Tuesday, November 04, 2014

An apology on behalf of "social media" Christians to Nicolas Cage

(Posted at Bene Diction Blogs On, November 2, 2014)

Ted Baehr's Movieguide has felt burdened to apologize to Nicolas Cage about the occasionally visceral reaction to the new Left Behind film.

The open letter...


...argues that Christians on the Internet discussed the film with the bark off.

Anthony D' Amore writes:

These self-proclaimed Christian critics who have been slamming Nicolas Cage and his movie on social media channels have seemingly lost sight of God’s purpose. It’s as if posting a judgmental rant on a web site is more important than a Hollywood actor experiencing the grace of God.

It doesn’t mean every Christian needs to agree with everything about Cage’s movie or what Cage stands for, but as ambassadors of Christ, it is embarrassing and counterproductive for the Kingdom of heaven when Christians behave badly by inflicting searing criticism against someone like Nicolas Cage for whom Jesus Christ died on the cross.

Christians who get caught up in the theological-driven attacks have forgotten that there is a more loving manner with which to deliver an opinion – without attacking.

I myself quite liked the new Left Behind, which closed after only two weeks in my neck of the woods. I believe that Nicolas Cage was good in the film.

That said, I also pointed out at the time that Left Behind filmmaker Paul Lalonde had missed an opportunity to briefly overtly evangelize in the film, stating in an interview that the producers felt they didn't have time to do so.

This, I added, was a glaring omission, given that Paul Lalonde and his brother Peter, spent much of the 80s and 90s doing the bible prophecy themed program This Week in Bible Prophecy on the Canadian TV network Vision TV. Peter Lalonde, in segments you may view today, would tell people how you could come to Christ in less than five minutes.

When you have Nicolas Cage in your film, and presumably an opportunity to reach millions, how could you not do so when you have *done so before* ?
I was firm but not, to my mind, rude. And I directed my point to Paul Lalonde and not his hired gun.

You could mourn the tone of people's critiques, I would agree, but not that they were made, if their points were valid. Backing away from evangelizing at Mach speed, I respectfully suggest, would apply here.

I suspect that Ted Baehr feels the need to refrain from burning bridges with "Hollywood" and this article is the result. That may be correct, but my concern is a worry about needless self-censorship.