs the finished work of Christ. He needs the blood of our Lord. I pray that he will be drawn by the Father. Our Church was promoting this film also like Steve mentioned. But upon learning of the facts, my Pastor was troubled, sad, and no longer promoting it. Amen to Steve's comments about Jesus not being A Way, A Truth, A Light, which is what Mr. Allen is pushing for those who will listen to him.

ScottyB said...

Chad Allen definitely needs the Lord and I think if we are wise we will use this as an opportunity to preach the Gospel to him with tears.

Did you hear the interview with Mart Green on Way of the Master on January 19 hour 1 I thought it was helpful.

SJ Camp said...

Thank you Scott.

I have been praying for Chad Allen that the Lord will grant him saving faith and have called on others in concert to do the same thing.

I haven't heard the Way of the Master broadcasts with Mart or Chad. I will try and find it on the web.

May the Lord keep us all bold for the gospel - 2 Timothy 1:6-9

Grace and peace,
Steve

SJ Camp said...

What is the link for the interview with Mart Green on Way of the Master?

I couldn't find him on their site.
Steve

littlegal_66 said...

Even the trailors for the movie were watered down...not even a hint that these men were missionaries.

I recall Chad Allen as a child actor on "Our House" with Wilfred Brimley and Deidre Hall, and I thought he was a great actor back then. I'm sure he's still a great actor, and capable of bringing great technique to the role, but what life experiences & spiritual insights did he, as a gay activist, bring to the role of a martyr for Christ? Hey, Michael Jackson's a great singer, but does that qualify him to entertain at a children's birthday party? Has common sense completely vanished from the planet? Shouldn't we consider the signals we're sending?

Would it be okay if Campi had showed up at the Super Bowl half-time show and sang a duet version of "Sympathy For the Devil" with Mick Jagger? Or even further, suppose Steve and Mick released a duet of "In Christ Alone." Wouldn't it be prudent to point out the lack of discernment Steve would obviously be reflecting in such an instance, and to pray for them both? What if one of the prominent Christian record labels gave Ozzy Osbourne a one-project deal to record a collection of the hymns of Isaac Watts? Should we shell out the $15 just because they're hymns? Or how about Zondervan sponsoring the next "Ozfest," complete with one of Ozzy's infamous "crucifixion stage sets?" Sure, these examples are extreme, but no more than a homosexual portraying a messenger of the gospel for Christian filmmakers.

This mentality is just one more symptom of what I call the hip, "gellin'" brand of Christianity--as in, "Are you gellin' yet?"--the kinder, gentler approach that is so unimposing in what it requires of believers, the end result is the compulsion to feel free to pick and choose only the doctrinal delicacies that strike one's fancy, like a customer in some spiritual buffet line.

And with this "custom-fit" version of Christianity, a person can throw away the assembly instructions and build their own faith based on what "feels right," and how dare we point out someone's indiscretions, if that person doesn't view what they're doing as wrong? (To paraphrase Bill Murray's "Bob,": "If we fake it, then it won't happen," IOW, if we pretend it's right, then it's not sin.)

I have come to the conclusion that it is now perceived as "Christianly Incorrect" to call sin "sin."

LOL, all that to say, "I'm with you, Campi."

(So much for letting the drawing express my sentiments--sorry).

sally apokedak said...

Steve, thanks for setting out your charges clearly.

First let me answer the question you asked about why I'm angry. I'm not so much angry as feeling like Steve Saint and ETE need to be defended. I don't know them and I'm obviously not fit to defend them, but I feel a need to speak up because I feel like they are being bashed undeservedly. And it's always bothered me to see people getting bashed.

1) You say they were deceitful. How did they deceive? Who did they deceive? Does the Bible require that I tell you the sins of my employees? Am I required to tell all my customers when I have unbelievers serving them in my restaurant or when I have Muslims working in my factory?

They did not hide Chad Allen. If they had it would have been deceitful. They didn't disguise him so we couldn't recognize him. So I don't know how you can accuse them of deceit.

2) Yes to fail to do good is wrong, and sinful, but you haven't proven that hiring Chad was a failure to do good. You say that offering him a contract was wrong but I can't take your word for it. Does the Bible say that we are not to offer contracts to gay activists or others who hate God?

3) Did they say their movie company was a ministry? I don't know. I've not read much about them. From their mission statement it appears to me that ETE is not a ministry but a business.

4) I think you misunderstood what story Steve Saint and Mart Green wanted to tell. You may not like their story but I don't know how you can say it was sinful for them to tell it. Do you preach the gospel in every song you sing? Or do you highlight one thing in one song and another thing in another song? This story that Steve Saint wrote was not about the missionaries. It was about the Waodani. It wasn't about preaching the gospel and loving the gospel enough to lay your life down in its service. It was about how societies can change when Christians love enough to sacrifice. It wasn't about the Waodani becoming Christians,it was about the end of the spearings. There is another side to the story--one Christians have loved for many years--but that was not the focus of this song.

You say that this is not a family film but the "true story of five missionaries whose lives were dedicated to proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. This was a ministry film." But it wasn't that true story. That's what you're mad about. It wasn't the story you wanted. It was a fictionalized story based on what happened to a little boy whose father died and the Waodani tribe the little boy came to love.

It is not sinful for them to tell this story in this way. There was nothing lewd or dishonoring to God, no foul language. It was full of hope, sacrificial love, and beauty. A fine family film. There is nothing sinful about it.

I'm sorry that Dan Kachikis doesn't like the film. I think he should write a story from his wife's POV if he wants. I don't know why he thinks that ETE made a selfish, spiritually blind decision but if he makes a movie, I'd love it. This is a great story and it can be told from several different angles without getting old, I think.

I can certainly see why the other families might feel that their stories weren't told. They weren't. This wasn't their story. What if before anyone could write a war story he had to get approval from the family members of all the other guys in the platoon?

If this family is hurt that they were not told about Chad's sin before the contract was signed I think they should take that up with Mart Green. It's really not a matter for public apology. Mart Green didn't sin against the church by failing to tell Mrs. Youderian about Chad. He may have sinned against her. I don't know and it's really none of my business.

I'm sorry if I sound mad. I am not happy, that's for sure. I'm not feeling all warm and fuzzy toward you. But I'm not really angry either. I don't have any hard feelings for you. I simply believe you are wrong and I'm trying to answer you.

ScottyB said...

January 19, 2006 - Hour 1
Posted: 20 Jan 2006 04:30:44 +0000

Play Now

This is the Way of the Master Radio podcast. This show is the first of two segments.

Hour One: This podcast: 53:00 - 12.1MB
podcast

Show Notes:
Ray and Todd welcome special guest: Charles Spurgeon….sort of.
The director of the new Nate Saint movie defends why they allowed a gay man to portray missionary Nate Saint.
Oprah says that feelings supersede truth. Really?

Listen Now

http://feeds.feedburner.com/wayofthemaster

Breuss Wane said...

"It was a fictionalized story based on what happened to a little boy whose father died and the Waodani tribe the little boy came to love."

That's precisely the same song and dance that James Frey fed Oprah.

Douglas said...

"I realize that I should keep silent, that the TR crowd much prefers to tear down then to see the work of the Gospel in people's lives....."

That is a lie. Lying makes one a liar. It only takes one lie to make one a liar. All liars are cast into the lake of fire. What are you going to do about it? Repent? Has God granted you the gift of repentance? If He hasn't, well then, you are still "truly deformed." True? Are only those who are "born again" of the Holy Spirit of God truly reformed? I believe that is the truth.

Timotheos said...

Littlegal,

Steve might have made the Stones a little more palatable - they really stunk.

But, Steve wouldn't have done it.

ETE and EOTS have MISSED the mark with this endeavor.

I can't speak for the five men who gave their lives for the Gospel of Christ, but I can't imagine that they would have allowed this production to go forward w/o a clear proclamation of the Gospel of Christ -- and, if they would have allowed it, then my respect for them would have dropped a great deal.

As it is, the church is left having these type of discussions b/c a "christian" production company failed to deliver Christ.

------------
The most tragic thing about the whole thing is that Matt and Steve have used subjective, pragmatic rationalization to justify their choice of Allen rather than rely on the clear teaching of Scripture.

Do we really live in a day where the leading of God is dependent upon how we "feel?" How tragic is that!!

SamWhick said...

In the past I have been one of the ones who has at times been critical of Steve's approach but I have to say that the one thing I respect most about him is his commitment to the Word of God. How can we not be outraged by this film? I will not rehash the Scriptural arguments that have already been laid out by others on here. I will pose a question though: Did these brothers die so that one day a touching movie could be made based on their lives? Obviously not, they died for the cause of Christ and to not recognize that is simply unacceptable.

Steve let me say publicly, I'm sorry for my sin of being overly critical of you in the past. Thanks for bringing a Biblical perspective to the issues we face in the church today.

Your brother,
Sam

Alexander M Jordan said...

Hi Steve:

Thanks for your powerful article. I have been doing a lot of writing about the End of the Spear for a week and half now. I have come to many of the same conclusions you have here.

ETE does not explicitly say that they are Christian in their mission statement, but it is clear that the leaders of the company are men trying to follow Christ as they make films that have a true (Christian) message, albeit in the "seeker-sensitive" manner that is very common these days.

Some think that bloggers who have strongly criticized ETE are attacking them personally, but I have seen both humility and conscientiousness on the part of many of the strongest critics (Jason Janz, for example). Their primary concern is to defend the gospel, not tear down Christians. In my posts I've also tried to be fair towards ETE, and have stated that I admire ETE for wanting to make this film, and for their hard work in doing so. I also have read reports that they as businessmen give many resources to the work of Christians. In their interviews with CT and reprinted on Jason's blog I read that they prayed about making these decisions and tried to seek their best to seek the Lord's will. So I don't believe that they were malicious in their intentions as they made this movie, they did not set out to deliberately stir up controversy to make a profit. Yet it seems that they did allow pragmatic concerns to override sound biblical judgement in the many decisions they made on this film.

I have also argued in my review of the film that their decisions were not only unwise in terms of making this movie true to the essence of the story they were telling, but that by obscuring the motivating element of the gospel from the screenplay, the story simply doesn't make sense. You see in the film the effects of what happened, but not enough to explain the cause of what happened. I agree that these missionaries, who it has been said "lived and breathed" the gospel, would have been deeply disturbed that the film doesn't reveal enough about what drove them.

It is hard to believe that anything but a powerful, genuine conversion to Christ on the part of many of the Waodani, could bring about the "end of the spearing" and the remarkable relationship that now exists between Steve Saint and the man who murdered his father. And this came about because of the faithfulness of these missionaries in proclaiming the true gospel of Jesus Christ. This wonderful story had all the makings of a truly great film, but sadly, I think the chance was missed. Perhaps if the filmmakers had followed more the lead of the missionaries who reached the Waodani, being true to their spirit of uncompromised boldness, they would have made a film that truly shines out with the gospel.

Are they morally accountable for this? Yes they are if they want this movie to be used as an evangelistic tool, marketed it through the church and asked for the support of the evangelical community. If the movie is a gospel tool, then the gospel it contains must be sound-- then they were responsible to God to present the message accurately from a biblical standpoint.

Now if they were marketing this as a fictionalized account of true events, not using the church as a means of support and distribution, then perhaps one might argue they are not to be held accountable to making this movie theologicallly sound or the story absolutely accurate. But seeing as the film is based on a famous true story beloved to so many and which was-- in its essence-- a story of the gospel at work, I think they had a responsibility before God and man to try to capture and present the whole truth of the story.

Jeremy Weaver said...

I'm with you, Campi. Don't let the 'culturally relevant' crowd get you down, because remember, we believe that the Gospel is always relevant.

Shawn L said...

Steve & Friends,

I would half to say a word of concern. I feel like we are gossipping before talking to the people involved. I don't know that I feel right about this unless I knew what was really in Steve Saints and others hearts and I was friends in the Lord and I would come at this more like Randy Alcorn, however I haven't seen the movie.

This to me begs the question as to how we are to approach our friends in Christ. When we come at this stuff, we need to come at it as we are sinners in need of grace as well.

How can we do this in a manner that

We need to be doing all of the following :
1) encouraging one another daily
2) provoking one another to good deeds
3) sharpening iron
4) bearing one anothers burdens.
5) Convicting with the Word.
6) Passionate about God's Glory and Holiness.

With friends of ours in the faith, we must always point to the scriptures for our friends who are in sin, but be careful that we are not tempted to think too highly of ourselves then we ought. This is my concern as a body of Christians. I know I in the back of my mind think of myself as the sinner beating his breast in need of Grace

I think the temptation in confronting others is not so much that we will sin like them, but in our prideful thinking.

So I try to be very careful when we see our friends sinning may it remind us of our own sin and Christ's righteousness to cover our sin. Pride is sometimes a killer of these kinds of things. I say this out of concern.

However we don't shy away of being focused on teaching the bible and seasoning every conversation with salt and provoking to good works and giving God thanks for his work in your life and sharing how to grow in Christ.


Not sure how this applies to public conversations like this, but how I approach this topic.

Any concerns or suggestions

Becky said...

Ironic that first Steve Camp criticizes ETE for having a mission statement that doesn't include preaching the gospel, then turns around and criticized them for not meeting that non-existent aspect of their reason for existing.

If I say I am aiming for X and you think I should aim for Y, then when I accomplish X, you shake your fist at me for not accomplishing Y, why should I repent?

Is it not you, Steve Camp, who is acting the part of the Pharisee--that self-appointed guardian of other people's consciences--straining at the gnat when you can't see the camel you're about to swallow?

Have you checked out all the workers on the Narnia film to be sure that no homosexual worked as a gaffer? or a video tech? or an editor?

That YOU know about Chad Allen--is that what makes this so bad?

Are we all about appearances now? Horrors that others might see Jesus hanging out with homosexuals. Did I say "Jesus"? Opps--of course that should read "Steve." Funny--seems I recall a line from Jesus about coming for those who need a physician. Are we somehow supposed to minister in a different way?

Shame on you for perpetuating this division, for leading others who trust you into bitter, judgmental attitudes. For misusing Scripture. Why didn't you quote v. 12 of James 4 and put v. 17 in context: "There is only one Lawgiver and Judge, the One who is able to save and to destroy; but who are you who judge your neighbor."

Becky

sally apokedak said...

"That's precisely the same song and dance that James Frey fed Oprah."

No, Batman, this is not like the James Frey deal. Steve Saint has made clear that this is a fictionalized account. He didn't lie about anything the way James Frey did. Both books are fictionalized but James Frey misrepresented his book, pretending it was the truth. Steve Saint did not misrepresent his book. But everyone is mad at him because they know the story as told by Elizabeth Elliot and they think Steve Saint should have told the same story.

donsands said...

There are those who think this movie is wonderful. Great. There are those who think this movie is boring, and misrepresented these missionaries, especially Jim Elliot.
There are those who don't see aproblem with misrepresenting someone, and they say it was fiction.
This argument will never end.
I would say at the bottom of the pot, when all is boiled away, the differences that remain are two mind sets: the one sees the gospel and this story as paramount, and the Indians as secondary, the other sees the Indians as paramount, and the gospel, as important as it is, is not explicitly needed.
These are the two mind-sets that I see, which cause this conflict in views.
Or at least something close to this.
I believe the gospel of grace, which is Jesus Christ crucified and risen, should be highly exhaulted, and people, who are important, are secondary to the gospel, and the glory of God.
Jim Elliot believed that of himself, and I pray to the Lord that I could be like him.

littlegal_66 said...

becky--
You asked:
"Have you checked out all the workers on the Narnia film to be sure that no homosexual worked as a gaffer? or a video tech? or an editor?

Narnia? Probably should have chosen a different film to try and make your case--it didn't exactly come out and present Christ's gospel on a silver platter for all to see, either. Perhaps you'd be interested in Steve's (and other readers of this blog's) take(s) on that theatrical fantasy, as well:
"From the Front Row...My Review of the Enchanting, Narnia."

And as for this charge:
"Horrors that others might see Jesus hanging out with homosexuals. Did I say 'Jesus'? Opps--of course that should read 'Steve.'".......

I know that Steve is most capable (and likely) of responding himself to this one, but let me just say that you might find yourself a little surprised with his response. You just have no idea. In the meantime, you should peruse this as a primer: "Hope for the Hopeless...a Biblical Call to Help People With AIDS."

Shawn L said...

becky,

I don't think you have stated your case well. Steve rightly knows we must be concerned about truth in a ministry and that is so biblical, but I don't think you can see in his heart seeing bitterness and judgemental attitudes. I first felt that, but how would I know for sure unless I met him and knew his heart on the matter. I see someone concerned for truth, but I also want to encourage him to meet with the people involved.

donsands,

There are those who are very concerned about the gospel as well and agree with most of these statements (especially if it is considered a ministry film), but at the same time think we are not considering all of the aspects of provoking one another needs to entail.

I'm not certain we have got a handle on how to do this biblically with brothers/sisters in the Lord. How can we have a strong concern for the gospel, yet be very concerned about the body of Christ as well and always remember our sins as well when we see something that doesn't fit right and help them come to repentence.

I agree if they consider themselves a ministry and don't mention the name of Christ that is a very serious concern.

This leads me to my next concern.

How can we both bear one anothers burdens and both provoke one another. I know many of us can be so concerned for truth, but how can we speak it in love. I think alot of this has to do with the fact in the issues of confronting something, I don't know exactly how to do it in a way that has the call of the Lord in my voice and keep from prideful thinking.

We must be very careful with this line of thinking however we do it. Sorry so many questions, but this is how I approach a brother in the faith that is struggling with sin.

Greg Linscott said...

ScottyB said:

after Jason Janz spoek with these men he came to a different conclusion.

Scotty,

Perhaps you haven't read Jason's final entry, posted this past Monday, Feb 6:

When We Say “Gospel”: My Primary Concern with End of the Spear

Greg Linscott
Forum Director, SharperIron

donsands said...

shawn,

I suppose the Church will always struggle with speaking the truth in love. One will feel more compassion then he should, and the next person will be harsher than he should.
But we can have our hearts changed, and become less harsh for those who need to become less ofensive, and show a tougher love for those who need to.

God promises that we will grow in His grace and knowledge, and that we can become stronger in the faith, and mature in our Christian walk of speaking the truth in love, as our Father conforms us into the image of His Son. We need to be bold and unashamed of the gospel, and yet never arrogant, but we need to be full of Christ's deepest love and compassion for others.
We at times will need to shake the dust from our clothes, (and that can be most difficult for me), and at times give our cloak as well.
I know this may not really answer anything you asked, but it's the best I can do.
in His grace and peace.

littlegal_66 said...

Shawn-how ya been brother? Well, I hope.

You said, "I know many of us can be so concerned for truth, but how can we speak it in love."
You've expressed some great concerns, and to preface my thoughts, I personally share those concerns. Yes--agreed--we do have a biblical mandate to "speak the truth in love," and how do we learn how to do that? I'm not sure, either; but, I guess, with prayer & practice, maybe I can get better at it?

Problem is, we sometimes interpret "speak the truth in love" to mean, "speak the truth; but don't offend anyone in the process."
And it's nearly impossible to accomplish the task of boldly speaking the truth without stepping on SOMEONE'S toes. We could definitely use a clear, scriptural example of exactly what "speaking the truth in love" means.

When Jesus walked in the temple and saw it had become a marketplace, He told the merchants that they had made his house a "den of robbers." That wasn't exactly a complimentary statement, but it WAS the truth. Remember when Jesus rebuked Peter for arguing with Him, after He had told the disciples that He was going to have to die? He called Peter a stumbling block-He even referred to him as "satan." How about when He "went off" on the Pharisees in Matthew 23 (The very chapter that Becky paraphrased above, in reference to Campi taking on a pharisee's role)? Verse 33: "You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?" Later in the chapter, He refers to them as blind guides, whitewashed tombs, and repeatedly, "hypocrites." (Not exactly flattering). If He'd said that about a group of people in our world today, would we say, "Umm, Lord, wasn't that a little harsh-maybe you should tone it down a little--you know, they're a little sensitive about that?"

Do we think that Jesus-who I believe we all agree is the greatest example we have of love- was being too mean-spirited or harsh in the way he presented the truth, or that He overreacted; was too judgemental? Did Christ ever handle anything incorrectly? Didn't Christ consistently speak the truth in love?

Yes, he was without sin, and we surely are not--especially not this little gal--but we do have His word as the authority to show us how to recognize sin when we see it (even in our own lives).
I understand what you're saying, though--and it is a delicate balance. To know just how to speak in love--it should definitely be a matter of prayer and bible study. I'm sure that I don't do very well with it myself, (especially after a bout with the flu), but I'm still trying. I certainly desire to fully understand the dynamic in my life, and I would covet your prayers to that end.

(Man, this comment turned out LONG--must be the fever). :-)

ScottyB said...

Greg
Thanks for your email
I was referring primarily to a different conclusion regarding motivations since there seems to be an apology and some retractions. Maybe you and Jason should start a film company and see if you can put your film in 1400 theatres. I know that you would do a better job of proclaiming the film in your movie. Unfortunately it is hard to include the four spiritual laws in a movie I havent seen one to date unless it was through BGEA(and Luther which went to video quickly). I also havent seen this through a song or a painting.

The gospel comes through the foolishness of preaching.

The arts can be a trail of crumbs to the cross to lead a person who doesnt even believe in truth to generate holy curiosity. I think I am only saying this because it is done-they made the movie it wasn't ideal-- some would say it's a tragedy. I do not. Let's preach the gospel to our friends that saw it.

As for the failure of contemporary evangelicalism
--the change came through a country that was already saturated with biblical truth and then God set the hearts of business men to prayer all over New Enlgand--then Awakening and Revival came--The First Great Awakening.
It is good that sharper iron memebers are bible saturated brothers but maybe they should set their hearts to concerted united daily prayer that brings revival and awakening to their churches. Maybe that would make for a better focus on Sharper Iron than the weaknesses of the American church which is very weak btw. Do both talk about the weakness and then give attention 24 hour a day Seven day a week prayer.

Or maybe Sharper Iron could focus on the 8000 people groups left in the world and how each memeber could adopt a people group. And leave this lukewarm american church to take the gospel where it has never gone. I don't know Greg I hope you hear my heart all this talk on the internet has been another reproach on the name of Christ and I believe exacerbated the problem with the movie.

Scott
Psalm 63

Shawn L said...

For what it's worth : My wife just read this and Randy Alcorn's story and agrees more with Randy Alcorn. She believes they know that they made a mistake, but why can't we keep this a private matter and talk to Steve Saint directly. She has made some good points to me.

SJ Camp said...

I am not against using non believers in making a Christian film. I am against using non believers that we allow to use us to promote with a vengeance that which is forbidden in Scripture (Romans 1:18ff). In this case, Chad Allen is the big winner for he has been given easy access to media to promote his homosexualism. If you haven't visited his website, you will see right below the End of the Spear ad on the same page his promotion where you can vote for him for "2005's Queer of the Year." I don't fault Chad for this--he is unregenerate. I fault ETE, Mart Green, and Steve Saint for giving this platform to him at the expense of a film about the gospel of Jesus Christ that fails to mention that gospel.

Question: why wouldn't ETE audition and hire some great actors without the homosexualism activist baggage who would have played the role for the sake of the role only and do it in a more amazing way? Some suggestions: Matthew Mcconaughey. Kiefer Sutherland, Dennis Quaid, Jude Law, Orlando Bloom, etc. Why settle for a C-rated TV actor who is the leading gay activist in H-Wood with an agenda?

Have you asked yourself why would Nate Saint's son betray his legacy and condone such a thing? Sadly, the birthright of "End of the Spear" has been squandered for a bowl of porridge.

This film offers no gospel; no mention of Christ; a hollow half-told story leaving no tribute to the five dedicated missionaries who were burdened as ambassadors of Christ--not humanitarians--for the Waodani people. This is a heartbreak beloved.

Lastly, Randy Alcorn's letter was an emotional, biblically misplaced outburst that was hypocritical. Randy is an incredible businessman and the body of Christ is indebted for the excellent work he has produced in that field. But he is no biblicist or expositor of God's truth. He excuses Mart and Steve's role in what they have done and holds Jason Janz of Sharper Iron to a harsh standard to deflect Mart's and Steve's responsibility on this issue.

Compromise is a serious issue in evangelicalism today. We have just seen one more example of such compromise in EOTS. This movie could have been a tremendous legacy, inspiration and voice for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Instead, it is a watered-down pale attempt of a Christian film company desperate to fit in to the culture and not transform lives within the culture.

If any of you would like the real story, read Elizabeth Elliot's wonderful tome, Through the Gates of Splendor--better to read the book than see the movie. She doesn't compromise the gospel or the men's lives and testimony one bit.

Why couldn't they just tell it straight as she did?

I grew up in Wheaton... I know of Jim Elliot and these other wonderful men of God, including the Saint family heritage.

I saw the film and wept.

Grace and peace,
Steve
Col. 1:9-14

sally apokedak said...

Steve do you think that Mart Green and the others are lying when they say Chad was the best actor who auditioned for the part? Do you think that those actors you mentioned wanted the part? Do you think that ETE could afford to hire big name actors?

Again, if you love Through Gates of Splendor then make that book into a movie. That isn't the book that Mart Green made into a movie. You have every right to hate the movie he made. You have every right to think the End of the Spear stinks. But you have not proven that the men who made the film sinned in any way.

Bhedr said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Breuss Wane said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Breuss Wane said...

Steve Saint here tells the Associated Press that this movie is *not* fiction:
http://www.miami.com/mld/miamiherald/news/13628338.htm

Breuss Wane said...

"Steve Saint has made clear that this is a fictionalized account."

The lengths some go to excuse this film is amazing. This is blatantly and patently false (see Saint's comments to the Associated Press). *Nowhere* has Steve Saint said that this is a fictional account.. in fact, he is parading one of his father's Waodoni killers around the country precisely because he *isn't* portraying this as fiction. If it were fiction, there'd be no Waodoni tribesman making appearances on TV with Steve.

The comparison to James Frey is most certainly valid. Neither are being accurate with the details in presenting their "stories". By failing to mention the very reason *why* his father and the other four went to Ecuador in the first place, Steve Saint is giving an inaccurate portrayal of *why* his father was trying to connect with the Waodoni in the first place.

If it were fiction, a better story would have been his father being shot in a hail of gunfire by Ecuadoran businessmen protecting their assets. The reason his death is not portrayed that way is because it *isn't* fiction nor is that Steve's intention.

What speaks volumes is the deafening silence of the other families with an interest in this film.

sally apokedak said...

Bat Man you are incorrect. Steve Saint was five when his father was killed. The eight year old Stevie Boy in the film is a conglomeration of him and his sister. Mincayani is a conglomeration of several tribesmen.

Read some reviews of the movie. Most people know this is a fictionalized account. This was never represented as the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. It has been represented as a fictionalized account of a true story.

I opened the link you gave but saw nothing on End of the Spear.

littlegal_66 said...

Brian (bhedr)--

I hope I didn't give the impression that I was calling anyone a Pharisee, because I certainly didn't intend it in that manner--no way! Please forgive me if it was misinterpreted. (I was just addressing Becky's charge that Steve [Camp] was "acting the part of the Pharisee." No way do I feel there is any substance to her charge.)

Steph

SJ Camp said...

Sally:

1. I'm not sure where you are getting your information but Chad is correct here. This is the true account of what occurred there. AND it is based on much of the information contained in the documentary film "Beyond the Gates of Splendor" and Elizabeth Elliot's book "Through the Gates of Splendor." Whatever Steve Saints timidity has produced in this film, he is not fabricating an entire movie about what happened--even I'll defend him and ETE on that point.

2. Either you're pulling my leg in some of your comments, or you are really understanding the point here in all of our concerns: Mart Green, Steve Saint, and ETE knowingly deceived churches so as to not hurt the pre-marketing of this film to garner their support; they admit that they were not being forthright about Mr. Allen's homosexual activism. They purposely mind you left out the gospel and the name of our Lord Jesus Christ out of this film--doesn't that concern you? More than that, it is absolutely ludicrous to make a movie about missionaries going to a foreign land with a burden to reach the Waodani people with the gospel of Jesus Christ and then never mention that in the entire movie--when that IS the movie!

It would be like making a movie about Seabisquit and then never telling people that it was about a horse; because "we don't feel that the movie theatre is not a good venue to share [horses.]" (a parity of Steve Saint's own words).

His actual words: “The theatre is not a good venue for sharing the gospel; people go into the theatre where people they open up their cultural heart and that’s where new trends in society start—they start in the theatre.” Really? How naive.

3. I'm not suggesting those actors had been contacted; I'm suggesting they could have done much better in a heartbeat.

4. They did sin. Do you think that compromising the message of the gospel; not presenting it at all, not mentioning the name of Christ; deceiving the body of Christ; giving a gay activist a platform to soil and misdirect this film's intent; calling Chad Allen a "child of God"; not honoring the Lord or His Word; and tarnishing the godly lives and memory of the five missionaries in this film in any manner whatsoever doesn't constitute any kind of "sin issue" at all? What do you call it when your children disobey you purposely--a mistake? A "fictionalized account" of what really happened?

You need to seriously rethink what you're posting here Sally.

Grace and peace,
Steve
2 Cor. 4:5-7

SJ Camp said...

THE Passion didn't get a free pass on my site at all... You can read about it here. It was just as tragic as what is taking place on this film as well.

Evangelicals have become increasingly undiscerning from the Word of God about spiritual matters in the culture--especially when those issues are about the most essential doctrinal concerns of authentic Christianity.

Campi

Bhedr said...

No you didn't little gal.

Be at peace and enjoy the God who saved you.

Bhedr said...

Yes Steve,

You wrote an engadging article and I remember sending it out to people in my Church at the time. Very discerning.

I am sorry if I discouraged you in any way here. I told myself that I wasn't going to enter this debate and I realized I spoke to soon and that is why I deleted it.

Forgive me if I discouraged you in any way.

Grace and peace to you and may you enjoy always the God who saved you.

Breuss Wane said...

from the Miami Herald: ''It's such a compelling story that even I got caught up in it, realizing that there are aspects of this that you never dare make up if it was fiction,'' Steve Saint said from his home in Dunnellon, in central Florida.

IOW, it's *not* a piece of fiction (which means some of the details that were changed were irrelevant to the basic *nonfiction* movie).

But rather than have me point out the obvious, why not a family member, the son-in-law of Roger Youderian:

What bothers me is that the story of what happened on the beach wasn't just one man's story. There were five men and five families. I don't mind them taking "artistic liberty" with the way Nate Saint died. Factually, he was probably the first man dead on the beach, speared in the temple. Although Mart knew it was controversial to use Chad, he didn't ask the other families. Why did he take this liberty with our hearts and our heritage?

My mother-in-law, Roger's wife, was in Panama for part of the filming and was never told. She didn't find out until 3 days after the film's release. Apparently everyone else in Panama knew, including the other wives. I can only conclude that this was kept from her because my brother-in-law, Roger's son, has not been a fan of this project. Had they asked both of them, they would have said no. Had I known, I would have said no, for myself and for Beth.

Will blessing come from the movie? Yes. God's plans are bigger than we are. When a pastor living in adultery preaches, do people trust Christ? Yes. Does "fruit" or God's blessing always justify us? No." -- Dan Kachikis, son-in-law of Roger Youderian.

The ends do not justify the means. The gospel is so inherent to this story that to not speak of it is to intentionally mislead. It's the old (and unethically unbiblical) bait-and-switch technique used by many seeker-friendly churches... get 'em in the door with as few details as possible and then *maybe* we'll share our watered down gospel.

ETE wanted as many viewers as possible, providing as little detail as possible, all the while claiming that they "hope that the believer who's seen the documentary will be able to bring the non-believer, fresh from the multiplex, "deeper into the truth of the story."". IMHO, that's a disengenuous use of the 5 missionaries' gospel-motivated story.

SJ Camp said...

Sally: I understand that you write fiction for children. That takes real talent to do with fresh ideas and creative consistency; you also have a very nice looking blog...well done.

My encouragement to you Sally, is not to look at non-fiction in the same manner. End of the Spear is a true story about actual people and events that took place. No one changed the names, situation, events, etc. to turn it into "a fictionalized account" as you suggest.

Be a faithful Berean examining all things by the truth of Scripture--and then make your argument (Acts 17:9-11).

EOTS was severely compromised on multiple levels... The only question is how far the compromises extended, to what degree the compromises manifested itself, and were the compromises poor judgment, sin or both?

My next article on EOTS I hope will clear this up for you and others who think that EOTS with all of its compromises is still a noble representation about the Lord, His gospel, and these five brave missionaries.

If this was about my father or brothers who have also passed away and are home with the Lord--I would outraged.

Grace and peace,
Steve
Col. 1:9-14

sally apokedak said...

Oh, my, I am so tired of this. But I do feel like it so important. So please forgive me for carrying on. I'm sure those of you who happen to read my long posts are more tired than I.

First, know that I am staunchly Reformed. I'm a member of the OPC but I have many good friends who are Reformed Baptists. I am in no way sympathetic to seeker-sensitive churches.

Also, I should say that I had never heard of End of the Spear until a couple of week before its release. So I was not privy to the advertising campaign in the churches. If Mart Green or anyone else affiliated with this film represented this film as one that preached the gospel, then they have misrepresented the film. It does not preach the gospel. A nonChristian who has never heard the gospel could not go to this movie and glean enough to be saved.

But what I have heard those connected with the film say is that they did not intend to preach the gospel with this film. They have said they don't think films are really a good medium for preaching. I believe their intention was to make an inspiring, moving film, that was filled with gospel pictures, that would introduce an old wonderful story to a new generation, that would inspire people to ask "What caused this change of heart in the Waodani? Why did they stop spearing? And why did those five men die rather than shoot back?"

I have not heard any of them say this but I think it was their aim. Either Steve Saint, or whoever wrote the screen play, shows the Waodani struggling with the fact that the men never shot back. In the past the foreigners who were cannibals in the Waodani eyes, had always shot and killed the Waodani. Why, then, hadn't the five missionaries fought back. Why did they say "I am your sincere friend." Why did one stand in the river and allow himself to be speared?

It seems to me, then, that whoever highlighted this question in film, wants the viewer to wonder along with the Waodani. So the guy sitting in the theater seats would say, "Why did these men die? Why was it so important for them to meet those Waodani? And why didn't they shoot in self-defense? What does it mean that the Waodani are not ready for heaven?" The gospel is not preached but perhaps a seed is planted. Maybe he will think, "Those men had something that I want. They did not fear death. They followed God. They loved their enemies. How is that possible? There is a God who is our father/leader and he has marked his trail." Maybe the viewer will search out the markings and to see what God has told us.

And even if the film completely fails to plant any hunger in the warped souls of the unbelieving viewers, it is still not sinful. It is a good, clean film--better entertainment than the latest action-hero-on-revenge movie that we see so much of. (And while I don't think we should have entertainment in church, I see nothing wrong with wholesome entertainment in the form of books or movies.)

But for most Americans, the gospel really is there. Even though it is not preached, most Americans know enough of the gospel that the holes are filled in automatically as they watch the film, I think. The secular film critics sure saw the preaching in the film. They thought it was blatant. But even for viewers who don't know the gospel, they are seeing Jesus Christ in the five young men who died for the sake of their enemies. While the Waodani were yet sinners, the missionaries laid down their lives for them. The gospel, then is given in a powerful pictorial presentation. That is, I believe, what the makers of the film mean when they say they tried to show the gospel instead of telling it. That is why they put in the fictional scene where Mincayani tells Steve Saint that he killed his father. And Steve says, "No one took my father's life, he gave it." Clearly Nate Saint is a type of Christ in this film.

Now you may not agree that the gospel can be shown. You may hate the quote (who was it Francis of Assisi?) that says, "Preach the gospel at all times, when necessary use words." I don't particularly like the quote myself, because in this day of ours so many are ashamed of the gospel of Christ. And yet, I understand the point he is trying to make. The gospel of peace, that permeates the lives of the saints, has a great power.
Even Paul says that he came not with persuasive words but with a demonstration of power. This is not to say that the gospel can really be preached without words. But it is to say that there is a time to live the gospel instead of preaching it. And even if you believe the gospel cannot be shown but must be preached, it doesn't mean that the people at ETE have sinned in their making of the movie.

In our pulpits we must have men who will preach the gospel. But in our movie theaters? There is no demand that Christians preach the gospel in every movie.

You never answered my question about whether you preach the gospel in every song. You may think that Steve is naive to think that the theater is not a good place to preach the gospel but it is not sinful for him to think this. Each one of us is required to walk before God and to use the talents he has given us. We don't all march in pro-life parades. We don't all go down and live with the Waodani as Steve Saint has done. And we don't all preach the gospel in every song, book, or movie we make. We pick our battles. We engage culture in one way in one country and in another way in another country. The goal of every Christian life is to obey God (and enjoy him) and to further God's kingdom--to, in fact, preach the gospel. But we don't just stand on the street corners shouting out our sermons. We walk with people, the way Christ walked with us. We stoop down, as Christ stooped down. We empty ourselves becoming servants, as Christ emptied himself and became a servant. Jesus Christ didn't always preach the gospel. Sometimes he rebuked arrogance. Sometimes he said the kingdom of God is like a fishing net or a field or a woman who lost a coin. And in those stories he doesn't always say that the good fish are those who trust in the blood of Jesus Christ for salvation. If we look at the stories individually we will have to say that many times, Jesus does not preach the gospel. That is because we speak in context of life. We engage culture where it is. Jesus was not ashamed of the gospel. But he often told stories using pictures his listeners could understand and he focused on teaching one true thing with one story.

There was a true thing taught in End of the Spear. It is that there are people who love God enough and trust him enough so that they are able to obey him and love their enemies and even are willing to lay down their lives for others. And when Christians lay down their lives for their enemies the lives of the enemies are changed. If Christians truly displayed Christ in their lives, if we truly laid down our lives for our friends, let alone our enemies, we would see some radical changes in the world. Do we believe that? I don't believe that Christians will ever have peace in this world. I believe that if we lay down our lives, God will be glorified. But I believe we will always be persecuted because our master was persecuted. I believe that we lay down our lives, we will die like the five missionaries did. But some of those who kill us will be saved. If we would really live as if we believed God--if we truly gave up our houses and cars and were willing to die for the gospel, the world would be a better place. We would have an impact on many.

What bothers me is not that Christians disagree with ETE and think End of the Spear should have preached the gospel, though. If people think that Mart should have made Elizabeth Elliot's book into a movie instead of asking for a book that told the Waodani story, that is OK. But why must so many accuse Mart and Steve of sin? Why do we assume the worst of our brothers in Christ? Why do we assume they are ashamed of the gospel or they have compromised the gospel in an attempt to fill their pockets with filthy lucre? I'm not saying you are saying these things, Steve, but many are. Many do assume that Mart and Steve are ashamed of the gospel. That bothers me. I think Steve and Mart had their reasons for presenting the story as they did. And I think much good could come of it. If only we Christians should stop shooting one another.

There are plenty of legitimate targets to take potshots at. There are plenty of wolves in sheep's clothing in the church. If we want to attack them we should. Most of the TV preachers are fair game. Many of them are preaching and their sermons are full of lies. They should be attacked. But I hate to see this moving, and deeply Christian film (and yes it is deeply Christian even if it doesn't preach the gospel just like some of your songs are deeply Christian even though they don't preach the gospel) I hate to see this film so attacked. If you didn't like it, fine. If you want to say why you didn't like it, fine. But I think you err when you go so far as to call for repentance and to say that Mart and Steve sinned.

This is an important topic. We need to think clearly on this. What does God desire from Christians in the Arts? Why have Christians handed the Arts over to the world? Shouldn't we be making the best books, and movies, and music in the world? (Shouldn't we be the best plumbers and doctors and shoemakers, too?) Our brothers and sisters may not always do things the way we want. But are they sinning when they have a different vision for the arts than we have? Steve Saint and Mart Green are not ministers preaching in a church. They are making movies. I think their movie was successful. I think it met the goals they Mart has laid out in ETE's mission statement.

OK. thanks for indulging me. I'm done now.

Bruce I answered you but I don't know what happened to the post. I'm too lazy to rewrite it now. =0) Lucky you. heh heh.

ScottyB said...

i have heard the same thing as sally --she is not confused she has done her homework

Becky said...

Littlegal, you quoted me, them added the following comments: You asked:
"Have you checked out all the workers on the Narnia film to be sure that no homosexual worked as a gaffer? or a video tech? or an editor?"

Narnia? Probably should have chosen a different film to try and make your case--it didn't exactly come out and present Christ's gospel on a silver platter for all to see, either. Perhaps you'd be interested in Steve's (and other readers of this blog's) take(s) on that theatrical fantasy, as well:


You made my case for me. Why bother to check out the sexual practices of the folks doing Narnia if we already have else to bash? It's all about tearing down other Christians--for whatever reason. Just like the Pharisees. Jesus was a winebibber. John was too austere.

And the "Steve" I was referring to who was hanging out with homosexuals is Steve Saint. Sorry, but he's the Steve who is coming out most Christ-like. I haven't heard him slander anyone, call anybody names, break his word to anyone. I have heard him tear up when his adopted father talked about being in God's presence with Steve's recently deceased daughter.

As I recall, Jesus said the most telling thing about Christians in the eyes of the lost world would be our love for one another. I am so grieved at a web site like this one--by a man I once respected and who ministered to me through his music--dedicated to tearing at the church.

Are we perfect? Of course not. That's why Scripture lays out steps to take if a brother sins against another brother.

Shawn, you are, of course, right that I cannot see into Mr. Camp's heart. I was prepared to apologize for calling him a Pharisee, but in re-reading what I wrote, I correctly stated: "Is it not you, Steve Camp, who is acting the part of the Pharisee--that self-appointed guardian of other people's consciences..." The Pharisee laid down his own set of rules apart from what Scripture said and then expected everyone else to live by them. I don't see what Mr. Camp is doing differs from this.

The Bible: "Whatsoever you do, do heartily as unto the Lord."

Steve Camp: "Whatsoever you do, preach the gospel."

Am I against preaching? NO. Would I like to see a movie about Jim Elliot's life and death? YES. Those five martyrs had a profound impact on me. But Jim Elliot is a man, not an icon. That "End of the Spear" humanizes him and tells about his death without making the story his story seems to be a big part of why this movie has received so much criticism.

All the other charges are spurious at best.

Becky

Breuss Wane said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jessica Jo L said...

I didn't think Shawn and I would see the movie but after this sight I had to-I have been sad to the point of feeling sick the last few days over what was said here. I didn't know what I would see tonight but here is my view of The End of the Spear.

I have lost a child, 2 in fact before they were born. The grief Shawn and I went through drew us both closer to God. But to this day there are days I still long to hold my babies. I bring this up because often when I share the testimony of this loss I do not share the "gospel" I share the story of a very personal loss.
That is how I saw this movie the very personal loss that Steve Saint suffered. I am glad he has shared it. It helps me hold on to Christ as I face the loss of my two children. It has reminded me it is ok to have very personal feelings about this, and that even today 4 years later to still feel the pain is ok. This time of year I very much miss my children I long to hold them. I am glad Steve Saint shared this very personlal viewpoint I think a powerful verse was preached.
2Cor1:3-7 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we oursleves have recieved from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings you share in our comfort"
Anyway I loved the movie.

SJ Camp said...

Becky:

Thank you for your comment and for your encouraging words.

You wrote: The Bible: "Whatsoever you do, do heartily as unto the Lord." Steve Camp: "Whatsoever you do, preach the gospel."

1. Actually, the Apostle Paul said both of your quotes, with slight variation (Col. 3:17; 1 Cor. 9:16); but the Lord said the second one as well--not I (Mark 16:15; Luke 4:18).

I never said this film should preach the gospel; but I have said this film is silent on the gospel; that there is no gospel proclaimed in this film; and that to make a film about these five wonderful missionaries whose entire life was dedicated to preaching the gospel and to then not represent the gospel in it is a travesty. Nate Saint, Jim Elliot, Roger, Ed and Pete would all be shocked at this movies portrayal of them, how their mission and ministry were represented, and those who portrayed Nate.

But the simple fact remains: this film doesn't present the gospel at (even the film makers acknowledge that point).

2. Pharisees were those preaching works righteousness apart from the instruction of God's law; and in addition, they were those who added to the Law of God, treating their own laws as Scripture (Matt. 15:1-9). I think, however, that you meant it in what you perceive to be legalism; but that is not the message of my post.

Holding those in public ministry to the standard of the Word of God is necessary and commanded in Scriptures (Acts 17:9-11; 1 Thess. 5:21; 2 Tim. 3:16-17) Why is that offensive to you on such an obvious issue like this one? Even members of Roger Youderian's family were upset about this film--surely you wouldn't try to discredit them as well would you?

3. I would encourage you and Sally to think biblically about these things--to carefully examine this film in light of God's Word. I would also then encourage you to examine the film-makers comments in light of Scripture as well.

Hundreds of pastors around the country are deeply concerned the message this film is sending to people and the controversies that surround it. The real story as told by Elizabeth Elliot is tremendous--have you read her book? -but this film is severely lacking.

4. You say my concerns are "spurious charges". Name them and show by the film's content , the Word of God, and the actual words of those involved where I have misspoken. If you are going to make these claims on my blog and really enter into this discussion, you should site examples, give Scriptural footing for your views, and not just spout off as you have been.

Your comments about me personally I am sad about. I can take it, but I would rather you please stick to the issues at hand...

Lastly, Have you read Jason Janz's many articles on this very topic at sharperiron.com? If not, you should. If you have, then why are you still holding to the opinions you have expressed for they lack substance, legitimacy and biblical validation.

Grace and peace to you...
Steve
Col. 1:9-14

Shawn L said...

After seeing the movie, I am very confused by your response Steve Camp to call them to repentence.

I see for example the issue related to Chad Allen but the other reasons I don't agree with. No it was not a gospel film like the kind I have enjoyed from R. C. Sproul's Foundation Series or MacArthur's Truth series, but it was a story trying to protray the life of the missionaries, but that taken from the perspective of a boy and the tribe that Steve Saint has got to know.

Also your statements accusing other people publically like Randy Alcorn of not being able to comment on this because he's not a biblicalist?? are just plain unfair and very saddening to me. I have read his eternal perspective ministries for at least 10 years. He has a great ministry and teaches many people about the hope of heaven and studies on that alot. Would you really say this to his face? Can you continue naming other people publically in this manner?

Do you really think he did something wrong by going to the people directly and getting together with them and talking to them and praying with them and encouraging them with this issue?

To me Steve if I was in your shoes I would be ashamed of the overcritical talking you are doing about others in this manner. I am a bit shocked but I know when I talk in this manner I can sometimes be overcritical too. James 4 and Ephesians 4 always teach me so much about my talking about others should be for God's Glory and their good. Do you feel this is delving into gossipping about others?

My first thought when I struggle with these types of things the following comes to mind in Ephesians 4:29-32 "Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you."

SJ Camp said...

Dear Shawn:

Thank you for your comments. And I am saddened to hear of yours and Jessica's loss. I will continue to pray for your family (my older brother Norm just died one month ago. He was a faithful missionary to the Muslim people in Beirut and Amman and in Chicago for 35 years--I miss him terribly).

A few brief thoughts:

1. Examining others in a public forum, as any blog or website is, about what others are doing by the standard of Scripture is not gossip or corrupting talk, but being a faithful Berean.

2. Randy's article about this was very slanderous about Jason Janz and imbalanced against him. Does that bother you as well? He did the very thing to Jason that he was criticizing Jason for--isn't that ironic.

To answer your question, I would say these things to him personally and could demonstrate that in that letter he wrote he was misapplying the Word of God on this issue. If you noticed, he didn't hold Steve or Mart to any biblical standard, he just said that he felt that next time they wouldn't make some of the same mistakes again. My criticism of him doesn't invalidate some of his other writings (which I complemented him on. And you're liking some of his other writings, doesn't validate this current letter he wrote).

3. This movie was not from the perspective of a boy or the tribe. It was about them--the missionaries and their mission. If it was told from a five year old's perspective, it would have an entirely different emphasis to it.

4. You're not in my shoes...

I do appreciate you very much Shawn. Keep on for the Lord...

Grace and peace,
Steve
Jer. 15:16

SJ Camp said...

One last thought before I retire for the evening:

Is it a concern to those that have disagreed with me and others on this issue, that not even the Lord of the gospel was mentioned in this film? The Lord Jesus Christ was not named in this movie... is that troubling to you?

-If so, why? And be biblical.
-If not, why? And be biblical.

Share your thoughts; stay on subject; and no posting any more novels... say it briefly and concisely.

Yours for the Master's use,
Steve
2 Cor. 3:5

sally apokedak said...

"and no posting any more novels... say it briefly and concisely."

Whew! That lets me off the hook.

Just kidding. You wish I'd give up that easily. heh heh

You ask:
The Lord Jesus Christ was not named in this movie... is that troubling to you?

I answer:

Not at all.

Because, from Psalm 19 we learn:
The heavens declare the glory of God. Day after day they pour forth speech, night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard.

How do these heavens declare his glory? They don't name the name of Christ. They don't preach the gospel. And yet, God says they declare his glory.

End of the Spear also declared God's glory. The blood sacrifice, the love, the forgiveness, the repentance, all of these things when seen in man, pour forth speech. The gospel was preached in the blood of the martyrs and in the forgiveness of the families. Jesus was visible in the lives of the missionaries even though his name was not mentioned.

Shawn L said...

Steve,

When you "But he (Randy Alcorn) is no biblicist or expositor of God's truth."

I believe you meant on this issue alone he wrote about the End of the Spear. The first thing I thought when I read this, I interpreted it in your opinion on him as a person or most of his work.

Don't you see how these conversations are going at questioning people's faith and love for God's Word?

To me how can we talk about this matter in a manner that is God-honoring. I think you are getting back to the issue at hand and probably in your heart by asking the questions you are now asking.

SJ Camp said...

Shawn

Thank you again for your thoughts here brother. Know that my motive in all this is to bring glory to the Lord by honoring His Word when examining this movie (or anything else for that matter) according to its truth (1 Thess. 5:21).

We honor the Lord in this discussion by speaking the truth in love. How is that done? By measuring all things according to its truth--if it passes the test, embrace it; if it fails the test, jettison it. And we do this with humility, grace and boldness.

I posted the question last evening to see if someone, like Sally for example, would be concerned that Christ was not named or mentioned in this film--I expected her response would be "not at all" - but needed to have it confirmed.

American Christianity is so dumbed-down, that we've come to a place where you can make a film about missionaries whose lives were dedicated to boldly proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ; but then when you finally make that movie, you don't have to tell their whole story, or mention the Lord's name or even His gospel, which is the story they lived for, to which they died for. And that is deemed acceptable... And furthermore, when you go to audition actors to tell that story, you choose the leading homosexual activist in Hollywood to portray the lead role, claiming that you never knew he was gay to begin with, but once you found out, even before a contract was signed, you couldn't change your choice of that actor "because lots of time and money are at stake." What an absolute tragedy.

I would think that you're just as concerned about that to brother.

Have you wondered Shawn why Elizabeth Elliot, the most famous Christian of them all associated with this story, hasn't endorsed this film publicly? Her silence is very telling.

Contrary to what Sally posted, the gospel is not seen in the blood of the martyrs--(that's blasphemous to suggest it so - that their blood spilt is a "shadow and type" equal to Christ's blood spilt?); the gospel is not seen in the forgiveness of the families of the missionaries--that is the evidence or fruit of the gospel, but not the gospel (Eph. 4:30-5:2). The gospel must be proclaimed and preached and given clearly from the Scriptures or there is no gospel proclaimed (1 Cor. 2:2; 1 Cor. 15:1-9; John 3:14-18).

Listen to what Luke records in 24:44-47, "Then he [Jesus] said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled. Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem."

There wasn't the resurrection portrayed or proclaimed in this film either; and without the resurrection, there is no gospel and "we above all men are to be pitied" Paul said.

Listen to the words of the Apostle Paul: "Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, " -1 Cor. 15:1-4

See the difference between the biblical standard and this film? Both the Lord and Paul reasoned from the Scriptures; they taught the promise of the gospel from the law and the prophets; they proclaimed Christ crucified, buried and risen--and this according to the Scriptures. This is profound. The Lord is resurrected in the flesh speaking to these men, but yet, He still appeals from the truth of the Scriptures! Isn't that amazing?

St. Francis of Assisi's quote is so foolish when he said, "by all means share the gospel and if necessary use words." The gospel is all about words--true words that need to be heralded and lived.

None of this was in this film; and what is ludicrous, THAT is what this film is about! Going into all the world and proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ "where Christ is not yet named" (Rom. 15:20) even if it means giving your life in death as a faithful witness to its truth and power.

I have had a few of my non-Christian friends go see this movie. They didn't know anything about this story before going. They came out confused with many questions about the story. They certainly didn't think they had heard the gospel; they were wondering who these men were and why they went to this people. The film never said. What a lost opportunity. (Shame on ETE and Steve Saint for making it so.)

As to Randy, I have several friends that really appreciate his ministry (as do I)--but were also very disappointed at the tone, direction, and lack of biblical content rightly applied that he expressed in his article. They saw him as being weak, sentimental and unbiblical in his conclusions. Randy is a fine businessman, but he is not a bible expositor or equipped biblically to effectively speak into a situation like this. His heart's motive I'm sure was well intentioned and without duplicity--but it lacked the substance of truth behind his "felt need concerns."

I.E. - Anytime ETE's responsibility for these poor choices were mentioned, Randy simply used language like: "I believe, I felt, I know in my heart, I've spent time with them... etc." He never dealt with their lack of discernment, deceitfulness, and absence of Christ and His gospel in this film - biblically. He never dealt biblically with Chad Allen's homosexualism at all and how that has trumped and trashed the core message of this film entirely. He responded to them emotionally--that's it.

I appreciate you brother... Measure all things by the Word of God and not personal experience; emotions or our own feelings.

Grace and peace,
Steve
Col. 1:9-14

donsands said...

Hear, hear! for those exceptional words that come from a heart that is loyal to the good news of Jesus Christ, who is our purpose for living, for diing, and for everything.
Lord give us the courage to stand for the truth in Your compassion, the outcome matters not, bad or good, as long as the gospel is extolled imperatively, and the glory of the Lord's grace is paramont.
Thanks Steve for the inspiration, I need it today, with such a weakness goin' on in my heart to share the gospel. I shared it recently, and some people got very mad at me, and I was hurt, and shrunk back. I need encouragement and edifying. Thanks again. Keep on!

Tim said...

Steve,

I wanted to ask if there could maybe be an extension of that call for repentance. Could we extend that call to every believer who had anything to do with EOTS?

For instance, you quoted Dan Kachikis. This gentleman knew of the filming being done and was outraged about how it took shape. Yet he clearly says that his mother-in-law, the wife of one of the missionaries, was on scene in Panama. Therefore, did this lady present the true gospel to Mr. Allen? Did Mr. Kachikis present the true gospel to Mr. Allen? What about any of the other members of the other families who may have been involved with EOTS. Did they present the true gospel to Mr. Allen? I think we go after the "big guns" so to speak and yet there are those who knew the story better than anyone, who cry out against this after the fact. Many of whom were physically in the presence of Chad Allen. Did they shirk their responsibility in presenting the gospel? Did they shirk their responsibility in not pointing out that the gospel was not being given?

Personally, I have not viewed the film. I will see it when it comes out on DVD. However, I remember that you were clearly opposed to the message of the Passion of the Christ, but somehow didn't speak about a problem with a man such as Jim Caviezel portraying our Lord Jesus Christ.

Lastly, though I know that ETE is specifically a business, not a ministry, you clearly opposed those kinds of ministries that are constantly calling for money for the spread of the gospel. I stand along side you. The gospel was given for free and it should be distrbuted freely. Yet, this movie was clearly made, not to lose money, but to make money. I would say it was done as a business more than a real ministry.

With all that said, could that call for repentance be extended?:)

Tim said...

Steve,

Also you made this comment,

"Have you wondered Shawn why Elizabeth Elliot, the most famous Christian of them all associated with this story, hasn't endorsed this film publicly? Her silence is very telling."

EPM states, "A new and really outstanding 40-minute documentary, Beyond the Gates of Splendor, has interviews with a number of the tribespeople who were there, and with all five of the widows. It was filmed just in time since Marylou McCully (wife of Ed McCully) and Marj Saint (wife of Nate Saint) have gone home with the Lord in the last one and a half years, and Elisabeth Elliot is no longer in condition to give an interview." This can be found at http://www.epm.org/articles/end_spear_pics.html

I do agree with you Steve that the gospel cannot just be lived but must be spoken. However, the question I ask is this? How would you personally go to a jungle area and communicate the gospel? Remember this jungle has tribes of people who you will have great difficulty communicating with and will have significant barriers of language. Will you break out the five points? I know you won't. You will try to be as basic as possible and grow from there. Quite possibly you may never get them to the point of mature understanding that you are at now. Nor would I expect that of you. Yet you would try to be as clear as possible. From the review I read on Sally's site, it seems there were elements of a basic gospel. Though the name "Jesus Christ" isn't mentioned (neither was it mentioned in Paul's address on Mars Hill), it seems there was a basic concept of right and wrong, God sending His Son to die so that sinners might live and a call to repentance from sin and to follow God, albeit not in the very profound way that we would promote the gospel in our reformed churches. Again, I'm not saying water it down, but really Steve, if you haven't gone to an "uncivilized" society (a tribal environment), can you honestly say that you would present the gospel the same way with the same language as you do here in this forum? I certainly don't think so.

My friend Trevor Johnson who is leaving for the mission field of Iran Jaya to tribal natives and possibly one of the darkest areas on the face of the planet as far as the gospel is concerned told me as such. On his first trip over last year, he said that there was such a tough time communicating concepts, names, and cultural settings from the Scripture to these people that it was often quite difficult to accurately communicate with them. He said they didn't even know what a bullock was, nor many of the concepts that we more easily understand regarding doctrine. Maybe you could comment on that.

SJ Camp said...

Tim: Great questions you raise here brother.

1. I have been to tribal (uncivilized) areas before where the message of the gospel is difficult to communicate. The same as if we were trying to describe what TV, an airplane, a mobile phone, DVD player or the Internet was to someone who has never been exposed to those modern things.

2. BUT, the vast majority of the time, we don't need to begin at ground zero in missions with those barriers unable to be breached. I.E., how did the wives of the five slain missionaries communicate their intentions and the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Waodani people just a short time after their husbands were attacked? They were led by one of the tribes own women who had escaped and could communicate for them. She understood the language; the customs; and cultural moorings of both peoples. This gave them immediate access in communicating with the Waodani that otherwise could have taken years to achieve.

3. With those language and custom barriers beginning to be bridged (which I realize could take quite some time) you must do all that you can to communicate the biblical gospel to them. Paul began with the Jew in their synagogues reasoning with them out of the Scriptures; Paul began with creation in reasoning with the Greeks. Ultimately, both ways pointed to Christ and there was no mistaking that with the Apostle. They would need to know of the person, work and character of Christ; what HE demands for salvation; and what He provides for and requires for ones redemption. You are right, the gospel must be taught, not just lived and this would be the great challenge and necessity for any missionary working in remote regions of the world. After you had explained and communicated the gospel to them, there would need to be the clear call to repentance from their sin and to follow Christ (which again, could take quite sometime).

4. But there could be no salvation through general revelation alone; but there must come a time where the people you are ministering to would understand what the message of the cross is; without a clear understanding of those things there would be no salvation (which I know you would agree).

Lastly, concerning Elizabeth Elliot, she is in no condition to give an interview--I do understand that. But her representatives could issue a general statement of support for this film. But that hasn't happened to date...

Hope this helps clarify a bit more... I appreciate your thoughts here as always.

Thank you Tim,
Steve
John 10:10

Tim said...

Steve,

Thanks for commenting. I did not mean to imply that Paul did not speak to them individually. My point was towards the crowd. Though some had heard, obviously some had not and when he began to speak openly, not all were completely aware of the name of Jesu Christ. However, your point is well taken.

SJ Camp said...

Here is the greatest missionary verse of service I know that marked Nate, Jim, Ed, Pete and Roger's life: Acts 20:24 "But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God."

That really says it doesn't it? And it is what this movie should have been about.

Now, as to Acts 17 and Mars HilL: Christ was mentioned in Paul's sermon and the gospel clearly given to the men of Athens. Let's look at it together.

Read with me what the Apostle proclaimed to them upon arriving in that region:

Acts 17:1 ¶ Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. Acts 17:2 And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, Acts 17:3 explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.”

Next we see this as they move on to Berea:

Acts 17:10 ¶ The brothers immediately sent Paul and Silas away by night to Berea, and when they arrived they went into the Jewish synagogue. Acts 17:11 Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the Word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Acts 17:12 Many of them therefore believed, with not a few Greek women of high standing as well as men.

Now we come to Mars HIll. Here is what Paul proclaimed:

Acts 17:16 ¶ Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols. Acts 17:17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there [both Jews and Greeks]. Acts 17:18 Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, “What does this babbler wish to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection.

Paul did proclaim Christ and His resurrection on Mars Hill--he was known in that city for doing so and it caused quite a stir among the people. The Stoic philosophers were well aware of the gospel proclaimed at this point.

Here is there inquiry of Paul:


Acts 17:19 And they took hold of him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? Acts 17:20 For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean.”

Don't miss this important distinction. They had heard Paul in the marketplace declare the truth about Christ and His resurrection. His fame had spread throughout the city and both Jews and Greeks were listening. His message was never veiled, hidden, masked or made secret. He was obvious about Christ and the gospel. This provoked further inquiry from the people and ultimately the Stoic philosophers, thinkers and story tellers of the day.

When Paul begins his clarifying message to the men at Athens on Mars Hill at the Areopagus, they had already heard of Christ and His resurrection. Paul fills in more of the blanks for them--beginning with their own idols and philosophies; then creation and the character of God; sovereignty; repentance; coming judgment; and the resurrection of Christ from the dead.

Here are these stirring verses describing further this powerful sermon of Paul's:


Acts 17:22 ¶ So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. Acts 17:23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription, ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. Acts 17:24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, Acts 17:25 nor is he served by human hands, uas though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. Acts 17:26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, Acts 17:27 that they should seek God, in the hope that they might grope their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, Acts 17:28 for
“In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’

Acts 17:29 ¶ Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. Acts 17:30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but know he commands all people everywhere to repent, Acts 17:31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man [Jesus Christ] whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

Here is what happened next:

Acts 17:32 ¶ Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, “We will hear you again about this.” Acts 17:33 So Paul went out from their midst. Acts 17:34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius uthe Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them."

Some mocked, some believed, but Christ and His gospel were proclaimed.

Notice, the Apostle Paul didn't use the imagery of the blood of other Christians... and call it the gospel; he didn't refer to creation and the glory of God's handiwork as, the gospel; nor did he even appeal to them on the basis of his own persecutions and afflictions as a "shadow or type" of Christ's spilt blood, and dare call it, the gospel.

-Christ crucified,
-risen again;
-calling all men everywhere to repent
-warning of the coming judgment...
-this was the gospel proclaimed.

AMEN? AMEN!!!

Hope this helps a bit more and I appreciate your comments.

Grace and peace Tim,
Steve
Acts 20:24

Becky said...

I am concerned for you, Steve. You think yanking Scripture out of context is thinking Biblically.

How can you say, for example that the Apostle Paul said: "Whatever you do, preach the gospel" in the two verses you listed? He did not. He said in the first to do all in the name of the Lord, giving Him thanks. In the second he said "I preach the gospel ... I am under compulsion ..." (emphasis mine)

You continue to believe your own perspective over the testimony of a brother (see the implication of such phrases as "claiming that you never knew he was gay to begin with" [emphasis mine] coupled with your later statements that Mart Green and Steve Saint "deceived" the church).

You are not consistent. "I never said this film should preach the gospel; ... to then not represent the gospel in it is a travesty..." You clearly characterize your impending "call to repentence" in these terms: "I am about to issue a public call for repentance to Steve Saint and Mart Green of Every Tribe Entertainment for their 'vacant of the gospel' movie..." Clearly, you imply that one reason they should repent is because the gospel is not preached, which could only be a sin if it was supposed to be preached.

Here's what you are missing. According to Mart Green and Steve Saint (see broadcasts aired on Family Life Today), this film is not about the 5 martyred missionaries nor about their families. It is a somewhat fictionalized account of this true story told from the point of view of the Waodani.

Do you realize that Jim, Nate, Ed, Pete, Roger never got the chance to preach the gospel to these people ? They did not know enough of their language, did not live long enough, had not enough contact. No. They did things like drop little gifts onto the beach from the plane. So when the film shows the Waodani attracted to God Almighty by the sacrificial death of these men, how can you belittle it? Their willingness to die rather than to protect their lives when they could have, WAS the preaching--the first shocking truth--that the Waodani "heard." Would they have listened to the actual words any other way? Only God knows.

I'm sure you wanted the actual words that either Elizabeth or Rachel or Steve Saint himself later spoke (though, of course you couldn't understand them because they were in Waodani and you would never have heard "cross" or "Lord" because the Waodani didn't speak English)

My point is, End of the Spear is to our culture like those first gifts dropped from the plane--a necessary gift of friendship they could understand.

It seems, Steve, what you wish is they had used a megaphone to preach the full gospel while the plane circled the beach. That's not the way God led the five martyred missionaries. Why do you insist that God must lead Steve Saint and Mart Green this way?

Do you not believe with Paul that some plant, some water, but God gives the increase? Part of planting is soil preparation. Why do you condemn brothers who believe that is their role?

Unfortunately, to answer your other points would require a novel and I understand this is not the forum for such.

Enough said, more I'm sure, than you wish to hear.

Becky

Tim said...

Steve,

One last thing. I have heard some others say that this is the attempt made at the gospel from the film:

"Waengongi (Creator God) sent His Son to the earth and He was speared, not spearing back so that those who speared Him might learn to live well."

Now apart from the name of Jesus and the teaching of the resurrection, which I think is part of the gospel, even central, is this not at least a prelude to the gospel?

Furthermore, and I realize that we are dealing with the gospel, but why is there not these things pointed out when Christian men praise such films as Braveheart, which I enjoyed, but somehow seem to sacrifice historical truth for the artistic liberty? For instance I am referring to how Wallace was captured and executed. His capture came while in the bed with his mistress and yet he is touted as a great Christian. Maybe I am comparing apples to oranges with respect to the gospel, but I can see how that could influence the thinking of others.

With that said, I think the film will probably be used of God to stimulate people to "go behind the scenes" and read the true account, just as Braveheart did. Even the director of Braveheart said as much. Anyway, thanks for responding.

SJ Camp said...

Tim

The words spoken to the Waodani I would say would be a prelude to the gospel--no argument there.

Braveheart was a great made movie and very stirring, but historically not accurate on a few key points as you pointed out. I don't believe Wallace was a Christian and the irony of the film is when he is being persecuted, tortured (purified)... he screams "FREEDOM" as he is entering a living hell for eternity.

Good thoughts here brother.

Becky

I am trying to help you understand the Word and this movie, but it seems to no avail. I did put a qualifier in my mentioning of those verses to you which was, Paul said these things... "with slight variation." Read more carefully next time.

I have never said the gospel was to be formally preached in this movie; I said it wasn't mentioned and should have been so done (proclaimed is the right word). There is a difference.

Of course the five missionaries hadn't had a chance to proclaim the gospel yet; I am referring to the film showing their lives as being given to the gospel of Christ and its truth before they were murdered.

Also, they could have shown at the end of the movie a clear gospel being presented by having Mincaye give his testimony using a translator like Steve Saint when the credits are rolling; or they could have extended the work of the faithful women in the movie (say with Elizabeth Elliot) giving the gospel to the Waodani as well.

Becky, I would encourage you again to think biblically about aspects of culture and faith. You seem to react emotionally on these things and while it provides exciting dialogue, it is exhausting.

Do you have your own blog? You might try that avenue as well :-). Lastly, have you read Jason Janz's excellent articles (there are several) at sharperiron.com? You NEED to read them, it will help you on this issue tremendously.

Thank you for your thoughts Becky. Keep on for Christ and His truth.

Grace and peace,
Steve
Col. 1:9-14

PS - Becky, I just saw this description of how you describe what you do - you are a former teacher turned writer who: "writes Christian fantasy for adults. I enjoy the mountains and the beach and basically any place outside." I do wish you the very best in all your endeavors, but now I understand more clearly your world-view.

Michele Rayburn said...

I haven't seen the movie. But I think what is trying to be said about EOTS, in part, is "What Happens At Calvary, Stays At Calvary" :) I don't know. Just thought I'd bring a little levity to the situation.

In His Love,
Michele

cyd said...

Beloved:

Why are you so quick to defend and protect EOTS? The gospel is not offered in any form. Christ is not mentioned.
The factual, historical account is about 5 families who lost their men for the sake of spreading the good news of Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

Has the gospel become just another old story that we’ve heard before; something to be implied? Implications lead to misunderstandings. Remember: The Lord Jesus Christ IS the gospel. (1 Cor. 2:2, Gal. 1:6-12; Heb.2:5-18; 9:11–28).

When believers proclaim their one and only precious Savior to an eternally lost world, let there be no misunderstandings, no implied gospel, not ‘type of savior’; rather, The Way, The Truth, The Life, (John 14:6) because He is the Word, (John 1:14-18; 1John 1).

Why do we casually drop His Holy Name here and there, when all the depth, power, and terrible glory is no longer a wonderful dread to our own souls?
Is God weightless?
Is His glory meaningless?
He is Glory! (Ex. 33:18 -23; Is. 48:11; Eph.1; Heb.1; Jude 24, 25; Rev.4, 5).

Are we so eager to cover up this very public offense (EOTS) to the Church rather than defend the honor of the LORD’s Christ for Whom these 5 particular men lived and died?
Paul said in 1 Cor. 9:12, “...but we endure anything rather than put an obstacle in the way of the gospel of Christ”, and verse 16, “For if I preach the gospel, that gives me no ground for boasting. For necessity is laid upon me. Woe to me if I do not preach to gospel!”

The Greek word for “preach the gospel” here means this: “to preach (bring) the good news (gospel), often with a focus on the content of the message which is brought. In the NT it always refers to the death, burial, resurrection, and witness about Jesus Christ including its implications (the gospel’s) for humankind’s relationship to God.” Strongs -2097.

Woe to us all, indeed, if we do not preach, teach, share, live, give, or mention the gospel!

Thank you, dear Steve, and other faithful men and women of God, who dare to cling to and preach the Word of God alone!!

Cindy

Bhedr said...

Speak of the Steve's!

:-0

My wife just walked in with the Book by Steve Saint..The End Of The Spear.

Hey bud and Sledgemeister, I did feel like an opportunity was lost for a clear explination of the gospel and felt that as I left the theater, but I still thought the movie did good.

Also I have posted Miyancayes testimony from the book on my blog. I think much opportunity is still there.

Hey folks, i see a part of everybodies point..I just still feel like we are barking up the wrong twig. Ah well, take care.

Save all this energy for the game.

cyd said...

I had the privilege of hearing Steve Saint at a missions conference last year. He was endearing, tender, engaging and kind; all in all, an excellent speaker.

When he was finished speaking, this is what I was left with:

1. I did not need to bring a Bible.

2. I did not hear the Word
proclaimed.

3. Christ was no the central focus
of the message.

Why is 'the story' more important than the gospel? Granted, there is a great Christian story being told here. But the focus is on man, not Christ.
So, I was left wondering, Why is Christ an afterthought? Why is the glory of Christ not the most important theme of the story, regardless of who is telling it?

It was distressing.

Cindy

SJ Camp said...

Cyd:

Thank you on several levels here.

1. Good to see a woman who is a woman of the Word and not just carelessly emoting in the blogosphere.

2. Good to see a Christian who can appreciate a brother in the Lord (Steve Saint), but yet speak with a discerning mind about the vacancy of the gospel and lack of primary focus on the Lord Jesus Christ in his speaking and film these days.

3. Thank you for making the emphasis the glory of God and not man's stories. THIS is the key issue in all this... isn't it?

Grace and peace,
Campi
Col. 1:9-14

cyd said...

Dear Becky:

Your story here is inappropriate, and your accusations are not edifying. It is not your place to speak so condescendingly to our host.

Please take this to heart; as women, we have a God given responsibility to honor a man's authority,(1Tim.2:10-14), and in this particular case, Steve is an expositor of the Word, who carefully studies and examines the Scriptures before speaking.

He is not infallible, but in my own study I have discovered that he is more often right than wrong, and I am glad that we have been so very blessed with a brother who is concerned that The Lord Jesus is heralded and glorified.

This blog has been dedicated to examining issues through the Scriptures. It is important to refrain from being argumentative for its own sake in our posts, and honor the rules of engagement stated on this blog.

It seems you have a personal 'beef' to vent; may I encourage you to take it privately to your Heavenly Father first, and let Him guide your heart and mind and tongue.

Most Sincerely,

Cindy

SJ Camp said...

Becky:

This blog is dedicated to biblical discussion around issues facing the church, culture, family and the arts. I have been patient with you long enough. You have gone way beyond the purpose, scope and function of what this blog is designed for---and you have unfortunately not stayed on message.

In the future, you are only welcome on this blog if you can abide by the rules of engagement I have put in place for discussion here and stay on message from a biblical worldview; otherwise, please take your ill-placed comments elsewhere -- for they and you are not welcome here.

Your last comment has been deleted.

Grace and peace,
Steve
2 Cor. 4:5-7

littlegal_66 said...

Becky-
I realize that, given what has transpired conversationally on this blog over the weekend, you may never return to read this, but I've been out of town and w/out internet access since Friday afternoon, and so I just read your Feb. 10th response to my Feb. 9th post to you.
You responded to me with:
"And the 'Steve' I was referring to who was hanging out with homosexuals is Steve Saint."
Okay, Becky, it appears that, in my haste to rush to Mr. Camp's defense, I misinterpreted your statement. Frankly, I really had no business posting on Thursday; I was definitely not at 100%. For what it's worth, I'm sure that I, too, have been guilty of reacting emotionally on this thread in particular, and, in turn, of emoting from the hip.

For that, I apologize & humbly beg everyone's forgiveness.

ScottyB said...

I figure this is a wate of time but if anyone is interested in hearing some free mp3's of interviews with Steve Saint and ETE you can chk out my site:
here--
http://valueofthekingdom.blogspot.com/2006/02/interview-with-steve-saint-on-end-of.html
and
http://valueofthekingdom.blogspot.com/2006/02/free-mp3-of-interview-with-bill-ewing.html

Jessica Jo L said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
donsands said...

"A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control." Prov. 29:11

"A soft answer turns away wrath: but grievous words stir up strife." Prov. 15:1

"For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: Whose mouths must be stopped," Titus 1: 10-11

"But avoid foolish questions, ...and contentions, and strivings ... for they are unprofitable and vain." Titus 3:9

"Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace to the hearers." Eph.4:29



Some Words to ponder for us all.

~Mark said...

I have read and re-read this post several times and am deeply convicted personally to watch more closely over my life and the message it sends. My participation in Church too. Does anyone who knows me believe that I love the Lord and am governed by His Spirit?

I gotta say, some of the words really stung, but stung like a doctor's needle delivering a vaccine.

Thanks Steve.

(I've linked to your post by the way)

~Mark said...

(Uh oh, I goofed! My previous comment should've been under your post on entertainment. Sorry about that!)

SJ Camp said...

Jessica

I see you deleted your comment to me; but I do thank you and appreciate you for posting it earlier. Donsands follow up comment was an excellent word for us all... wasn't it?

To be clear, I was paying all the women in the blogosphere who are thinking biblically about the issues a wonderful compliment. Emotions are a good thing... we are not automatons are we... The Lord has made full of emotions to express ourselves by and through (Psalm 139). But venting only through emotional outbursts evidenced in personal attacks against moi do not profit anyone in the discussion about this important issue surrounding the EOTS film. The venting (which people may do here to their hearts content) must also have a solid biblical foundation or premise to the vent; or else it is unfruitful in this discussion.

Please don't silence your emotions; but may our first reaction to any issue be through the onion skin of the Word of God; and then, say it with all the passion that defending the truth should afford (2 Cor. 4:5).

I appreciate you...
Campi
Col. 1:9-14

Jessica Jo L said...

Thank you for clarifying
I deleted my earlier comment because it was too personal. I decided to talk to a good friend and pull in a little.
Some times I need literally walk and talk with my family in Christ.
Thanks again
Jessica

Jessica Jo L said...

also Yes I love donsands comment.

As Shawn and I thought and prayed about it this morning James also came to mind.

"What causes fights and quarrels among you?....."James 1-12

Becky said...

Steve, I'm sorry my apology and my story didn't seem on point. I'm sorry you no longer wish to welcome my comments.

I'm sorry my heart for you and for what you gave me through your music when I was younger didn't come through.

I John 4

7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 8 The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love. 9 By this the love of God was manifested in us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world so that we might live through Him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.

Becky

littlegal_66 said...

Just for the record, Steve, I personally didn't find your original comments (re: women bloggers) offensive or out of line (which I'm sure goes without saying).

This thread concerns a very heavy, emotionally-charged, and draining issue, (& rightly so), and judging from the posts that remain, that fact became quite evident over the weekend. I for one will attempt to choose my words carefully and more responsibly in any future posts to this blog. (I have a track record of long-windedness, anyway. [Ironically, I was just yesterday teasing my youngest about his constant babbling-the acorn really doesn't fall far!]).

"Sandman"-thanks for posting such timely scripture--it went straight to my heart.

Michele Rayburn said...

Cyd,

You said that you heard Steve Saint speak at a missions conference last year, so I "googled" it. The only conference I saw listed was the Desiring God 2005 National Conference on Oct. 7-9, ’05. The theme was "Suffering and the Sovereignty of God". Steve Saint spoke on "Sovereignty, Suffering and the Work of Missions".

I don't know if this is the conference that you were referring to. But having not seen the movie, I listened to the audio from that conference, and came away with a totally different account than what you said about him.

At this conference, Steve Saint gave a moving account of all the events surrounding his Dad and the other missionaries, that was no less than inspirational, with some profound insights into God’s sovereignty connected with it.

His entire speech was devoted to God and His sovereignty in suffering, and the miraculous circumstances surrounding the missionaries.

At this conference, the Word was preached and Jesus Christ was spoken of throughout. Steve Saint told of the story of Jesus and the blind man in John 9. He quoted Acts 2:22-23, and talked about how "Jesus...being delivered up by the determined counsel and foreknowledge of God...you...have crucified...". And he went on to explain how he thought that the Lord had planned the death of his Dad and the other men.

Saint quoted James 1:2-3, "...count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." And he expounded on it wonderfully.

When the film crew members questioned Steve Saint’s judgement in leaving his small children with their Dad’s murderers to babysit them during the taping of the movie, Saint had an opportunity to share with them that "he who is in Christ is a new creation" (2 Corinthians 5:17-20), and he gave that testimony.

I just thought it should be known that at this conference Steve Saint preached the Word and he preached Christ.

In His Love,
Michele

ScottyB said...

Michele is correct-powerful message
I have a link to download the message Steve gave at the conference.
You can go here to download the message Cyd--

http://www.desiringgod.org/news_events/dgm_national/2005/

cyd said...

Michele and Scottyb --

The missions conference I refer to was one held at my church.

I am thrilled to hear that Steve Saint preached the Word at the Desiring God Conference; that is so wonderful. Thank you for sharing this!

Cindy

donsands said...

I am glad to hear Steve Saint is bold with the gospel. And perhaps he wasn't as bold as he needed to be through this whole End of the Spear controversy.
Elijah had the same problem. I have the same problem as well. I pray that I would always be bold in the Lord to always proclaim the gospel with unashamed love.
May the Church become bolder and more steadfast as we grow in His grace for the glory of His holy name. Amen.

SJ Camp said...

Michele Rayburn wrote: "At this conference, Steve Saint gave a moving account of all the events surrounding his Dad and the other missionaries, that was no less than inspirational, with some profound insights into God’s sovereignty connected with it.

His entire speech was devoted to God and His sovereignty in suffering, and the miraculous circumstances surrounding the missionaries."


I fully agree with you on these statements after having listened to Steve's speech as you rightly called it.

But I wouldn't conclude, as you did, that "at this conference Steve Saint preached the Word and he preached Christ." He shared a few verses relating to his inspirational story; and also mentioned Christ a few times too. BUT, IMHO he didn't preach Christ and His truth.

Like some conference speakers I have heard throughout the years, in the times I've heard Steve share or read transcripts of when he has spoken, he has one very dramatic powerful testimony to tell about his dad. It comes in different variations with different emphasis, and is peppered with verses about trials, forgiveness, peace, etc. but still the pretty much the same story. And the Lord has used that story to touch people's lives around the world--and for the that we are all thankful.

But take away his father's dramatic story, could we say that Steve "preaches the Word?" One could not rightly say that he does. I would love to hear him preach a message that doesn't relate to his story--just once. The Apostle Paul had an amazing story first hand--not just a remembrance about his dad's story. But Paul wasn't a "one trick pony" traveling around the country side telling of his dramatic and powerful conversion. In fact, very little of the 13 epistles he penned and Luke's account of him in Acts is dedicated to Paul's story. The Apostle "preached the Word in season and out of season"--there is a difference.

My sincere prayer for someone like Steve Saint, is that he would immerse himself in the text of Scripture and then preach IT--not just share his dad's story or show off Mincaye at another conference or church meeting--as inspirational and powerful as it may be.

The Word is "more sure" and the gospel more sufficient and powerful and IT deserves our attention and is to be exalted above each of "our stories." (cp, 2 Peter 1:16-22).

Thank you for sharing your thoughts here Michele. I enjoyed listening to his testimony as well at Piper's conference.
Steve
2 Cor. 4:5

Michele Rayburn said...

Hi Steve,

Although Steve Saint used a lot of Scripture and talked of Jesus Christ during his testimony, I agree that he didn’t give a clear presentation of the gospel.

If he didn’t give a clear presentation of the gospel to Christians at a Christian conference, maybe it’s because he thinks they didn’t need to hear it from him, since it was a Christian crowd.

I think that giving a testimony to believers serves a different purpose than giving a testimony to unbelievers. When he gave his testimony to the believers at the conference, I think it was for the purpose of deepening their already established faith (encouraging and edifying them), and to glorify God for the great things He had done. I don’t think he was using the gift of teaching or preaching. But, rather, he was witnessing, simply giving his testimony.

I think of the following verse, that “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine...that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17). At this conference, he was asked to speak on the doctrine of God’s sovereignty. So, that was his focus and the purpose for his message. If he doesn’t have the gift of preaching or teaching, we can’t expect him to be able to expound on the Scripture to the same extent that a preacher or teacher would. He is either not able to, or chooses not to because he doesn’t see that as the purpose for his ministry.

I understand your concern that he never seems to preach the gospel.
Some Christians think that telling about a single aspect of the gospel (e.g., “Christ died for me”, “Christ forgave me”, “Christ saved me”) is the gospel. So, this could be a blind spot on Steve Saint’s part as well.

In any case, speaking of God’s sovereignty, we can take comfort in knowing what Jesus said...”I will build My church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18) Nothing and no one can thwart His plan.

In His Love,
Michele

ScottyB said...

Steve, you have a song called "Just Come To Me". I have tried to do that with this tread. I truly love you bro and I think you are Keith Green with theology. Not everyone has your mind or your gifts. The gospel is simplified in that God turns his enemies who killed His Son into his children, bond servants, friends, and Bride.
In a sense the story of The Five Martyrs(My blog title is a quote from Jim Elliot) and Mincaye is the incarnation of the Gospel.

In the message from Steve at DGM--I sensed a man who was humble and broken sharing a testimony--he clearly stated over and over he's a tech guy -good at tech stuff. I didn't get the sense that he was malicious or tryin to make a buck or trying to be sloppy with the Gospel--I just got that he was a simple man with simple faith(the faith of a mustard seed is sometimes all it takes--Jesus taught the gospel simply with language the simple could understand) in a powerful God.

Please be gracious with him and try and contact him. Maybe you can encourage him bro like you did to Joel Osteen.
We have to be patient with folks-- most of us especially those of us who have been raised in the jungle dont share the gospel on the level of a theologian.

Here are some testimonies of the power of the Gospel through this "Story" and the carting around of Mincaye Steve's adopted Dad and best friend--who actually wanted to come hear to help us with our problem of hatred and killing each other-man I'm glad he can't read blogs(lol))

If you listen to Mincaye his testimony is simple(I wonder who helped to teach him the Gospel):

"My heart was black and sick in sin, but then I heard that God sent His own son. His blood dripping and dripping, He washed my heart clean. Now I live well. Now you-- God followers from all over the dirt--now I see you well because you are truly my brothers, God's blood having washed your hearts clean too."

Al Mohler:
"I had the honor of sharing dinner with Steve Saint and Mincaye a few years ago during a Shepherd's Conference at Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California. Their testimony is one of the most powerful affirmations of the power of the Gospel I have ever heard."

Steve Saint:
"I am sorry for any pain that this issue might cause anyone," Saint wrote. "But, I would not change what is happening any more than I would change what happened to my dad. Mincaye, who is sitting beside me as I write this, is proof that 'God works in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform.'"

Shawn L:

Steve Saint's Speech at the Desiring God Conference

I really enjoyed this MP3. I love this guy as he is so real and transparent and humble about everything he has gone through in suffering, yet has a servant's heart and is deeply affected by God's Word.
If you don't have time to listen to it all, but listen to the part (At about 45 minutes along) where the Waodani tribesman are telling others to follow Steve Saint's daughter to along God's path. These Waodani have been so deeply affected by the gospel.

Many of us are good at telling the Gospel we need more who are good at living the Gospel. Steve please realize that maybe a friendship with Steve Saint might be mutually edifying.

Here is Steve's ministry headquarter phone-contact him Steve maybe you can be a blessing to him:

General E-mail: I-TEC@I-TECusa.org
Technical Questions: brad@itecusa.org

Mailing Address:
10575 SW 147th Circle
Dunnellon, FL 34432

Phone: (352) 465-4545

Dawn Irons said...

Okay...maybe I am a simple mind, but I clearly sawe the gospel presented in End of the Spear.

Did you miss the part when Dyaume went back with the wives of the missionaries to the Waodoni tribe and told them that the reason the "foreigners" came to them was to tell them that Waengongi [the Creator] had a son. He was speared too, but did not fight back. The son died so they could all live.

That is the gospel in a nut shell...sure there is a lot more to it, but to claim it was absent is not exactly correct.

I did find it interesting to see how "irritated" (read convicted) that Mincaye became through the progression of the film, especially around the son of the missionary he killed. In the end it was the guilt/sense of conviction that led to his confession/repentence to the son.

The son forgave him and it was a beautiful picture of redemption.

I'm not sure how I feel about our western mindset that judges the presentation of the gospel from "western eyes". Are you upset because the name of Jesus was not used (in the film) to witness to the waodoni? Or that the term Waengongi [the Creator] was used instead? But if you are witnessing to an indigenous people who don't have meaning to the term "Jesus" wouldn't it stand to reason that you would use the term they had some understanding of?

Is this any different that Paul on Mars Hill using the statue of "The unknown God" to witness to the people in Athens about Jesus?

So how do you miss the point that when Dayume went back to her people and said that Waengongi [the Creator]had a son...and spoke to them in terms they could understand.

And lets not forget this was a 2 hour movie--even under ideal circumstances you cannot put 50+ YEARS of "the whole story" in 120 minutes of time.

Maybe it is just that I am simple minded...but I clearly caught the Gospel message that God had a son who died so that we all may live.

And that basic truth transformed an entire people group for the glory of God.

Blessings,
Dawn Irons

cyd said...

Dear Dawn:

When you have a moment, read through Steve's post on Acts 17 in this thread. It will help here.

Cindy

cyd said...

Dear Michele:

When speaking anywhere, we want to be careful to avoid the assumption that our listeners are all believers. Certainly there are exceptions to the case, but we need to be careful to obey the command and preach the gospel.

Besides, doesn't hearing it again still thrill our hearts? O May we never get over it!!


One more thought -- Steve made a comment in his DG testimony that mentioned something about not using anymore Scriptures because the previous speakers had used the same ones.

Don't we crave to hear the Scriptures, no matter how many times they are repeated; even if it's during the same night, or day, or conference?

(BTW - I really appreciate you!)

Cindy

Michele Rayburn said...

Hi Cindy,

I think the point that I was trying to make is that if Steve Saint’s message is not complete, God will use others in the body of Christ to complete it. Steve Saint plants, another waters, but God gives the increase.

As we go on in our own personal walk with the Lord, we follow Him as we are led. But I can't live another Christian's life. I can't make him change. But I can exhort him, gently correct him and pray for him. And then I need to get out of the way. Because, it is God's decision when or if He will choose to change anything in that person's life. But I need to leave the outcome to God, and then rest in His will.

It is amazing how God uses our failures, our blind spots, and our ignorance and still accomplishes His will. “But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.” (2 Corinthians 4:7) He knows we are but dust, but He uses us anyway, to prove that it is He that will save His people, and not us.

Jesus said not to worry (because that won't change anything). So, that brings us back to trusting Him. He is in control even when it doesn’t seem like it.

BTW, I appreciate you, too!

In His Love,
Michele

Ron said...

Mr Camp wants an apology for "End of the Spear." I too would like to have heard the name of Jesus Christ spoken in the movie, however the gospel was given. "God (in the Waodani language) has a son, and he was speared so that you could live." While that is not an exposition on the book of Romans, that is the message of the gospel.

As far as casting Allen in the role of Steve Saint, I wonder if Mr. would also complain of Jesus lineage including a prostitute and adulterers. This was a story of reaching out to another culture, which would thrill the heart of anyone who's into missions as it did mine. Therefore, I will not require any apology from those who made the movie.

SJ Camp said...

Ron: Thank you for your recent comment here.

A few thoughts to consider:

1. I have never asked for an apology from these men. I have asked for them to repent for the reasons mentioned in this article and then to ask forgiveness from the body of Christ in owning their responsibility associated with those issues.

2. You wrote: "I too would like to have heard the name of Jesus Christ spoken in the movie, however the gospel was given." I would encourage you to think about that statement for a minute. To paraphrase: "Christ's name was not mentioned, but the gospel was presented." Do you think that is really possible? Can you name one instance in the Word of God where the gospel was presented, but they didn't have to mention the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to present it? Of course not. You can't say the gospel is presented if Christ was not mentioned. The "spear/son imagery" is not the gospel at all; but it was a good analogy to give entrance to one day proclaiming the gospel--but it is not the gospel.

3. You also wrote: "As far as casting Allen in the role of Steve Saint, I wonder if Mr. would also complain of Jesus lineage including a prostitute and adulterers." I assume you were addressing myself here; I wouldn't complain at all--it is a wonderful testimony to God's grace in bringing the Messiah to sinful people in need of redemption. But that is not the same thing here at all.

Grace and peace to you,
Steve
Col. 1:9-14

Mexycan Karencita said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mexycan Karencita said...

I have to agree with Dan Kachikis. We are in this world but as Christians we are not to be part of it. To have an actor who was not himself Christian by the lifestyle he CHOSES (and God's Word is very clear!), when these missionaries served God with all their hearts, is a shame. I felt the same way about adulteress Kristy Swanson, a great actress, playing in the Pure Flix movie WHAT IF? We can only hope and believe in the power of prayer that their lives might change as a result of the part they played, though it would have been best to have chosen someone who already loved and felt the same about the God they served as the men they were portraying did.