Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Two Things I Will No Longer Say

About a year and half ago, I decided that I was going to exorcise two popular phrases (or accusations rather) from my filmmaking vocabulary:

"Preaching to the choir."
"Casting pearls before swine."

Although I realize the first most likely originates from wit and good intentions, and the second originates from divine wisdom, the fact remains that, in the context of filmmaking, these phrases typically translate into a false dilemma: Do I want to consider Christians my target audience, or do I want to consider non-Christians my target audience? If I choose the former, I'll be accused (even if by myself) of "preaching to the choir"; wasting all my time and resources to bring a message to those who've not only already heard it, but have accepted it. If I choose the latter, I will be accused of "casting pearls before swine"; wasting all my time and resources in the hopeless cause of bringing a message to those who've not only already rejected it, but always will.

Eventually, I was able to translate these phrases into the misguided, dangerous implications and assumptions that they made:

“Christians do not derive benefit from hearing the Word of God.”
“Non-Christians do not derive benefit from hearing the Word of God.”

Both of these phrases are in direct conflict with Scripture, which makes it clear that bringing the word of God to those who believe and those who don't is not an act of frivolity or futility.

I have decided to take a different and contextualized directive from Jesus regarding to whom I will speak. I say contextualized because, given this directive's original context, it's more fitting to the profession of filmmaking than the too often decontextualized "pearls before swine" charge. I have decided I will speak to the same person Jesus addressed when he would illustrate an eternal truth through storytelling. I will speak to "he who has ears to hear."

3 comments:

___ said...

Just so you know, a lot of christians don't benefit from hearing the word of God, and a lot of non christians don't benefit from it either, look how much good tracts have done for the inspired word of God, and they say there's no such thing as bad publicity, God's been burned time and time again. Say what'cha want. Just keep the mosquitoes off of me in LA.

Nathaniel Bluedorn said...

I know I agree with you; but I'm still trying to understand the significance of what you're saying here. This will take a while to sink in.

pixel-pablo said...

Thanks Richard, "preaching to the choir" has been one of the phrases I have always disliked, and now I know why! You are exactly right when you trace it back to the Word of God. When the Word is preached it is having an effect for now and eternity, whether we see it or not. Peter said he would continue to preach the Gospel message, even though his audience knew it well ( 2 Peter 1 :12)

For Christ and His Glory,
Paul