Hollywood Actors Say, Don't Hide Your Light
by Allie Martin
(AgapePress) - Two high-profile Christians on the West Coast, one a Hollywood actor, the other a former actor and now a politician, see their roles as an opportunity to exhibit their faith and be a positive influence on the culture surrounding their professions.
Popular actor Kirk Cameron says now more than ever, Hollywood needs to be influenced and impacted by Christians. Cameron is best known by television audiences for his work on the comedy series Growing Pains in the 1980s.
"So many Christians, understandably so, want to just run away from Hollywood and throw their TV out the window, which I personally feel like doing most of the time," Cameron says.
But the actor says abandoning the medium of television would be the equivalent of handing a powerful tool over to the enemy. "I feel that instead of abandoning the very vehicle that is influencing and shaping our culture, if we can become a part of it, do excellent work within it, and use it to bring good things to people and messages that are going to improve and uplift them, let's make use of it," he says.
Cameron and evangelist Ray Comfort run a ministry called Living Waters, which equips believers to share the gospel with unbelievers.
Alan Autry, a former professional football player who is now mayor of a California city, is using his popularity from the gridiron and the big screen to share the gospel.
Autry was elected mayor of Fresno three years ago. He played police officer Bubba Skinner on the series In the Heat of the Night, and before that was a second-string quarterback for the Green Bay Packers in the 1970s.
Autry says Christians can learn from Jesus when it comes to making an impact in Hollywood. He notes that Jesus communicated who He was through His disciples and did not remove Himself from His environment.
"[Jesus] was in a very hostile environment, even in His own hometown He wasn't welcome," Autry observes. "But He didn't remove Himself and just go off, He was God [and] He could have. I think that's a good model for us as Christians, whether it be in politics [or] in the movie industry."
Autry runs a Christian-based workshop for actors through his studio known as Dirt Road Productions.