Hollywood is a giant: financially, morally and believe it or not, spiritually. This past week and especially today, I have experienced a tremendous wrestling in my spirit regarding the moral and spiritual state of myself, America and especially that of Hollywood.
There was a time 50+ years ago when Hollywood espoused good moral standards. Movies like “Moses,” “The Ten Commandments” (which just happens to be on the top 10 most grossing movies ever made with $1.1B adjusted) and other biblical movies were once common stories that came out of its gated walls. Today, it’s a miracle when a movie like, “The Passion of the Christ” (a $600 million dollar movie btw) comes shining through the darkness.
Hollywood (and the media in general) – in my ever so humble opinion - is primarily responsible for the moral decay of America and quite possibly the world. Here are some thoughts for you to consider:
1. Hollywood is a $90 billion dollar worldwide industry (2010 statistic). This means that Hollywood exerts tremendous influence upon the world with its movies and messages that it delivers annually.
2. Celebrity marriages are twice as likely to fail as the public and yet many people look to them for relational standards and guidance. (What?)
3. Although a celebrity is married, they are often caught cheating with a nanny, co-worker, or another celebrity. This is what leads to many Hollywood divorces. (Didn’t you realize when you brought that hot nanny into your house that it would be an issue?)
4. Movies with themes of adultery, murder, rape, greed and theft are excessively common themes in movies but are very specifically condemned in God’s word.
5. Because of the increase of these types of movies, the world (and Christians) have become increasingly desensitized to evil because Hollywood promotes its agenda and corrupt moral standards daily.
6. Actors will often take a role which promotes anti-biblical standards because of the paycheck. This means that their primary value system is to love money. (Boo.)
7. Many actors will claim that they are “in it for the love,” but how is that possible if they are promoting anti-biblical standards?
8. Hollywood presents a romanticized, fanaticized version of love which is often unrealistic and untrue. ("Here comes your knight in shining armor on a white horse!")
9. Many people and especially teen girls buy this version of “love” as well as many of the actors themselves, which is why they are never satisfied in “normal everyday relationships.”
10. We treat celebrities like “gods” when the Bible clearly states there is only one God.
11. The Sound of Music is the third highest grossing movie of all time (adjusted gross $1.2B) and it was one of the purest, most ethical movies ever made.
11. Actors have a responsibility – again, in my ever so humble opinion - to only play roles that they want their own lives or the lives of their own children to emulate. i.e. Play only roles which bring life!
I am fully aware that Hollywood is in the business of telling stories. I am also aware that there are all kinds of stories to be told. I am further aware that actors are just acting, but do they think they can play a corrupt character in a story and it not have some kind of negative impact upon their personal life? (Rules of karma still apply even when you are acting.)
Why does Hollywood seem to consistently lean to the morally corrupt stories? Is it because of humanity’s fascination with evil? Is it because it makes the most money? If that is the logic, then it is clear to see what or who is their “god.”
Here is My Solution: God Sets the Standards
As Christians, we believe that God is love. This means He sets the standards for what love is and what true love looks like. If you are violating or promoting violating God’s standards (even through acting), which He clearly sets out in His word not to do, then your actions are NOT love.
God told us what love looks like and what it doesn’t look like in His word. For example, eight out of the ten commandments given to Moses are “thou shall not’s” such as “thou shall not have any other god’s above me.” These “thou shall not’s” are God saying, “If you do these things, you are not loving Me or others properly.”
Because humanity seems to get so confused about what love is and isn’t, God gave us the entire law and the New Testament full of commandments to try and help us understand exactly what love is.
God is Love
Two things are for certain, God is love and all sin (motives, actions, or words contrary to God’s commands) isn’t. When Jesus walked the earth, He regularly demonstrated what love is.
One thing Jesus clearly said wasn’t love is when humanity values money and possessions above loving God and people. “You can’t love money and God” (Matthew 6:24). Essentially, He was asking the question of our value system: do we use people and love money or love people and use money?
The point I am trying to make here if you haven't already figure it out, is that some of the highest grossing movies ever made had either deeply spiritual connections or were extremely moral in nature. In fact, 9 out of 10 of the highest grossing movies of all time fit into this category. In other words, society is telling us that they want cleaner films with spiritual themes. Bravo! The light.
I realize I am just one guy with a sling and a few stones, but somebody needs to call Hollywood out for their hypocrisy (acting as if they are the world's greatest lovers) and to repentance. Somebody needs to show them that love isn’t just a reflection, but a Godly reflection – meaning that it lines up with His heart, words and commands.
So tonight, as I sit in my lonely living room with my lights blazing bright, I grab my sling and a handful of small stones. I stand before a giant called Hollywood (and the media in general) and I say, “You are not God and I think it’s time for you to take a bow.”