Steve McAlpine blog

If I Were Going to Wear Black…

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If I were going to wear black on January 8th let’s not make it it for the sake of the Golden Globes.

If I were going to wear black on January 8th let’s not do so for self-posturing hypocrites.

If I were going to wear black on January 8th it would not be to hide the hypocrisy of an entertainment industry that, like parts of the Catholic Church, knew that something was going on, but turned a blind eye too.

 The same industry that calls for wholesale change to the church is happy to throw a few miscreants to the sidewalk as scapegoats in order to continue as is.

If I were going to wear black on January 8th it would not be to announce that Oprah Winfrey should be President.

No.  If I were going to wear black on January 8th it would be to commemorate the death of a man who stood for all that was antithetical to the Hollywood elite, Jim Elliot.

Jim Elliot died on January 8th 1956, slain by the unreached tribal Indians in Ecuador that he was seeking to reach with the gospel.  Four of his fellow missionaries died with him.

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There is no doubt that conservative, slightly fundamentalist Christians such as Jim Elliot would be scorned by those wearing black at the Globes yesterday.  No doubt his type would be the object of derision.  And no doubt there’d be tut-tuts from types who are all too happy to mythologise the likes of sick and perverted men such as sexologist Alfred Kinsey in movies, and overlook true service and humility.

And there’s a fantastic story of love and costly forgiveness in there, if any director chooses to shoot it, of Elizabeth Elliot, his widow, going to that same tribe with the gospel, reaching those who were involved with Jim’s slaughter.  Hey Hollywood, how about it?  Though I guess bringing the gospel of Jesus to tribal people is colonialism.  Much better we bring Hollywood’s gospel to them instead.

Jim Elliot’s simple life and deep love for Jesus and serving Him are summed up in this most famous statement – famous not because he said it, but famous because he lived it:

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.

Hollywood’s undeclared motto is the exact opposite.  It is a grasping on to what will be lost and a giving up of the only thing it could keep.  Fools indeed.

Which means, perhaps, on January 8th we should wear white in honour of the victory of Jim Elliot even in death.  His career did not die.  He did.  But in doing so he gained for himself the true Golden Globe:

Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. James 1:12

When the plaudits of this age are finished, and the elites stop slapping each other on the back, the Golden Globes will be mere trash beside such a crown.

Posted: 9 January 2018

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Steve currently works as a pastor and church planter for Providence Church, and in his writing dabbles in a number of fields, notably theology and culture. He lives with his family in the eastern Hills of Perth – a vantage point just high enough to give him a good idea of how incredibly fast the city is growing.

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