Wednesday, February 08, 2006

"End of the Spear" playing in SLO

I've heard from multiple people now that "End of the Spear" is playing this week at the Downtown Cinemas here in SLO. Each of these folks has recommended the film strongly. Don't know about taking the little ones. We need to support these quality films produced by Christian film makers. Hopefully it will make it past Friday. Check it out.

If you've seen it, share a take.

I remember reading "Through the Gates of Splendor" as a high school student. God used it along with Bruchko, Peace Child and other missionary stories to nudge me toward ministry. I'd recommend all these books.


Debbie J. said...

Ron & I saw the movie last week and highly recommend it. Because it is realistic and graphic I would not recommend taking little ones to see it.

Anonymous said...

I question how objective it is though. Was there any mention of the awful tragedies that followed the converting of these people? For instance, I've heard that one of the central themes of the film was the Auca were about to be killed off. Where did that come from? I've invested a great deal of time reading up on this episode over the years, having read Jim Elliots journal, and all three accounts written by Elisabeth Elliot that covered the period, and I find it very peculiar and even conspicious that I cannot ever recall this issue of imminent extinction ever coming up??? Why is that? Could it be to counter the mounting criticism over the exploitation of these people out of their land rights? I've wondered. Could it be to "justify" the "cause" of these families that sacrificed so much so long ago? A cause that in light of recent events could be coming under greater question and scrutiny? I wonder because what I believe this movie does cover is both sides of this story, and I wonder whether it is then just an attempt to cover up this uglier side to perpetuate a more romantic one without any of the warts.

Maybe I'm wrong, but what I believe we’re not told in this film is how Rachel Saint was receiving money from sponsors eager to exploit the taming of this tribe, or what drove Ms. Elliot to write "There were differences between Rachel Saint and me. My conviction grew that the clearing in Tiwaenu was too small to accommodate two missionaries who were not in any strictly truthful sense really working together. One of us, it appeared must go. My decision was a painful one." But I wonder, did it have anything to do with her coming to see that Rachel was inadvertantly selling these people out to corperate interests for "their own good"?

I wonder because she went on to write: "We must recognize that … our attempts to offer salvation and life will be mixed with corruption and death… The Aucas heard the gospel. They also got polio, others were crippled. Oil companies (more than a score I’m told) have been able to enter what were formerly forbidden areas, so that the Indians now have short-wave radios, hypodermic syringes and … hard hats… It is hardly necessary to point out that for every civilized “blessing” there seem often to be ten curses. The hunting grounds on which the Indians depended for food are being systematically destroyed by the search for petroleum… Sam, Dayuma’s son, the object of a great deal of interest and prayer, was given a Christian education in Quito and the United States, but has returned to live part-time in the city, part-time in the jungle, where he runs a tourist business. His view of missions and missionaries is a jaundiced one, to say the least." Elliot (Epilogue 1981, p. 144-45) [1]

These words come across very powerful when taken following another historical account made into a documentary - one in which I would strongly recommend viewing so as to possibly see this episode from the "jaundiced" eyes of Sam, the son of Dayuma. The documentary is called “Trinkets & Beads” [2], and it is a documentary complete with 1950's footage of Rachel Saint taking a large check from sponsors on TV, only to return decades later to help a "Christian" run oil company MAXUS further defraud these people of what little they had left.

Just something to think about and consider as you go and see this movie. There may be those who being aware of these unfortunate events that are not readilly receptive to the gospel presented by those declaring that they only need to see this movie to understand it. Sorry, but that's just the hard truth.

Take care and best wishes,

Reference and footnote

[1] Elliot, Elisabeth (1981). The Savage My Kinsman. Ann Arbor, Mich.: Servant Publications.

[2] "TRINKETS & BEADS tells the story of how MAXUS set out to convince the Huaorani… to allow drilling on their land. It is a story that starts in 1957 with the Huaorani massacre of five American missionaries, moving through the evangelization efforts of Rachel Saint, to the pollution of Huaorani lands by Texaco and Shell, and then the manipulation of Huaorani leaders by MAXUS."

Anonymous said...

Err, correction: "I wonder because what I believe this movie does [not] cover is both sides..."

Anonymous said...

I thought the movie did a wonderful job in focusing on the story of forgiveness. Before the Gospel was given the Waodoni only numbered around 200. The pattern of retribution with enemy tribes had taken it's toll not only on the Waodoni but also neighboring tribes. The reality is the Gospel had not only had a life changing effect on the Waodoni and that they choose to follow a life of peace, but the family members of those killed chose to move in with the Waodoni and care for the sick.

thereishope said...

Saw this film. It was a little disappointing in the fact that if you didn't know the story, the gospel didn't come across very clearly. Albert Mohler has an interesting article worth reading on the movie.

Lisa Lewis said...

Read the book, saw the documentary, and traveled out of town to see this film the weekend it opened. I felt the story was beautifully portrayed and compelling in presenting the conflicts within the tribes. The point of view of the story was not from the evangelical missionaries but from the Waorani (Waodani) people. It saddens me to think that the Christian evangelical community must hear John 3:16 recited in order to claim the gospel has been shared. If the words of life are spoken are they not those from a sovereign God who desires to reach out to ALL who don't yet know Him? Isn't it possible that in sharing this story from the Waorani perspective, some English speaking person who watches the film and doesn't know about God yet might wonder about the reference to the "marks on the trail" and begin to seek an answer to that wondering? Can we really think an infinite God is limited to our methods in reaching the lost? Is this arrogance or foolishness? One needs to wonder....

thereishope said...

I think the biggest disappointment is trying to get past Chad Allen, the actor who played Nate and Steve Saint. He is a well known homosexual activist. He campaigns to promote homosexuality, make it acceptable to the general public, and to reconcile it with Christianity. He is trying to use this film to bridge the gap between homosexuals and Christians. As Christians we can and should pray for homosexuals, but we can never accept their choices as anything but sin. I think Every Tribe Entertainment could have made a better selection for someone to represent Nate Saint.

Gordon Wong said...

Beyond the Gates of Splendor (2002) the prequel/documentary to the film was superior. There was a degree of authenticity and cohesion that End of the Spear couldn't match in what I've considered a first rate documentary with BTGOS. If you haven't read the story of the Elliots, you will leave this movie with questions.

Nonetheless, End of the Spear was a decent movie, and perhaps best Christian-themed movie to come since Hiding Place. However, my recommendation is buy the DVD of Beyond the Gates of Splendor, and save your money for the documentary - it's a keeper!

Anonymous said...

I must say that I strongly disagree with "thereishope's" previous comment about Chad Allen being the film's "biggest disappointment". Although I am not condoning his support of homosexuality, I do believe that God's purpose is not hindered by Mr. Allen's actions even though "we can never accept [his] choices as anything but sin." In my opinion, suggesting that the purpose of the gospel can be tainted by sin puts a limit on an omniscient and omnipotent God. After all, we are all inherently sinful beings, whatever the sin may be is of no consequence. God will never fail to work through and inspite of our unending shortcomings.

Green Thumb said...

i think one of the greatest tragedies of the film is that it never once mentioned the need to "Save" the rain forest in which these people have lived.

Rob Gunn said...

Randy Alcorn has a great discussion of the homosexuality of Chad Allen on his website He does an incredible job of looking at all sides of this unfortunate situation. It will inform you of some important facts and cause you to really examnine attitudes.

Rob Gunn

Andy Gibson said...

"In my opinion, suggesting that the purpose of the gospel can be tainted by sin puts a limit on an omniscient and omnipotent God. After all, we are all inherently sinful beings, whatever the sin may be is of no consequence."

But isn't that a cop-out? Isn't it our job as Christians to do the best we can in our everyday life to not sin and to live the Gospel?

If I were to think like you do above, then I can do whatever I want without regard for the Gospel, but still be a Christian because everybody sins and how can anybody on the earth question that?

I have a friend that thinks like that and it makes me sick. Live your life everyday the best you can for the glory of God. Period. Being Homosexual is not doing that.

Jeannett Gibson said...

Oy vey. A little off topic, no?


Gotta love the blog!

Anonymous said...

Hi again. Just a quick point of what brought me back. I had been looking for some sources recently but couldn't find them when I recalled I had them here in an earlier post made in July. So upon returning here to search for them I noticed the entry about the movie, and well since I had also been considering this movie lately, I thought I would offer the impression it had left on me.

Now as I was also just reading something that I feel could be relavent to the discussion, I felt I would come back and offer it for those who may be interested. So for what it's worth I offer the following:

"AMY GOODMAN: We turn to someone on the inside who decided to speak out, and he is John Perkins, has written the book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. He came into our studios to talk about his former work, going into various countries to try to strong-arm leaders into creating policy favorable to the U.S. government and corporations, what he called the “corporatocracy.” John Perkins says he was an economic hit man. I began by asking him to explain this term.

JOHN PERKINS: We economic hit men, during the last 30 or 40 years, have really created the world's first truly global empire, and we've done this primarily through economics, and the military only coming in as a last resort. Therefore, it's been done pretty much secretly. Most of the people in the United States have no idea that we've created this empire and, in fact, throughout the world it's been done very quietly, unlike old empires, where the army marched in; it was obvious. So I think the significance of the things you discussed, the fact that over 80% of the population of South America recently voted in an anti-U.S. president and what's going on at the World Trade Organization, and also, in fact, with the transit strike here in New York, is that people are beginning to understand that the middle class and the lower classes around the world are being terribly, terribly exploited by what I call the corporatocracy, which really runs this empire.


AMY GOODMAN: We return to our interview with John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man. I asked him if he was the first person to coin the term “economic hit man.”

JOHN PERKINS: I think I may have been the first to use it in print, but we used it back in the ‘70s. We called ourselves -- and it was sort of a tongue-in-cheek term. Officially, I was chief economist, but we used that sort of tongue-in-cheek, because it described was we did. Since the book came out on hardback – yes, and there’s a new epilogue in the paperback, which covers a lot of the new material -- a lot of people have stepped out of the shadows and approached me and talked to me, high people in governments and other economic hit men and jackals and wanted to share their story. A lot of them want to do it anonymously, which is a little tricky for a writer these days, as you know, but it's been fascinating to me how many have stepped out.


AMY GOODMAN: And these people who have come forward, are they active today?

JOHN PERKINS: Well, yes, very much so. One of them – you know, there was a president elected, the President of Ecuador, Gutierrez, a few years ago and he ran on a very, very strong anti-U.S. ticket. And he said that if he was elected, he would make sure that the people of Ecuador get the fair proceeds from Ecuadorian oil. As soon as he was elected, he was visited by an economic hit man, whom I know personally, and read the Riot Act, told the things we mentioned earlier, you know, “I’ve got money for you or a bullet.”

Within a month, he came to Washington. There was a famous picture shown all over Ecuador of him sitting, holding hands with George Bush. And very soon after that, he went against everything in his campaign promises. He cut sweet deals with the oil companies. He went back on the indigenous peoples, whose lands in the Amazon area he had promised to protect. And the Ecuadorian people went wild. They took to the streets. They protested and demonstrated and eventually threw him out of power.

Matt Gould said...

Cooled off & revised version:
Im sorry if you found my thought proccess sickening, I was simply trying to express why I felt Chad Allen was not the film's biggest downfall. And also that only God can make anything we do affective for his purpose because He is perfect, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, and our best will always fall short. Period. We as Christians especially should never lose sight of that!

Andy Gibson said...

Oh, no, it wasn't that part of the thought process I found sickening. It was my friend who thinks like that and uses it for every spiritual argument we get into regarding his or my lifestyles. Either way, nevermind, I was off topic in the first place like my wonderful wife pointed out.

Anonymous said...

What doyou think Tim?

Suzette Lyons said...

I was listening to a program on the radio the other day that hosted a Christian man who used to be involved in the gay lifestyle. Then I was reading all of this, including the earlier mentioned web site post on Chad Allen; his non-Christian beliefs and his wanting to reach out to the Christian community.

I think I will pray that if it is His will that God will give Chad Allen life and eyes to see and ears to hear. Once God gets ahold of him, he would be a great person to reach the the lost in the homosexual community.

I don't think I will be able to see the movie until it comes out on video, but maybe I can rent the Beyond the Gates of Splendor video.

Anonymous said...

hasn't the world heard enough of our disgust for and judgment of homosexuality? It seems like we only speak out in condemnation and in reaction. Let's 1. use better mirrors when looking for planks in our own eyes 2. not elevate this sin (homosexuality) above, say, spiritual pride or anger and 3. broadcast loudly that the gospel is for the lost, all of us.
I fear that if we are heard loudest on our stands against this or that, we are forgetting Grace and are falling back under human law. Most importantly, no one will want to hear about a God who excludes gays or liberals or whomever we rail against. Jesus ate with them, he didn't picket their gatherings.

Anonymous said...

Sometimes the TRUTH hurts!

Matt Gould said...


Anonymous said...

So what do you think Pastor Tim?

Andy Gibson said...

I doubt anybody will read this since it is so far down, but let me copy my previous post:

"But isn't that a cop-out? Isn't it our job as Christians to do the best we can in our everyday life to not sin and to live the Gospel?

If I were to think like you do above, then I can do whatever I want without regard for the Gospel, but still be a Christian because everybody sins and how can anybody on the earth question that?

I have a friend that thinks like that and it makes me sick. Live your life everyday the best you can for the glory of God. Period. Being Homosexual is not doing that."

I agree...we shouldn't elevate a sin, but to turn the other cheek and pull the you sin I sin argument is a bunch of bull. Live your life everyday for the highest Glory of God. Period.

I haven't seen disgust for homosexuality...I personally have family members that are homosexual, not that it is important.

Sure, no one will want to hear about a God who "excludes" gays, but didn't Tim just speak about Humble Confrontation which "requires courage, wisdom, care, and humble self-examination that isn't popular or fun, but Biblical." No one will want to hear about God that "confronts" gays, but still, you have to tell a gay person they are sinning and however is appropriate, help them repent. Right? You see that confrontation as excluding and as railing against them....well, that sucks because the Bible outlines how to deal with those situations rather than using PC as a cop-out. Is that the view of Christianity we want to give? It is a delicate balance...everybody is welcome in the House of God by his Grace, but at the same time we are instructed to "protect the name of Christ"?

Roy said...

Amen Brother!

Lara Laity said...

Okay I am feeling the tension here. I totally agree with anonymous. Jesus said that he without sin should cast the first stone. How will we reach sinners if they think that we hate them? But then Andy is right too. We cannot compromise. Pastor Tim's blog about the presbyterians is relevant here. As soon as we stop hating sin we are in danger of wedding ourselves to the world. I see the character of God alive and well in both of you.
So, How do we remain holy and set apart and yet remain humble and reach out to the lost? There is the tension. Jesus is our example.

P.S. Yo Andy, You've got to read "The Warrior" by Francine Rivers. It's about Caleb in the old testament. You and he have a lot in common. He was uncomprmising in his obedience.