A Spiritual Fight
and I told the producers in the beginning,
'It's not a boxing story; it's a spiritual journey’,"
—Sylvester Stallone in New Man Magazine.
These words are from an electronic press kit for pastors I received on the new film Rocky Balboa. I get these movie promos for pastors from time to time. Usually they are for films like The Chronicles of Narnia and The Nativity Story that are more overtly Christian. So, I was a bit surprised to find Rocky resurrected as a spiritual journey.
So here's the confession. I saw and enjoyed the first Rocky movie. It had heart along with the courage to let the hero fight well, but lose the match. I never saw the other movies in the franchise and I have not, of course, seen the new movie.
Confession aside, I did want to give y'all a behind the scenes tour of how a movie promotes itself to pastors in order to get at their flocks. The pastors page is online at www.rockyresources.com which has quotes from leaders evangelical to Roman Catholic and in between. And though I am right here and now pointing you to resources on this movie (which they hoped I would do) I am not endorsing the film.
Instead, I am questioning the practice. I see the quotes on the leaders page and wonder if they were paid for the endorsement. I hope not.
But why be harsh on Rocky? I don't want to pick on it in particular. After all the website says,
Rocky Balboa motivates us to face our own challenges with perseverance, community support, and prayer. The story presents a dynamic opportunity for insightful discussions about where we find our courage, how we overcome losses and remain faithful, and what we define as victory.That is no doubt true. I find that most any movie can be used to start a discussion on things deeper than the surface of the film. I just wonder what y'all think about the practice of having pastors endorse movies? I do recommend movies all the time at the personal level. I wonder if I would lend my name to a marketing campaign and I tend to think not. But I'm not sure why (other than that no one would think to ask me for my opinion). What do y'all think?
The Rev. Frank Logue, Pastor