A Response to "Good News for Pedophiles"– Ahhh its actually bad news if you had watched the whole movie


Editors note— this is the text from a comment I recently posted on the Healing Lands through Spiritual Warfare blog. For full text of that post, go here.

As it always is, context is important. The movie you mentioned was Little Miss Sunshine. It was about a little girl in a success-focused family who tries out for a little beauty pagent.The movie is a satire designed to show how obsessed Americans and American culture is with success.

The family in the movie is a messed-up family. The father is a washed-up author and public speaker on the verge of bankrupty even though he has been touring the country with a self-help book on success. The mother is worn-out and tired. The brother (uncle) is struggling with homosexuality and his sliding status as a professor. He once was the top scholar in his field, but has not published anything recently and his chief rival has. The grandfather is struggling with his retirment, boredom, and a general feeling of uselessness. He has picked up a drug habit to pass away the time. The son has taken a vow of silence until he passed an important test, and while the watcher can appreciate his single-minded focus. It is obvious that this devotion is miss-placed and obsessive. The daughter participating in the pagent seems to be the one with the most going for her.

To state the obvious this is a family in need of something to live for. This is a family experiencing a need for something to go right. This is a family very much like ones that I know (both inside and outside the church). The actual message of the movie is that all these hurt people cannot accomplish much apart from one another, but when they come together they find some solace and some comfort. They decide that they do not need success as the world calls it, but do need each other.

The family makes this realization as they watch the phoniness and weirdness that is the Little Miss Sunshine pagent. The final scene in which the daughter does a mock striptease is meant to be awkard and is meant to cause the type of reaction. The underlying message is that what the daughter is doing is actually what the other contestants are doing. That is “whoring” herself for love and attention.

In this sense the picture of a beauty contestant stripping is a parable meant to spark digust and reveal the hidden darkness of man’s heart. In this attempt I can appreciate what the director is attempting to do. I may not agree with all of his beliefs and opnions. I may not approve of his cinematic choices, but to paint him as an out an out-and-out pervert. A pervert would make this movie for pleasure. This movie has been made as a statement against the pedophilia that would turn our children is hyper-sexualized objects of beauty.

In a sense this type of movie is really just a souped up version of the “very-special” episodes that used to run on Growing Pains. When Kirk pretended to struggle with drugs, or Tracy or Jeremy with other issues. You guys were not advocating drug-use, or anything like that. In fact by showing the absurdity of such issues, they were actually attacking them. It is the same here.

You and alot of your audience may be sick of those of us in the Christian world that turns a blind eye to some of Hollywood’s excess. However we also get tired of listening to our brothers and sisters that react within first truly listening to their opponents. For one thing many of the opponents those like you oppose are not so much the enemy as you think. Before you begin to think I am some heretic, let me assure you I am no more heretical than you. I believe in God and the grace imparted to us by the death of his Son on the cross. I believe in the Holy Spirit and His work in our lives to lead us into all truth. There are times for us to take on our culture and stand for truth.

I and others like me prefer to seek out where the Spirit is moving in the lives of people around me and encourage their growth in those areas. It is easy to attack someone for doing drugs, having sex outside of marriage, or cussing. It is far more difficult to stand in relationship with them, and encourage them to change. If one looks at the life of Christ you can see how Christ, himself, practiced this principle. Read the Gospels and you will see that His criticism and disdain was actually reserved to those “religious” people who talked a big game, but did not live it. Yet when he was around the sinner you do not hear him bemoaning sin, and calling sinners names. When the woman taken in adultry was brought before Him he simply said “go and sin no more.” He went to Zaccheaus’ house. He ate with the taxpayers. He danced. He drank. He lived and loved those far from Him. Yes he addressed sin, but he did it in love. He did as He called them to take their talents and use it for God. Paul is another example. When he stood up at the Aeropagus, he did not tell those there that their gods were weak and useless. He simply discussed the greatness of our God.

One of our Church Fathers once remained his folk that all truth is God’s truth. I and many like me propose a Christianity that looks for the truthes, graces, and workings of God in the lives of those around us; and then seek to encourage, support, and buttress those acts. Our hope is that as we hold up the truthes we find, we will be able to bring the Truth into sharper focus, and so work in conjunction with our Father in leading them to Him.

It is for that reason that I can applaud someone Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris for exposing a weakness in our culture, while at the same time continuing to stand for the Truth of the Gospel.

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  1. I replied to your post … and as you might be able to guess, I did not agree with your points.

    Editors note– here is his response:

    First off, I did not write the article; it was written by the evangelist Ray Comfort. Second, Yeshua HaMashiach did tell the woman caught in the act of adultery to sin no more, right? Which means that He called her sin SIN. If you want to support a SINNER, then the first thing that you need to do is to tell them that they are SINNING and they need to stop. Once they agree that they are SINNING and THAT THEY NEED TO STOP, THEN YOU HELP THEM. Now I guess there are some Christians who condemn people. As a general rule, I do not condemn people, I condemn their BEHAVIOR. I only condemn PEOPLE when they reject what the Bible says and claim that SIN is not SIN, and try to encourage other people in following their sin.

    Now, I have not seen this movie, and will never see it. But based on what you have described to me of it, then it appears that you have fallen for Hollywood’s oldest trick. They take behavior that is sinful, and they contrive all of this emotional heartrending manipulation to justify sin. Now if you are exposed to this long enough, then you will A) become desensitized to it and B) take on their value system.

    I mean, take “Cider House Rules.” A black woman gets impregnated by her father; that makes abortion OK. Take “Million Dollar Baby”, which depicts a woman’s life as so painful as to make suicide OK. The same with “Brokeback Mountain” and homosexuality. Don’t you realize that Hollywood has been doing stuff like this since “Birth Of A Nation”, which exploited white feelings about blacks to justify the Klu Klux Klan?

    You say that you are a Christian, well then you need to consider Isaiah 5:20 – “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” The only good is God and that which comes out of it. Evil cannot produce good fruit, and nothing redeeming can come out of trash. You can take trash and wash it, paint it, arrange it in pretty shapes, but it is still trash.

    The solution to this family’s plight was clear: TURN TO GOD! Washed up author and public speaker father, quit touring the nation promoting some New Age self – help book and start spreading the gospel. Worn out wife, ask God to renew your strength like the eagle(Psalm 103:5)! Brother/uncle, seek spiritual deliverance so those demons of lust, unnatural affection, jealousy, and homosexuality are cast out of you, and realize that if you honor God with your life and career, there will be no failure in serving Him! Grandfather, dedicate yourself to serving THE LORD and making sure that your granddaughter hears about God from YOU even if she doesn’t from her parents! Son, instead of taking a vow of silence, PRAY! Pray for God’s supernatural assistance in passing the test, and then speak the word of faith that it is done so that you can bring glory to His Name with your testimony!

    And yes, this family needs something to live for. What they need to live for is GOD. They don’t need to go “whoring” for God’s love, they just need to ask Him for it! Now you know perfectly well that even if Hollywood had made a movie that depicts the problems of a family in dire straits being solved by their turning to God, it wouldn’t have gotten all that critical acclaim and it certainly wouldn’t have been shown on that airplane!

    You say that you know people like this? Well then tell them that their only hope is Yeshua HaMashiach! They aren’t going to get that message from “worldly parables” whose message is that “hey, we may be screwed up, but those beauty pageant kids are REALLY screwed up!”, so they are going to have to get it from YOU! Please, stop thinking that you are ever going to get anything from the world but worldliness, or anything from sin but sin. Look, Christians are not hiding from problems. You have Christians feeding the homeless, providing shelters for battered women, running prison ministries, having hotlines for women who are considering murdering their babies, providing counseling for people who have been raped and molested, running hospices for AIDS patients, etc. Those people do not need sin – glorifying garbage like Little Miss Sunshine to help the hurting people in our culture, and neither do you.

    “It is for that reason that I can applaud someone Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris for exposing a weakness in our culture”
    I recommend the movie “The Timechanger” (http://www.timechangermovie.com) for you on this general point. I also want to tell you about the great soul singer from the 1970s, D. J. Rogers (http://www.rhapsody.com/djrogers). In his song “You Are My Joy”, he said that he felt that if he was going to sing about the problem, then it was his obligation to sing about the solution. Well, despite seeking a career in secular music, D.J. Rogers is a committed Christian, and his solution is the only real one: Yeshua HaMashiach! So, I will not applaud Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris for “exposing a problem” if they were derelict in their duty of telling people the answer. And this is even more so the case since Faris and Dayton failed to tell the truth about this fact: that the very reason why there are weaknesses in our culture is because Adam fell and sin came into the world, and that far more people could overcome both the weaknesses in the culture AND their own sin nature were they to give their lives to Yeshua HaMashiach. If you are going to talk about a problem without giving the solution, then all you are doing is EXPLOITING it, which is what Faris and Dayton did. They made things WORSE, not better. DJ Rogers gave people the solution, inspired them to seek God, and thereby made things better. If you are looking for someone in the secular sphere to “reveal truth”, then it is with people like that, not people who withhold from God His glory and praise.

  2. See this is the problem and the difference between us. If you read my post (I mean really read my post), then you would have read where I called this sin. You made the same error in the Jennifer Hudson article as well as the Albert Mohler piece (or maybe that was Comfort to). She called homosexuality sin, as did Mohler. You can call sin sin, but you can be loving about it. To say this is sin, but I still love you is not sin. It is what Jesus did. My point about the women was simply that He called sin sin, but he did not reject the sinner.

    Likewise I stated fully that I did not approve of the methods that Hollywood uses. While working for a church in Birmingham, we ran a little test. On one end of a public park we set up a preacher who preached the Gospel and on the other end we set up a group of people handing out ice cream. Those giving out the ice cream simply walked up to people and stated that they were like to give them something as a show of God’s love to them. At the end of the night, we discussed these 2 different approaches with both the teams there as well as the people in the park. Which approach do you think saw more people express a newfound faith in Christ. The ice cream bridade. Cause here’s the thing if you come in with fire and brimstone people will just turn you off. However if you come in with unconditional love, they will listen, and upon listening the Spirit will move, and things will happen.

    To another point in my post you will see the difference in our styles. I have referred to you as a brother or sister in the faith. Your response to me was “if you are a Christian.” There is really no reason to go all Martin Luther on anyone. Historians note– that was the only thing Luther recanted at Worms– being too harsh.

    My overriding points is this: 1) Take time to listen to your “opponent,” 2) Learn to respond out of Love (for God, for others, for yourself)to their life, 3)Focus on that which is good and encourage that in the people around you, 4) Don’t expect Christian behavior from non-Christians.

    To expect a Hollywood director to present a perfectly “Christian” perspective if there are not is counterproductive. Another approach is to thank them for their offering. Point out the good in what they doing. Build your point off of that. For instance I agree with you, the family in the film does need Jesus and were I discussing the movie with friends (both Christian and Non), I would point that fact out. But maybe what they need first is to realize that they cannot live life on their own. Once they have realized that point is not such a short step to their need for Christ.

    For the past 100 years the church has acted as if it was in a fight with the world. We are not in a fight with the world. We are in a fight against the devil. When we (by our actions) drive the world away and hold them at arm’s length, we are only making his job that much easier. If we offend them and cause them to stay away from God, then Satan does not have to. Rather we should keep the world close to us, we should embrace them, and love them, and pray for them. When they stumble we should be there for them. That does not mean we do not dialogue with them about why they stumbled and how they can go about not stumbling again.

    If you are a parent or if you aren’t imagine that to be the case. When your child stumbles and skins a knee, how do you react? Do you yell and scream, and lecture the child about running in the house? Or do you pull out the band-aid, kiss the wound, doctor it, and then in a calm and soothing voice tell the child that this is what happens when you run in the house and this is why mommy and daddy have rules against that action? Think about if you yell and scream and carry on how will the child react and what will the child’s relationship to you. What if you hold the child, then what? Most of us would choose option 2, and those who would not may want to think differently about their parenting strategy.

    I could give examples of this thinking in scripture (I did in the last post), but let me also give 2 examples from the life of the church. I think of Francis of Assisi hugging the lepers, and David Wilkerson telling Nicki Cruz that he could cut him up into a million pieces, but each piece would say “I love you.” The ministry of Francis would have been vastky different had he gone around yelling at lepers. Likewise David would not be alive today had be responded to Cruz by saying Clint Eastwood style “Go ahead punk make my day.”

    There is always a place to call sin what it is. I hold the people God has given me oversight for to very high standards, just as I hold myself to a high standard. Within the Church we are called to hold each other accountable. However to those that without the walls of the Church. To those who are weak in the faith. To those who are far away from God. I love them the best I can. I live a life that I hope is righteous and holy. I mirror for them the greatness of my God and Father. Yet I respond to them as a loving parent would respond to a son or daughter (even one that is a prodigal). I do this because I trust God to do the convicting. I trust God to be working in their lives. I see where He is working and encourage that work. And when the time is right, I get to see the lightbulb go off, and the convinving grace of God work its magic. And as they choose to respond to that grace (by grace), I encourage them to throw off the sin that entangles and run the race.

  3. Dear Sir:

    I read your post and responded to it the best of my ability. My “if you are a Christian” was not meant to denigrate your faith or its sincerity, but rather was meant as a challenge. Ice cream? Sounds like “tickling the ears” to me. I mean no offense, seriously I do not, in saying that. Yeshua HaMashiach said that His sheep know the sound of His Voice and will come when He calls. When we speak the truth of God’s Word – the whole truth – the Voice of God speaks through us. See, WE do not convert people. If we try, we create false converts, people who will eventually backslide, and we do those people more harm than help. We are not to even try to make converts. Instead, we are to preach the Word, and let the Word do its job. Granted some will be better than others, and there are some very innovative creative effective ways at doing it. And yes, there are ways of doing it that are less productive than others, especially if it is done in the wrong spirit. But the bottom line is that the truth never hurt anyone who is interested in the truth. Consider what Yeshua HaMashiach says about planting seeds. Seeds do not sprout right away. So, yes, some person who is content in their sins might hear me, shrug me off as an ignorant bigot, and keep walking. But if he is one of Yeshua HaMashiach’s sheep, then the Word that spoke through me will stay with him, and he will remember it.

    Our styles are different? My style is after the people that I have read about in the Bible. Elijah, Elisha, Jeremiah, John the Baptist, James, Paul, and yes Yeshua HaMashiach. Further, keep in mind: I was not out on the streets asking people to accept Christ in my weblog posts. Rather, the aim of my posts were to expose and warn people about sin and how it destroys people. And I should say that the target audience of my posts are not so much the unsaved but CHRISTIANS. Do you realize that a great many CHRISTIANS do not know sin when they see it, or do not know the consequences of sin? That is because their churches do not tell them, because so many churches have abandoned the Bible in favor of entertainment, self – help nonsense, political and social activism, prosperity/Word of Faith witchcraft, and charismatic emotionalism.

    Well let me tell you, unsanitary, I know about sin. When Yeshua HaMashiach spoke to John in Revelation 2:24 about their not having known the depths of Satan, well if I haven’t known the depths of Satan then I have been close. For you are conversing with someone who not three years ago was freed from the prison of addiction to internet pornography. Do you know what it is like to be ADDICTED to something? To want to stop, really need to stop, to have all sorts of consequences staring you down if you don’t stop, but cannot anyway? Well I know. My addiction almost destroyed me and my family. So I honestly cannot endure any notions about the “positives” or the “context” in any movie that depicts a child stripping, because I personally know such an abomination would have interacted with the darkness that was in my flesh, mind, emotions, and soul all my life (my problems with sexual impurity began when I had a sexual education course in public school when I was 10 years old; internet pornography was just one manifestation of it). And just like I had problems with sexual impurity (and also rage, hatred, racism, ranting, anger, and was also borderline violent) you have other people with other problems. A person with a gambling problem or a drinking problem (which I never had because of – I kid you not – a very religious background! … it was a church that preached false doctrine however) does not need to be told that some movie that depicts gambling or drinking is a great moral statement because the context in which the gambling and drinking was portrayed revealed problems in our culture. Gambling and drinking addicts are fully aware that there are problems in our culture, because they are a part of it! Gambling and drinking addicts need to be told that their lack of self control is a sin that will kill their bodies on earth and send their eternal souls to the lake of fire. And people who are still having problems with their gambling and drinking need to be warned to avoid movies that glorify it. And people who are vulnerable to developing gambling and drinking problems need to be warned to avoid movies that glorify it. Bottom line: people need to be told that sin is death and to not only avoid sin but to hate it. And if Christians are not the ones to tell them, who will? Take Jennifer Hudson. How are her “gay friends” going to learn that homosexuality is wrong unless she tells them? And how are her Christian fans going to learn to stand against homosexuality save by her example?

    “For the past 100 years the church has acted as if it was in a fight with the world. We are not in a fight with the world. We are in a fight against the devil.” The Bible disagrees. First of all, Satan is the ruler of the world, the prince of the powers of the air. The world and everything in it and everyone who loves it is Satan’s, and is being used by Satan to do his will. Second, how about these Bible verses?

    “John 7:7 The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil.”
    “John 12:25 – He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.”
    “John 15:18 – If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.”
    “John 15:19 – If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you.”
    “John 17:14 – I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.”
    “1 John 3:13 – Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you.”

    I recently read a book of the writings of Watchman Nee (http://www.watchmannee.org) that asserted that the church is no longer preaching the original gospel. The original gospel was not man being saved from his sins! No, the original gospel was man being saved from the wicked world! Now that gospel was very popular in its day, because back then Jews were living under the wicked, brutal, pagan Roman Empire. So obviously there were not only Jews, Greeks, slaves, etc. and other people who would respond to a message of salvation from their wicked conditions. But you know what happened? Constantine converted, and the Roman Empire took over the church. In other words: THE CHURCH BECAME THE WORLD! This is not Catholic – bashing, for virtually all other churches came directly out of Catholicism. We have had this thing, especially in the west, where we take worldly things like our culture, our lifestyle, our economic and political system, etc. and claim that it is holy, or that it leads to holiness, and the church system in the west is part and parcel of the lie. Now if we were Christians living in China, North Korea, Iran, Indonesia, India, etc. we wouldn’t fall for that nonsense. We wouldn’t be “loving the world” in those places, because we would have no pretensions. Everything that is done over there is in support of Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Marxism, etc. and you aren’t going to want anything to do with it. But because the church has fused with the world in the west and lets everyone in the church system lead a nice, comfortable, acceptable lifestyle. And it is really sinister because it plays into human nature. 1) No one wants to fight the enemy if the enemy is yourself. 2) No one wants to be the enemy! But instead of loving the world, we should be turning it upside down! Acts 17:6: “And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also!”

    So yes, my friend and fellowservant in Christ, we are in a fight with the world. We are contending against the world to get people out of it, and a great many of them are going to come out of it kicking and screaming. Why? Because the world is wicked. There is nothing good in it. Nothing in the world is going to be redeemed. The entire world itself is going to be tossed into the lake of fire, and there is going to be a new heaven and a new earth. Just as the entire world had to be destroyed with Noah, it is going to be destroyed again. I hate to use the example of the utterly demonic gnostic Marxist abomination “The Matrix”, but the shoe fits. The world is “the matrix.” Satan is “the architect.” Thinking that you can go against “the architect” without going against “the matrix” is folly. Why? Because the world rewards sin. The world traps people into thinking that their sins are acceptable, even virtuous! The world tells them that they are not evil, just “misunderstood” and “need to be accepted for what they are.” See, we have to get people to see how wicked the world is before they can see how wicked they are by being a part of it. And a lot of good church people can’t do that because they themselves love the world because their churches are part of the world, because they have bought into this “Judeo – Christian western culture” nonsense. My man, can you point out to me a SINGLE place in the Bible that endorses democracy? Or free market capitalism? God did not create those things; Greek and Roman philosophers did. And as for Israel, they rejected the rule of God by asking for a king because they lusted after the world, the ways of the kingdoms around them.

    Now, I am not trying to dismiss you out of hand, or say that what you are doing is wrong. After all, it may just be that you and I are different members of the same body, and hence we have different jobs. My job is to be as Paul and Jeremiah and John, to expose sin and wickedness in the world and in people, to demand of people that they stand against sin, and warn people people of the wrath and judgment that is coming on Babylon and to come out of it. I know this because of what I have personally seen and been through. My fighting like this on the outside is just an extension of the battles that I have to fight on the inside on a constant basis. You know the saying “an idle mind is the devil’s workshop”? That is me! The instant my mind gets off God, it veers into sin, and the instant it gets into sin, it starts liking and justifying sin, and I just cannot go back to my old ways. And you know what? There is use for people like me. You know what that is? Judgment day. Go back to Jeremiah and the other prophets of the Old Testament. They didn’t listen to him, Jeremiah knew that they weren’t going to listen to them, God knew that they weren’t going to listen to them, but he had to prophesy to them anyway. The same with Moses and pharoah. So why did Jeremiah have to prophesy? So that when Israel was judged, they could not say that they were not warned. They could not say that God was being unfair to them, or that He was unrighteous, and the same with Egypt. The sad fact that not everyone is going to be saved. But we are all going to be judged. And when judgment day comes, every single person that came to my weblog or to the other websites that God uses me to run will not be able to say that they had no warning that the things that they were doing was wrong. Sure, I would love to be able to check my comments every day and see compliments. I would love it if I were getting these testimonies from people of how I inspired them or how I led them to Christ. And I have faith that those things are going to come, not because I am seeking personal acclaim and validation, but because I want to see people helped and saved. But for now, I am content with where I am right now, for that is the member of the body that God saw fit to give me. Doing what I am doing now actually helps me understand why the vast majority of the years of my life have been filled with frustration, anger, fear, failure, and pain: so God can use the nightmare that my life was until very recently to lead others to the light.

    Whatever your job is, in order to maximize your effectiveness in it you MUST hate the world. Thank you, and may God bless and keep you. I will repost this on my site as well.

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