Beauty and the Beast's Gay Moment: What Should Christians Think?

What should we do when Hollywood produces movies we don't agree with?

We Christians tend to be a fickle bunch. We don't put our money where our mouths are and we're living to regret it. Let me explain.

We say we don't agree with a lot of things: like premarital sex and adultery and divorce and homosexuality. The list goes on. Yet for decades now we've bent the rules. We've ignored our own "should nots" and justified our decisions to pay big bucks to watch whatever sort of entertainment is thrown our way. Simply because we've wanted to. We've wanted to be entertained. We've wanted to be amused in a land of make believe even if that land goes against everything we say we believe.

Little by little, like the culture around us, we've become desensitized to sex on the big screen. We've become jaded about nudity. We've become amoral when it comes to our entertainment choices.

What used to shock us during prime time now makes the list of our favorite TV shows. What used to ruffle our feathers is now regular fodder for office chat.

When 50 shades of grey came out, many Christians spoke against it. Our sensibilities were offended. Yet in its opening 3 days, 50 shades gathered a nice $81.7 million in over 3000 locations. Then came Fifty Shades Darker, which didn't live up to its prequel in numbers, but still had an official trailer with 114 million views in the first 24 hours of its release online. That's huge. Were those clicks evangelical clicks? We'll never know for sure, but it seems to me that many might have been.

You might think I'm being dramatic, if not a little bit judgmental. You would never ever watch 50 shades of grey, after all. You have your limits. Yet you, like me, have stacked your Netflix queues with shows that you would never want your pastor to see.

Your pastor who according to Barca research has the same issues with his entertainment choices that you do. Most pastors (57%) and youth pastors (64%) it turns out, admit they have struggled with porn, either currently or in the past with over 21 percent of youth pastors and 14 percent of pastors admitting they currently struggle with using porn.”

The struggle is real.  

Barna polls also show that 64 percent of Christian men and 15 percent of Christian women admitted to viewing pornography at least once a month, compared to 65 percent of men and 30 percent of women who identified as non-Christian and said they watched porn at the same rate.

When it comes to our viewing habits, we who call ourselves christians are not that different from the rest of the world.

Enter LeFou and Gaston and the most recent Hollywood morality debate. 

What should we do when Hollywood produces movies we don't agree with?

To protest on the grounds of Biblical morality sounds ridiculous if not hypocritical. To say nothing sounds wimpy and "safe". But I wonder if we who call ourselves Christians are simply living out the repercussions of our own bad decisions. Perhaps we who call ourselves Christians should consider showing the world what we believe by simply putting our money where our hearts are.

Perhaps instead of pointing our fingers judgmentally at our non-believing friends and accusing them of offending our morals we should use our fingers to point to what we do stand for. One single dollar at a time.

Which might mean skipping a movie, or two, or even an entire Netflix subscription in order to teach our kids that what we value the most is not on a big screen. It's in the pages of a book called the Bible.

Perhaps it's finally time we switched the channel.

I wonder how big our impact could be if all of us who call ourselves Christians were willing to stand for what our God stands for. I mean really stand for it risking ridicule and not fitting in. I mean at the expense of our popularity and our cultural relevance. I mean at the expense of our own addictions and desires.

I wonder how big a dent we could make if we took our God seriously.

Which begs the question: where is your heart in this matter? Is it tethered to Hollywood, or is tethered to God and His word? 

Hey have you heard of Covenant Eyes? It's an internet accountability and filtering system. I'll be telling you more about it in weeks to come, but check it out here and get the first 30 days free! If you're serious about holiness, you'll want to do this! 

Here's a great resource on purity for you from the archives:


Why I Love Valentine's Day


It's Valentine's Day.

You happy? Mad? Sad?

How does V day make you feel?

Maybe you love it, like me.

Or maybe this Valentine's Day is hard for you.

Maybe you leaned over and kissed the one you love this morning. Or maybe you can't stand looking at that body next to yours.

Maybe you're berating yourself for forgetting to make a dinner reservation tonight. Or maybe you're berating God for forgetting to provide someone to make a dinner reservation with.

The truth is that today is either really hard, really great, or somewhere in between. I know... I'm a genius. Still...

For me, Valentine's Day is sort of like Thanksgiving.

I love everything about it.

Why, you ask?

Well, because it's a day in which I stop for a moment and recognize the important things.

On this day, I stop and remember that were it up to me, I might have been married, twice, to the wrong guy. But God knew me better than I knew myself. He had a purpose for me that He planned before I was born. And somehow, despite my best attempts, this awesome God made a way for me to feel the pain of singleness and then use it to write a book about thriving in singleness (check it out here), and to host a daily radio show for singles (listen here), and to have a heart for singles like me.

Trust me.

I could have never thought this thing up.

But every year on Valentine's Day, I stop and think about love. Not the love of a man that still hasn't show up yet, but the even deeper love of the Father.

If you don't know Jesus, this might sound creepy. I get it.

But if you do know Him, then it makes perfect sense to you and odds are you totally agree.

Some days - like today - being single isn't very easy.

Yet some days - like today - being single is just perfect.

But whether you're single or married, and no matter what your view on Valentine's Day is, let me sum it up like this:

If you're married today, go ahead and celebrate the gift of love God has given you. Be grateful that God knew exactly who you needed in your life (yeah, I mean that guy you're married to!).

And if you're single, go ahead and celebrate the gift of love God has given you. Be grateful that God knew exactly what you needed in your life right now.

And if you're still waiting for a man/woman to show up and sweep you off your feet or if you're still waiting for your husband/wife to make that dinner reservation for tonight, be encouraged on this Valentine's Day with my two favorite verses on waiting from Psalm 27:13-14:

"I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!"

Happy ValenThrive's Day everyone! 

And *hugs* to all of you reading (See? Even I get sappy on V day). 

And because I love singles a little bit more than I love marrieds, I put together this awesome ValenThrive's resource for you - don't be shy: share it with your friends and on social media!


A Letter to my Christian Friends in the West

My dear fellow western Christian - 

We are finally coming of age.

After hundreds of years of relative comfort, after generations of being well thought of and feeling culturally accepted and looked favorably upon, we are finally, finally coming into our own.

We are finally no longer the in the majority.

We are finally no longer the dominant ones.

We are finally feeling the stain of dislike.

We are finally experiencing what Jesus meant when He called us to be aliens in a world that would not understand us.

Some of us are angry about it, miffed that our rights are being threatened.

Many of us are struggling to grapple with it.

A few of us are insisting on yelling about it one Facebook update at a time.

We used to look at the rest of the world and feel sorry for them.

We used to take pride in living in the land of the free.

We used to consider ourselves blessed. God's favor was on us and our great nation and lucky was anyone who was granted the privilege of participating in our comfort seeking security loving approval hungry ways.

What we didn't notice was that we were wrong.

While we were working so hard to fit into the world, our brothers and sisters around the world were learning to stand strong.

While we were striving to make it, our persecuted siblings were striving to praise him.

While we were running hard after our next vacation and promotion, Christians all over the world were running hard after Jesus.

They grew stronger while we became weak.

They grew lean while we became soft.

And now - now we are finally coming of age.

We are finally waking up to our destiny.

In a world that prefers the dark, we've been exposed as different.

We've been outed as strangers in our land.

We've been recognized for the misfits we were always meant to be.

It's time we grow up.

It's time we decide.

The choices we make today will reveal who we really are.

Our choices will reveal who we love.

Some of us will turn back, unwilling to bear the cost.

Some of us will try to hide, preferring the safety of anonymity.

But many of us will rise.

We are awakening to our destiny.

We are coming of age.

We've been given a gift.

We've been set free from our own wants and our desires.

We've been given a second chance.

Will you take it?

Will you prove to be faithful?