Confessions of a Preacher's Daughter

Was Hollywood actress Erin Bethea -- star of "Fireproof," "Facing the Giants" and now "This Is Our Time" -- the stereotypical pastor’s kid growing up in a fishbowl, gawked at by the congregation as either an awful little hellion or hated by the other kids as a goodie-goodie?

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And that’s the story of Bethea’s life. She knows she hasn’t been called into ministry as a pastor or an evangelist or a missionary to Burma. Instead, she’s been given a unique set of talents which she uses on screen.

“Film is a wonderful medium for expressing truth,” she says.

How does she explain that to Christians who say we have no business having anything to do with Hollywood and its corrupting evil?

“First of all,” she responds, “God has not called us to enter a life of isolation away from the world. He has called us to be in it and to be a light. It is so fulfilling to serve our Creator through our creativity and to do it with excellence. I would hope that eventually people begin to see the movie industry for what it is, an incredible opportunity for

ministry and evangelism and an inspirational way to get the message out.”

Getting out the message is exactly why Bethea wanted to do this movie.

Erin Bathea

Erin Bethea

“In this film, there’s such a great message about ‘community’ – about how important it is to surround yourself with people who will tell you the truth and who will challenge you and lift you up and encourage you. We all need friends who will confront us and be honest with us.

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“Today, too many people live in isolation. God intends for us to grow and be uplifted and encouraged and learn from each other. We need our Christian friends.”

But there are those who would say that this movie is not a good career move for Bethea. For example, Pat Boone back in the 1960s took on several gritty movie roles that offended some of his Christian fans. Shouldn’t Bathea be taking on something a little more risky? Bad girl roles?

Erin Bathea

Erin Bethea

“Well, in ‘Fireproof,’ I was the angry, bitter, cheating wife who had given up in a struggling marriage! Is that ‘bad girl’ enough for you? I usually get cast as the mean girl – so in this new film, this is actually my first time playing somebody who is really sweet and genuine and lovely!”

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