Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011
Sinners, Prostitutes & The Entertainment Industry
Truly I say to you that the tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the kingdom of God before you.
Matthew 21:31 (NAS)
The entertainment industry is full of sinners and prostitutes. A prostitute is defined as 'a person who willingly uses his or her talent or ability in a base and unworthy way, usually for money' (Random House Dictionary).
The media surrounds us with a star-spangled sin parade. Many talented Christians raise their eyebrows when they consider entertainment. If they enter it, can they maintain their focus on God?
Jesus did. 'Behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples' (Matthew 9:10). When questioned by religious leaders of His day, He explains, 'I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners' (9:13).
Consider the word 'righteous' used by Jesus in this verse. Who was truly righteous in Jesus' day? Even His disciples had lessons to learn. So, was anyone righteous outside of Jesus? No! But the scribes and Pharisees thought they were.
God's harsher judgment falls upon religious hypocrites who believe they are more righteous than sinners and prostitutes. Can any of us claim to be the ancestor of Jesus? Rahab could, and she was a prostitute. Jesus' anger focused on church leaders in His long and famous 'Woe to you scribes and Pharisees' address in Matthew chapter 23.
Here's the thing: Hollywood is filled with naughty stars and bad examples, but they are not hypocrites; they are 'openly' bad--even flaunting it. They don't know Jesus. They don't claim to know Jesus. Nor do they claim authority to judge anyone--but many Christians do.
Is openly bad better than hypocritically good? Jesus seemed to think so. Why? Hypocrisy is a hard fabric to penetrate. The hardness goes straight to the heart. Only the diamond-like cornerstone of Lord Jesus Christ can break it, but we must fall upon Him willingly, and the process can be dirty. Most of us don't want our less than perfect selves shattered in public.
So, what could the perfectly pure man named Jesus have in common with the publicly impure entertainment industry? Neither are hypocrites, and both are willing to put their lives on parade.
Consider His final walk. Therefore, I say to myself and other Christ followers who find most of today's entertainers sickening, 'It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick' (Matthew 9:12).
Actors, models, and talent for Christ: onward and upward in love and without judgment.