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‘Preachers’ Daughters’ shows Hollywood vs. faith

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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Lifetime new reality show Preachers' Daughters promotional cast photo. From left to right, Nikita Koloff and daughter Kolby, Mark Perry and daughter Olivia, Ken Coleman and daughter Taylor (Credit: Lifetime / Richard Knapp)

A pastor’s daughter fantasizes about becoming a porn star.  Another pastor’s daughter struggles with telling her parents she’s not sure of her child’s paternity. These are some of the plot lines in Preachers’ Daughters, a reality show which aired last night on the Lifetime network.  The program received interest from six different networks.  Imagine the backlash from Muslims if Lifetime aired a similar show titled “Imams’ Daughters,” or from the Jewish community for “Rabbis’ Daughters.”

Why is there such antagonism in Hollywood toward Christianity?

Two decades ago, movie critic Michael Medved published Hollywood vs. America.   He cited a survey of 104 of the most influential leaders in TV’s creative community.  Though 93 percent received a “religious upbringing,” only seven percent were “regular” participants in religious services.  Medved then told of a survey he conducted with dozens of movie professionals, asking them to guess weekly attendance at worship services.  Their most common response: “five percent or less.”  Census surveys place the actual figure at 43 percent.

Clearly, some in Hollywood are intentionally persecuting Christians.  But could it be that many others are creating movies and TV shows that simply reflect their version of reality?  They see an America where religion is irrelevant if not harmful and produce films and shows that correspond to their misguided, misinformed opinion.

What can Christians do?  One: speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15), making plain the light of Christ in our dark world (Matthew 5:14-16).  Two: stand strong when our faith is attacked, remembering that “in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:12).  Three: pray for Hollywood executives and actors, knowing that “the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4).

Toward that end, I’d like to suggest an initiative.  More than 500,000 people have responded to the “Adopt a Cardinal” campaign, praying for a cardinal by name during this critical week in Catholicism.  At the other extreme, some Christians have chosen to “Adopt a Terrorist,” praying by name for a jihadist.

Why not “Adopt Hollywood”?  We could pick an actor or executive for intercession.  For instance, what would happen in our culture if George Clooney, a declared atheist, were to make Jesus his Lord?  What if Steven Spielberg, a lifelong Jew, were to find his Messiah?

Who will you be praying for?  Hollywood’s effect on our culture is pervasive.  Let’s ask God to redeem this influence for his Kingdom.