First, Justin Taylor has refined his position in his latest blog post, "End of the Spear, Redux."
Second, Agape Press has released a story on the issue, "Saint Defends Casting of Homosexual Actor in Christian Missionary's Story." This report includes the following:
In the midst of the controversy, support for Allen has emerged from what may seem to many to be a surprising source. Steve Saint, who acted as a producer, played a bit part, and served as a stunt pilot for the production that dramatizes his father's Christian life and martyr's death, says he feels it was God's plan for the homosexual actor to be in the film.
Saint admits that he was shocked the first time he learned of Allen's orientation. "I could feel physical pain," he recalls, "thinking [that] somebody that lives a lifestyle like that is going to depict my dad." However, upon further reflection, he began to see the actor's involvement as possibly God-ordained.
Although he realized many Christians might be offended by Allen's role in the film, the Christian co-producer says, "I thought, 'What happens if I stand before God someday and He says to me, "Steve, I went out of my way to orchestrate an opportunity for Chad Allen to see what it would be like to live as your father did.' And then I could picture Him looking at me and saying, 'Steve, why did you mess with my plan?'"
End of the Spear's director suggested a similar belief in the important and transforming power of being a part of the making of this movie. In an interview with the website "Hollywood Jesus", filmmaker Jim Hanon -- who also directed Beyond the Gates of Splendor, the documentary version of the true events on which the theatrical film is based -- said participating in the film was a life-changing experience for all involved, including the gifted actors chosen to convey its message to movie audiences.
Every actor has "a gift of empathy which allows them to truly feel and therefore truly communicate what a character is feeling," Hanon observed. "In this way our actors experienced, and vicariously lived, the reality of this story before any one else."