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Does God Need Hollywood?

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By Paul Proctor

November 21, 2007

I pose the above question because there continues to be confusion among professing Christians today regarding the Bible's call to repentance and faith, the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the transforming power of Almighty God.

In a recent article titled, Pastor To Church: Send Love Letters To Britney Spears, I commented on the misguided adventures of Southland Christian Church and their plan to send love notes to Britney Spears as an evangelical response to her many infamous problems. This writer, along with others, recognized it for the shameless publicity stunt that it was.

The lust for cultural relevance, recognition and reciprocation have lured many churches into compromise - particularly those of the seeker sensitive and Purpose Driven sort - with a drunken infatuation for the wealthy, famous and influential as if they were the key to connecting a fallen world to Christ, when in fact, such pursuits are largely vain efforts designed to draw crowds and get attention - which seems to be today's first order of business around the old church house.

The bright lights are obviously blinding the brethren these days. And what really disturbs me is this perverse and underlying assumption that God somehow needs celebrities to get His Gospel message out to all the little people, in spite of what His Word says to the contrary:

"Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men. For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence." - 1st Corinthians 1:25-29

But unfortunately men do want to glory in God's presence; and so they resort to gimmickry to try and conjure up what God will not give them in order to make themselves appear legitimate.

So, on the heels of Southland Christian Church's love-letter mission to Britney Spears comes a story from the Christian Post titled, Hundreds Pray to Transform Hollywood, that reports on a "crowd of over 700 Christians and media professionals" gathering in California to try and redeem Hollywood. The article begins this way:

Hundreds hoping to redeem Hollywood asked God to change the hearts of entertainment leaders and celebrities like Britney Spears during a media prayer breakfast Friday morning.

Now, keep in mind, there is nothing here about anyone asking God to save the lost, poor and forgotten in and around Hollywood - the world's castaways, confused, homeless, drunk and drug addicted nobodies. No, according to this article, they want God to bless the big shots - so the big shots can in turn, use their big shot power and influence to reach the little shots that worship and serve them.

Is that what Jesus did?

Do you see how sick and twisted this is - how this actually distorts, perverts and undermines the Gospel of Jesus Christ by attempting to capture and co-opt the worldly power and influence of Hollywood to save Hollywood?

Did Jesus tell the woman caught in adultery to go forth and use her erotic and seductive powers to make disciples for Him? No, He told her to "go, and sin no more," meaning, leave your loathsome lifestyle.

The crowd of over 700 Christians and media professionals convened starting at 8:30 a.m. at the Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills for the fourth annual National Media Prayer Breakfast. The event was founded Larry Poland, CEO of Mastermedia International, a ministry focused on leaders in the entertainment and media industries.

Participants heard inspirational music and messages by leading performers and prominent guests in the media, and dedicated 40 minutes of the event praying for those who have the power to influence many from the entertainment capitol of the nation.

You see, they didn't dedicate those 40 minutes to pray for those who needed the power of God, but instead dedicated 40 minutes praying for those who have another power already - with hopes of exploiting it to their advantage and agenda - a power that is incapable of transforming anyone from death unto life.

If it hasn't registered yet, they're asking God to bless the idols of Hollywood.

And here I thought the power of God was found in the foolishness of preaching.

"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." - 1st Corinthians 1:18

Even so, the article goes on to say:

"Nothing will change Hollywood except prayer," said Karen Covell, founder and director of Hollywood Prayer Network, in a recent interview on the "Out of the Boat" radio show of Christian Life Broadcasting. "We pray for God to come into their hearts and show who He is to them."

"Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts." - James 4:3

"The non-believers in the industry who come always leave just amazed that we're not hating them, we're not judging them," said Covell. "We're loving them and blessing them and lifting them up and that's a powerful example."

A powerful example of what, disobedience to God's Word and a failure to carry out the Great Commission? I suspect, what amazes them is the overall tolerance, if not outright acceptance of sin.

"We need to be culturally relevant as Christians," she said.

But, Jesus never once commanded us to be culturally relevant - only obedient and faithful to His Word. Cultural relevance is the rotten fruit of compromise, not the fruit of the Spirit or the work of an evangelist.

The prayer advocate said that she hopes Christians can support the work in Hollywood through prayer instead of giving up on it by switching the channel or boycotting certain programs.

So, in the interest of transforming Hollywood, Christians need to watch and support their filth on TV with our prayers and our patronage?

Who's transforming whom here?

"Hollywood is not Sodom and Gomorrah. It's Niniveh. It can be redeemed," she said.

But did Jonah go to Nineveh to be relevant and support the culture and commerce there with his prayers and patronage?

No, the Lord sent him there to preach.

"And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying, Arise, go unto Nineveh, that great city, and preach unto it the preaching that I bid thee." - Jonah 3:1-2

And what was the message Jonah preached that caused them to fast and repent in sackcloth and ashes?

"Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown." - Jonah 3:4b

If Hollywood is Nineveh, why then are Christians not delivering the same message as Jonah?

It is because today's "Christian" is, by and large, not a proclaimer or an obeyer of God's Word - but only an enabler who seeks relevancy with a corrupt culture and his or her own glory in God's presence.

"These things hast thou done, and I kept silence; thou thoughtest that I was altogether such an one as thyself: but I will reprove thee, and set them in order before thine eyes." - Psalm 50:21