I was sorry to hear this morning that two of the spiritual heroes (Nate and Steve Saint) in the movie End of the Spear were played by Chad Allen, view a homosexual activist. I just finished reading the story upon which this movie was based. I was very inspired by the lives of Jim Elliot, discount Nate Saint, and the three other young missionaries who gave up their lives so that Christ could be proclaimed and preached to a barbaric Ecuadorian tribe. But to picture Chad Allen as Nate Saint is not a mental association I want to draw on when I come to remember what Nate Saint did for the sake of Christ. Too often we only remember what we see on screen. Chad Allen is not who I want to remember when I think of Nate Saint. So for the time being, I will bypass watching this film so that I can protect the memories I have of Nate Saint and his fellow missionaries.
Aside from casting Chad Allen in the role of Nate and Steve Saint, I understand that Christ was never mentioned once in the film. How is this possible? How can the portrayal of these missionaries’ experience with the Auca Indians not mention Christ? The only reason they went to the Auca Indians in the first place was to present Christ to them as Lord and Savior. How could the film makers miss such a point? Unbelievable!
Here are some other running comments on the movie. I got several of them off the internet this morning (January 24th, 2006).
Jerry McClain….Grammy nominee for his Gold Record Recording of the Theme from Happy Days…..Angel Award winner with wife, Susanne for Talk-Show hosting Happy Days with Jerry &Susanne Focus on The Family Covenant Award winner for autobiographical Book “HAPPY DAYS &DARK NIGHTS” …..30 year member of The Television Academy (Emmy Awards) and The Recording Academy (Grammy Awards)
I enjoyed the entertainment value of the movie, END OF THE SPEAR—in spite of the fact that the Movie’s message is greatly watered-down….However 24 hours after I saw the 1:45 minute feature film at the Hastings Theater in Pasadena with over 200 other patrons (mostly from local churches)…the news broke that the main character in the Production produced by EVERY TRIBE ENTERTAINMENT….is in fact Gay-Activist Actor Chad Allen, who is openly antagonistic of Christianity….or anything remotely Christian….Nate Saint, the missionary portrayed by HOMOSEXUAL Allen…would turn over in his grave at the thought of being portrayed by someone whose core-beliefs are absolutely opposite of this brave missionary who gave his life in the jungle of Ecuador over 50 years ago……A telephone and e-mail poll indicated that over 85% of the people who viewed “Spear” this past weekend would not have attended the movie had they known that Chad Allen was A Gay Activist……
‘End of the Spear’: missions buffeted by U.S. culture war
By: Art Toalston
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–“End of the Spear,” a film opening in theaters nationwide Jan. 20, recounts one of the most extraordinary chapters in the modern missionary movement.
Yet it has become an unexpected example of the nation’s culture war, with an actor who is a homosexual activist playing its lead character.
The film’s release marks the 50th anniversary of the Jan. 8, 1956, killing of Nate Saint, Jim Elliot and three other American missionaries by spear-wielding tribesmen in the Ecuadorian jungle.
The story continued when one of the missionaries’ sisters, Rachel Saint, and one of their widows, Elisabeth Elliot, subsequently lived among the tribesmen, helping kindle faith among those who had cast the spears and others in the pervasively violent culture. Elliot chronicled her experiences in “Through Gates of Splendor,” which remains a classic among books on missions.
Nate Saint’s son, Steve Saint, who was 5 when his father was killed, has made regular visits to tribesmen over the years — and found an amazing bond with the one who speared his dad, a man named Mincaye now in his mid-70s. And Steve Saint’s son, Jesse, and his family presently live among the tribe.
“When the killings occurred, it shook the entire Christian world and beyond,” Wayne Atcheson, admissions manager for the Christian Writers Guild, wrote in an e-mail to friends. “I was 13 and remember it well. Only God knows of the thousands who were influenced through their courageous effort, who committed their lives to missionary and fulltime Christian service. Only God knows of the millions who have come to faith in Christ through these men who were willing to risk and give their lives as martyrs….
“No doubt, this is the most powerful missionary story of the 20th century,” Atcheson wrote.
“If you talk to someone who was a believer at the time, it had the same effect as other events such as Kennedy’s assassination — people remember where they were when they heard the story,” wrote Jason Janz, assistant pastor of South Sheridan Baptist Church in Denver, at SharperIron, his Internet web log and forum focusing on “news and ideas from a Christian, biblical, fundamentalist worldview.”
“I heard someone at a mission’s conference say that the greatest flood of American missionaries to land on foreign soil did so after the deaths of these young men,” Janz continued. “… Who hasn’t heard Elliot’s motto, ‘He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose’?”
Janz, however, is among a number of Christians who have questioned the casting of homosexual actor and activist Chad Allen for the roles of both Nate Saint and Steve Saint in End of the Spear.
The film’s lead producer, Mart Green, producer/writer Bill Ewing and director Jim Hanon issued a three-paragraph statement to Baptist Press concerning Allen, whose career credits include one of the lead roles in “Dr. Quinn: Medicine Woman”:
“We are the filmmakers of End of the Spear. We cast Chad Allen because he had the best audition of anyone else by far. We know that the character in the film and the actor are not the same. If as a film company we could only work with people who were completely sanctified, then the film would never have been made. We do not agree with Chad over homosexuality. End of the Spear is not about Chad Allen, but rather it’s about remarkable people who lived their faith against all odds, and dared to reach out at the cost of their lives.
“The discussion over sin and working with sinners has been in the body of Christ from the beginning. We are glad that our lives are not being compared with Nate Saint. We don’t believe we would stack up.
“The story is greater than the storytellers and it would be an enormous disservice if great stories of faith like this one were reduced to the human shortcomings of the filmmakers. We invite you to experience End of the Spear and then judge for yourself the message you are left with.”
Mart Green, founder of the Every Tribe Entertainment Company that undertook the $30 million production, is the son of one of the nation’s most generous donors to Christian causes, David Green, founder of the nationwide Hobby Lobby chain.
Steve Saint has been a consultant to the film company, which is donating half of any proceeds to benefit the Waodani (who had been misidentified for years as Auca Indians) and other indigenous peoples. Saint led Mart Green and others into the Ecuadorian jungle to ask the tribe’s permission to film their story.
The producers have said they were not aware of Chad Allen’s homosexuality when they gave him the role of Steve Saint in the film but decided to stick with him once they were told of his sexual practices.
Saint, who has befriended Allen, hopes that the film will help people see “that all of us have tragic, shattered relationships in our lives and that God is the one who can put them back together in incredible ways.”
“If Mincaye and I can be very close friends, be family, love each other, and my kids and my grandchildren can love Mincaye and his family — if that can happen out of the tragic relationship that we started with — then maybe it’ll give people hope that their strained relationships can also be reconciled and that, better yet, God can be part of the answer,” Saint said in an interview with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association’s Decision magazine.
Saint, who has written a book likewise titled “End of the Spear” (Tyndale), also has underscored the approach of telling, for the first time, the story from the Waodanis’ vantage point.
Still, though, the culture war casts a cloud over End of the Spear.
Janz, on his website, noted that Chad Allen, who plays Steve Saint in the film, was a proponent for “gay marriage” on “Larry King Live” the night President Bush announced his support for a constitutional amendment banning “same-sex marriage”; he has been on the cover of one of the leading homosexual magazines, The Advocate; and he has been featured in a production of “Corpus Christi,” a stridently Christ-mocking stage play.
Janz lamented that End of the Spear “will by far be one of [Allen’s] biggest splashes on the screen. No doubt, his fan base will explode, especially among Christian kids. Every email that is sent from evangelical teens will go through his hands. [Allen has said he personally receives all e-mails sent to his fan website.] You cannot go to Chad’s website and spend any time there without seeing his homosexuality on display. At several points, kids can learn about gay publications, online magazines, and support groups for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans-gendered teens.”
Janz suggested that the “Christian film-making community [should] come up with a code of ethics that will show the difference between a Christian film company and a secular film company. If you are going to ask for our loyalty and support, you need to be willing to hear our concerns and let us know that you will protect our beliefs, not muddy the waters.”
Janz also stated that the ridiculous casting of Chad Allen for Nate Saint is like making a movie on the life story of Mother Theresa….starring Madonna……………
Janz also suggested that people who want to see End of the Spear “wait until it comes out on video and have lots of people over to see it in their home. That way, Every Tribe Entertainment doesn’t get as much income.”
Saint is accustomed to controversy, having heard periodic criticisms of how his father and the other missionaries approached the Waodani
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If you are not sure what the Bible teaches on homosexuality, I wrote a series of articles on the subject. On my web site www.tmoments.com, go to the article section in the teachable moment’s section called homosexuality.