This past week, my feeds were flooded by outspoken “Christians” who were appalled at World Vision’s stance on hiring gay married employees. Christians rallied together, pulled funding and within hours, World Vision retracted their position. There were also those who were posting the importance of tolerance and freedom.
Huffington Post noted this event as a “failed attempt for justice for gay Christians”. “Even now as evangelical leaders are crowing about their victory, there will be more young people, gay and straight, who will become convinced that there is no place for them in the Church.” – Huffington Post
It was amazing how powerful the combined force of the “Christian voice” could be. The important thing when standing up for something is to speak up because of moral values and with concrete facts. Don’t simply get on a bandwagon. Christian ministries were very calculated in how they approached the issue with World Vision and the actions were turned around.
In another situation, the movie Noah is also creating an uproar amongst Christians who have not yet seen it. It’s being noted as a bad movie that should not be supported and there is an attempt to rally people together to not go and see it. I’m not sure why people were expecting a movie that is directed by Darren Afronofsky to be a sunday school version of a favourite Bible story. I have not seen the movie, but the director’s previous work would suggest that this movie would be edgy, push one’s emotional tolerance and perspective and really, not be what anyone would anticipate when they would go see “Noah”. It’s a creative interpretation. The actual words in the Bible would have clearly been used to stimulate a idea that where a great amount of creative license would be applied. Phil Cooke, a Christian media expert recommends that Christians should go and see the movie. Phil says, “Whatever extra-Biblical elements there are in the film, that doesn’t overcome the fact that Paramount Studios is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to produce and promote a Bible story. This will be a national conversation that millions will participate in, and Noah will be water cooler conversation for the next 6 months. What an opportunity for the Christian community!
Christians come together. The Passion of the Christ earned millions of dollars primarily because the group decided it was ok. Rallying together can be a good thing. Coming together simply because that is what the group is doing is not ok. Yet, as Barna noted later, the impact and influence of Christianity as a result of that movie was remarkably low.
Phil Cooke states, “As of this writing I’m one of only a handful of people who’ve actually seen the movie. Which is probably why I’m a bit bothered at the condemnations and protests from Christians who have never actually watched it.”
Christians congregate and speak out. Sometimes this is good, sometimes it is not. There needs to be reason for it. Speaking out with wisdom and love makes a difference. It doesn’t take skill to be against something. It takes incredible discernment to connect with today’s culture. Being fickle won’t do it. Take time to understand the context from which things are being created.
Hollywood is telling Bible stories! That is news. That is amazing. They may get the stories wrong, but what an opportunity to start conversations when Blockbuster Bible stories make front page news.
It’s not a time for alienation.
Seize the moment.