FIRST-PERSON: The ‘End of the Spear’ dilemma

ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP)--The American Heritage Dictionary defines the word dilemma as: A situation that requires a choice between options that are or seem equally unfavorable or mutually exclusive.

The aforementioned definition adequately sums up my feelings when it comes to rendering a decision about taking my family to see the movie “End of the Spear” which opens nationwide Jan. 20.

The film is based on the true story of the killing of Nate Saint, Jim Elliot and three other American missionaries by spear-wielding tribesmen in the Ecuadorian jungle on Jan. 8, 1956.

After the murders, one of the missionaries’ sisters, Rachel Saint, and one of the widows, Elisabeth Elliot, made the courageous decision to live among the tribesmen. As a result, the pair helped kindle faith among those who had cast the spears as well as others in the pervasively violent culture. Elliot chronicled her experiences in “Through Gates of Splendor,” which remains a classic among books on missions.

When I first heard about “End of the Spear,” I was excited. I thought, “Here is a film that will communicate the apex of Christian commitment.” Though I expected the movie to be too intense for my two younger children, I looked forward to experiencing with it my two oldest.

To say that I was disappointed when I heard that Chad Allen was cast in the role of Nate Saint is an understatement. To the uninitiated, Allen is an actor who is not only open about his homosexuality, he is an activist.

Activists are individuals that believe so strongly in their cause that they pour significant time and money into efforts seeking to bring about societal acceptance of said cause.

On Jan. 16, America celebrated Martin Luther King, Jr. day. Dr. King was a civil-rights activist. He poured his very life into bringing about societal change that would result in equal rights for black Americans.

In some sense, I am a pro-life activist. I invest time and money in the hope that one day Roe vs. Wade will be a memory and that all children will be safe in their mothers’ wombs.

Chad Allen is an activist dedicated to seeing homosexuality accepted in American society as natural, normal and healthy.

On his web site, Allen lists a variety of organizations he supports. One of them is the “Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund” which “helps elect openly gay and lesbian candidates nationwide.”

Additionally, Allen has started a production company, Mythgarden, that is designed to champion features pushing the “gay is good” theme. The company’s first project, “Save Me,” is in pre-production and takes issue with the “myth” that homosexuals can change via reparative therapy.

“Hopefully we can reach a lot of people who have, in some way, been affected by the myths surrounding this particular type of ‘therapy,’” Allen writes in explaining his motivation for making “Save Me.”

Allen’s activism does not end with politics or socially conscious movies, it extends into Christianity. During a recent appearance on “Larry King Live,” the actor insists that his homosexuality is a “beautiful gift from god.”

Responding to Christians who take issue with his position on homosexuality, Allen responded, “If they’re going to speak about absolute, transcendent truth, I need to tell you, I know absolute, transcendent truth,” he said.

“I have a deep relationship with god and my understanding. It’s very powerful, and it’s taken its own shape and form. And I am very much at peace in the knowledge that in my heart, god created this beautiful expression of my love.”

Later in the program, Allen said, “And they're going to be saying, ‘This is the way you be Christian, there's only one way.’ Well you know what, there isn't. I'm a part of a wonderful community church here in Pasadena that has a very different interpretation of those same gospels that they are speaking of. There isn't just one way to do this, there are a lot of paths.”

During his appearance on “Larry King Live,” Allen summed up well the concern many people have with a homosexual activist playing the part of a dedicated Christian missionary. “A gay man is playing that character ...” he said. “I am afraid that if I support you and if I allow you to have your freedom that will somehow tell my children that it's OK to be gay.”

The dilemma I face on whether or not to take my family to see “End of the Spear” does not come from the fact that Chad Allen is a homosexual, but rather that he is a homosexual activist that strongly advocates the societal acceptance of a lifestyle that I believe is aberrant and unhealthy.

Every Tribe Entertainment, a company committed to making films dedicated to “truth beyond imagination,” intentionally cast Allen knowing his homosexual activism. Apparently, it was no dilemma for them.


Boggs is editor of the Baptist Message newspaper in Louisiana.

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