Does Seattle Need “Actors, Models and Talent for Christ??”

Posted on March 18, 2013


When driving on the main road near my apt in North Seattle, I often pass by an  Actors, Models and Talent for Christ (AMTC) billboard. I had driven by the billboard a few times originally thinking it was nothing more than a cheesy, low-budget ad but at some point I read it. Seeing the name of Christ attached to this enterprise surprised me.

Seattle is often advertised as the most secular city in the country. Here, supposedly people identify themselves without shame as agnostics and atheists. They worship Mother Earth and all things Democrat. If prompted, they will pointedly dismiss the claims of Christ and the Apostles. It is an educated city, with above average incomes, few children and lots of dogs. The Washington State same-sex marriage amendment passed in November because of overwhelming support in Seattle (pop. 620,000).  Although there are churches that thrive here (Mars Hill), most people ignore the Lord’s Day and do not attend worship.

Is AMTC an Evangelistic Opportunity?

Many people would defend AMTC as a starting point for a conversation. Christ’s name is usually only mentioned as a swear word, they say, so if a billboard gets people thinking then it must be good, right? Actually, no….it’s not good because His name does not get people thinking in any serious way when it’s used as a marketing tool. In John 15:9 Jesus tells His followers that if they were of the world, the world would love them. His followers are not of the world and therefore the world hates them. Pretty simple correlation, no? We say we understand it and accept it, yet in the next breath, go begging for legitimacy and love from a culture that will always be at odds with Christ. Like it or not, there is an antithesis!

What does a model for Christ look like? From the pictures on the website, I’d say no different from anywhere else. If models are to just wear clothes, then they’ll probably remain unknown. That’s not the intent for AMTC models; modeling is a starting point for further fabulousness in acting, singing, whatever….just as it is in Hollywood.

raised in a Southern, Evangelical Household.

What does an actor for Christ do? Appear only in Christian themed movies and TV shows? How many of them are any good? How many of them make you think? Or laugh? That’s what a good movie should do; they cannot evangelize. We have preaching and the Bible for that. If an AMTC actor was to go to Hollywood he’d find his options severely limited unless he was ready to kiss the golden calf. The media delights in celebrities who shake off their religious repressions and evolve. Those models of modesty – Britney Spears, Beyonce and Katy Perry – were all raised as Christians. Obviously, the lust for fame and its corrupting influence grabbed them way before they became popular but I’d say AMTC encourages a similar trajectory. It’s very much in-line with the revivalism of Evangelical America. One big dramatic act – an alter call, tears, a raising of the hand – or a popular, cool, Christian role-model – will accomplish more than what  faithful preaching and teaching does.

I don’t know if the board of AMTC  understands what the larger culture thinks of Christians. Many people are indifferent to the Gospel. “Whatever works for you,” or “Good for you but don’t push it on me,” they say. Many of these people consider themselves some variation of Christian culturally. The more hostile people who include large numbers of progressives, already think they understand Christianity. They don’t need a Tim Tebow to show them the light. In fact, public figures like him reinforce what they think they know. They rage against the smugness and the “meanness” of what they see as Christian culture. They laugh at how uncool and hokey Christian culture is. They shake their heads at the many hypocrisies.

I would agree with the many mockers of Christian culture. The materialistic, shallow, suburban culture they rage against is a lot more Republican than Gospel centered. Saying one thing while doing another, which too many Christian celebrities have done, is appalling. Worse, is the lack of repentance by many when caught. To really capture the world for Christ, we must resist quick fixes. If you’re an actor, do it with integrity. If you model clothes, do it well (in modesty).  To win over enemies of our Lord, we must love and serve them. Friendship evangelism is hard, risky work but the rewards are priceless!