Question: I recently saw the documentary, End of the Spear. The willingness of these five missionaries to lay down their lives to get the gospel to the Aucas convicted me of my own shallow commitment. Though it moved me in places, however, the film was a huge disappointment.
That a gay activist was chosen to play the part of one of the missionaries is shocking. But the greatest disappointment was that the gospel—that all have sinned and that Christ is God who became a man and paid the penalty demanded by God's justice for our sins—was missing! The transforming power of the gospel and faith in Christ was never explained as the reason for the change in the lives of the Aucas!
Nor does the film depict the godly lives of these men. Jim Elliot was unfairly and dishonorably portrayed as a reckless buffoon; the missionaries never prayed, read their Bibles, mentioned Jesus, or conversed about God. No church services were shown or even implied. These five young men could have been Peace Corps workers or anthropologists, rather than missionaries. The film could have been promoting pacifism or nonviolent response to persecution. Am I too harsh?
Response: I saw an earlier version, not the final. The film does a disservice both to the missionaries (three of whom were dear friends of mine) and to the Lord for whom they gave their lives in response to His giving His life for them and for the Indians. I don't know who wrote the script or produced the film, but this is obviously part of a growing movement to water down the gospel by removing everything that would "offend" the nonbeliever. Such a "gospel" saves no one. The film as you describe it is an insult to the five martyrs, dishonoring to their Lord, and misleading to viewers!