In the first century, Tertullian declared that "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the church." According to Micheal Flaherty, that precious substance even has the power to affect the entertainment industry.
"After Columbine, I found myself wondering about my own faith," Flaherty told an enrapt, diverse audience at our church on Saturday night. "Would I be able to take a stand for Christ the way that Cassie Bernall and Rachel Scott did just before they were killed?"
Soon afterwards, Flaherty and his wife re-committed their lives to Jesus. Realizing that the murderous intent of Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris had been fueled by movies like "Natural Born Killers" and violent video games, Flaherty embarked on a mission to create entertainment that could weave good values and character into the next generation. The result? Walden Media, producer of movies like Holes, Because of Winn-Dixie, and The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe. His co-founder? Cary Granat, former producer of films like Scream and Children of the Corn, who had also been profoundly changed by the deaths in Columbine.
Teenage lives are costly seeds indeed, but the church is not done bearing fruit as a result. And Cassie and Rachel aren't the only young people who have suffered for their faith in the past decade. Read the story of Damare Garang of Sudan on the Voice of the Martyrs website with your kids, for example. If Tertullian was right, the church will soon be bursting with fresh new fruit beyond measure in parts of Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.