"'God, help me not be weird about it'...just be yourself. You know, God loves you. He loves how he created you. He loves everything about you, and it's beautiful. All your little quirks, all the little things that you do, all your little things that you love, all the little things that you maybe don't prefer, you know, He's made you that way. Be who He made you to be. Let His love, let His creativity, let His compassion, let His truth, let everything that He is flow through you as you connect to him as a source." "....People just like people they can relate to, people who are normal. And God wants to use you to influence people....People don't want to see the put off, they don't want to see the fake face, they don't want the mask...."Very sound advice. But here is the kicker. In her Canadian ministry Faytene, it's fair to say, has become known as a hard-edged dominionist, who may be the sort that takes no prisoners. Christians have to take over the world for Jesus. When we control the press in Canada, it will be very different. And various other things that we have blogged here about. I find it a bit difficult to put the lady who had her followers stab flags out over an audience and this lady, who is trying to be--very laudably I would add, moderate sounding--in the same body. Her demeanor in this video doesn't seem to match her theology and political ideas--as expressed in the past. I'd like to ask Faytene whether she now thinks that some of the things she has said and done in the past were being "weird about it [her faith]?" I can see the Faytene of this specific video getting along amiably with more liberal Christians in a way that the Faytene of The Cry rallies and her books, CDs and past sermons would not. There's something else that I have noticed as well. The past messages that she has put on CD and sold at her website are no longer available, at the moment that I am writing my post. Free downloads are promised in the future. [BDBO readers have been able to read several posts in which we have been able to quote these now shelved messages to good effect in explaining her mindset.] Could Faytene have sat down recently and thought "You know, my dominionist ideas brought out something in me that I never really liked. I want to be kind and encouraging and I really need to have a theology that matches the kind of Christian that I now think is best to be." I have found things to respect and admire in Faytene's ministry in the past. If she has decided, quietly, to become more moderate--in her manner anyways, that may be something to add in the list. But, before we get carried away, we do need to remember that a "kindler gentler Faytene" may also, sad to say, be a cynical selling point. I am hopeful, though. But before I get carried away, I do need to mention The Cry Hollywood. The Cry Hollywood is scheduled for March 5-17 in Hollywood. The first day will be a "prayer event" roughly akin to the Canadian Cry events, with follow-up meetings afterwards. Christians are right to be interested in the arts and praying about it. In addition to several of the "usual suspects", conservative and Christian film industry observer, Ted Baehr is scheduled to participate. In Faytene's promotional video for the event, she explains why she started to think about Hollywood:
"It was a couple years, uh months ago, excuse me that I felt the Lord begin to burden my heart and, you know, the Bible says that we are to pray for those in authority...and I began to think, who has more cultural authority than entertainers?".She adds that she hopes to operate in "a spirit for blessing..." Faytene is being shrewder than in the past. Recall earlier this year how she helped with Patricia King's plans to "take over Facebook and Twitter" (and Faytene's own lack of Facebook manners? Well, one hopes it is because they have learned a useful lesson, but Faytene is being more careful this time in what she says. Which way is The Cry Hollywood going to go? Will it genuinely be an effort to bless what God may be doing in Hollywood, or is it a step towards getting the dominionist mindset in front of Christian efforts to be salt and light in entertainment, taking the "mountain of entertainment and media". If there is a dominionist aim here, they'll be a lot shrewder about not letting the rest of us know. The Cry Hollywood conference may have an impact on Faytene herself on two levels. It may be a relaunch for Faytene. Instead of having to refer to her efforts in Canada--which may have petered out with the recent The Cry Ottawa rally--she can be the lady "who was behind the Cry Hollywood, which resulted in...". The Cry Hollywood may be worthwhile anyway, but if it helps Faytene herself to create a new "You thought I was American, but I just don't mention that I was Canadian anymore..." persona, it may be useful to her. Hollywood is a perfect stage to take an opening bow before an American audience. [She plans to leave praying for the Canadian media and entertainment industry, which needs a Christian influence too, to someone else perhaps.] What may be more of significance is how The Cry Hollwood--what is said and done there--will affect Faytene Grasseschi's future ministry. Will she continue to be the fire-breathing dominionist of old, or will The Cry Hollywood reflect a more mature and moderate way that Faytene Grasseschi does things, something that is never spelled out? Faytene may think that she needs to cry "we will take Hollywood and subject it..." to rally support of her work. Readers will forgive me if I have a wait-and-see attitude, but I would like to be hopeful that she has matured enough in recent months to resist the temptation. Could there be a post-dominionist Faytene? The Cry Hollywood will either show this--or a Faytene who is much more cunning in how she presents herself. I don't think that, either way, she will spell it out explicitly to us. Pity.