Friday, 10 March 2017 12:18

Choosing to Be "Constructive"

Written by  Bob Crittendon
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In a time in which awards shows have become politicized, it seems that those responsible for the Academy Awards had become concerned, according to a piece on the Deadline Hollywood website. After the Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremony became open season on President Trump, and specifically his refugee policy, it seemed that the Oscars might have been taking a second look.




The article poses the question: “In the current atmosphere, how can the Academy deliver an even remotely relevant show without alienating viewers on one side or another of the political equation–and without curtailing the presumed right of every honoree and presenter to speak his or her mind on-camera?”


While stopping short of censorship, the Academy was said to have been “looking for ways to remind presenters and honorees in coming weeks that movies, at their best, tend to be a unifying medium.”


Well, actor Matthew McConaughey is perhaps saying, “enough already” on Hollywood forcing its politics on people.  A Fox News story says that actor has said “it’s time for Hollywood to ‘embrace’ Trump and get over it.” The story says that McConaughey told ChannelFI that: “...anyone, even those who may strongly disagree with his principles or things he’s said and done — and that’s another thing, we’ll see what he does compares to what he has said — no matter how much you even disagreed along the way, it’s time to think about how constructive can you be...”  Oh, by the way, that ChannelFI is a YouTube channel that has been terminated.


Constructive - that’s a great word, and at first glance, it seemed to describe what actor Taraji P. Henson was calling for.  She is in the movie, Hidden Figures, which won the SAG award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.  The movie is about three African-American women who played pivotal roles in the space program in the 60’s.  The Huffington Post reported on Henson’s acceptance speech for the award, in which she said: “These women did not complain about the problems, the circumstances, the issues,” adding, “They focused on solutions. Therefore, these brave women helped put men into space.”  I appreciated reading about her restraint of politically-charged language in that setting; I could even say the same for Lady Gaga, who chose to shun making overt political pronouncements in her Super Bowl halftime performance.


John Stonestreet, in a Breakpoint commentary, said this about the movie, Hidden Figures:


“Hidden Figures” is a wonderfully inspiring movie and it couldn’t come at a better time for our culture. On one hand, this increasingly racially divided land of ours badly needs to see a way forward, including the responsibility we all have to recognize, acknowledge, and enable the dignity of others. On the other hand, in an age where so many claim to be victims of oppression for not having free birth control or not having everyone endorse their lifestyle choices, we can learn from those who faced and overcame real oppression, and how we can help.


I want to go back to actor McConaughey’s word, “constructive.” I think we can be challenged to consider how we are being constructive as the body of Christ.  In a tense political climate, how can we be the hands, the feet, and the voice of Jesus?   I think there is a real human tendency to complain - it manifests itself so often in the political realm, but it can also infiltrate the personal.


We can choose to experience real, spiritual satisfaction - godly contentment as it’s called in 1st Timothy 6 - or we can weigh our spirits down and water down our witness by complaining.  I would hope that we want to be known by how we build people up and not tear them down.  And, the Bible says to build ourselves up in our “most holy faith.”


Recently on my radio program, The Meeting House, I featured several people in one day who are speaking spiritual truth into mainstream culture.  Filmmaker Devon Franklin worked with Dr. Oz to develop a spiritually-based series of programs during February - the Doctor recognizes people need spiritual mechanisms to cope with the challenges of our culture, and he and Devon joined me to discuss how the concept would be communicated on the shows.  I also spoke with Kutter Callaway of Fuller Theological Seminary, who related to me about his opportunity to build a bridge through an interview with director Martin Scorsese, who deals with matters of faith in his latest film, Silence. Craig DeRoche of Prison Fellowship injected a Biblical perspective into issues concerning race and justice into a film by director Ava DuVernay (Selma), called 13th.  We can be reminded that solutions to our culture’s dilemmas can be found as we seek opportunities for God to use us to represent truth.




Last modified on Friday, 10 March 2017 12:50
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