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When you hear the word “Hollywood”, what images pop into your mind? Famous faces? Pompous people? A widely publicized sign overlooking Hollywood? Fast living—drugs, violence, sex? Spiritual darkness?
While all of these images may be accurate, some faithful Christians see opportunity, hope, vision, and a slowly-changing progression for the better. These are the Christians working in Hollywood to minister to producers and executives throughout the entertainment medium. Master Media International, Hollywood Presbyterian Church and various other churches are among those who minister to the television and movie industry. Dr. Larry Poland is the head of Master Media International and meets regularly with executives in the movie industry for private discussions about spiritual matters.
Dr. Poland, his staff and supporters, have to walk a tightrope between people who angrily condemn Hollywood people, and his call from God to love them and minister to them. Providentially, winning of trust and confidence and sheer biblical integrity always win out in the end. It’s like unconditional love. It’s an offense for which there is no defense. And in a world where everybody wants a piece of you for something, unconditional love is a scarce commodity in Hollywood.
Let’s take a fresh perspective and look at what the Lord is doing through Dr. Poland and Master Media International:
Most of the executives in the media entertainment industry are workaholics. They’re worshipping the gods of mammon and glitz, which are the two leading dieties in Hollywood. They tend to be upside down in their family values and their personal values. The best choice and best route to values change is coming to know Christ and having his redemptive, revolutionary power in your personal life and, as a result, coming into the values of Christ and the Bible.
I know because I had a vice president of one of the leading networks receive Christ with me and 90 days later, he was telling me ‘Look at this script! I’ve red-penciled foul language and skin scenes! I don’t know what’s happened to me, but I’ve become a lot more conservative since I became a reborn Christian.’
Well, to me, that’s the only way the industry really is ultimately going to be changed. It’s slow, but it’s effective.
This ministry involves Bible study groups for various media leaders, publishing a newsletter with encouragement and testimonies, and mostly one-on-one meetings. We generally do not work with performers because it’s just strictly tactical. The people in front of the camera very seldom have power. The people that run the business are the business people and they tend, as a job-block, to be more stable. You can’t be doing cocaine and hot-n-cold running blonds and the whole nonsense if you’re trying to run a business.
We know that as the Lord touches the lives of these people, they’re going to influence whole segments of their studio, of their production company, of television, of prime time, of syndication—and as they do then that’s the payoff we see. …When they come to know Christ, they begin to make biblical, right, godly decisions. They influence whole segments of television or of the film business.
An important part of the ministry, as with any real ministry, is prayer.
Where prayer ascends, power descends. The Enemy has held the entertainment industry in his grip for 90 years. He doesn’t want any challenge. The best way to give him no challenge is to make sure we have no prayer.
The Hollywood entertainment industry sends movies and programs all over the world. So, changing the values of its leadership can have far-reaching effects. The prime focus of Larry Poland is to care about each individual, especially executive and management persons.
God didn’t send His son into the world
to condemn Hollywood,
but that Hollywood through Him might be saved.
One day I was reading that passage in John 3 that said ‘God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.’ and I thought, ‘Hello! You can substitute Hollywood. God didn’t send His son into the world to condemn Hollywood, but that Hollywood through Him might be saved.’ And so, that’s our mission, love these people unconditionally.
I hate what they do. I hate the environment. It’s a dark spirit. Many dark spirits prevail in Hollywood, but these people are just lost, and they’re hungry, and they’re open.
And God is moving. Now, I believe, is the first time in the history of the entertainment business in which the opportunity for God to create a total spiritual revolution is within our grasp… Frankly, I’m not going to quit (unless the Lord takes me out of this life), until I see that with my own eyes. The day that Jesus Christ could walk down Sunset Boulevard and into the major studios and feel comfortable.
What are YOU doing to make a difference in the entertainment industry?
Let these thoughts be a challenge for all of us to realize there are many things we can do to help change Hollywood:
Choose entertainment that upholds your values. Use the free resources available to help you make wise viewing decisions.
Reinforce proper use of media in your family viewing habits by talking with your family about what you just watched.
Your purchase of a movie ticket is your “vote” for that movie. Your vote counts. “Vote” for programs containing positive values and messages.
Pray for those in media leadership positions, and for those who are trying to reach them with the message of Christ’s love.
See our daily suggestions for who to PRAY for in Hollywood and the media—GO
If you would like more information on how you can become involved in this unique ministry, contact:
Master Media International
330 N. 6th St., #110
Redlands CA 92374-3312
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