Decency, righteousness invade Hollywood
Ted Baehr, with Tom Snyder
Commentary by Julio Severo: I met Ted Baehr in a pro-family meeting and for some days I was able to see his Christian testimony and especially his joy in Christ. He is a great man of God! Men filled with the Holy Spirit as Baehr are making difference in Hollywood. I do not mean Hollywood is light. It is darkness. But in the midst this thick darkness, God has his lights, and Baehr is one of the most shining ones!
Thousands of studies have shown that the mass media shapes the hearts, minds and actions of our children and grandchildren. By doing this, the mass media also is able to create and control the culture, or at least major portions of it. In this manner, the mass media can also control America’s future.
Movieguide has been “the family guide to movies and entertainment” for nearly 30 years now. As such, we try to redeem the values of the mass media of entertainment according to the Bible’s moral and spiritual principles, so that we can transform the United States of America with the good, the true and the beautiful.
We do this by talking with entertainment industry leaders, honoring any good movies and TV programming they do, informing the public at large about the media’s influence, helping families make better entertainment choices, and helping budding filmmakers produce entertainment full of faith and values.
Our strategy for doing this great work has been extremely successful.
For example, since we entered this mission field the number of movies with strong or very strong, overt Christian content or worldviews has increased from only one or two a year to more than 65 per year, including movies based on the fictional works of Christian authors J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis and blockbuster movies like “Spider-Man 3” and “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” both of which had really explicit, positive Christian content and references.
Also, all of the major studios in Hollywood now have special divisions and/or executives not only handling family movies and animated movies, but also handling faith-based movies like “Fireproof” or “Amazing Grace.”
In fact, last year Roma Downey and Mark Burnett produced “The Bible” miniseries for the A&E Television Networks on cable TV, and this year Fox distributed their “Son of God” movie developed from the miniseries.
In addition, two smaller evangelical, faith-based movies, “God’s Not Dead” and “Heaven Is for Real,” doubled and even tripled the amount of money that previous, similar, successful faith-based movies like “Fireproof” and “Soul Surfer” earned at the box office.
As a result of all this, Hollywood is producing several faith-based, biblical blockbuster movies in the next few years, including “Exodus: Gods and Kings,” remakes of “The Ten Commandments” and “Ben-Hur,” “Christ the Lord” and “King David.” Several of the Hollywood studios and filmmakers making some of these blockbuster movies have even contacted Movieguide in an effort to assure that the movies are as reverent and as accurate, but as dramatic, as possible.
Why are these studios and filmmakers doing this?
Because for 30 years, we have been showing Hollywood, with scientific and statistical precision, that entertaining family-friendly and uplifting movies with positive Christian content and values make the most amount of money on average than any other kind of movie.
Hollywood has put these assertions of ours to the test and found them to be extremely reliable.
And, guess what? The financial success of movies like the Narnia and Middle-Earth movies based on the work of Christian authors Tolkien and Lewis and the continued success of movies like “The Blind Side,” “The Passion of the Christ,” “Heaven Is for Real,” “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” “Les Misérables” with Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway, “Spider-Man 3,” “Pirates of the Caribbean” and “Man of Steel” has proved us right.
In fact, movies with strong positive Christian content in them are so successful that even the last James Bond movie, “Skyfall,” had some rather overt, positive references to Jesus Christ and Christianity. Not only that, but “Skyfall” is now the most successful James Bond movie ever made!
Of course, we give all the glory for this positive change to God, through faith in Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Jesus Christ works through people like us and people like our readers – and also through Hollywood filmmakers.