END OF THE SPEAR" MOVIE IS RUSTY,
A CRISIS & DILEMMA
Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers. . .
In my opinion, the
movie, THE END OF THE SPEAR is "rusty!" Why do I say
this? Let me explain. It is not "rusty" because the
cinematography was poor. On the contrary, I understand it was
absolutely beautiful and professionally done. It wasn't "rusty" because
the acting was unprofessional. NO! I understand it was
excellent. But there are basic lacks in the movie's Christian
testimony for other reasons. To put it in a nutshell, there are
two major flaws in the production of that Hollywood movie.
There may be more, but that is all I am aware of.
Even though I did not
see the movie, I know that the Every Tribe Entertainment film's
portraying of the slaying of five brave missionaries, fifty
years ago in the rain forests of Ecuador, has two failures.
The first is the way of salvation was not clearly given. If it
was, it were so unclear that an unsaved friend of mine, who saw
the movie, did not get the salvation message at all. She
thought the message was to save the rain forest.
The other "rusty" reason
is that movie star, Chad Allen, who portrayed martyred Nate
Saint, as well as the adult son, Steven Saint, is an outspoken,
self-proclaimed gay-rights activist. Also you may
remember him in "Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman." I do not think that
the Nate Saint, missionary pilot of 1956 would have wanted his
name associated in any way with approval of the homosexual
lifestyle. I may be mistaken but I don't think so.
I am personally
disappointed that the martyred memories of five brave
missionaries have been maligned by the association of a gay
rights activist with a movie honoring those missionaries
featured in THE END OF THE SPEAR. The young Christian
men were real people dedicated to the cause of Jesus Christ.
Their names were Ed McCully, Pete Fleming, Jim Elliot, Roger
Youderian, and Nate Saint.
Perhaps you are not
old enough to remember the year 1956. I do. That was
the year in the month of November that our daughter was born.
Only a few in our family and among our friends noted that
birth. Our names were not splashed on every headline in every
newspaper. We lived in Miami, Florida at the time. My husband
was a chaplain in the Navy then. But thousands of people all
over the world--Christians and non-Christians--knew of the slain
missionaries. We were shocked that year when the news of the
Ecuadorian massacres took place! It was an event that shook all
Let me refresh your
memory. There was this savage Indian tribe whom we
readers of the news and listeners to the radio soon called the
Auca Indians. "Auca," which means "savage," was a name given to
these people by the grieving widows of the murdered victims.
As time went on, the public learned the true identities of that
violent group. They were called the Waodani. The Waodani
lived in the tangled jungle of Ecuador's dark depravity. The
only life they knew was a life of primitive savagery--an eye for
an eye, and a tooth for a tooth. Life was not pretty or
precious among those people of self-pride and barbarian
brazenness. They had never heard of the true God nor of His Son
Jesus Christ! Sin had no restraints, no bars against it, nor
any rescue from it.
The burden on the hearts
of the four missionaries and their pilot, Nate Saint, was
deep-seated. They wanted to reach the Waodani for
Christ. It had been only two short days, prior to the spearing
of the men, that the missionaries had contacted the savages.
The Indians had responded that time with warm greetings. Alas,
the next contact was far different. On what the white men
called "Palm Beach," the shallow Curaray River became the
missionary men's death trap. One can't help but reflect on Jim
Elliot's words when he described him and his co-workers as a
"bunch of nobodies trying to exalt Somebody." That "SOMEBODY"
was the Lord Jesus Christ. Their whole thrust of love was the
love of Jesus. They went to the jungle to win the Waodani tribe
to the Lord Jesus Christ. You who have lived any length of
time at all know that life has a way of turning our plans
around, doesn't it? Instead, being "unknowns" to the world,
five sharp spear-thrusts into the bodies of "nobodies" turned
them into "somebodies."
On that day that made
"NOBODIES" become "SOMEBODIES," their noisy flying bird brought
frightened attention to the sparsely dressed, bronzed-skinned,
men with tribal markings. Frightened, the savages did
what they always did when smelling danger. They killed. Within
minutes, five healthy, happy, joyful men lay bleeding on the
sand. Dying men, whose only hearts' themes were to tell the
Indians of the Lord Jesus Christ's sacrifice for their sins.
Instead, the men suffered, bled, and died for the very cause of
the Christ they came to preach. Their desire was to tell of
Jesus and how He was pierced for them. Instead, they were
pierced for Jesus. Their death spoke more than a thousand
words. No longer would those brave Christian men's mouths sound
another syllable in prayer or praise.
As the murderers
screamed, they plunged their spears into missionary flesh.
Their hearts ceased beating. Their lips were silenced. Their
eyes were shut in death. With such senseless killings, their deaths spoke
more than their lives ever said. But, the Word of God did not return void.
The seed that died on
Ecuador's beach that day sprouted, in time, into the fruit of
salvation of the very savages that threw their deadly spears.
The killers became born-again Christians. Eternal Life sprang
forth. The sister of Nate Saint and the wife of Jim Elliot
stayed with the savages, translated their language into God's
Words and taught them of the Saviour for whom the martyred men
had died. We have all heard this story. Many of us have read
Elizabeth Elliot's book THROUGH GATES OF SPLENDOR. What a
living lesson of true forgiveness.
The celebration of fifty
years of missionary harvest in the Ecuadoran jungle was welcomed
by many of us. With mixed feelings we learned of the
movie, THE END OF THE SPEAR, which was released in January of
2006, that would celebrate triumph over tragedy.
I am personally sorry in
this twenty-first century that Christians have resorted to the
commercial film industry to get their message out to lost souls.
The Bible says "the preaching of the Cross . . . is the power of
God" (I Corinthians 1:18). Though I do not attend Hollywood
movies, I could not help but have an interest in the film
because of the shattering news of 1956. Who could forget it?
You see, I had heard of
the Saint family long before Nate Saint's martyrdom. One
of my best friends from Bible-school-days had an older sister
who had married Nate Saint's brother. If my memory serves me
right, this brother-in-law of my friend from Philadelphia was in
aviation also. I may be wrong. You know how memories are?
Then in recent years, I saw Nate Saint's widow on a bus in
Lausanne Switzerland. By then she had remarried. For all I
know, little Steve Saint could have been on that bus also.
One day, at the nail
salon, for something to say to my Vietnamese-nail technician, I
said, "I plan to do a radio program on THE END OF THE SPEAR
MOVIE." She enthusiastically said, "I SAW IT!" I was
surprised and said, "You did? Tell me about it!" I was
purposely very quiet for I did not want to interject anything
into her thoughts. I knew about the homosexual actor playing
Nate and his adult son, Steve Saint, but did not want to color
her thinking. Nor did I want to tell her that one of our sons
had seen Steve Saint's disappointing interview on Fox News. She
was an unsaved woman and I did not want to hinder any moving of
the Spirit of God in her life. I've tried to witness to her
about Jesus and I know her soul is more important than my
critique of a movie. Our son, who is a preacher himself, was
very disappointed that in real life, on a television interview,
Steven Saint, when asked why his father went to the jungle in
the first place, gave the impression to millions of people
watching him on television, that it was for ecological reasons.
In other words, the conclusion was that Nate Saint went to
Ecuador and was speared to death to save the jungle.
I questioned my
nail-girl very carefully. I asked, "Why did the missionaries go
to Ecuador anyhow?" (I knew the reason--at least it was
the reason fifty years ago.) Her face looked pensive. Then she
said, "I THINK IT WAS TO SAVE THE JUNGLE!" Dismayed, I asked,
"Did the movie say anything about the missionaries going to the
Waodani Indian tribe to tell them about the Lord Jesus
Christ?" "No," was her reply. I tried again. "Did they say
anything about the missionaries going to the jungle to tell the
people that the Lord Jesus Christ wanted to save their souls
and give them Eternal Life?" She pondered, "Maybe I didn't
listen carefully enough." I asked again and she replied, "I did
not hear anything like that!" I was appalled. I really was.
She explained all about
the spearing of the men and how her heart beat fast during the
movie. She knew all about the killings but nothing about
the Saviour. It broke my heart. Here was an unsaved woman from
another country who needed Jesus; yet this film that was
supposed go tell of the love of the Lord Jesus Christ did not
communicate such a message. How many others left the theaters
without hearing the gospel?
But then, I was not
surprised, remembering that one of our sons had said what Steve
Saint had told the world-wide audience on an early morning Fox
News television program. He implied that Steve's father
and the other slain missionaries gave their lives to save the
Later I read a review by
Rusty Benson in the AFA JOURNAL that said the following:
". . . the authentic
and passionate Christ-centered motive of the missionaries is
lacking, rendering an incomplete portrayal. In contrast,
Elliot's (Elizabeth Elliot) book (THROUGH GATES OF SPLENDOR)
clearly documents the Gospel zeal that drove the mission
How could Jerry Falwell
and FOCUS ON THE FAMILY wholeheartedly recommend such a movie?
Not only did the movie NOT proclaim the clear gospel of the Lord
Jesus Christ to its viewers, but also it had a committed,
homosexual actor and gay advocate play the leading role.
In a paper that came to
us recently written by Dr. Douglas D. Stauffer, I read that this
Chad Allen has a homosexual agenda. In an interview in
LA Magazine, when asked about his first gay love scene in a
movie, Chad declared, "I want beautiful,
positive representations of gay male sexuality out there. So it
was very important to the director, Ron Oliver, and me to make a really good sex scene that wasn't gratuitous or gross
but was healthy, sexy, and beautiful."
The actor went on in his interview to declare that he believed
THE END OF THE SPEAR would bridge the gap between the "gay and
Christian communities." Dr. Stauffer wrote that Allen's
homosexual agenda is very clear.
is attempting to recast homosexuals in a positive light
is fighting for legal recognition of homosexual marriages
wants tolerance, acceptance, and recognition of the homosexual
lifestyle and agenda
gives generously to the "Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund" which
helps elect openly homosexual candidate to public office."
The controversy over
this homosexual choice began, according to an recent E-mail that
we received here at the Bible For Today, when a Rev. Jason Janz,
an assistant pastor in Denver Colorado, posted critical comments
about Chad Allen playing the part of both Nate Saint and his
grown-son Steve. Those comments led to a widespread
boycott in many evangelical communities. Perhaps it was this
alert that warned my husband, Pastor D. A. Waite, and me
concerning the situation. I don't remember.
Although there are many
others from whom I could quote, let me continue to quote from
.Christians may be ambivalent at the choice of Chad Allen to
portray both Nate Saint and a grown-up Steve Saint. Allen is an
out-spoken gay activist who crusades against a federal marriage
After broadcasting this
paper on "Just For Women," my weekly radio and Internet
program, I was surprised to read Marvin Olasky's comments on the
THE END OF THE SPEAR movie-controversy in the WORLD magazine
(the February 18, 2006 issue). It was too late for me
to incorporate my feelings about the Editor-in-Chief's five
conclusions on the radio program; but I want to convey them to
you as you read. The long and the short of it, from my
understanding, was that Mr. Olasky was sympathetic to keeping
the gay activist in the leading role, as the film company chose
to do. He agreed with their decision. Truthfully, his answer
disturbed me. Let me summarize his reasons for you:
(1). The film-makers
should have done their homework. [That goes without saying.]
(2). The film-makers
had offered a contract which they were right to honor, so they
should keep their word. He used Joshua's honoring the Gibeonites' deceit as an example of keeping one's word in a bad
(3). He said "Beyond
prudence and law lies grace."
(4). Dumping gay Chad
Allen would have shown that Christians can forgive murder but
not a homosexual activist. [The savage murderers forsook their
murdering when they accepted Jesus Christ. Mr. Allen continues
his sinful lifestyle and has not received Jesus Christ as his Saviour, as far as I know.]
(5). We should thank
the film makers who have made the best of their mistake. Then
the editor asked us readers, "Haven't we all made worse
All of this compromise
really upsets me! The self-justification of sin disturbs
me almost as much as the hiring of a gay activist to play the
lead of Nate Saint. How does it affect you?
The theme of the World
editorial appears to be that "the end justifies the means."
The late Dr. Charles Woodbridge called such attitudes and
behavior "casuistry." What ever happened to the other old adage,
"Never do wrong in order to have a chance to do right"? Sad to
say, paying a gay activist, as in this case, who uses a goodly
portion of his salary to promote his homosexual causes, made the
actions of the employer, Every Tribe Entertainment, a company
that is aiding and abetting a criminal action against God's
Words! The movie star's salary did "aid" and "abet" the cause
of sodomy in all the areas mentioned above in previous
As to Joshua keeping his
word to the lying Gibeonites. Mr. Allen did not pretend
to be "straight." He did not deceive. His homosexuality was
well known among the film elitists. He did not come with
worn-out shoes and stale bread, so-to-speak. It appears that
the film-makers did not know him or his background.
Suppose a church called a pastor. Suppose he was an
excellent speaker, knew the Bible well, was personable, and had
a beautiful wife and children. Before the man moved into the
parsonage, the truth about his homosexuality came to the front.
Everyone in the church was shocked. Then it was discovered that
he was a gay activist. He used his talents, when not in the
pulpit, to promote the Sodomy he enjoyed. He also practiced it
many nights a week away from his home, wife and family. Would
that church be required to have that man as their pastor just
because the church voted to do so? You know the answer. Do
you get my point?
When discussing with my
husband, Mr. Olasky's views--a writer, by the way whom I usually
enjoy--Dr. D. A. Waite reminded me of King Amaziah who had a
similar predicament in the Old Testament. Let's look at
2 Chronicles 25 and learn. Until this time, Amaziah did right in
the sight of the Lord but not with a perfect heart. I suppose
it was this flaw that made him hire three hundred mighty men out
of Israel to help him fight a battle. Remember that Amaziah was
king over Judah, not Israel. If you recall, when he became
king, he killed his servants who had killed his own father; but
he did not slay the children of those servants. He followed the
law. He did not make the servant's children die for the sins of
A man of God came to
King Amaziah and rebuked him, "Don't take the army of Israel
with you!" The Lord was not with Israel or any of the
children of Ephraim for that matter. Amaziah should have known
that! But the man of God said, "Go ahead, if you must and use
the Ephraimites; but if you do, you will lose the battle."
Amaziah was reminded that the LORD had power to help or to cast
But there was a
problem! Amaziah had already given his word and paid the
Ephraimites a hundred talents to fight in that battle.
The man of God stilled the kings financial fears with the words
we have often heard, "The LORD is able to give thee much more
than this!" (2 Chronicles 25:9)
The point in my reviewing
this Biblical account is the Lord did not want King Amaziah to
be dismayed over the loss of the money. God wanted him
to be obedient to His commands. Sometimes you and I become so
very concerned about money that we are willing to compromise the
teaching of Scripture. As the account continues in the chapter,
we see that Amaziah continued in his compromising. It seems he
learned absolutely nothing from his experience. How much he
was like the rest of us.
Now I realize that some
evangelical, as well as some so-called fundamental, churches
showed a part of this movie about the slaughter of five brave
missionaries to their church congregations. It had been
released to churches for promotional purposes. I do not know
if the movie shown in churches was edited to fit the
fundamental/evangelical mind or not. Someone told me that a
church nearby us showed snatches of the film. Pastors were
buying handfuls of tickets for their parishioners. My friend
said the promotional movie was moving and beautifully done. She
said Elizabeth Elliot was in it as she looked in the mid-fifties
when the murders were committed and how she looks now. I do not
know if she is in the movie-theater version or not. All I know
is my friend, the nail technician, saw the whole movie in the
movie house and claimed that she never heard the way of
salvation at all.
There was a time when
church meetings were for the preaching of the Bible and not
movie viewing. Any entertainment like a movie or puppets
or plays was saved for class parties or special banquets. Back
when those young men gave their lives in death, a
Bible-preaching church would NEVER show a Hollywood movie under
its roof. No more! Times have certainly changed, haven't they?
In closing I want to
tell you one more interesting fact. According to
CHRISTIANITY TODAY which I read in the FBIS News Service, The
Every Tribe Entertainment film makers did not know that Chad
Allen was a homosexual when they first offered him the part.
This was discovered AFTERWARDS but BEFORE the contract was
signed. So WHY did Steve Saint support the gay man in the role
of his father? For two reasons. REASON ONE was because of a
dream Steve had. God told him in the dream that he (Steve
Saint, the martyred pilot's son) should not be alarmed with the
angry Christians who would not approve of a homosexual in the
lead. REASON TWO was that the film makers would continue with
Chad Allen in the lead because they wanted to keep their word.
I guess that is how Judas felt when he kissed Jesus on the cheek
in betrayal. He had to keep his words to the chief priests.
After all, they'd given him thirty pieces of silver, hadn't
ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers:
what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness?
what communion hath light with darkness?
what concord hath Christ with Belial?
part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?
are the temple of the living God;
hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them:
will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Wherefore come out from among them,
touch not the unclean thing. . .