"So," they say, "nobody's perfect!"
But the Vinedresser won't buy that.
Given the opportunity, He will trim the unproductive suckers and shape the branches so each one will bask in Sonlight.

Thursday, January 03, 2013

When Will I Learn?

Honest, I had the best of hopes for A Gifted Man, a short-lived, CBS medical/supernatural drama. Patrick Wilson did a great job as Dr. Michael Holt, while everyone else was competent. Scripts were well-written, and the overall scenario was kinda fun. Backstory has Anna, Michael’s ex, dragging him to Alaska to cure the Indians’ ills, but the two doctors part ways over money-management issues—and yes, that’s not exactly novel. So Michael returns to the lower forty-eight to create a prosperous neurosurgery practice.Rachelle Lefevre as Dr. Kate Sykora, and Patrick Wilson.

Time passes, and Michael happens to meet Anna, played by Jennifer Ehle, on the street, and they go to lunch for old-times’ sake. Later that day, a most curious discovery shakes Michael’s world: Anna was killed in a car accident … before they met and had lunch. Thus begins the strangeness of friendship with a ghost.

So I was sitting there doing my imitation of a couch potato—imitation, because I don’t have a couch—enjoying the show, when Anton Little Creek, a good-looking, smart, well-adjusted shaman played by Pablo Schreiber, demonstrates complete success in treating and eradicating a case of spirit possession. I asked myself, “When was the last time I saw that level of credibility given to a Christian minister’s character on prime-time TV?”

My answer? Decades. Many decades. In fact, I can’t remember such a thing happening. Imams? Yes. Buddhist priests? Yes. Aboriginal medicine men? Yes. Witches? Yes. Vampires? Yes. Serial killers? Yes. But never a Christian pastor. In fact, more often than not, the pastor character is the really weird guy who mucks things up for the normal folks.

If I were a conspiracy nut I’d say the media moguls are in this thing together, to make Christians look bad. But I’m not. Instead, I say the entertainment media’s remarkable Christian-bashing consistency can be chalked up to their almost universal hatred of Christ and his followers. You don’t have to conspire when most entertainment big-wigs share the same prejudice.

That said, I have to admit how well Christendom plays into the role of haters. In fact, loving, Spirit-filled Christ-followers are a minority among those who call themselves “Christians.” The Bible calls them, “the remnant,” because godly love and faithfulness is so unusual in churches.

But Pollyanna that I am, I keep hoping that Hollywood will one day get it right. I guess I’ll never learn.

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