Christian MediaEngaging Culture

Yes – The Virgin Mary is Pregnant All Right

Reports are true that Keisha Castle-Hughes, the star of “The Nativity” film, coming to theaters for Christmas is pregnant out of wedlock.  I’ve already heard from some upset people, and I’ve been asked by a national magazine for a comment.  I would love to hear your responses on this one, and in case anyone cares, and thanks to a couple insights from friends – here’s mine:

The fact is, we are all fallen creatures, and there are plenty of TV evangelists and fallen pastors of recent years to show us that people make serious mistakes in life – even in the best of circumstances.  But this is a situation with a secular studio with actors of whom most are not believers.  But I am thrilled that the world recognized the power of the Biblical story and brought together great filmmakers to give it life on the screen.

I’ve always wondered about Christians who never question the beliefs of plumbers, lawyers, or car dealers.  But when it comes to making movies, they expect the actors to be believers.  It’s a bit of a double standard.  After all, these are actors playing roles.  Making a movie is no different from building a house or even a church – do you want all Christian construction workers with average abilities, or do you chose an excellent but non-Christian builder who will build the best building possible?

Hollywood is a business and films are the product they build.  I’m sure it was nobody’s first choice (including hers) to get pregnant, but she made the right choice in keeping the child. If there’s one thing the bible teaches us, is that God has chosen time and again that His story is told through imperfect people.  Such is the case here.

Frankly, I think this is a huge opportunity to make a great statement about the grace of God.  Remember that loved film “Chariots of Fire” which told a remarkably Christian story.  But the lead actor that played the Olympic athlete that eventually became a missionary was gay in real life.  Likewise, the most successful “Christian” film of all time was directed and produced by a man recently arrested for an alleged  drunken, anti-Semitic rant in Los Angeles.

God has now given us a wonderful opportunity to present our case to the world.  Obviously, pregnancy out of wedlock is not God’s best for a young couple.  But we’re all sinners saved by God’s grace.  Rather than condemn, and resort to the legalism and perfectionism the Pharisees exhibited, we can embrace her with the love of God and show the entire culture the power of forgiveness and grace.

Today’s Pharisees have controlled the discussion for far too long.  I’d rather follow his example with the woman caught in adultery.  Her sin was obvious, and condemnation would have only been redundant.  Better to welcome, embrace, and tell her “Go, and sin no more.”



  1. Thanks, Phil for helping us flip the script on the standard Christian response
    to others’ mistakes. The only sin that seemed to really bug Jesus was thinking
    we are
    somehow above others or beyond reproach.

    Here’s a weird theological comparison/twist.

    While Protestants would generally look down upon Catholics for needing a priest
    to deliver their sacraments, the theology behind the priesthood and the black
    robes is that the soul/belief/practices of the priest have NOTHING to do with
    the efficacy of the sacraments.

    In other words, God works through us, despite our sinful nature (and ways).

    Interestingly, I think Protestants may deify our leaders even more. Pastors
    (particularly with our emphasis upon preaching) become the word of God to us
    so if they fall, the whole church falls.

    A priest falls and people become cynical about priests, but somehow the Bread
    and Wine just keep on delivering. (Because it’s not about us….).

    Same question with actors and film.

    While our personal indiscretions may not helpa situation (or make a film better),
    we must give God more credit and more power than that…

  2. Great! I like your response. The only other argument is that plumbers and carpenters don't affect millions of people with what they do. Actors and movies do. The same as authors and journalists, can influence a lot of people. So their job should be looked at differently I think. Pastors and priests as well. Doesn't the Lord tell us they will be judged more severely? Let's try and encourage film makers and actors to do excellent work and to hold themselves and what they do to a higher standards, both publicly and personally,  and let's get them hired and placed in those positions to set an example to other "Christians" and non believers. I think this is what Christ is calling us to do?

    Kathleen Cooke 

  3. Kathleen,

    Very well put… I believe we were all saved by grace, but it appears Christians have taken it too far.  

    Phil, you forgot to run your article by Kathleen before you posted it!!!:)

    You two are an amazing couple, thank you for the influence you had in my life!


  4. What are some of comments made about her by Christians? I don't understand how this can be an issue if she's not saved. Is it another boycott?:(


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