Thursday, June 2, 2011

God in Hollywood

3:52 PM
Every week here at YWAM Orlando, we as a base do something called "Worship & Warfare". It's a chance for us corporately to get together and worship and pray for a nation, an issue or an injustice. I look forward to these days each week, because its when we get to pray what is on God's heart for these places and people. And also I just love learning about countries and how to pray for them! This quarter we've focused on Libya, Ukraine, China, West Bank/Palestine, and more. But today was my favorite Worship & Warfare. We didn't focus on a country, but a sphere of influence that is heavy on my heart...Arts & Entertainment, specifically Hollywood. Almost any conversation with me will reveal my love of movies, music, TV and entertainment. I even keep up with my own entertainment-focused blog just for fun! So when I heard we were praying for this city and this industry, my heart was immediately captivated. Here's some things I learned today...

-Back in the 1920's, when Hollywood was putting together the MPAA [the people who rate our movies], church leaders and pastors were invited to be part of the board. Hollywood looked to the church for input on content and morality. It was the church leaders who backed away from this commitment, seeing it as 'secular'. What a lost opportunity...

-There are Christian talent agencies in Hollywood! Believers who are committed to the arts and having an impact on Hollywood are helping upcoming actors, models and talent find work and get their start in the industry. AMTC is well-respected in Hollywood for locating quality talent.

-Los Angeles, translates to "The Angels" or"Message Bearers". Sadly, the message they bear today is one of immorality, pride, promiscuity, and idolatry. But wouldn't it be amazing if the message they could bring instead was one of truth, humility, glory & reverence to God. That's what we prayed for today.

We also prayed for celebrities in Hollywood right now that are believers. There are actually some there!

Tony Hale, best known for his role as Buster Bluth on Arrested Development [one of my FAVORITE shows] is a believer in the entertainment industry. He is an extremely skilled actor and is open about his Christian beliefs. Here's a quote he said in an interview: "...The majority of my conversations are about breaking down stereotypes. Unfortunately there’s been a lot of abuse of Christianity. But I’m excited to help break down those stereotypes. Even if it’s just to say, “I understand. Most of the Christians with the microphones are the wrong people to have the microphones. But if we’re going to talk about Christianity, let’s talk about Jesus: who he was and what he taught. Because that’s who I follow.”

Zachary Levi, star of NBC's Chuck, is also a Christian in the industry. Here's some of this thoughts on living out his faith in Hollywood. "The atmosphere in Hollywood in general is very anti-conservative, very anti-Christian. The liberal segment of Hollywood, which is 80 percent of it if not more, they look at Christians as hypocrites that are false and fake. The tough part is that in many cases I can’t argue with them. My job on my set, I believe, is to first just love people and gain that trust with people where they know that I really do love them and care about their well-being, so that when they are running into problems, they will hopefully, at some point, come to me and ask me, “What is your peace all about? What is your comfort all about? Where do you get your love? Where do you get your talents? And I can turn to them and say without blinking, “Jesus Christ.” You can’t just come out there and say “Hey, I’m a Christian, and I’m gonna beat you into thinking the way that I do.” You can’t do that. It’s not about manipulation so much as it’s about getting in on someone’s life on the ground floor. So more than anything, that’s what I’m trying to do now. Just build relationships with everyone that I work with."

There's obviously more Christians in Hollywood, many we don't even know that are doing what God has called them to do in this city of darkness. If you'd like to join with me to continue to pray for Hollywood, check out the Hollywood Prayer Network for directed prayer topics, people, and issues straight from Hollywood. And let's watch God do miracles in this city!

About the author

Joy Muldoon is a full-time missionary and part-time blogger. Read about her travels, adventures, and missions here!