JESUS AMONG OTHER GODS
by Ravi Zacharias
Let us pray for the salvation of these three celebrities this week:
1. Russell Crowe
2. Scarlett Johansson
3. Ang Lee
A PRAYING LIFE
by Paul Miller
Category: Christian Living
When people say that Hollywood is a sort of “Sin City,” it’s not an exaggeration. It is truly a community where immorality is ignored and sin is exalted. One of my friends named Jonathan, who is a background actor, told me a story about a recent occurrence on set that disturbed him. During the last scene of the day, the lead actor improvised a bunch of cursing and blasphemous lines – I guess as part of his method acting deal. When the cameras stopped rolling, the cast and crew applauded the actor! Yes, a glorification of cursing and crude language. I guess this just shows how sad the state of morality is in certain professional environments. I shouldn’t find this too shocking since we are living in the last days before Jesus’ Second Coming. The last days that are marked by blasphemy, immorality, cold-heartedness, and a gamut of other sins.
I experienced something similar on another production in October of 2009. The show was Party Down. During the last scene of the day (which was a food eating contest), the main characters celebrated their victory by cheering and shouting happily with all profanities imaginable. It was somewhat unreal to me, yet it might have been normal for others to hear such. I felt sick to my stomach to hear such things coming out of these people’s mouths, add to that the fact that the crew found it hilarious afterwards. It was truly one of my most disheartening moments for me on set.
I say these things not to condescend or display moral superiority over others. I know that I am a sinner as well, doing many things in the past and present that would upset my Lord. It just grieves me because I have come to love righteousness and hate sin. My heart strives to be one with God’s, and any offense towards Him is definitely one towards me. Forgive me if the Holy Spirit convicts me so much to be affected by things such as foul language in our society. This just comes to show how much I love and care enough about people that I would want them saved and transformed by the working of the Spirit. It is because of this that I evangelize fervently to lost sinners. I work with the hope that God would transform them in the same way He transformed me. That is the only way a depraved heart can ever be cleansed and turned towards righteous conduct. We truly need the righteousness of Christ to revive our dead selves.
Let us continue to pray for the welfare of the industry, and for the salvation of actors.
THE BATTLE FOR THE BEGINNING
by John MacArthur
Let us pray for the salvation of these three stars this week:
1. Tom Cruise
2. Hayden Panetierre
3. Steven Spielberg
WHAT GOOD IS GOD?
by Philip Yancey
Category: Christian Inspiration
Many sinful trends are glorified in our movies, TV shows, and commercials these days. Cursing. Fornication. Adultery. Materialism. Pride. Idolatry. Slander. But one of the vices that is most overlooked, and one that constantly bugs me, is the use of the Lord’s name in vain. Examples include “Oh G*d!”, “Oh my G*d!”, “Jesus Chr*st!”, and “Oh L*rd!”, whether it is used to express disgust, as a joke, as a figure of speech.
Many people, and even Christians, may not see this as particularly problematic because it has become so overdone. It is as normal now as lying and having sex before marriage. Though blasphemy may seem like merely a slang or a “harmless expression,” the Bible deems it as a very serious sin. It is a violation of the Third Commandment, and Scripture has quite a few things to say about such trangressions.
Exodus 20:7 from the Old Testament declares: “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.” Matthew 12:36 from the New Testament also states, “I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the Day of Judgment.”
Yes, blaspheming, or using God’s name in vain, is deadly. It’s even worse than using the F-word or the S-word, even though people ironically use it as a last option, rather than the F-word, to express disgust. Such people fall into a deadly trap. The Bible warns that blasphemers – as well as murderers, haters, idolaters, fornicators, and thieves – will stand in judgment before God and end up in the lake of fire for defiling the Lord’s good and holy name.
Yet hope still exists for those willing to make a change of heart. When Jesus was sacrificed on Calvary, He took the punishment of all humanity’s crimes – even blasphemy – onto Himself so believer’s wouldn’t have to be held guilty anymore for such sins. If we have repented and have been saved by the Holy Spirit, then we have moved out of the realm of condemnation and into vindication. Because of this, we must llive in respect and fear of our great Lord. We should honor His commandments not out of obligation or grudgery, but out of gratitude for the terrible fate He saved us from. John 15:14 and 1 John 5:3 illustrates that true love is demonstrated in keeping God’s commandments. That is how we truly worship God. It may take much self-sacrifice on our part, but it is what we should be aiming for as maturing Christians.
Though blasphemy may plague the entirety of media, we do not need to lose of hope or give into what seems unchangeable. We can still stand up to Hollywood’s antics and express our disgust at their improper use of God’s name. If you are bothered by blasphemy in movies and TV shows as much as I am, I encourage you to write to the production studios with your concerns: http://www.hollywoodandgod.com/. This website lists producers and movie studios of all kinds in Los Angeles. It is dedicated entirely to the purpose of writing to the Hollywood higher-uppers with our requests.
Be aware that blasphemy is not limited to PG-13 or R-rated projects. It is even used in G-rated shows on Disney and Nickelodeon! It just shows how hard Satan is working to infiltrate the minds of naive children and lead them away from the salvation of the Lord to eternal damnation. We can write to these TV studios as well to express our concerns for the products and for our children. You may not think that your actions would make a difference, but let me tell you that it would. With much prayer and a handful of common people working towards the same goal, Hollywood can definitely listen to its audience. It will be a wise thing to do if they do not desire their TV shows and movies to be boycotted.
Let us fight the good fight together, and clean up the language of Hollywood for God’s glory. Let us also be mindful with our words as well in our everyday lives, so we may be an impeccable witness to lost sinners around us.
by Timothy Keller
Category: Christian Living
Let us pray for the salvation of these three celebrities this week:
1. Christian Bale
2. Victoria Justice
3. Bennett Miller
What does this Ten Commandment coin have in common with actor David Boreanaz? Probably nothing much. One is of metal while the other is of flesh. One represents total righteousness while the other does not. One bears the gospel message (on the other side) while the other may possibly not. Having sensed this possibility, I saw fit to make sure that the coin and the actor have something in common: a shared ownership with each other so the two may be one in bearing witness to the gospel in their bodies.
While working on an episode of the TV show Bones on April 15, 2008, I met David at the craft service station outside the diner set on the 20th Century Fox Studios lot. As he was munching on some pasta, I was able to get his attention with a brief greeting. I wanted to get the gospel message to the actor while the brief opportunity was available. So I handed him a gospel tract in the form of the Ten Commandments coin, as depicted above.
“What is it?,” the actor asked curiously.
I replied, “Oh, it’s a coin with the Ten Commandments on it. It has a good message.”
“Ah, Ten Commandments. Thank you very much.”
With that, Mr. Boreanaz pocketed the coin and walked back to set. I don’t know whether he read the message on the coin later on or if it impacted his spiritual stance. But it’s always an easy, if not fun, way to get the gospel message across to someone if they are on the run. And if the Lord God is really working on your side, the gospel tract alone can bring the recipient to salvation. It has happened before in the past, and continues to happen sporadically in this day and age.
As evangelist Ray Comfort demonstrated in his Season 2 Way of the Master titled Gospel Tracts, you can reach sinners in multiple ways. Try open air preaching like the apostles did in their days. If you can’t open air preach, then start up a conversation with someone and share the gospel message with them. If you can’t talk to someone, then hand them a tract as they are on the move. If you can’t hand a tract to someone, leave it somewhere random so someone can pick it up and read it. We must take advantage of every opportunity God gives us to share the message of eternal life with the world around us.
Tracts can a huge difference in the process. It is one of many mediums God blessed us with in this century to spread the gospel across to a lost sinner. Back in the old days, Christians didn’t have the printing press or media to afford them such pleasures of spreading the gospel rapidly, effectively, and creatively. Now that we do have such, evangelism has been made all the more exciting, with new novelties giving us new opportunities and options to work with.
If you want to know where to find this Ten Commandment coin, it is one of the unique tracts sold in the Living Waters Ministry Store: http://www.livingwaters.com/. You can order them, get one for yourself, and pass them out to people you meet everyday. They would surely serve as great icebreakers to start conversations with unbelievers.
So get some coins and start the good news to others. Someday you might run into a David Boreanaz yourself! In such case, you need to have your lucky coins ready! In the meantime, let us pray for the salvation of David himself. Let us pray that he will reborn with the Holy Spirit and will be a faithful soul winner in tinsel town to God’s glory!
by Randy Alcorn
This week, let us pray for the salvation of these three celebrities:
1. Brad Pitt
2. Rachel McAdams
3. David Fincher
>In most every movie, television show, or commercial you get booked on in Hollywood, you can always expect blasphemies, cursing, boasting, and pride to be part of the professional environment. It’s pretty much the norm, even if the show is a kid’s Barney type of a production.
I worked on the Nickelodeon show Fresh Beat Band (a kid’s show) about 7 or 8 times in the past. I would expect that in such cases, the cast and crew would put on their best behavior in respecting the spirit of the innocent TV show. But every time (when the cameras were not rolling), I pretty much heard the cast members and crew using the Lord’s name in vain and blurting out other cuss words, even in the presence of little kids on set! Add to this the extras and crew bragging out their sinful lifestyles, reveling in their tattoos, and reading horoscopes, you pretty much have an idea of how far Satan’s influence goes in tinsel town.
Even these kid’s shows are not immune to such acts that characterize the more raunchy type of Hollywood productions. Even these men and women who put on a “good face” for the national audience on screen display their sinful conducts when the cameras are not rolling. Sadly, it just affirms the truth of Scripture, that no man is righteous in this world (Romans 3:10). We are all slaves to sinful conduct, and rightly deserve our eternal judgment from God. This is why God’s grace is so amazing and all the more needed for our lives.
Pray for me, that I will not fall into temptation. Pray also for the people in Hollywood, especially the cast and crew on Fresh Beat Band. Pray for their salvation, and for the Lord to change their hearts with the Holy Spirit so their good morals on the TV screen would more match those of their real lives.