People who know me know I love the works of J.R.R. Tolkien, and they’re always surprised to find out I’ve never seen the Lord of the Rings movies. Well, I don’t want to give any of my time or any of my money to Ian MacKellan, an unrepentant homosexual who brags about defacing Bibles. He plays Gandalf. That’s something I like to forget when I read the books.
So I can appreciate what some of you are saying when you say you don’t want to watch movies made by immoral people. We all have a suspicion, though, that that would rule out most movies. If you’re looking for virtue, Hollywood is probably not the place to start.
I do try to avoid movies that I know have been made by really sleazy people. But it’s not always so simple. In fact, God sometimes uses really sleazy people to do His will on earth. Can good things be done by bad people? I think we must admit they can.
Here at Chez Leester, we have a Thanksgiving tradition of watching two movies in particular: on Friday, Godzilla vs. Megalon, and on Saturday, Miracle on 34th Street. The one movie completely takes my mind off the dreary and disturbing news that I’ve been covering all year. The second never fails to remind me that there are truths that don’t–ahem!–lend themselves to factual analysis.
I watch lots of movies, including ones in which grossly immoral people may have had a hand in making. My calling in this life is to tell stories. To do it well, I must consume stories–lots and lots of stories. There are readers who say that reading one of my books is like watching a movie. Well, you can’t even guess at the number of hours I’ve put into achieving that effect. And I couldn’t do it if I didn’t watch as many movies as I can.
Don’t get me wrong. There is sleaze that I will walk a mile to avoid. And I’ll walk at least half a mile to dodge chick flicks, Serious Mainstream Dramas About Sophisticated People With Painful Personal Problems That They Can’t Solve Because They’re Pinheads, crime movies in which every character is rotten to the core, and several other kinds.
Anyway, I think we can all be thankful that God doesn’t require us to be absolutely perfect before He can make use of us. Serving Him in any way we can is both a glory and a privilege, and even sinners get a crack at it. Who knows? It might be habit-forming.