What is it about shows and stars from the 70’s that give them an everlastingness? Perhaps it’s because we only had three networks. Perhaps it’s because there were so many of us boomers growing up at that time? Or, more extraordinarily, what if it was simply a renaissance time for our culture? (Okay, maybe not, but I had to suggest it!)
Anyway, one of the icons of the decade, “The Love Boat’s” Captain Stubing is back, and people of faith are taking notice. Gavin McLeod is now 79. He’s a born-again Christian. He’s been featured on TBN many times. As one source quotes him: “I know who my admiral is,” referring to His commitment to God. He’s been proclaiming his faith publicly for years and is now making movies to augment his testimony.
And thus we introduce you to “The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry,” where McLeod plays a wise man who uses biblical wisdom to guide a 12-year old in his dealings with a bully in a 1970’s setting. And McLeod still knows how to promote: “The biggest honor I have ever had was to play the role of Jonathan Sperry in this simple but special film.”
Christian films are making inroads though unconventional marketing. This one is financed primarily promoted through church marketing, where church’s literally adopt the movie town-by-town. It worked for Kirk Cameron’s “Fireproof” earlier this year, and it seems “Secrets” is on its way to the same kind of success.
Personally, I love the whole approach. For all of the Christians who’ve engaged in the game of public criticism, organized boycotts or creative publicity in order to take a stand against certain kinds of films, there are now those who will step up with their funds and time in order to present our culture with a better alternative. That is a positive influence. That is more like the love that Jesus spoke of. And He knew a bit about boats, seas and water as well. So way to go, Gavin! Let’s all give it a shot. People of faith: go see “The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry.”