Posts Tagged ‘ichthus’

It all began with “The Passion of the Christ,” I suppose. And thank God it did.

Then, from the ashes of cutting floors everywhere sprouted wonderful films “Facing the Giants” and “Fireproof” that did something most Christian movies didn’t – made Hollywood stand up and take notice.

Typically, and unfortunately, the term is “Christian movie” and not “movies that are Christian”. There is a difference because perception is reality and people determine that reality with their movie ticket. (Tell that to the makers of “The Omega Code“… woof!)

The Potter's House in Dallas, Bishop T. D. Jakes

If Jakes can fill this house weekly, a box office is far from unlikely

And now, comes the prolific Bishop T.D. Jakes – from preaching to writing to screenplays. Now, his movies are giving Hollywood pause, as seen in a recent article from the Christian Post:

Bishop T.D. Jakes is attempting to change the “Hollywood machine” – what has at times been considered a “tool of the devil” by Christians – into a platform to potentially reach millions of unchurched with Christian messages.

Jakes just completed shooting of his third film, “Jumping the Broom” described as “an upcoming faith and family movie that follows the clashing of two families from different backgrounds during a weekend wedding.”

Pastor of the more than 30,000-member church The Potter’s House, Jakes told The Christian Post that he was drawn to this film when he looked at the script and saw the many ways it speaks about bringing together people from different backgrounds.

The story about a husband and a wife from fictional Taylor and Watson families with divergent socioeconomic backgrounds is also a step – in the bishop’s mind – to de-alienate Christians from Hollywood. It’s a chance for Christians to get their message out through Hollywood’s “megaphone.”

Mel Gibson. Kirk Cameron. And Bishop T.D. Jakes?!

There’s a troika you wouldn’t expect, but it seems they have done the unthinkable – given Hollywood a little faith.

As a megachurch pastor, however, Jakes is looking for that “sweet spot” where he can find harmony between Hollywood’s definition of entertainment – where blood, gore and sex often overrule moral concern – and Christian, family values. “We are trying to find balance. I find that people, as a rule, don’t go to see films that are overtly medicinal. They really want to be entertained, so we are trying to find our sweet spot between entertainment and humor and message.”

A school of Christian fish. Classy.

WARNING: Certainly a bad driver

This is something so close to who I am in that an ichthus needs to stand for something more than shady business people, dolts looking for short cuts and manners that would Emily Post dog cuss your mama. Say what you will about the man, but his methods to bring awareness and glory for God is working.

“Christian movies” are largely considered to be cheap, poorly written, terribly acted and carries those three familiar words that most Christ followers have become accustomed, “Straight to DVD.”

Apparently, that’s the not the case any more. “Jumping the Broom” (which is slated for a Mother’s Day 2011 release) has an all-star cast featuring the incomparable Angela Bassett… and uh, a bunch of other folks whose name I don’t remember. (I’m so partial. Sue me.) Certainly, the script has dynamic possibilities. More importantly, there’s a cryptic message to be learned as well.

The term “Jumping the Broom” comes from slave wedding ceremonies that would offer both the husband and wife a chance for “Decision Making honors” in the home with a test of jumping height. Whoever wins, wins.

Such is life for what Bishop Jakes is trying to accomplish – let’s see if a “Christian movie” can jump high enough to capture box office supremacy for at least a week. It will create a buzz in Hollywood and could make the elite question what they do and how they do it.

Oh sure, the blood-gore-sex recipe will never fade, but possibly productions with a purpose can still make a profit. And let’s be honest, in that town, that’s the Gospel truth. Preach on, brother. Preach on.

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Hollywood can put anything into a chic flicker, a love story.

Consider a “Titanic” tugboat sinking in the middle of a freezing ocean. Do you remember the iceberg or two schmucks getting buck wild in Model A Ford?

What about a woman who is haunted by the “Ghost” of her hubby. Do you automatically think about a woman freaking out calling ghostbusters or a schmaltzy pottery barn scene.

Now, add to that a delightful love story between an acclaimed (but slightly off his rocker) scientist and his sanctimonious wife, and then rocked by the loss of his daughter, this scientist decides to blame God and write a book.

That book would be “Origin of the Species,” and that dude would be Charles Darwin.

Yes, his life is now coming to theaters near you. It’s not “The Passion,” but it may be worth the price of admission… you know, if you fancy a witnessing challenge.

The Philadelphia Weekly recently created an interesting list that I’m quite certain Hollywood tabloids and the paparazzi could really care less about… but the Church would adore.

Meet the “Jesus Six Pack”:

> Jeffrey Hunter, “King of Kings”. Did you know this Savior of the 60s was known as the “James Dean Jesus”. Talk about mixing up your references, although Jesus was a “rebel with a cause.” Thanks, I’m here all week.

> Enrique Irazoqui, “The Gospel of St. Matthew”. There are certain pundits who find this to be one of the best depictions of Christ made in film. One reason is this cat was never an actor, just a child of God. But can God cure unibrows?

> Ted Neeley, “Jesus Christ Superstar”. So, um. Sing it? Go ahead. You may be all sanctified, but don’t act like you don’t know the riveting choral rants, “JeeeSUS ChrIST! SuuuperSTAR!” Everybody, because that’s probably the closest we will come to watching this one.

> Robert Powell, “Jesus of Nazareth”. I am completely biased. This film – tragic hero, sick puppies, et al – is the first movie that ever made my shed a tear. That ending still makes me sit through the end credits. Chilling.

> Brian Deacon, “Jesus”. Campus Crusade fans? Anyone? Of course, you have seen this one. Check the description on the Philly paper. Nice.

> [The great] Jim Caviezel, “The Passion of the Christ.” A lifelong Vatican II Roman Catholic took this role particularly personal. No kidding? I would say he captured the part. Brilliant.

Meet Patty Brisben of Cincinnati, Ohio.

Why? She has a unique story according to the Globe & Mail. Patty is a dedicated mother of four, involved in her church and even the community and even has a quirky nickname based on her job and work ethic – “Dildo Lady.”

Honey, is that an ichthus on your Bible or are you just happy to see me?

Honey, is that an ichthus on your Bible or are you just happy to see me?

Um, I’m sorry?!

Patty Brisben is a churchgoing mother of four who has made millions selling sex toys at private in-home gatherings not unlike Tupperware parties.

I have read a few newspapers, so – in case you have missed it – the economy isn’t doing that well.

But in lieu of the fledgling stock market, the aptly dubbed seller of leather, lace and lasciviousness will get a hand-up for her hand… outs.

On Super Bowl Sunday, Ms. Brisben will star in Mother Knows Sex, a TLC reality show about Pure Romance, her Cincinnati-based family business that now employs 30,000 consultants across the United States.

Capitalism at it’s finest.

And what’s even more amazing about this “church lady” is she gets the whole family involved. It turns out her son is the president of this multi-million dollar organization. Her husband? He “does all the defectives, in case something comes back broken.” Um… questions? Please?

  1. I think what is most important is just how involved can you be in a Bible-believing church when this is your profession? Oh sure, your tithe must be off the chain, but are you an effective witness when you are selling… those?!
  2. Is “dildo lady” on your business card… with the ichthus, no less?
  3. How does Dad figure out if an arousal cream or a battery-operated friend is defective? You know, never mind. I don’t want to know.
  4. How do you surmise the stones to ask your SON to head this empire?
  5. Now this is serious: Is what she doing completely wrong? Is it porn, or assisting married couples in the “marriage bed,” which is undefiled?

During the HOLY days, I was checking out my favorites online and found a peculiar story on Ima Blogger that tickled me senseless and caused me to troll my TiVo. To further extend the plight of how the Church needs to find an original idea comes “Christian Reality TV”.

The story is from ABC News, which includes a video guaranteed to cause a giggle or two.

“The Uprising,” which launched on the Inspirational Network, features a trio of Christian pro skateboarders who try to convert people on the street. The cast includes Christian Hosoi, who said he got out of prison a few years ago after being locked up for possession of and intent to distribute crystal meth.

Before I get into the ratings coup this is sure to bring in, let’s discuss something that has always puzzled me about good-minded church folk. Why in the world are we the only ones who demand known by a moniker rather than our lifestyle? “Christian pro skateboarders”?

Maybe it’s just me, but I have found in the Yellow Pages, most businesses who advertise with an ichthus are the shady ones with a poor work ethic. [Fighting. So hard. Not to list names. I’ve dealt with. Struggling.] Why can’t we be known as our profession, and just happen to be great Christians in the process?! That’s a testimony – being known by the fruit of your labor. There’s something biblical there, but maybe I’m wrong.

christian-skateboarders

Yeah, it's those guys

So, we have these skateboarders who go to church and love the Lord, and they get a TV show. So, what’s the difference between them and “The Bachelor,” “American Idol” or any drivel stirred up by MTV and VH1?

“I think the difference about our reality show,” cast member Jay Haizlip said, “is that a majority of the ones out there are degrading. They all have a huge element of rejection. It’s all about elimination. It’s all about, ‘We don’t need you anymore so we’re going to dispose of you.'”

As opposed to hell, which will dispose of all sinners, right? Anywhoo… carry on.

“I think there obviously is an element of that, that does appeal to people,” Haizlip said. “But I think the thing that is causing our reality show to blow up to the degree that it is, is because there is that part of compassion that is in people, as well, and watching this program is waking that up in them.”

Listen, I think this is great and will open up their ministries like gangbusters. It takes a special breed to do street evangelism, and these guys have moxie. Good for them… but a TV show? Do we not have any other ideas for Jesus TV? I have a few, for those of you who work for TBN:

  1. 30 lovelorn folk in the same church, all angling to hook up with this youth pastor. It’s up to the pastor to find the scripture quoting – and living – chic in the mix. Call it “Cross my heart”. Nice, eh?
  2. What about a cooking breakfast show? Farm it out to the Food Network about six “Christian Chefs” who discover while they are fighting for the same time slot, they are all from vastly different denominations. Call that “Unequally Yoked.” I got more.
  3. the_monkey_suit1For the educated pundits, we gather a bunch of post-grad theology students in a class room with homosexuals and evolutionists. Best exegisis of Sodom and Gomorrah wins. Call it “Who you calling a Homosapien”?! (Inspired by the Christian parody here)
  4. Maybe a singing contest where all the people involved do nothing but craft tunes about the rapture. Call it “A Pack of Lips” (instead of “Apocalypse“. OK, it’s a stretch).

That’s it. I’m dry. Tip your waiters.