Believe it or not, there was a time when the church had an incredible amount of influence over what movies made it into the theaters and what was aired on television. It seems like a dim memory, even though it spanned for 33 years from 1933 – 1966.
During that time, all scripts were read by people who represented the Southern Baptist Church, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Protestant Film Office. They were run through a rigorous set of guidelines called The Motion Picture Code.
If a movie was found to be within the boundaries of those guidelines, then it received the Motion Picture Code Seal and was allowed to be distributed.
Then tragically, in 1966, the churches voluntarily stepped away from the movie industry, and things have never been the same ever since, according to Movieguide Founder and Publisher Ted Baehr in his book, How To Succeed In Hollywood (Without Losing Your Soul).
Christians who feel they have a calling to the entertainment industry have been in quite the battle to use their gifts to produce positive values material that includes the gospel message and get it out to the masses.
There are still so many who have never heard of the Kendrick Brothers, Rich Christiano, the Erwin Brothers, The Billy Graham Organization’s movies, and several others who are trying to take back the airwaves that should never have been surrendered in the first place.
Kathie Lee Gifford is one of the most recent additions to those who are feeling called by God to make a difference in the entertainment industry.
“The devil doesn’t own the airwaves. …the Lord does,” Gifford told Art19 on the Prodigal Stories Podcast. “Everything belongs to God, and we need to reclaim them for His Kingdom.”
It seems somehow fitting that Gifford came to know the Lord in a movie theater back when she was a young girl. She was raised Jewish, and then one day while watching a Billy Graham movie she gave her life over to Christ.
This is only the first of many projects that Gifford has in mind. When she retired from daytime TV in 2019, she planned on spending the remainder of her life focusing on Christian storytelling.
Christians who believe they have a calling to make a difference in the entertainment industry can visit www.shine.us for some insights into how they can get started.