Vol.VII No.V Pg.6
July 1970

Sermon In The Sewer

Robert F. Turner

When men refuse to glorify their maker and recognize their dependence upon Him; when they become fools in their vanity, and worship and serve the creature more than the Creator, God gives them up to their own lusts. (Rom. 1: 21—f) God gives them up unto vile affections, and ~ leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.

Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,.., shall inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Cor. 6:9-10, emph. mine. rt) Effeminate is from malakos which Arndt & Gingrich Lexicon defines as: especially of catamites, men and boys who allow themselves to be misused homosexually.

In 1 Tim. 1:10, among that which is contrary to sound doctrine, is listed them that defile themselves with mankind. (arsenokoites - a male homosexual, pederast, sodomite.)

So men make a movie of this sordid thing, call it Midnight Cowboy, and John Allen Chalk, nationally—known minister of the Highland Church of Christ in Abilene was asked to see and write a review of the film. We quote from The Abilene Reporter—News, May 22, 1970, front page and 2-A.

Midnight Cowboy poignantly describes the classic disease of our materialistic, impersonal era — loneliness. The story reveals the redemptive power in one meaningful, mutually helpful human relationship. Unfortunately, many will view this film as standard entertainment fare rather than as strong, socio-psychological commentary on basic human need — religious need, I might add.

The explicit scenes of both heterosexual and homosexual relationships (not as many as one would see in some R movies) are, in my judgement, unnecessary and, therefore, both personally and artistically unacceptable. But the mature adult who goes knowing that Midnight Cowboy is an X-rated movie can come away with a deep concern for the loneliness in his own life and a greater awareness of the lonely people all around him.

The newspaper article continues: In an interview with this reporter, Mr. Chalk enlarged on his impression of what he called the redemptive quality of the film.

The character Ratso (played by Hoffman) is a striking Christ-type figure, he said, —beaten down and hopeless — but offering the possibility of redemption to the formerly self-center, materialistic Joe Buck (played by Voight.)

Mr. Chalk repeatedly praised the impact and the powerful message of the film, noting that, viewed in the proper spirit, it offers a stronger sermon on true brotherly love than any sermon he has ever delivered as a minister.

See page 2 for my comments.