and the media
McClure is a Christian filmmaker with
a wide involvement in print, radio and television. She
talked with Associate Editor Scott Harrup about the positive
impact the media can have on today’s culture.
What led you into a media career?
I wrote a movie review column for parents in the Irvine
World News and it got picked up in the Orange
County Register. I got involved with different Christian
radio stations and Web sites, got onto radio as a talk
show host and appeared as a guest on other shows. Since
then I’ve done some television work. But it all
started with the movie reviews.
The whole reason
I wrote the column was to add some moral values and ethics
to the movie review process and give parents insight into
what’s going on in the theater. As a parent of three
kids, it was close to my heart. I felt like God wanted
me to use my talents to help families.
What do you see driving the continued decay of morality
in television and movie production?
You can point to several factors. There’s the lack
of godly teaching and principles and faith that parents
have offered the younger generation. It’s like there’s
a generation that’s been skipped. A humanistic approach
to living permeates our culture. We may have a strong
Christian heritage, but about half the country doesn’t
believe those truths.
is the craving of our culture — Christians and non-Christians
alike — to be entertained. Church has to be entertaining,
going to the gym has to be entertaining, everything you
do has to be entertaining. Everyone’s become very
self-absorbed. Films are going to cater to that hedonistic
side of our nature.
When you have
a nation where the kids are being taught a relative morality,
they’re more accepting of whatever comes out in
the media. Then you have writers that skew their material
to that demographic because young people are spending
money. As long as we accept it and buy it, Hollywood will
continue to sell it.
You’ve filmed a documentary about Mel Gibson’s
The Passion of the Christ. Why does The Passion
My documentary on the making of The Passion appeared
on PAX and TBN. I think The Passion will contribute
to a paradigm shift in our entertainment. Originally,
the doors were slammed shut in Mel Gibson’s face
by the studios. He was told they wouldn’t touch
it because it was religious and about Jesus. So he took
his own money and did it, and the film has become huge.
on its own sell well? No. But this is a good story and
it’s the way it’s told. That’s what
sells. Before its release, I talked with Mel about why
he thought it would do well. “I think people love
hero stories and people love love stories,” he said.
“This is a hero story. It’s about God loving
His Son and His Son loving mankind.”
And, as Gibson
points out, this is a story that goes against Hollywood.
The hero doesn’t get revenge. The hero doesn’t
kill anyone. He is crucified yet forgives His enemies
from the cross. It’s a story of compassion.
has made people who have never really heard about Jesus
or stepped inside a church to be moved and touched. They
walk out and want to learn more about Jesus, ask questions,
and pursue those answers. That’s great, and that’s
exactly what Gibson wants.
I was at a
screening, and a Jewish woman in the audience came up
to me afterward. “This movie has profoundly impacted
me,” she said. “I’ve never read the
Bible, and that’s not what I’m pursuing. But
this story makes me curious about the Gospels.”
And I smiled and said, “That’s exactly what
Mel Gibson is trying to do with this film.”
Where do you see the potential of film for communicating
I think the potential for film is tied to what I said
earlier about entertainment. Since entertainment has become
the pulpit of America, we need to preach through the media.
When you recognize that our children and culture are learning
from the movies they watch, then movies become a worldwide
platform. So we need to get people in there preaching
from that pulpit. For years Christians would hide their
heads and treat Hollywood like Sodom and Gomorrah. Christians
pulled out and we didn’t have a strong influence.
But now believers are involved at every level of filmmaking.
That’s how you make a difference.
God knows how
to use movies to connect with hardened hearts. We can’t
expect films to do anything in people’s lives on
their own. But if we let God be God and do what He wants
to do, we’re going to find a whole new generation
coming to the Lord and expressing an interest in Him from
films they have seen.
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