What Can Be Done?
- Tuesday, March 09, 2004
I've talked to newspaper and magazine writers who have told me, "I know that my editors [or publishers] want something much more negative, and I hope that I might be able to get this in." They feel constrained to write negative things about Christians or about ministers, knowing that if they don't, the editors won't even publish their stories. We need to realize that because we retreated from the media and from politics and government and science and higher education, we have left these fields to the unbelievers. Now we need to begin to get more young people into the media to affect it. We need to have more Christian studio heads, anchormen, news writers, producers, and directors to affect the culture, since these people influence the thinking of so many others. This is not going to happen overnight, but over a period of several decades.
Secondly, we need to pray for these people – for their conversions. I wonder how many of you pray for actors, directors, producers, and writers? I must confess that I have prayed very little for them. We should also pray that those who are Christians will be strengthened as they attempt to lead godly lives and to have some influence.
We also need to evangelize – not just people in the media, when we have an opportunity, but we need to evangelize, period. Because the church has failed to fulfill the Great Commission in evangelizing the culture and to fulfill the cultural mandate to affect the spheres of society, our culture has produced a vast audience for these people that allows them to go on.
Do you realize that Hollywood is one of America's largest exporters? But what are we exporting to the world? Denigration of Christian beliefs and morals. Promotion of the homosexual lifestyle, which generally cuts a person's life span in half.32 Promotion of all sorts of sex outside of marriage. Promotion of stealing, lying, and cheating when you can get away with it. Promotion of every profanity and blasphemy you can imagine. Promotion of gratuitous and disturbing violence. All these themes and many more are marketed to the world.
If millions of dedicated Christians turned off their sets at the onset of objectionable programs, stopped purchasing movie tickets for unacceptable movies, and stopped buying objectionable CDs, things would change rapidly. Too often we're part of the problem instead of the solution. Please do a little research before purchasing a movie ticket. You can find out about a movie before you decide to see it at www.movieguide.org or www.screenit.com. Generally, you don't get burned if you do your homework.
Missionaries to Hollywood
Think about this question. Who wields more influence? The leaders in Washington or those in Hollywood? Robert Knight, author of "The Age of Consent: The Rise of Relativism and the Corruption of Popular Culture," believes the answer is the latter: "If I had my choice to controlling Washington or Hollywood, I'd pick Hollywood in a heartbeat. Hollywood … has enormous influence on our culture. Political institutions don't operate in a vacuum, they arise out of culture. I'd rather control the high ground of culture than the political superstructure that grows out of that culture."33 Therefore, one way we can effect positive, long-term change is to support the missionaries to Hollywood (and New York).
One of my heroes is Larry Poland, who left a comfortable job as the president of a Christian college to start a missionary project. He founded Master Media in the 1980s to minister to Hollywood executives, writers, producers, and so on. And he also reached out to New York City media executives. At the same time he mobilized millions of Christians in the rest of the country to pray for all these people, including the "stars."
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