I think I'm gonna start blogging again. I think I've bottled up so much 'inspiration' I suppose that I need to start jotting it all down. One of the subjects that I want to talk about most, and maybe I'll make it into an entirely different blog on a different site, but one of my most personal and favorite topics that can get me fired up the most is Christians in the film industry. I think it's an incredibly beautiful thing that gets me immensely excited but at the same time sad and frustrated.
I think that God has made me a filmmaker because the lessons I'm going to learn about Him I will learn the best through film. Just like he has made you a doctor, a father, a janitor or a chef. If you really start falling in love with it and trying to see God in it. You'll start learning about how God works through how you do your job.
In my case, I've learned so much about God through film and especially filmmaking and the film business. God is most certainly the sculptor, but He is using filmmaking as the tool in which He uses to shape me.
I've always said that Christian films or music isn't about the end result but how they go about making that product. Maybe I should give you back story on my career and life. Maybe that'll start to come out in these blogs, but I should just tell you that I've toured with Christian bands and been in the Christian industry for about 10 years now. Whatever band you've ever liked that a Christian, odds are, I've toured with them or hung out with them. (read more here: http://blog.isaacdeitz.com/2011/09/christian-entertainment/ )
So all of that to say that I've been thinking a lot about 'turning the other cheek' that Jesus calls us to do. I have a theory, not a replacement of any of the ideas you may already have of what he meant by that, but an addition.
So Paul talks about the church being the "Body of Christ", we are all part of a big puzzle, one of us is the eye, one the nose, etc. So everyone and their mom has been hurt by the church, in fact if you haven't been hurt by the Church, you're probably just attending an online one and not interacting with anyone else. Just like if you've never ben hurt by being in a romantic relationship, you haven't been in one. So if you see the church as a body. When the church hurts you, turn the other cheek, keep being vulnerable. Because when someone literally slaps you and you turn the other cheek, they'll have to slap you with their back hand or their other hand, but either way, another part of their body. If the left hand of the church slaps you, the right hand might comfort you.
Practically speaking. I've been doing filmmaking and freelancing since I was around 11 years old. I've been doing it for money and gigs since I was almost 16. I've been cheated by so many people. If I added up all the money owed to me since I've started, I can think of over $5,000 easily. One time, when I was 17, I filmed a band's concert for $150. Three cameras and editing. I asked for money up front to pay my camera guys and the rest when I finished the edit. I only got the amount to pay the camera guys and I received nothing. This was a Christian band, bluntly speaking taking advantage of a young aspiring filmmaker. Not to mention the lead singer was a Sheriff.
So what I mean by this, is I could have gotten slapped at 17 years old and stopped turning my cheeks, stop trying, stop being vulnerable. But I didn't and there's a really good chance that you're reading this or even know who I am, because I didn't and I'm still in film. I can write countless blogs of Christians that treated me right, above and beyond and in a lot of cases when I was the one that fell short. But that's because they were a different part of the body and I turned my other cheek and was surprised on how much that part took care of me and grew me into the man that I am today.
So that's through the lenses of being a filmmaker, but what I've learned about all of this is that to really live out the gospel is to be vulnerable. If you help out an orphan, he might mistreat you, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't keep helping him or stop helping all the orphans out altogether. My ministry is filmmakers, I want to bring integrity, support, encouragement, love and community to the film industry. The deeper that I've gotten into that, the more I've been slapped. I'm currently being slapped by three different groups in industry. But for me to forget about the other cheek would be unfair. On the other cheek I've got a group of great friends, clients and peers that are genuinely treating each other with integrity from the green light of a production all the way into the release of the product. Practicing generosity, kindness, love, hospitality, encouragement, etc. While one 'Christian' is undercutting me money that I've worked for another one is letting me rent gear for no charge. So there's always the other side of the cheek.
And specifically when it comes to churches you can leave your church because you were hurt, not go to church all together because someone in the body hurt you. And I will not take that from you, I'll betcha you've been burned. But what I'd say is turn the other cheek, try a different part of the body, don't give up on it. That part will grow and pray for it. But you're allowed to turn the other cheek.
I hope this all made sense.