Jay Rogers
Director:
Jay Rogers

Recent Posts

The Forerunner

Is There A Resurgence of Values in Hollywood?

By Leilani Corpus
Published March 1, 1988

Could Hollywood be groping for goodness after several decades of decadence? There have been some noticeable changes lately. Script- writers are creating heroes that hew to traditional values. Over the last several years, families have become desirable themes – and recently even babies have made a splash at the box office (“Three Men and a Baby” has been a success story for one studio).

Strangely enough, there is a genuine heritage of Christian values in the legacy of Sunset Boulevard. As early as 1932, Christians worked closely with producers, directors, scriptwriters, and even the stars to keep motion pictures and radio and television programs relatively free of immoral and anti-Christian themes.

Christian television producer Theodore Baehr said this “period of grace” existed from 1932 until 1966, when a Motion Picture Code that applied the Ten Commandments to motion pictures was followed and even enforced. The code also became a standard for the radio and television industry. For Hollywood filmmakers, the code was enforced by representatives of the Catholic Church as well as many Protestant denominations. These church leaders read every movie script and approved them under the terms of the code.

Those terms stated that there would be no sex, violence, profanity, obscenity, or nudity in movies that were produced by the major studios. Under Section 8 of the code, it was declared that no religion could be mocked, and that ministers could not be portrayed as comic characters or villains.

There was, in fact, a fear of God in our nation during that time – and moviemakers were obliged to be respectful. Most were, and many created motion pictures that reflected the place of esteem that Christianity held in America. Today, however, the Motion Picture Code is just a token standard to appease conscientious viewers.

As a boy, I remember Saturday afternoon movies where cowboys and Indians fought and died; but never in these films did the perishing writhe in slow motion, with blood gushing from wounds and curses coming from their mouths, as they often do in today’s cinema. There was death and tragedy in those old movies, but even in the worst of them parents had little fear that sexually explicit, four-letter words would be carried home by 8-year old Johnny.

In one vintage film, hard-drinking Gary Cooper actually comes forward in an oldtime revival meeting to give his heart to Jesus Christ. “Sergeant York” follows his life of Christian virtue as he becomes a hero in World War I and ultimately receives the Medal of Honor.

Another great film is “It’s a Wonderful Life” starring Jimmy Stewart. Directed by Frank Capra, a Hollywood legend who contributed much to producing films of high moral quality, this classic has become so celebrated that practically every network airs the film every year during the Christmas holiday season. A recently made film, “Jesus of Nazareth” is aired every Easter by NBC. This classic has been acclaimed as one of the best films on the life of Christ.

Frank Capra apparently worked with ease under Hollywood’s moral code. During these halycon years of the 1930s and 40s, the entertainment industry thrived. A slogan of the period was “Movies are Better Than Ever.” Suddenly, however, in the mid-1960’s, Christians began to pull out of their commitment to Hollywood. Denominational groups withdrew their representatives, “for different reasons with the same consequences,” says Baehr. “One denomination decided things would continue to go well even if it did not bother to read the scripts, failing to keep in mind the sinfulness of man.”

Baehr continued by saying, “Another denomination decided that all television, movies, and entertainment programs were bad and left the industry wide open for anti-Christian influences. Several other denominations decided that the Motion Picture Code was too restrictive. This group, represented by the National Council of Churches, felt that movies should be more realistic … so they worked for the abolition of the code. The offices in Hollywood that read scripts for the denominations were closed, and the people who read the scripts were put out to pasture after some bitter battles.”

According to Baehr, many people in the motion industry were “deeply hurt” when the churches pulled out. A former president of Paramount Pictures, a Baptist, said he felt abandoned when they left. Some believe the exodus brought a curse on Hollywood because the industry began a decline that it is just now beginning to shake off.

Television became formidable competition for movie houses, and thousands closed around the U.S. The star system was broken and producers began to find other cities – and nations – in which to make their movies. Huge studio lots were sold off and even the most glittering names – MGM, Warner Brothers and Paramount – were stung by the downturn.

Amazingly, the few virtuous films that were made began to gain attention. “Chariots of Fire”(1983) is seen by many as a the turning point. Since the appearance of this Academy Award winner, profit-conscious producers have become less fearful of making a motion picture that has a Christian message. “Tender Mercies,” “The Mission,” and “Places in the Heart” are a few of the most recent films that have won public acclaim from Christians and secular audiences.

But there is still much work to do in Hollywood and in the film community. A small enclave of Christian artists, actors, writers, and producers is busy “salting” the industry as much as possible; but there is a need for young people to invade the field in much greater numbers. Despite the perverted language and violence on the screen today, there are some good signs. Warner Brothers Pictures President Barry Reardon affirmed his desire to produce moral, wholesome films at the National Religious Broadcasters conference in Washington D.C. last month. Past-president of Columbia Pictures, David Pittman, producer of “Chariots of Fire” and “The Mission,” agreed with Reardon at the NRB conference. These men are working to turn back the tide of evil in Hollywood but they need other professionals to join them on the battle lines.

One of the giants of the cartoon industry, Hanna-Barbera, is now producing video cassettes for children on the lives of great biblical heroes such as David, Joshua, etc. There are Bible studies at NBC and other studios, and a group of Christian scriptwriters who are churning out movies and television series. In 1985, Franky Schaeffer and another Christian put together a production company to make films with a moral as well as a Christian message.

Tony Salerno, formerly of Agape Force, is heading up one of the most ambitious projects to train young people to reach the masses with the gospel through all types of media. A former CBN producer has started a film summer camp guided by professional Hollywood directors and technicians to train young Christians as actors who can appear in full-length motion pictures. The three-month summer program is held near Hollywood and draws on some of the biggest names in the industry. Part of involvement in the movie camp demands a radical commitment to the Lord Jesus. The camp includes Christian speakers, devotions, and evangelism to insure that the natural high-ego temptation of the entertainment world does not ensnare the young participants.

With all that is going on in the film and television industry, it is obvious that God has not given up on Hollywood – even though some Christians may have. It’s not time to write off the industry. Instead, it is time to penetrate and reform this significant part of our culture.


Forerunner - Home » The Forerunner Newspaper » Arts and Media

Your comments are welcome!

Textile Help

The Abortion Matrix: Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death (DVD)

Download the free Study Guide!

Is there a connection between pagan religion and the abortion industry?

This powerful presentation traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God and crime against humanity has produced in our beleaguered society.

Conceived as a sequel and update to the 1988 classic, The Massacre of Innocence, the new title, The Abortion Matrix, is entirely fitting. It not only references abortion’s specific target – the sacred matrix where human beings are formed in the womb in the very image of God, but it also implies the existence of a conspiracy, a matrix of seemingly disparate forces that are driving this holocaust.

The occult activity surrounding the abortion industry is exposed with numerous examples. But are these just aberrations, bizarre yet anomalous examples of abortionists who just happen to have ties to modern day witchcraft? Or is this representative of something deeper, more sinister and even endemic to the entire abortion movement?

As the allusion to the film of over a decade ago suggests, the viewer may learn that things are not always as they appear to be. The Abortion Matrix reveals the reality of child-killing and strikes the proper moral chord to move hearts to fulfill the biblical responsibility to rescue those unjustly sentenced to death and to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves (Proverbs 24:11,12; 31:8,9).

Speakers include: George Grant, Peter Hammond, RC Sproul Jr., Paul Jehle, Lou Engle, Rusty Thomas, Flip Benham, Janet Porter and many more.

Ten parts, over three hours of instruction!

Running Time: 195 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


Abortion Clinic 911 Calls (DVD)

Exposes the Dangers of Abortion to Women!

These shocking eyewitness accounts expose the dangers of abortion not only to unborn children, but to the health and lives women as well. An antidote to the smokescreens of the liberal media, these short clips show what really happens in and around abortion clinics.

Although the content is emotionally gut-wrenching, these videos have been used in church seminars and small groups to educate Christians on the abortion issue and to lead people toward a pro-life position. Contains 2 hours and 40 minutes of materials that can be shown separately.

Watch these pro-life videos on-line.

“These videos helped change my mind from pro-choice to pro-life. Your videos are what did it for me. I will be walking in next year’s March For Life in San Francisco.” — A. Jackson, California

“I was going to have an abortion until I saw your video. Praise Jesus!”
— M. Drew, YouTube Commenter

$4.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


Go Stand Speak (DVD)

With “preaching to the lost” being such a basic foundation of Christianity, why do many in the church seem to be apathetic on this issue of preaching in highways and byways of towns and cities?

Is it biblical to stand in the public places of the world and proclaim the gospel, regardless if people want to hear it or not?

Does the Bible really call church pastors, leaders and evangelists to proclaim the gospel in the public square as part of obedience to the Great Commission, or is public preaching something that is outdated and not applicable for our day and age?

These any many other questions are answered in this documentary.

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


Frank Schaeffer Will You Please Shut Up! (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 200 pages

A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism

Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner

The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.

Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.

Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.

$14.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information


A Revival Account: Asbury 1970 (DVD)

What is true Revival and Spiritual Awakening?

Discover the answer in this eyewitness account by Dennis Kinlaw, President of Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky, who recounts the story of a visitation of the Holy Spirit in 1970. This is the presentation that has continued to spark the flames of Revival in the hearts of people around the world. Contains eyewitness footage from the Revival at Asbury College in 1970 in Wilmore, Kentucky.

Certain to challenge you to greater holiness and a deeper commitment to full-scale revival. Original news and private footage has been included. If you are a student who longs to see a spiritual awakening at your school, you must see this video!

“This simple video does a wonderful job of conveying something of God’s heart and power, Everyone we have ever shown this to has received an immediate impartation of faith for revival and the power of prayer.”
— Bob and Rose Weiner, Weiner Ministries Int’l

Running Time: 40 minutes

$19.95 — ORDER NOW!

(We accept all major credit cards and PayPal.)

Click here for more information

Share |

View CCNow Cart/Checkout
View CCNow Cart/Checkout

RSS
Subscribe to
The Forerunner

Have The Forerunner Weblog sent straight to your inbox!

Enter your email address:

YouTube
The Forerunner Channel on YouTube


Promote Your Page Too

Featured Product
If you like the articles on this website, you may also be interested in:

Featured Articles

Live Seminar!

Real Jesus
The Abortion Matrix DVD: Update

The Abortion Matrix:
Defeating Child Sacrifice and the Culture of Death

is a 195-minute presentation that traces the biblical roots of child sacrifice and then delves into the social, political and cultural fall-out that this sin against God has produced. You can order this series on DVD, read the complete script and view clips on-line...
continued ...


View My Stats