Irenic Thoughts

Irenic. The word means peaceful. This web log (or blog) exists to create an ongoing, and hopefully peaceful, series of comments on the life of King of Peace Episcopal Church. This is not a closed community. You are highly encouraged to comment on any post or to send your own posts.


A Spiritual Fight

"In Rocky, if he's just a fighter, then it's just a boxing story,
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.

Classic Rocky 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 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 taglineRocky 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


  • At 12/20/2006 9:34 AM, Blogger November In My Soul said…

    Ultimately that's a decision that needs to be made bewteen you and your bishop. Personally, I don't see how you could do it would out being perceived as a sell out.

    There are enough real characters in the real world that exhibit these same values. The Saints for example. Why not promote them and tell their stories?

  • At 12/20/2006 1:58 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    A smart man once told me that "perception is everything and we can not control someone elses perception of us or our actions." With that said, to promote or not promote a movie, book or political agenda, the decision is between you and God.

    Robin R.

  • At 12/20/2006 8:26 PM, Anonymous BobinWashPa said…

    When I worked for the Roman Catholic Church the diocesan paper had a movie review each week. The priest would rate the over all content, M0 for morally ofensive,pg-13, F for family etc...

    I respected his opinion and he did recommend a lot of movies that weren't "religious." There were comedies (God gave us the gift of laughter), docudramas, historical films, dramas, mysteries and so forth. He even saw the Friday the 13th movie which he found MO.

    I like the idea of a priest recommending a movie. I didn't with always agreed with Fr. Al (I think was his name) but it's nice to see another persons take.

    Ps. Do we stop going to see certain operas because they're boderline bawdy? Some masterpieces such as Strauss' Der Rosenkavalier or Mozart's Cosi Fan Tutti would certainly be shelved to our detriment.

  • At 12/21/2006 6:57 AM, Blogger King of Peace said…

    The following is from National Public Radio's program Day to Day:

    Day to Day, December 20, 2006 · Sylvester Stallone is going to new heights to promote his latest film Rocky Balboa. He's trying to tap into the huge evangelical market that powered the success of films such as The Passion of the Christ, even hiring the same marketing company behind that film.

    Stallone held a teleconference with Christian leaders, to talk about what he says is his own spiritual reawakening.

    Rocky Balboa, the sixth movie in the Rocky series, opens today nationwide. It's actually getting decent reviews from film critics, and from the pulpit.


Post a Comment

<< Home