Chapter 12 What should Christians do about Hollywood and the media’s push for the acceptance of the LGBT agenda?

 

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil… for the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness,”… “particularly for men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” Romans 1:18 & Isaiah 5:20 (rbk)

This chapter is 35  based on verses in  16  passages of Scripture

Notes

  1. As stated in the introduction, when using the term Hollywood, I am not referring to the city, or even the people that live in this Southern California city, but to those who make up the entertainment industry in this area. In particular, those who run counter to what the Bible teaches about homosexuality, transgenderism, and many other styles and ways of living. Summarily, Hollywood mostly stands for worldly, unbiblical, and sin-laden values.
  2. All Scriptures in parenthesis appear in my book, Revealing God’s Design with Love, or can be looked up in any Bible.

The 16th chapter of the book of Revelation describes where Armageddon will take place in the Jezreel Valley in Israel. It is the last battle fought in the world before Christ returns. This valley is historically famous because so many past battles between nations and powers were fought there. The reason for this is the valley sat in the middle of the main trade routes that linked two of the most populated and significant areas of the ancient world. Whoever ruled this valley had a strong influence on the people of that day, especially in advocating what was believed. Solomon, one of Israel’s greatest kings, ruled this valley for an era, which made Israel not only very wealthy but also influential as it controlled the flow of ideologies.

In a parallel way, the entertainment industry (Hollywood) and the media of today are like those who controlled the Jezreel Valley in ancient days. What they advocate through their films, TV productions, talk shows, internet, music, and newscasts (real or fake), has made them wealthy. It has also made them renown and amazingly effective in influencing world values.

To stand against Hollywood and the media and what they promote can be very challenging and even humiliating. These powerful industries are filled with many who are popular, physically attractive, talented, and well-spoken. Their incredible communication skills alone can easily defeat an opponent. They also have significant control of many venues to which most of us are drawn, like radio, the movies, TV broadcasts, music, and the internet. Consequently, Christians who stand up for God’s Word against Hollywood and the media on issues like homosexuality or transgender change can easily become outdebated and overwhelmed, if not adequately prepared.

However, with a good deal of faith, courage, knowledge of God’s Word,  and an understanding of the strategies Hollywood and the media employ, there is hope. Not only to survive Hollywood’s assaults but to win all of the battles God has for us to win. After all, did the Lord not say we will overcome the world?

You are from God… and have overcome them; because greater is the Lord who is in you than he who is in the world. I John 4:4

The entertainment industry is not only smart and motivated but absorbed with the pursuit of fame, recognition, and glory. This produces a community that becomes self-centered, prideful, and egotistical over time. Only a few of the famous and acknowledged have escaped this outcome. And to you, I say, “Way to go!”

Arguably, the Academy Awards symbolize Hollywood’s grandest achievements and provide a view into its true character. Those who attend the Academy Awards night typically dress up and project themselves as the most beautiful, intelligent, wonderful, and desirable people in the world. Why? They want to be in the spotlight, to be admired, adored, respected, talked about, and even worshiped, if possible.

At the end of the awards evening, individual pursuits for fame and glory expire. Some win Oscars, but most don’t. The winners are remembered for a few weeks but soon forgotten by most who watched them that evening. Test yourself on this: do you remember who won the best actor or actress award two years ago or how about just this last year? Who were the runners-up? Do you recollect any of them? The point is that what Hollywood does is short-lived, forgotten, and fleeting because its pursuits are mostly focused only on its own recognition, glory, and wealth. The Bible strongly speaks against such pursuits, because they will destroy the soul (Ezekiel 16:15-17; Matthew 6:19-21, 24; Matthew 7:13-14). Yet many people let Hollywood and its celebrities and representatives tell us what is true and what to believe. What a tragedy: the least qualified teach us, through worldly glitter, what is good/best in life!

I still watch the Academy Awards each year, but I view it differently now to lessen the objectionable or irrelevant portions. I record it first and then watch it after about an hour into the program. That way I can fast forward through the emcee’s off-color jokes and comments, the political rants of the winners, the boring acceptance speeches, and, of course, the commercials.

The segment of the program I do like is the Memoriam Tribute. This part of the program is dedicated to those in Hollywood who have passed away during the last year. It is usually very dramatic and emotional, but also short. As important as some of these celebrities were to Hollywood only a few seconds is slotted for each of them. A portrait or short film clip of what they did is about all they get. Of course, there are exceptions for those who were more popular.

The point is that these celebrities are remembered for only a few seconds, or a minute at best, and then they fade away quickly from most of our memories like those who had just won Oscars that evening. What these deceased Hollywood stars advocated or led others to believe during their lifetimes is over, just like the earthly applause and adoration they once pursued. Upon their deaths, they have only one person to impress and gain applause from, and that is God, their creator. And as God said numerous times throughout His written Word, they, like everyone in this world, will be judged according to their faith or lack of it. If they believed in Christ, as God’s only provision for salvation, and repented of their sins, they will be saved. (John 14:6) If they did not, then their accomplishments and self-righteous pronouncements will add to the devastating pain in their judgment.

Most of the Hollywood faithful hold to the belief that homosexuality is normal and completely acceptable. In fact, those who opt for homosexuality or gender change are to be embraced, reassured, and cheered for making such a bold and “honest” choice. Needless to say, Hollywood’s view is quite contrary to God’s Word as shown throughout the Scriptures. (See Leviticus 18:22-24, Judges 19:22-23, I Timothy 1:8-11, and I Corinthians 6:9-11 quoted and referenced below)

God’s Word and His strategies are pretty simple and straightforward and directly communicate what is true about homosexuality as well as other sins. He asks those who believe in Him to follow His directives on these issues as outlined in Scripture and then share these truths with as many as possible. If there is resistance, then we are to apply timely rebukes, reproofs, and exhortations. These should be done according to the Scriptures and the direction of the Holy Spirit, which is given to all believers. All of this is to be done in as a kind, gentle, and loving way as possible. No anger, no antagonism, no mockery, and no degrading sarcasm, just sharing the truth about homosexuality and gender change as Jesus would if He were in our place.

Preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires. II Timothy 4:2-3

God’s bondservant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition. II Timothy 2:22-24

But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart…I Timothy 1:5

In contrast, Hollywood’s strategies are more subtle or sly and often based on manipulation, exploitation, and deception. Hollywood’s first strategy, for instance, is to use their appeal, status, and popularity to win us over to their way of thinking. We should never forget they are not the heroic and loving figures they seem to portray on screen or in their music. In fact, in many cases, they are quite the opposite, having proven this through their multiple marriages, divorces, and affairs. Add to this, their various sexual perversions, drug and alcohol abuses, aborted babies, and suicides, and we have quite a list of questionable character flaws to consider when listening to them.

I know they are not “heroes” by personal experience because my brother was in the entertainment business for many years. During that time, I met and talked with several celebrities, sometimes just for a few minutes and at other times for longer talks over dinner. I was never tempted to follow much of what most of them believed or promoted because, morally, they were simply not very upright. They were intelligent, good-looking, charismatic, and talented, but lacked principle when it came to truthfulness, honor, and integrity. The upshot is that a majority of celebrities, music stars, and even media personalities have proven to be poor examples. Yet, they want us to trust in what they say about homosexuality and gender change. Really! Haven’t they shown they can’t be listened to or trusted by the lives they have lived?

The second strategy of Hollywood is to deaden our senses toward wrongdoing and make things look okay when they are not. Even though the Bible condemns practices like homosexuality, this means nothing to the Hollywood entertainment industry. Without qualms, they saturate many of their films and productions with at least one or more scenes where homosexuality or gender change is presented as normal and acceptable. They hope to normalize these lifestyles which make Christians look intolerant, harsh, and unloving.

They’ve also done this with other issues as well. Look at how they’ve deadened our hearts toward premarital sex, adultery, multiple sex partners, euthanasia, suicide, and recreational drug use. In the past, they were a little more cautious in promoting immoral practices like these. No more, however, for anything goes now in Hollywood. The only time Hollywood backs off to any degree is if they start losing money because of what they are advocating.

The third strategy of Hollywood is to produce stories from the Bible that are somewhat truth-based, which seems admirable but twist the truth in these narratives. They do this for audience appeal, time parameters, or in some cases where a story is too overly spiritual to present. In their revisions, they substitute exaggerated characters, fictional dialogues, and dramatic scenes untrue to the  Biblical account.

When films, TV documentaries, or other similar productions claim to be based on a true story, a great deal of caution needs to be taken before believing what is presented. When I was young, I could hardly wait to see any Hollywood production that involved Biblical characters like Moses, David, and Christ. However, things have changed so much today that I am reluctant to see these types of movies. The only ones I consider watching now are those where I know the producer or director has presented an accurate portrayal of a Biblical account. The internet helps me discern this, but often it comes from the confirmation of others I know are reliable. The bottom line is that what Hollywood has done with many of its truth-based films on the Bible, is also what it does with the LGBT agenda. It takes a basic truth about God’s love and says it’s solely comprised of grace and acceptance. Hollywood then distorts this and concludes that God could therefore never condemn any person or group because of their sexual orientation, nor condemn any other belief or behavior. Many of Hollywood’s Biblically based films, therefore, leave out significant parts of God’s love and twist it to say what they want it to say. His loving discipline and justice, for instance, are often deleted, yet according to the Scripture, these go hand-in-hand with His love, grace, and acceptance.

…Have you forgotten the exhortation which is addressed to you as sons, My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor faint when you are reproved by Him; For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines…It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline? But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Hebrews 12:5-8

Hollywood’s final strategy is to convince us that they practice unconditional love toward the LGBT community. Its version of love, however, is not the unconditional love that the Scriptures teach. Hollywood’s unconditional love says, “I accept you the way you are, and I will not try and change you no matter what. You can do anything, say anything, or be any kind of person you want to be, for I will never reprimand or judge you.” For the LGBT community, this is good news because they have not always been accepted by society. But this brand of unconditional love is nothing more than an enabling kind of love that does not consider the damage that can be done to oneself and others when sins are allowed to run rampant.

Hollywood’s “unconditional love” is like a young girl who struggles with drug addiction until she finally dies of an overdose. Her well-intentioned mother says nothing to criticize what she is doing because she doesn’t want her daughter to feel unloved. The mother pays her daughter’s bills, provides a place for her to live, and accepts her as she is, hoping that this version of unconditional love will somehow triumph. It rarely does! It is not the kind of unconditional love God gives as described in the Bible.

His love goes far beyond this mother’s, or Hollywood’s, as it is not only filled with grace and acceptance but loving discipline, too. In essence, God’s unconditional love means there is nothing He won’t do for any of us, even correcting something we are doing that will destroy ourselves, like homosexuality and other sexual sins can. On top of that, God’ love provides a way (forgiveness and redemption) to help us find freedom from sins like these, along with other sin plaguing us. This is something the enabling mother in this illustration, or Hollywood itself, can and never will provide.

Here is a concluding illustration of God’s love. Wouldn’t you grab a child, a loved one, or a friend, if they were running toward the edge of a cliff that would claim their life if they fell over? Of course, you would! Sad to say though, many of us let those we know and love rush over immoral or spiritual cliffs that God has warned against in the Scriptures: cliffs of homosexuality and other LGBT practices.

Most of this chapter has focused on how to deal with Hollywood’s push for acceptance of homosexuality, gender change, and the LGBT agenda. But what is the media’s (the press, reporters, TV commentators, radio hosts, and journalists) take on these issues?

Much of the media walks arm and arm with Hollywood on the LGBT agenda, believing it is right and natural to be and live this way. Only a few of the more conservative members of the media disagree with this view.

When most of the media attack Christians because of our take on homosexuality, they do it in a way (using their questioning and interview skills) to discredit us. Likely, whatever we say will be taken out of context, criticized, or belittled.  And should Christians keep silent when interviewed then they are tagged as scared, weak, and intolerant. Hence, either way, whether we speak openly and truthfully, or keep silent and quietly pray, we come out on the bottom with the media and those who listen to them.

If there is any solace in this, we should at least rest with the fact that the media does this with just about everyone it interviews or reports on, even the most respected and honored of our leaders. While watching a program the other night where the President was being interviewed on national TV, I could tell he was trying to be careful not to say anything that could be misquoted or taken out of context. I was not a big fan of this President, but he did a very good job talking about the person in question. Later on, as I watched other newscasts of the identical interview,  I could hardly believe it was the same one, because of the way each of these stations manipulated what was said. They totally distorted the President’s answer!

Sad to say, I find that even the evening news, which touts itself as being objective in its reporting tries to sway us toward their particular point of view or political persuasion. Now I look at the news differently, unless the issue is something like the weather. Instead of looking at just one station, I look at several to find a more accurate accounting and view. Therefore, be on the alert for this is the way most of the media are these days, biased, faultfinding, negative, and not always accurate, especially with Christians and their views

Last Thoughts

What can Christians do to counter the influence of Hollywood and the media? First, stop going to R-rated films, and even boycott certain films where homosexuality and other immoral behaviors are presented as normal and acceptable. Hollywood is motivated by the love of fame, love of how they appear to others, but mostly love of money and wealth. If we quit supporting films that are filled with gross language, immoral acts, and anti-Christian themes, then maybe they will change what they put out on the market.

Another way to battle Hollywood influence is to support Christian films, music, and TV programs that integrate good morals into their productions. Most of these productions, if not all, refuse to promote sexually immoral behaviors like adultery, pre-marital sex, open marriages, homosexuality, and gender change because the Bible strongly condemns these practices. In their productions, sex is between a man and a woman, and always reserved for marriage. Same-sex marriages, homosexual affairs, and other like relationships and practices are not endorsed, honored, or accepted in any way shape or form.

A little more aggressive way to fight Hollywood is to alert others when we’ve found that homosexuality or gender change has been included in one of Hollywood’s productions. Tell family members, friends, the church, and neighbors so they can avoid these shows, then encourage them to pass on the same information to others. In short, get the word out.

Use email contacts to spread the news. This can be risky, though, for not all will share our point of view or concern. However, such a step could open up new conversations with others about God and what’s in the Scriptures. When sending out emails, be careful what is written, and always use the Bible to support what is communicated. In my opinion, the best and most powerful emails are those that leave readers with the Scriptures rather than just what we’ve said.

Remember that when we warn others through our emails, we may be contacting some who are struggling with homosexuality or gender change themselves. In respect to this, lace what is expressed with a good measure of thoughtful love, hope and resolve. And don’t be surprised if some email contacts ask to be deleted because of what we’ve shared. Regrettably, this is sometimes the outcome when Christians stand up for God’s truth on tough issues relating to homosexuality.

The last tactic to negate Hollywood’s influence is to refuse to buy from companies that openly support the gay agenda. More and more companies are openly publicizing their support for gays and all those associated with them. For the most part, these companies do this because they think it helps their bottom line. In respect to this, one of my friends went online several months ago and found 379 companies that openly support same-sex marriage. As much as possible, he committed not to buy any products from these companies. His point was that even though his refusal to buy from these companies would have little impact on their profits, at least he was doing something. So, do something!

Scriptural References for Homosexuality and Gender Change

Leviticus 18:22-24 22 You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. 23 Also, you shall not have intercourse with any animal to be defiled with it, nor shall any woman stand before an animal to mate with it; it is a perversion. 24 Do not defile yourselves by any of these things; for by all these the nations which I am casting out before you have become defiled.

Judges 19:22-23 22While they were celebrating, behold, the men of the city, certain worthless fellows, surrounded the house, pounding the door; and they spoke to the owner of the house, the old man, saying, “Bring out the man who came into your house that we may have relations with him.” 23Then the man, the owner of the house, went out to them and said to them, “No, my fellows, please do not act so wickedly; since this man has come into my house, do not commit this act of folly.”

I Timothy 1:8-11 8 But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for the murderers 10and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, 11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.

I Corinthians 6:9-11 9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate [a forerunner to gender change], nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you, but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.