Jesus Christ Died So You Can… Make Movies and Entertain the Goats

Patricia King has made no secret of the fact that she wants God’s media army (which is completely unscriptural) to rise up and take over the entertainment industry and begin making movies.  In the video below, you’ll see a promotion for the Pheonix International Christian Film Festival being held in August 2010.  After watching the video, read below what Charles H. Spurgeon had to say about entertainment in church.

Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats?

Charles Haddon Spurgeon
(1834-1892)

 

An evil is in the professed camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence, that the most shortsighted can hardly fail to notice it during the past few years. It has developed at an abnormal rate, even for evil. It has worked like leaven until the whole lump ferments. The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them.

From speaking out as the Puritans did, the church has gradually toned down her testimony, then winked at and excused the frivolities of the day. Then she tolerated them in her borders. Now she has adopted them under the plea of reaching the masses.

My first contention is that providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in the Scriptures as a function of the church. If it is a Christian work, why did not Christ speak of it? “Go ye into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15). That is clear enough. So it would have been if He had added, “and provide amusement for those who do not relish the gospel.” No such words, however, are to be found. It did not seem to occur to him.

Then again, “He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some evangelists; and some pastors and teachers .., for the work of the ministry” (Eph. 4:11-12). Where do entertainers come in? The Holy Spirit is silent concerning them. Were the prophets persecuted because they amused the people or because they refused? The concert has no martyr roll.

Again, providing amusement is in direct antagonism to the teaching and life of Christ and all his apostles. What was the attitude of the church to the world? Ye are the salt” (Matt. 5:13), not the sugar candy—something the world will spit out not swallow. Short and sharp was the utterance, “Let the dead bury their dead” (Matt. 8:22) He was in awful earnestness.

Had Christ introduced more of the bright and pleasant elements into his mission, he would have been more popular when they went back, because of the searching nature of His teaching. I do not hear him say, “Run after these people Peter and tell them we will have a different style of service tomorrow, something short and attractive with little preaching. We will have a pleasant evening for the people. Tell them they will be sure to enjoy it. Be quick Peter, we must get the people somehow.” Jesus pitied sinners, sighed and wept over them, but never sought to amuse them.

In vain will the Epistles be searched to find any trace of this gospel of amusement! Their message is, “Come out, keep out, keep clean out!” Anything approaching fooling is conspicuous by its absence. They had boundless confidence in the gospel and employed no other weapon.

After Peter and John were locked up for preaching, the church had a prayer meeting but they did not pray, “Lord grant unto thy servants that by a wise and discriminating use of innocent recreation we may show these people how happy we are.” If they ceased not from preaching Christ, they had not time for arranging entertainments. Scattered by persecution, they went everywhere preaching the gospel. They turned the world upside down (Acts 17:6). That is the only difference! Lord, clear the church of all the rot and rubbish the devil has imposed on her, and bring us back to apostolic methods.

Lastly, the mission of amusement fails to effect the end desired. It works havoc among young converts. Let the careless and scoffers, who thank God because the church met them halfway, speak and testify. Let the heavy laden who found peace through the concert not keep silent! Let the drunkard to whom the dramatic entertainment has been God’s link in the chain of the conversion, stand up! There are none to answer. The mission of amusement produces no converts. The need of the hour for today’s ministry is believing scholarship joined with earnest spirituality, the one springing from the other as fruit from the root. The need is biblical doctrine, so understood and felt, that it sets men on fire.  (Source)

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25 Responses to Jesus Christ Died So You Can… Make Movies and Entertain the Goats

  1. George says:

    Patricia King is not a Christians but a Sorceress and Todd Bentley and John Arnott and all those idiots in the Third Wave are deceivers and fools

  2. Anne says:

    Wow, it’s hard to believe these words were spoken over 100 years ago – they’re so timely.

  3. Marie says:

    I heard an ad on the radio a few weeks ago – a young, chipper sounding female voice asking, “Do you dream of being famous? An actor? Modeling career? You can act or model – FOR GOD!” My 13-year-old daughter and I chorused, “For GOD?!?” The ad was for some sort of “talent agency” – I wasn’t interested enough to catch the name or check them out – but they’re marketing themselves as a “Christian” talent agency.

    I am not making this up.

  4. Brian of the Hil People says:

    “The mission of amusement produces no converts.”

    Amen.

    It just gives the lost warm fuzzies on the broad road to destruction.

  5. Bill says:

    Let us pray that God would raise up more men of conviction like Spurgeon.

  6. ian vincent says:

    Movies with a strong convicting gospel message/theme would be excellent. As well as ones which portray the true Christian life in the context of the modern world. Movies could be made which teach believers the NT. 5 stars to such.

    The Gospel of John movie is EXCELLENT.

    Just bcos it’s a Christian movie doesn’t necessarily mean it’s sole purpose is to entertain, or that it has to be shown in church.

    http://ianvincent.wordpress.com/

  7. Chris says:

    Now im not defending Pat…King nor im i against Spurgeon…

    But look at the Movie The Passion of Christ! YAAAAAAAAaaaaa
    What fruits did that movie produce?
    Entertainment is not of the WORLD!
    Movies are not of the WORLD!

    Its all about the content.

  8. Mike A says:

    I often see programs designed to “get them in the door”. I understand why some would want to appear less “churchy”, but I have always wondered at what expense does it come?

  9. Annunk says:

    I’ve got a question on this one. What about Christian based movies such as The Cross and the Switchblade 1969 – about David Wilkerson in NYC. And also the Christian movies of today?

    I was 12 years old when I saw The Cross and the Switchblade – it definitely made an impression on the way I ended up – is why I ask.

    Or is that a separate thread?

    RE: Entertainment style PREACHING, there’s no argument for that at all. The only people who are really getting enjoyment out of these entertainment style services, are going to SEE the signs and wonders and really feeling like they’re getting their money’s worth when they go.

    Their agrument? “Well, God said that an evil generation seeks after signs and wonders, but that was THEN and this is NOW. It’s God’s way of PROVING Himself to this unbelieving generation.” <– I've had more than one of these 'attendees' tell me this exact thing.

  10. Plotinus says:

    C: While I have no interest in PK nor this particular “festival,” I do not agree with Charles. There are several examples spread throughout scripture where we are called to celebrate, party, dance etc. Jesus did speak to “amusement.” He not only spoke, he participated (weddings, big dinners, etc.). I’m not going to get all “footloose” on you, but it’s a sad day when I, as a Christian, can’t enjoy or participate in the arts.

    While I’m critical of silliness, I know and have heard of people being witnessed to by film and song. I’ll make you a list.

    Marie: Yes, that sounds silly and a grounded in marketed greed.
    Brian: I’m guessing there have been over 500 videos posted on this blog (media) and several works of art displayed. The video used as evidence (artifact) has no distinguishable properties from a movie (fiction or otherwise) used as witness. warm fuzzies or not.

    CP was simply responding to something of which he was not familiar, nor qualified.

  11. ian vincent says:

    Even though it had a lot of catholic elements, the basic facts of Jesus dreadful suffering, death and resurrection and His claim to be the only Savior, were really shoved in the world’s face: just shoved the blood and gore in their face without apology. I rejoiced in that.

    http://ianvincent.wordpress.com/

  12. Barry Boyd says:

    It is a sad day we live in when preaching the word of God 2 the unsaved is not enough.The word of God is annointed and all powerful when preached by God fearing men and women of God.The gospel being preached 2 day by most ministries is watered down and weak.That is why there are so many gimmicks and whacked out,weirdo stuff attached 2 it by man.They need 2 find a way 2 attract the lost and keep the sheep entertained.The truth is this,what they preach is excatly what Paul spoke about,another gospel.There is no power in it,if there was than multitudes would be coming to Christ.Where is this great revival they have been harping about for the last 15 plus yrs?Jesus said there would be a great falling away in the last days,falling away from what?The truth,the truth Jesus preached and gave his life for,a falling away from sound doctrine,embracing the teaching and the doctrine of demons,having their ears tickled,surrounding them selves with preachers and teachers who preach and teach what they want 2 hear,need I go on?We dont have 2 look very far 2 c how far christanity has fallen.2 things,they have forsaken the living water and have dug wells 4 themselves.Most of what we see in christanity 2 day is tainted and poisonous.The hour is late and discernment is so needed in the body of Christ.If we r 2 escape all this madness we must have the discernment of the Lord.These people will only wax worse as the end draws near.Perhaps the Lord will be merciful 2 them and some will be saved.

  13. Brian of the Hil People says:

    When did amusement ever convert a soul?

    I stand by my comment.

  14. janejolene says:

    Forgive me, but I have an unsettled gut feeling about the Passion of the Christ movie. Content is NOT everything. This movie portrayed some truth mixed with a dramatic pained Catholic pagan world view. And to think so many Christians jumped on board to make it such a “success”. I’ll tell you what: Mr. whats-his-name producer… got rich, that’s what. And the fruit of his life says it all. Didn’t he leave his wife and several children a year or so ago for a young model? Where do you think his heart was/is? What do you think was the real message that came out of that movie? We need to be wise, sober, discerning… as we are instructed to do.

    So… this girl in the ad… she wants to “hook up” with all those youth she is seducing to come to this festival? (Saucy smile… “You will SOooo want to join me!”) Can’t you just picture that video shoot? “Um, wait… you need to look more confident… smile more, look straight into the camera. And you know… you need to flirt a little bit… chin up, lift your eyebrows a little when you say… and really make them WANT to hook up with you. We want people to respond to this!” You don’t think this was super-produced? And THIS is in the spirit of humility, with a gentle and quiet spirit that has such worth in God’s eyes? These things are so blatant it is not even funny. But we’ve gotten so used to this stuff for so long. We need to reread God’s Word and remind ourselves of what God’s heart is for His people. Then things (ads, movies, sermons, music) become so much more clear.

  15. Bill Fawcett says:

    “Oh my Gosh!”

  16. ian vincent says:

    Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of rivalry, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice,
    (Php 1:15-18)

    http://ianvincent.wordpress.com/

  17. David North says:

    Not endorsing or commenting on Patricia King’s motives or agenda but there is no problem with using the media and even creative media to point people towards Jesus. the content and motive are everything-the method is secondary.

    God used a book, Jesus told parables, prophets received dreams and visions, early church founders wrote and sang poetic hymns, Jesus Freaks used music and street performances…you get the idea.

    “Entertainment” is sometimes information. Fables, myths, plays and stories all can point to truths, morality and greater issues–even to God.

    The rush to point a finger at things “we wouldn’t do” is sometimes rooted in personal religious biases. I know a Baptist minister here who told me that it’s alright during worship to tap your feet to the singing and music but if your heels come off the floor it’s fleshly carnality.

    Hmmmm…heels on floor, worship but heels lift off, carnality. Such a view needs no other comment. In like manner, the rush to point and shout, AHA! Here can be the very same sourish judgment.

    Let Aspiring Christian filmmakers make their films and then let’s see if they point towards Chrisr before labeling all efforts as “flesh”. Some may very well not be.

  18. nickleback says:

    Sorry, you couldn’t pay me enough money to sit through a Christian funded, written and directed movie. More often then not the script wouldn’t be able to hold water vapor, let alone a plot, they tend to be done on less then what I make in a year in retail and the acting…oh don’t even get me started.

    Don’t get me wrong, I think the Church needs to claim back the arts in some sense, but being a ‘christian’ model?! Please. You’re far better off being a model in the modeling industry who is Christian and holds fast to their moral standards.

    @JaneJolene – I think you are misinterpreting the context of the promotional ad – the girl in the ad is making a quick video to shove up on her facebook page, which will only be viewable to friends. By ‘hook up’ she means ‘meet up’. If you think a smile is a signal of flirting I feel sorry for you. Also flirting isn’t a bad thing, in the right context. Lord knows us males are as thick as bricks sometimes and so yes we do appreciate it when a girl we’re interested in flirts with us, smiles when she sees us, touches us lightly on the arm, and – SHOCK HORROR! – girls like it when a guy does it back. Also Mel Gibson is Catholic, so we already know where is heart is at :p Passion Of The Christ was a fantastic, far better portrayal of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ then any timelife series.

  19. janejolene says:

    Yes, I was too harsh on this young girl in the ad. I admit it. And that was wrong. I have been convicted of that for a couple days. I was only trying to inspire some thought here… What I am responding to is much deeper than a cute girl trying to garner attention for her pet interest (and that is all that it was to her most likely)… She does not even realize the lap of deception she is sitting in, and promoting here. That is what concerns me most. This media festival or film festival… is filled with people who can not be trusted. False prophets. Wayward ones who are decieving masses of youth (and adults I might add) into something that goes well beyong the gospel. It all looks good from the passerby, until you look into the nest. I want to walk in, and encourage careful discerning, “looking into the nest”, before we commend or defend such. With the groups of Christians who employ new age experiences- with Christian terminology, those who have storehouses FILLED with false prophets, AND those who promote the cult Catholic religion (Mel Gibson- who has no power to live it). We need to call a spade a spade. I appreciate this forum that can handle debate such as this, as we encourage one another toward truth. Do you know how many new testament warnings there are to the church about false teachers, deception, and false prophets? You might be surprised. This was an issue God wanted His people to GET. Deception was going to come around again and again… and He did not want His own caught up in it. We must discern at all times- everything….

    ps: Yes, I admit smiling is not flirting. Please don’t get me wrong. :> We all need to smile more! BUT let’s be honest. A thoughtfully administered smile, with the heart awry, often leads on the pathway of the fallen… Being female I know a little of the heart of a female. And there are a lot of unsaved, manipulative females out there who are smiling. Men, be wise!

  20. Jessy S. says:

    And I agree completely with David North. Jesus did use parables to tell stories. All of us do so all the time. I wouldn’t mind a story with a teaching element at the end, but that teaching element is usually what wraps up the entire storyline for that movie or TV show. For example, the Carman music video “Mission 3:16″ is about a super spy that is on the mission to carry out the main mission Jesus told us to give and that is preach the gospel. The video ends with John 3:16 set to song. The message to Christians is to do everything you can to get out the gospel message while the unsaved get an entertaining music video and the message that God loves them he sent Jesus to be their savior.

    However, Carman’s “The Champion” takes the cake. There he envisions Jesus and Satan in a epic boxing match. In that song, Jesus is knocked out and killed by Satan. However the 10 count is done backwords and is done to prove that Jesus is the victor over all evil.

    What I don’t like is entertainment for entertainment’s sake where a church might do a movie night and show somewhere along the line of American Pie.

  21. Karen Butler says:

    But it was Spurgeon who said, “Get them rolling in the aisles, and then kick them in the teeth.” Sounds like it was very entertaining to hear his sermons. I keep one of his devotionals by my bedside– it is beautifully written, and once it inspired me to write a poem. I think there is a place in the church for story and satire and poetry and ways of communicating the gospel that are not just didactic. The Bible itself is fully one third the most glorious poetry ever written, and the stories told in Kings, for example, are models of gripping narrative.

    Spurgeon also is making apples/oranges comparisons here. The offices of the church are not necessarily to limit the vocations its members. There are legitimate callings in Gods kingdom to be filmmakers, musicians, playwrights, poets. I am a Christian writer who does not seek just to entertain, but to “go under the radar, where the knowledge of God exists,” as Max Maclean said about his craft.

    When I write, I feel His pleasure. I do it for His glory. I hope I bring light into the darkness, and edify the body. Those are not trivial pursuits.

  22. Karen Butler says:

    Also, I agree with you Chrystal, that the “Passion of the Christ” is thinly disguised Catholic propaganda. I see very little of the Gospel in it. Most pagans were frankly bewildered by it. But it serves as a good example of the genre “torture porn.” None of the Gospels go into such gory detail about the crucifixion. I believe the Father knew our prurient interest in those kind of things, and veiled his Son’s sufferings from our gawkings.

    I wrote about it at Easter, here: http://thenface2face.wordpress.com/2010/04/02/two-of-a-kind-the-christ-of-the-passion-and-the-parent-of-the-pearls/.

  23. Marie says:

    Hey Karen!

    I just read your blog post and commented there. I could not agree with you more! Seriously. My husband and I talked about this very issue. I watched the movie myself on DVD; he and I were going to watch it together (he was curious because there were 2 very well-known Bulgarian actors in it; my husband is from Bulgaria), but then we didn’t bc it would have been wildly inappropriate in fron of our kids. I was deeply disturbed # 1 because “Passion” completely missed the whole point of the Gospel; #2 it was unbiblical (Catherine Emmerich’s “visions”); but #3 and most importantly it played into human nature’s sickest, basest instincts (which do not magically disappear when one becomes a Christian). Then the (Christian) media sanctified this prurient interest. You were 100% correct in what you said. I just wish I had written it. :)

    Everyone, go read Karen’s article at the link above.

    Oh, BTW, thanks for quoting from that Lou Priolo book – I was just signed to the same publishing house that released it! My book is about biblical repentance from eating disorders.

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