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Can a Christian consider a career in acting / entertainment?

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Question: "Can a Christian consider a career in acting / entertainment?"

This is a hard question to answer because the entertainment business includes many aspects. There is a vast difference between a theatre that presents only classics such as Shakespeare’s plays and TV shows that glorify sex and violence. Both are considered part of the entertainment business and both involve actors and actresses, but the impact on the performers and the audiences is quite different. Christians considering a career in acting or performing must consider the bearing their roles will have on themselves spiritually, the lifestyle into which they will be entering, and the influence their performances will have on others.

For the Christian actor/actress/performer, involvement in a movie that glorifies sin or the devil’s work is clearly not an option. Because actors struggle to find roles, they often take whatever parts come along, especially when they are first starting out. For unbelieving actors/actresses, the decision to take a part involves little more than the effect it will have on their careers and future roles and the money involved. But for the Christian, there is also the problem of whether the role glorifies God or at least is not actually glorifying rebellion against Him with violence or sex or other evils. Granted, the big money is probably with the ungodly roles because we live in a world where the devil has a huge influence on these matters, but the Christian actor should not take parts which promote Satan’s agenda. The overriding principle involved is found in 1 Corinthians 10:31: "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."

In addition, the issue of the lifestyle of performers in general must be a consideration for a Christian. There is an enormous amount of drugs, alcohol, and immoral behavior in the entertainment industry. Young people eager to get the “big break” are often used and abused by those in power. While it may be possible for a Christian to be in this world and not be affected by it, 1 Corinthians 15:33 warns us, “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’” It would be foolish to ignore that warning.

Finally, the impact performers have on others must be considered. When unbelievers see professing Christians in movies, TV shows, or live performances that promote ungodliness, they sense the hypocrisy and are given cause to “blaspheme the name of God” (Romans 2:24). There is also a detrimental effect on the faith of other believers, especially young people and those immature in the faith. Anytime a young believer can justify ungodliness by saying, “Well, so-and-so does it and he’s a Christian,” the cause of Christ suffers, and the young person is drawn away from truth into sin. Jesus spoke harshly of those who cause “one of these little ones who believe in me to sin” (Matthew 18:6).

Ultimately, the decision to enter into a career in acting or entertainment must be made prayerfully, seeking God’s wisdom (James 1:5) and the counsel of mature Christians, remembering always that "everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness" (2 Timothy 2:19).

Recommended Resource: Cure for the Common Life: Living in Your Sweet Spot by Max Lucado

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Can a Christian consider a career in acting / entertainment?

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