“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)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.
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.”
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,
2 Cor. 4:5-7
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” -James 4:17