This is Shun Lee Fong. Along with being a film actor, writer, and producer, I’m the president and creative director of The Greenhouse Arts & Media, a nonprofit arts & entertainment production company that works with creative professionals in the middle of Hollywood, right here in Los Angeles, California.
Okay, I know what you may be asking: Hollywood? Really? Can anything good come from there? I hope you’ll reserve judgment on that question until after we’ve had a chance to talk a bit, keeping in mind that truth and beauty can come from the most unexpected places. After all, this rather skeptical question was asked about a little place called Nazareth once too.
I often get the question of how I, as a Christian, can be involved in the entertainment industry. What about the culture wars? People ask me. Whose side are you on? And maybe that’s the initial problem: starting from the perspective that this is a battle of cultures, and that our job as Christians is first and foremost to fight, fight, fight in the culture wars! It’s an incorrect jumping-off point, in large part because it puts us from the outset in an adversarial position with the people around us.
I don’t think that’s the model Jesus set for us—while he fully recognized the differences between the culture of heaven and the culture of this world, the way he approached the culture while here on earth was not primarily as an adversary. He didn’t approach it as a culture warrior; He approached it as a culture steward. Just like in the Garden of Eden, His directions for us are to exercise stewardship over our culture—not as warriors, but as caregivers. As a creative artist in Hollywood, that’s my main job: to create content that takes care of, heals, and adds truth and beauty to the world around me. That’s the role of all creative artists, actually, whether they are here or in the church.
Take a moment to get in touch with the creative people you know this week, and encourage them to create works that makes this world look a little more like heaven every day. For more about The Greenhouse and how we’re caring for our culture, check us out at greenhouseproductions.com.