EP 125: Our Faith And Our Endless Entertainment Choices: Paeter Frandsen

Diana Winklerspiritual abuse

We have a fun treat for you today. This week I interview Paeter Frandsen, of Christian Geek Central Podcast. You’re going to love Paeter’s nuance and fresh perspective on topics like music, video games, movies and TV shows in relation to our Christian faith. We also cover spiritual abuse, legalism in the church, and cancel culture before it was even in vogue. There are lots of laughs as we geek out on our favorite entertainment! Join us.

Full transcript below!


Hi my name is Paeter Frandsen! Thank you for checking out Spirit Blade Productions! Functioning under the Spirit Blade Productions brand since 2006 (with the love and support of my amazing wife, Holly), I endeavor to create Christian entertainment and resources that honor God and help our audience engage with the truth revealed in the Bible.

SBP Audio Dramas and other products are designed to creatively INSPIRE Christian Geeks. They provide examples of how uncompromised Biblical ideas can be blended with wildly imaginative stories to have very real impact on people’s lives.

 The Christian Geek Central Podcast and the Christian Geek Central Youtube Channel are designed to both entertain and EQUIP Christian Geeks to explore the Bible, grow in spiritual maturity and better discern truth from falsehood. And all this while enjoying our hobbies!

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Paeter Frandsen Transcript:

[00:00:00] Welcome to the Wounds of the Faithful Podcast. Brought to you by DSW Ministries. Your host is singer songwriter, speaker and domestic violence advocate, Diana Winkler. She is passionate about helping survivors in the church heal from domestic violence and abuse and trauma. This podcast is not a substitute for professional counseling or qualified medical help.

[00:00:26] Now here is Diana.

[00:00:33] Diana: Hey everybody. Welcome back. I hope that you enjoyed last week’s podcast, a lesson on the book of Daniel. And I know that was a longer than usual podcast. It was almost an hour and a half.

[00:00:51] I was gonna section it off into a two-part series, but there wasn’t really a good place to stop in [00:01:00] the middle without disrupting the

[00:01:03] shall I say, momentum that I was on? So I just decided to keep going and do everything in one episode. But I hope that you learn some new things about Daniel and. That you are not afraid to dive in and explore a book like Daniel, even if it has some prophecy in it or some parts of it you don’t understand.

[00:01:33] There’s always something for you to learn or experience in God’s word, even if you don’t understand everything. So today what we’re doing is taking a break from some of the heavy material that we’ve been covering. Uh, we’ve been doing a lot of tough topics and I like to, once in a while, do a light, entertaining episode for you guys just to break [00:02:00] things up and have some fun.

[00:02:04] And so this week I have somebody from my church,

[00:02:07] Paeter Frandsen, and he is the host of our church’s podcast in Red Mountain Community. And Paeter has his own podcast called Christian Geek Central, and he basically talks about culture, when it in response to Christian ideals.

[00:02:34] How can Christians,

[00:02:36] I guess, sort through the huge amount of entertainment choices that we have? What’s good quality entertainment out there. So he talks about movie reviews and he is a gamer, and so he does reviews on a variety of different games. I am not a gamer. You guys know I haven’t played any games [00:03:00] since early Atari days.

[00:03:02] Pacman and Space Invaders and Frogger. Oh, and Pong. But anyway, he’s on the worship team at our church, he and his wife, and he has two boys who are preteens and I just wanted to have him on the show. I’ve been, wanting to talk to him. He usually sits in front of us, with his family and I usually get distracted.

[00:03:30] You know, I never got a chance to talk to him and invite him on the show, but he told his story on the church podcast. One of the other staff members interviewed him and there were so many things that I related to, a lot of things that we had both gone through very similar situations, and I just thought it would be neat to have ’em on the show.

[00:03:59] he’s very [00:04:00] interesting. He’s a musician like me and he studied voice, just like I did. And he was on staff at a church just like I was. And he had a really dark season that we’re gonna talk about and he has the opportunity to reach some of the young people with his gaming ministry, in ways that we can’t reach kids in church.

[00:04:30] There are so many kids that won’t even darken the door of a church, but they will, play a game with you on Twitch or watch you review a movie or a game they’re interested in. And Paeter does some Bible study for his listeners. And so we’re gonna talk about a variety of different topics. This is like Geekville.

[00:04:59] We’re [00:05:00] gonna talk about movies and TV shows. We’re going to talk about. , um, video games. We’re gonna talk about Christian culture and canceling. we are talking about spiritual abuse and, Paeter’s story today.

[00:05:18] And so, you know, we’re gonna be a little geeky today , if that’s not your cup of tea, you don’t like to talk about movies or culture or anything like that, you know, we’ll see you next week. We’ll be back here for another episode, but this is gonna be a lot of fun. We had a lot of laughs and we’re just shooting a breeze, just chit chatting.

[00:05:45] It’s just a nice break from talking about abuse, capital, A abuse.

[00:05:51] So I’m gonna read his bio a little bit here just so you know exactly what he does.

[00:05:57] Since 2006, [00:06:00] I’ve been operating as Spirit Blade Productions to create entertainment and resources that equip, encourage, and inspire Christian Geeks to live in the freedom and purpose Christ offers. What began with audio dramas like our genre Bending Spirit Blade Trilogy soon expanded to include a ton more content and community under the Christian Geek Central Banner.

[00:06:29] As Spirit Blade Productions, I still produce audio stories. But every week as Christian Geek Central, I also put out free content for geeks who love their hobbies and want to live life intentionally. Whether through the weekly Christian Geek Central Podcast, to my knowledge, the longest running podcast for Christian Geeks in Existence, Entertainment Review commentary videos.

[00:06:58] In depth Bible study [00:07:00] with geek specific application or recurring video game live streams. Christian Geek Central has been producing a wealth of regular content, all custom made for the Christian geek. So even if you’re not a geek, sit back and listen. Enjoy my conversation with Paeter Frandsen. Enjoy.

[00:07:24] Please welcome Paeter Fransen to the show. Thanks so much for coming on today.

[00:07:30] This is gonna be so much fun.

[00:07:32] Paeter: Thank you, Diana. I’ve been looking forward to it.

[00:07:35] Diana: Yeah, I’ve been like listening to the church’s podcast that you’re the host of and hearing the stories about our church and so many different testimonies and how they came to Christ. And so I’ve been really enjoying that and I think my favorite was Della when she came on the show.

[00:07:56] Yeah. Remind me what her title [00:08:00] is at the church. Oh gosh. I honestly don’t remember, but the thing that I have interfaced with her about the most over the years is related to grief and planning memorial services and stuff, because she was always the front person for organizing a lot of those things.

[00:08:17] And back in the day, I used to be involved in memorial services at our church pretty frequently as a singer, specifically because people would ask, in their plans for me to come and sing a song. And that’s how I came to know her at first. And then she’s also been the interface for me in the caroling ministry that that we do once a year, which you were a part of.

[00:08:38] And it’s fun.

[00:08:39] Paeter: So yeah, I mean, she’s just she has such a capacity for people. And I can only imagine what it’s like for, even though it’s not the only thing that her job is about to so often be interacting with people who are going through the hardest time of their lives and to be [00:09:00] recurringly interacting with people.

[00:09:01] And that’s the context. I can only imagine, what that must be like. So I’m just, I just really appreciate her gifting and her capacity for that. That was a great conversation.

[00:09:11] Diana: Yeah. That that was a time when I lost my oldest brother. And so I appreciated your vulnerability and your tears that day.

[00:09:20] It was like you weren’t afraid to cry in front of us. And that really touched my heart cuz that was one of my hardest times in my life.

[00:09:29] Paeter: Hmm.

[00:09:30] Diana: You have another podcast that you do. Your Christian Geek Central, and fair warning, we’re gonna get a little geeky today.

[00:09:39] I got a, an outline, who knows if we’re gonna even stick with the outline.

[00:09:43] Paeter: whatever. Yeah, I’m good for whatever.

[00:09:45] Woo-hoo. All right.

[00:09:47] Diana: We’re gonna have a lot of fun. Start out with what you do on, Christian Geek Central. A bunch of stuff, huh?

[00:09:54] Paeter: Yeah, that’s a ministry that started around 2006, 2007. And so I’ve been[00:10:00] doing that podcast weekly since then, since 2007, and we’re into like 700 some episodes now.

[00:10:07] And basically between the podcast and the Christian Geek Central YouTube channel, I am interacting with and talking about reacting to various forms of geek entertainment, whether that’s movies or comic books, or TV shows or video games. I’m talking about them of course, as a geek and a fan myself, but also specifically from a Christian biblical perspective and taking a look at some of the themes maybe that show up that are worth reflecting on and, noticing when they line up with biblical teaching and noticing when they run counter to biblical teaching.

[00:10:41] And then also talking about and just

[00:10:43] putting in a confessional, journalistic way, my, my own life on the table and just talking. What experiences, strengths, weaknesses tend to be true of us as geeks in the various temperaments that we often have. And and just trying to explore and share [00:11:00] what it is to be a Christ follower who is also really super into, nerdy stuff.

[00:11:07] And then along with that, there’s also a weekly bible study and I teach through as best I can, books of the Bible, just going verse by verse, chapter by chapter. And first trying to do my most responsible job of exegeting the passage and understanding it, but then looking for ways that it might specifically be applied to to those of us who would describe ourselves as geeks given the kinds of rhythms of life that we’re in and the kinds of temperaments and wiring that we tend to have.

[00:11:35] So that’s, I guess in a really large wordy nutshell, what Christian Geek Central is about.

[00:11:41] Diana: That’s cool. I’ve been binging the show and picking and choosing which episode I wanna listen to. And we’ll get to this probably later in the podcast, but, there’s definitely some opinions that we differ on and some others that I’m like, yes, finally, someone [00:12:00] else feel this way.

[00:12:01] Paeter: I think that’s, the nature of being a geek, is like we really enjoy having that experience of finding someone else who enjoys something and appreciates something in the same way we do. But that same degree of particularity on our part is gonna lead us to discover, oh, we have very different feelings about this thing here.

[00:12:19] And and that’s, one of the things that that I think is really relevant to just living life as a geek, talking about geek entertainment. Sometimes social interactions are not our strong point, and if we’re not careful, we can get so passionate about the nerdy things we love that we can find ourselves actually creating divisions between us and other people over these, nerdy passions.

[00:12:39] We have that really ought at the end of the day. Be a source of refreshment and something that brings us together. But I mean, that’s certainly something that’s true of the geek experience.

[00:12:49] Diana: yeah. We’re definitely gonna cover a bunch of stuff on that, but the listeners are probably like, This is an abuse podcast.

[00:12:56] Why are we talking about geeky stuff for? I mean, you’ve [00:13:00] stated you’re not a capital “A” abuse survivor. I knew that, going into this, but, we’ve all experienced some, little abuses and mistreatment and persecution and trauma and, we’ve all been wronged some way and we can talk about those things too.

[00:13:18] And yeah, you seem to have some experience with spiritual abuse and you’ve helped young kids through some really hard stuff, some legalism. And so we’re definitely gonna cover those topics. But I’d like to have you tell the folks what it was like to be raised in a Christian home.

[00:13:39] What was your faith journey like and growing up, all that good stuff?

[00:13:44] Paeter: Yeah. My earliest memories in terms of what church kind of church we went to the denomination is called Lutheran Brethren. And I couldn’t tell you very much about the doctrine and that sort of thing because we, by the time I was in

[00:13:57] fifth or sixth grade. We [00:14:00] were attending a United Methodist church for a few years. And then after that, starting in 10th grade, we started attending red Mountain Community Church, where you and I go now. And I think that we only know what our own experience was, and so I can’t, it’s hard for me to imagine the what ifs of, if I hadn’t been raised in a Christian home.

[00:14:21] But what I have certainly noticed, I especially started noticing it in high school, was so many of the pitfalls and unnecessary hurts and unnecessary drama and burdens and stuff that I was not running into because of things that I had learned as a believer and because of choices that I was making, of course I make terrible choices all the time.

[00:14:44] But what I noticed and what I’ve continued to notice is. To the degree that I make choices in line with what Christ wants for me, I tend to avoid a number of problems. Now, sometimes, those same choices will lead us into hard [00:15:00] situations and we have to deal with that too. But on the whole I think that having been raised in a Christian home and having the, just the foundation there that my parents provided even though we were at several different types of churches just safeguarded me against so many unnecessary hurts in life.

[00:15:18] Diana: Yeah, you have that basic foundation of right and wrong and, it’s just this isn’t something I should be involved with.

[00:15:25] So when did you like really come to know Christ, like your faith is your own kind of thing?

[00:15:32] Paeter: Yeah, it’s, that was really a progressive thing, I think, because I came to belief in Jesus before I could remember what day it happened on, I mean, my memories of belief in Jesus go back as far as A, B, C and 1, 2, 3, and basic math and stuff like that, but what I could say that maybe speaks a little bit more to that question is there was a time in high school where kind of the realization hit me.

[00:15:57] I looked at my classmates and I realized, oh my [00:16:00] gosh, this is really real. And everyone in this room is either on a path to eternity with Jesus, or they’re on a path to eternal separation from God in a fate that I wouldn’t wanna wish on anybody. And the, that just was such a sobering reality. And my one of my closest high school friends, has told me many times he, he noticed the year when like Paeter became sober.

[00:16:26] . And and so I, I think that that really, that time in high school was what kind of set me on the path to just ministry in general as an adult because it was just a really sobering realization. And I think as we grow older and spend more time maturing in the faith, we have several points of sobering.

[00:16:45] I’ve had some in recent years as well, and I imagine Diana you have too. But I would say yeah, that was probably when it really became, in a very pronounced way, this sobering reality that that changed radically the course of my life.

[00:16:59] Diana: [00:17:00] Cool. I know that you were in like theater plays when you were young and singing and dancing and I did the same thing.

[00:17:08] I was in dance class. I was in all the school plays and I was in choir and is that what you wanted to do when you grow up? Was be an actor?

[00:17:18] Paeter: Yeah. I grew up in a very musical family, and so for a time and I had a I had two years in the Phoenix Boys choir, which really provided a strong, even, further strong musical foundation.

[00:17:31] And in my love of theater, I really thought that I was going to, go to Hollywood and pursue that life as an actor. But it was after that kind of sobering awakening that I had in high school that I realized, oh, no, that’s not the life that I want. And so I knew that I was gonna be heading into some kind of ministry that would in my mind, almost certainly incorporate my creative gifting, whether that’s singing or acting or anything else

[00:17:57] creative and [00:18:00] God yanked the wheel, as I’ve set a course a number of times where I thought, okay, this must be what God wants me to do. But then he yanks the wheel after, letting me do that for a little while. And and so I’ve had that happen to me a number of times. But but I would say a significant through line in all of that has been trying to bring to bear whatever degree of creative gifting that I do have to connect with people and to help connect them with truth.

[00:18:27] Diana: Oh, did you want to be a pastor? I think you said at one point.

[00:18:34] Paeter: I was the worship pastor at our church for two years. I had worked on staff underneath the worship pastor before me, and then when he stepped down from that position, I put myself forward as a candidate for the role. And they tested me in that for six months.

[00:18:52] And and then I was in that position as the worship pastor at our church. And that was two years of very good [00:19:00] ministry, but very difficult ministry. We were taking the church through a very significant transition in terms of what worship, corporate worship was, what it looked like, what it was about, what it was fundamentally for on Sunday mornings taking it to a place of just greater focus on

[00:19:22] god, as worship is meant to be, and and there were just some things that we’d been doing up to that point, which had some good points to them, but also in the same way were not on the focus that we realized we really needed to be long term for the health of the church.

[00:19:38] And and so with the support of the elders at our church, we started moving in this new direction that was more intentional and purposeful and encouraging people to really engage on a heart level as opposed to just coming and listening to the music and watching the bouncing ball and maybe, mouthing some words now then, but really to see what they’re doing as this actual engaging [00:20:00] with the Holy Spirit on on Sunday mornings through the lyrics and through the time that we’re sharing together.

[00:20:05] And there was some resistance to that and a good chunk of that. I could certainly lay the blame at my feet for wanting to get there too fast and not being patient enough to to take it at a slower pace. And on the other hand, there was some people that I don’t know if they ever would’ve been ready and we’re just causing friction in the ministry and talking behind my back.

[00:20:27] And it was it was a time , it was a time of turmoil. And yeah, this would be like the closest thing, to talking about some kind of a trauma or some kind of a abuse that I’ve experienced. I really wouldn’t call it abuse,

[00:20:41] Diana: but it’s traumatic though.

[00:20:43] Paeter: It was it was, I mean, there was at least one or two occasions where I came into my office and closed the door and just crawled under the desk so that if anyone looked in, they would think I was out somewhere.

[00:20:55] Just hit under my desk and just sobbed, because I just needed to get it out. It just felt [00:21:00] like everyone that I was working with and serving with most closely, so many of them, I mean, this is, it felt like this is not, this wasn’t the reality, but it felt oh my gosh, everyone hates me. And I think as creative people, I imagine you can understand this too, artists tend to be more sensitive, , and so we’re gonna feel those wounds much more quickly and maybe more deeply than some other people might. And so I, this is what I would say on the subject of maybe abuse or trauma and possibly as it relates to the ongoing content of your podcast.

[00:21:31] I know what it is to be hurt by Christians. I know what it is to to feel turned on and betrayed by other Christians. And I know what it is to be hurt so bad that you want nothing more than to just leave that church. And start again somewhere else. . And and that’s a hard place to be, but that wasn’t the choice that my wife Holly and I ultimately made, and I’m so glad that we stayed at Red Mountain.

[00:21:57] I, we’ve just been so [00:22:00] hugely blessed to have to have been there still.

[00:22:03] Yeah. Just so the audience knows, you told your story on the church podcast, so you’re not saying anything that they don’t know about . That’s right. So I was on staff at a church once and the audience knows my story and I have cried on, during my workday and, I was like the same thing. People didn’t like me or they didn’t like my ex-husband or I couldn’t do anything. And I eventually lost my position because the gossipers were saying untrue things about me. But I have been through some of those things where you wanted to crawl under the desk and suck your thumb and

[00:22:40] Yeah. And but it’s not all rose colored glasses when you’re on, when you’re on staff at a church. I mean, it sounds wonderful and there’s probably some real wonderful stuff about it, but I think you’re under a special kind of attack from from the enemy of God when you decide that you’re going to be in [00:23:00] full-time ministry, don’t you think?

[00:23:02] Yeah. I’m heading into some new ministry at our church now, and I’m bracing for that a bit. I’ve just started in January, a year of as a provisional elder. And if there’s nothing during the year that I see or that the other elders see that would indicate that it’s not the right fit, then then I would continue on until, ideally I age out of that role at 65.

[00:23:23] And so I’ve been counting that cost a lot. And in any kind of leadership role, whether it’s as an elder or as a pastor or someone that you know, is an associate and working in the admin department of a church, you are in a role of leadership. You are helping hold things together in the organization of the local body of Christ.

[00:23:42] And so there’s there’s just different ways that that the enemy’s gonna target that because the last thing he wants is for church relationships to be healthy.

[00:23:52] Diana: Yeah, for sure. I really love our church in our darkest times the last two years they have been a [00:24:00] super awesome support and really been there for us.

[00:24:05] And I think it’s a well-balanced church. And not that it’s perfect cuz it’s not, but Sure, yeah. They’re trying to do what God wants. They’re seeking the Lord’s wisdom and they’re not extreme in any one sense, at least how I see it.

[00:24:20] Pastor Kyle’s been on twice. The audience knows Pastor Kyle and he was a great guest too yeah. I wanted to talk about some music stuff more. You studied voice in college like I did, so I oh, you got so much stuff in common. It’s funny. Yeah. And I also have stage fright.

[00:24:39] I’ve sang since I was in kindergarten and I still have stage fright. A lot of people don’t know that.

[00:24:44] Paeter: Is it for you? Is it the the waiting, the anticipation, right beforehand? Or do you have the fear when you are on stage? Because for me it’s almost exclusively about the waiting and the lead up too.

[00:24:57] And then once I’m on stage, I [00:25:00] actually fall into a comfort level. What’s your experience been like?

[00:25:02] Diana: I over prepare and that has been the only thing that’s really helped this stage Friday and just obeying the Lord’s call and getting up there. But yeah, I’m nervous beforehand. I just notice that when I get up there that, my breathing is affected.

[00:25:19] You can’t hear like my voice wobbling or anything, but I can tell that my notes are not as powerful as when I practice by myself. It’s never the same. . Maybe it’s, I don’t know if it’s a spiritual thing or just I need to strengthen my breathing more, but, who knows?

[00:25:35] I look at the audience and I’ve sang in almost empty rooms and some really big rooms, but I still have that stage fright. So I don’t know how you’ve overcome that as well.

[00:25:48] Paeter: Yeah. I think that for me, it certainly has made a difference to transition out of the college performing world.

[00:25:59] and then [00:26:00] to leading worship on a Sunday morning is significantly different. It’s not so different that I never feel, any nerves. I still do. But it’s just a, it’s an altogether different experience where the expectation is that you bring just your authenticity and just who you are and where you’re at in the moment instead of perfect poise and perfect presentation or whatever, which was gonna tend to be little bit more of the focus in my training in college.

[00:26:31] Diana: Oh yeah. I’m like, classically trained and I want everything to be perfect and every note, and every nuance and Yeah. And it took me a long time and somebody was like, just relax, . Yeah. Just relax. You don’t have to have everything. Perfect. Yeah. And I’m definitely better when my husband and I were in bands before the pandemic, and it’s easier with a band.

[00:26:53] But solos are, all the focus is on me. Yeah. And it’s do or die. I can’t hide [00:27:00] behind a band or Yeah. Yeah. But I’ve got something for you and I see if you can see it. Oh my gosh. I’m holding up a Steve Green sheet music. I have all of his sheet music, all his CDs and all of his performance tracks.

[00:27:16] And I know that you love Steve Green, so

[00:27:20] Paeter: I do. Especially like in, college when I was still trying to figure out what God wanted me to do. I, all through college thought I was going to head into the world of being a Christian vocal artist. And and so a and he was like the closest thing to like legit music that my voice teacher, who thankfully was a believer and was very sympathetic toward me was so gracious, even though

[00:27:44] the curriculum for the degree was all very stringent, classical training. He would allow me to do one Christian contemporary song a semester, , oh, kind. And it was very kind of him. And and yeah, Steve [00:28:00] Green was the best fit at the time. And and I’ve, yeah, I’ve got, I think I didn’t buy any of his CDs after- he had one,

[00:28:07] oh gosh, what is the name of it? I think it’s called Somewhere Between. And it was a very dark and somber. Very different than his. Yes. And it’s my favorite.

[00:28:18] Really? I was gonna ask you what you, which was your favorite one? I think it’s my favorite because I just just the older I’ve gotten, just starting somewhere in my thirties, I just started having these more kind of somber dark thoughts dealing with midlife typical midlife stuff and thoughts of mortality and but I think I’ve always like.

[00:28:37] A little bit sadder music without realizing it, like on the secular side of things. My dad listened to a lot of Barry Manilow growing up . And he has a lot of sad songs, and yeah. And I think both in the case of Barry Manilow and Steve Green, there’s some crossover stylistically with musical theater and there’s something very dramatic and cinematic in a sense about the way orchestras are used in various ways in some of his [00:29:00] tracks.

[00:29:00] And so yeah, I think. That’s certainly something that I’ve loved about him. I don’t really listen to Steve Green for my own enjoyment anymore, but because I try to fit in vocal exercising every day I found that I’ve got a large selection of Steve Green Tracks Taylor selected to exercise certain parts of my register with when I sing along with them.

[00:29:23] And so my boys for the last seven or eight years have gotten used to me driving them to school in the mornings. And I’m just singing along with Steve Greene and doing very, sometimes very isolated, strange sounding vocal sounds as I’m doing that, specifically to hit certain types of exercise.

[00:29:39] And so he’s very useful for that. And the lyrical content is so rich. In the songs that he sings and so on top of the great vocal exercising that it, it allows me to do in the mornings. If I tune in I can just be reminded of some great truths. So yeah, Steve Green has a very special place in my heart and in my history.

[00:29:59] Diana: My favorite [00:30:00] album is Portrait of Christ. His arrangements of some of these hymns, like How Great Thou Art are just fantastic. And I’m a soprano you must be a tenor.

[00:30:08] Paeter: My voice teacher was not really into voice classifications in college. He didn’t like to lock us. I know he didn’t like to lock us in, but I was singing probably a lot of second tenors type stuff in college.

[00:30:19] But as since college in my, and throughout my thirties, my voice has settled into what I would describe as a high baritone. Okay. Yeah. A high and usually light baritone.

[00:30:30] Diana: Okay, cool. and I was in college during that time when Sandy Patty, we weren’t allowed to sing Sandy Patty or Amy Grant.

[00:30:41] It was that during that time, oh, okay. Because of like their divorces and whatnot. They were divorced and I had never heard any Sandy Patty music. I heard some Amy Grant, but then when I was working once and they had, Christian radio on and I’ve Just Seen Jesus came on the radio and I’m like, [00:31:00] who is that?

[00:31:01] Wow. It just knocked my socks off and they announced on the Christian radio, that was Sandy Patty and Larnelle Harris. And I was like, I’m gonna go out and buy some Sandy Patty music and I don’t care what the church thinks. Yeah, what was your thoughts about it? I mean, back then that was their version of canceling and they did, I mean, they Oh yeah.

[00:31:20] Already lost everything. I mean, as far as their career went.

[00:31:25] Paeter: Yeah. Yeah. I mean, very sadly conservative Christians we’re doing cancel culture long before it was called that, . And I wasn’t really tuned in enough to the music world to really be super aware of that.

[00:31:39] I knew that there was some controversy with Amy Grant even before, I think her divorce, she had an album that was she and Michael W Smith were both like trying to go mainstream for a little while there. Yeah. And finding some success there. And I remember some Christians being like, ah, they’re giving up, their faith or whatever and and that kind of stuff.

[00:31:57] And so I remember hearing some of that, but I wasn’t really [00:32:00] listening to much Amy Grant or Sandy Patty. I knew of them of course and would hear some of their songs now and then, but I mean, I wasn’t really tuned in to the industry on that level. For me, the, like the aspect of, Christian cancel culture back in the eighties and nineties and stuff showed up more

[00:32:17] in my love of fantasy. And I didn’t play Dungeons and Dragons when I was a kid. Oh, yeah. Part, partly because I was a little too young for the complex rules. The complexity of the rules. But I mean, my parents wouldn’t have let me anyway, they wouldn’t let me watch the Dungeons and Dragons cartoon just because of things they had heard second, third, fourth hand.

[00:32:36] And, there was no internet back then to really do your research and say I wonder what the truth is about this? They just were going off of what the televangelist said, and surely the televangelist would only speak the truth, or whatever. I don’t know where my parents, were getting some of their thoughts from.

[00:32:50] And since then, they’ve come around and said, oh yeah, that’s not something we’re concerned about, but yeah, that’s, I’ve experienced a little bit of that.

[00:32:57] Diana: We, the survivors, most of [00:33:00] us have. Suffered this church legalism and telling us what we can and cannot wear, what we can cannot listen to or watch or hang out, you don’t hang out with certain people and Yeah. One of them’s what Harry Potter, and I’ll be honest, I never read the Harry Potter books, but when I got married to Brian, he loves Harry Potter and he had me watch like three of the movies and I didn’t really see the attraction.

[00:33:29] Maybe the books are better, but I was like, he’d really get into this. But I know it’s super popular. But was it John Hagee used to say that the spells in Harry Potter were real or some crazy?

[00:33:43] Paeter: Gosh, I don’t know anything about that. That’s what I used to hear. It sounds like whimsical reconstructions of Latin words or with a little bit of English thrown in.

[00:33:53] I mean, it’s so whimsical. But I mean, I think so much of it comes down to what is it being used for? What is the intent of the [00:34:00] creator and what is it actually, what’s the net result of the product when it comes out? I think there are things that can be created even with evil intent that Christians can redeem through the way that we talk about them and what we choose to reflect on after we, interface with that piece of entertainment.

[00:34:17] So there’s yeah there’s a lot, to talk about and noodle along when it comes to that kind of stuff.

[00:34:22] Diana: What would be an example of something that could be used for God’s glory that you wouldn’t, originally you’d think, oh that’s Satanic, or, I shouldn’t be watching that?

[00:34:29] Paeter: Let’s see. I think that, there’s so many different examples that I almost get brain frozen, just trying to think about it. But I mean, playing video games can bring people together if they’re playing video games online together. Even if the subject matter to the game is I don’t know blowing away zombies or whatever, something that looks really gory and violent and stuff.

[00:34:49] I saw a movie called the Color Out of Space with Nicholas Cage, and it’s a horror movie that’s based on, it’s an adaptation of a story by HP Lovecraft. [00:35:00] He was definitely not a believer. And I think actually he was probably a very disturbed, haunted man. And I think if I think he was probably living pretty far apart from God and was just in a really dark place, but color out of space, that movie watching it the way that it portrayed some of the disfigurations that happened to people as they were being mutated by this evil thing from space.

[00:35:24] I was looking at it, I was like, psychologically I think this is trying to tap into the fear we have of watching our loved ones deteriorate from disease. And I realized that I was disturbed because of that. There was something on that level we don’t like to think of ourselves deteriorating or those we love deteriorating and hear there were characters that were dealing with that in this story, watching their loved one deteriorate.

[00:35:48] And because of the way I chose to react to it and think about it, it led me to some really worthwhile prayerful contemplation of my mortality, the mortality of my wife. [00:36:00] The mortality of my sons, and to really process that in a way that I found very helpful. . And I can’t imagine that the intent of the creator had anything to do with that.

[00:36:12] It was just tapping into a primal fear of the, that’s common to humans, but but we can choose in those moments in how we think about those things, what truth we bring with us to the experience to then a, allow it to be something that, that directs our thoughts in a really worthwhile direction.

[00:36:30] Diana: I don’t like any zombie movies. , I watched one episode of The Walking Dead and, yeah. The zombies were scary, but I watched Face Off with the, the movie makeup. They show you how they do the movie makeup, so it wasn’t a scary. But what was terrible about it was how human beings treated each other.

[00:36:51] Yeah. And that’s what the horror to me was. And I did not wanna watch that anymore.

[00:36:57] Paeter: Yeah. Yeah. You’re not alone in that. I think a lot of [00:37:00] people are, yeah, absolutely.

[00:37:01] Diana: You were talking with a kid on one of your forums. You have like a community there and talking about the legalistic church that I guess it was a young man and as his church was like a cult.

[00:37:16] What kind of conversation was that you were having with him?

[00:37:21] Paeter: That was that was an interaction that I referenced on the church podcast where they interviewed me. And I could tell pretty early on he was coming from, at the very least some kind of legalistic strand of Christianity.

[00:37:31] But it was over time as he would ask questions like, what do you think of this? Or sometimes when he wouldn’t ask a question, but he would say, that’s wrong. You shouldn’t be doing that, or whatever, there’s just, there was just things that he was asking, things that he was saying that were more and more painting a picture of him coming from at the very least, a legalistic background and more and more starting to sound like cultic in the sense that it was a church that would’ve described itself as Christian, but [00:38:00] was disconnected from

[00:38:03] any kind of submission to other Christian community. And there was just not really a system of accountability. It was led by a single pastor as opposed to a group of elders that would hold that teaching pastor accountable week to week. And and I think that can be just that structure itself can lead to some really harmful things.

[00:38:25] Oh, yeah. So it was really just, over time answering his questions, responding to his concerns or accusations or whatever, and trying to do that in a gracious way and take the conversation back to scripture and, say, yeah I have trouble seeing that in the way you’re describing because of what’s going on in this verse here.

[00:38:47] And then, I try to bring scripture into the conversation as gently, as I could. And it was really just a, I think a progressive thing on his end where man, one day he just got on the forums and said, alright. I’ve realized that [00:39:00] my church is a cult, and man, I remember when I read that, that I think almost immediately I just started crying and just praising Jesus.

[00:39:07] That he had come to this realization because I could certainly tell that he was in a really dysfunctional spiritual environment. And I think just from watching other people interact with them, without talking to them privately about the situation, but just seeing the grace and the concern that they were also showing as they interacted with him on the forums.

[00:39:25] There, there were several of us that could just tell, ooh, boy, this guy and his family are in a dark, harmful place. And so it was it was so amazing to see him come out of that and then around the same time, or not long after that, his parents, his whole family ended up leaving that church.

[00:39:43] So yeah, that was something.

[00:39:46] Diana: So you really felt that you were able to influence him or at least encourage him in the right direction?

[00:39:53] Paeter: Yeah, I was able to play a role in that for certain. We’re so limited in how we can [00:40:00] interact with people that there’s so much we don’t know when we’re talking about online interactions specifically, is what I mean. I don’t even know if I’d seen a picture of what he looked like by that time. I think I did some point after that, but there’s so much we don’t know and so much that’s not communicated through text alone. You can’t hear tone in text, which is why people can end up hurting each other without realizing it and it’s such a hard medium to do ministry through. But at some point, I think you, you bring what you can and then just pray and trust that the Holy Spirit has all kinds of tenders in their life that are all ultimately working in concert. And it’s really amazing to discover at some point that you’ve been one of those tendrils and a part of that.

[00:40:42] Diana: You guys still keep in touch?

[00:40:45] Paeter: Actually, no. He not long after that, started going to college, and I think he just got busy with life and stuff as tends to happen. And I maybe heard from him once or twice after that. But but no I don’t know what, and that, that’s [00:41:00] so interesting too.

[00:41:00] When you have these online communities, sometimes you can have what feels like very close experiences with people, but then they can just end up coming and going in and out of life, because as much as we really want to think that we’re connecting with people through various online means it’s always just so easy to disconnect, and so there’s a real big difference between relationships online and relationships, in our local churches, which is why I really try to, as often as I can in my content, remind people, Hey, get connected to your local church, what we’re doing here. This can be a great supplement, but there’s nothing like the local church to really experience what God intends for you.

[00:41:39] Diana: Yeah. And I think you reach some people that would never step foot in a church. Okay. They might not have interaction at church, but you’re, doing the preaching and Bible study and talking about these topics of Christian culture and geek stuff. They’re at least getting the scripture and we’ve already seen God can [00:42:00] use that in a mighty way.

[00:42:02] Yeah. So I think what you’re doing is awesome, let’s talk a little bit more about some of these movies and TV shows cause Okay, we’re gonna see how much we agree or disagree on now. Okay. You had mentioned that the creator of Chosen, contacted you to promote another movie. So what is your opinion of the Chosen movies?

[00:42:26] Paeter: I definitely have my opinion on that. I don’t have much of an opinion because I’ve not watched much of them. Okay. I should clarify that when Dallas Jenkins is the name of the director he got in touch with me because it was before he did the chosen. It wasn’t I mean it was before he really hit the success that he’s found with the Chosen, it was a movie called The Resurrection of Gavin Stone.

[00:42:45] It was a comedy and it was not doing well in the box office. And so I think he was trying to reach probably whoever he could, including little teeny YouTubers like me, , to try and get the word out. And but it was a great conversation anyway. But no, I’ve watched a little bit of the Chosen and [00:43:00] some of it I found a little bit cringey, but I think, my wife has watched all of it and every once in a while I’ll be walking past the room and I’ll see some stuff and I’m like, ah, that’s a little cringey.

[00:43:10] It’s not quite the quality I’d like it to be. But then there’s other times the quality is working for me. And I think coupled with just the some of what they’re bringing out about the character of Jesus and the core gospel message of love that God has for people and how they’re really trying to portray that through the way they portray Jesus.

[00:43:29] There are definitely some moments where I’m like, that really connects powerfully with me. Not enough to have me sit down and watch it, front to back yet. But yeah, that’s where I stand with the Chosen, I guess.

[00:43:41] Diana: I think I watched one or two episodes and because everybody was just talking about it. Christian movies have been like, some of them are really terrible.

[00:43:52] Okay. Terrible in quality. They don’t match up to what the secular world is is up to. And yeah, so I [00:44:00] watched the Chosen and, I have a real problem with adding stuff to it to make it, more entertaining. They made, the scene I was watching, they made Mary Magdalene a prostitute when the Bible says she was possessed by demons.

[00:44:17] She wasn’t a prostitute. And they made Nicodemus really weird. I don’t know if you saw the first one, but I, no, I don’t remember. They added a lot of stuff that was extra biblical. I do that anytime there’s a Bible movie on and like I sit there and I pick it apart. Cause my Bible College self is coming out and I’m no fun to watch Bible movies with.

[00:44:41] But I don’t mind Jesus and Nazareth because I grew up with it and I liked all the actors, and I think they did a pretty good job. Ben Hur or 10 Commandments. I don’t mind those that much, but I definitely know where the spots are that’s not accurate. Yeah. Yeah.

[00:44:58] Nobody wants to watch [00:45:00] movies with me now. But on the other hand it’s if the Chosen is getting people to go to church or get interested in the Lord to get into their Bibles, I’m all for it. Yeah. Go and watch it. Don’t let me rain on your parade. Yeah. People probably tuning out now.

[00:45:18] Yeah, Diana pottied all over my favorite show. Sorry, everybody.

[00:45:24] Paeter: I think the nuance that you use in talking about is appreciated and valuable. I mean, because cuz there are some people that don’t like the Chosen maybe for some of the same reasons, who would not have any of the nuance that you just expressed when you said, but you know what, if it’s drawing people to get into their Bibles then go for it. There are plenty of Christians out there who would say, this is horrible. You shouldn’t better, there’s no reason you should ever, and I think that we’re lacking nuance in the way that we talk about things and the way we think about things. And so yeah. I appreciate your nuanced thinking there.

[00:45:55] Diana: Now, we’re gonna go to the other side of the pendulum. I listened to what you were talking [00:46:00] about with Stranger Things and totally agree with most of what you said about that, TV show. But I have a problem with the traumatic scenes with children doing those types of scenes where experimentation and spiritual elements and violence. I heard stories about, Linda Blair that played the child that was in The Exorcist. She remembers that she was the monster and it affected the rest of her life. These children that are being in these kind of movies, I don’t think that’s right, to be honest with you.

[00:46:37] Paeter: Yeah I don’t know. There’s so much that I don’t know about what’s going on the set and how they are talking about these roles and the process of acting with children. I honestly would extend that and say that I have a lot of questions about how healthy certain disciplines of acting are for adult actors.

[00:46:57] The states that they get to [00:47:00] emotionally to portray a certain scene. I’m not saying that across the board this is the case, but I can imagine how someone would end up going to a very unhealthy place mentally and spiritually in order to execute on bringing forth the emotional response in the moment that the camera and the director are calling for.

[00:47:16] I even wonder about something as simple as a stage kiss between two people that are not married, when one of them is. These are questions, I couldn’t point chapter and verse and say, based on this, we shouldn’t do this, da. I don’t know.

[00:47:30] I just have lots of questions

[00:47:31] and I think that God’s perfection is so far beyond our best ideas of perfection that we think we’ve apprehended, that I think that there will be a lot of surprises before the throne of God. When he will say that actually wasn’t the path I wanted you on.

[00:47:51] That wasn’t what I wanted you to do. I didn’t want fiction and entertainment and storytelling to go down this path. [00:48:00] Now what the particulars of those things will be. I don’t know. Like I said, I think there’s gonna be a lot of surprises, but at the very least I’m with you in asking questions and wondering and and having concerns. Yeah.

[00:48:10] Diana: Yeah. You said that you don’t really enjoy movies with child actors.

[00:48:17] Paeter: I tend to not enjoy them because I don’t find them as convincing as adult actors. And yeah. They’re just and , that’s just the nature of the beast, right?

[00:48:27] Every once in a while you’ll get a Dakota Fanning or Drew Barrymore when she was a child who or have this great emotional access. Now, who knows, again, on the set how they got there and how healthy that was and how healthy it wasn’t. But in terms of, at the end of the day, as someone who is just taking it in as a story, because there’s multiple levels that I’m thinking about entertainment.

[00:48:48] As I’m watching it, I’m thinking about it purely as an audience member, but also pops in now and then, oh, I wonder what it was like to make that scene

[00:48:55] [00:48:55] Paeter: so there’s a lot of complex thoughts going on in my mind, but in terms of the storytelling, I [00:49:00] tend to not want to see folks start things, focus on child actors, cuz most of them are not up for even portraying realistic children.

[00:49:09] Diana: Yeah. I’m gonna have to get on you about Obiwan. I loved that show. I don’t know how we can be friends now cause I loved Obiwan, I love Ewan Mc Gregor, but yeah, the kid was annoying , little snipy snip, she’s a yeah, I agreed with what you said about her acting, but she is a kid and so let’s give her a little slack.

[00:49:30] But I loved the Darth Vader fight with with Obiwan. I thought it was good. Or maybe it’s just Ewan McGregor.

[00:49:39] Paeter: Yeah. These days. I don’t know, I don’t really have strongly negative feelings about most of the entertainment that I watch. I mostly just get to a place of I’m not really interested because there’s

[00:49:51] freaking so much entertainment to choose from. And so it’s not that I hate Star Wars or I hated the Obiwan Show or [00:50:00] anything and anything remotely like that, it’s just yeah, not really working for me. Man, I got some killer video games like at Blas Dead,

[00:50:07] Diana: oh, it’s a matter of time and wanting to get the most out of your time.

[00:50:11] Yeah. I’ll have to agree cuz I didn’t like Andor at all. I was like, this is boring. This, the cinematography was like gray and there’s a prison and Schmiegel’s in it. I didn’t like Rogue One. And you mentioned that you have to know Rogue One really well to know what’s going on in Andor. I was like, I don’t really care if we watch this or not.

[00:50:34] Yeah. But other shows, like you say, you want you wanna spend a lot of time on.

[00:50:39] I’ll have to confess I absolutely love John Wick over Matrix. I am obsessed with John Wick, so we’re waiting for John Wick for to come out in the theater. Yeah. We’re gonna go and see it. And I don’t usually like dark movies like that but I watch it for the martial arts moves.

[00:50:57] I’m like, oh, cool. They got the [00:51:00] malinois and Oh, that was so fun. Nice. I don’t, usually like the dark stuff.

[00:51:05] Blade Runner really surprised me. I absolutely love the Blade Runner series but that’s totally not like me. The first one of course is a classic.

[00:51:13] And then you saw the second one, I’m sure, right? I did. I thought it was incredible how they blended the old one with the new one and the plot and the cinematography and the acting. Excellence just shines through, I guess.

[00:51:29] Yeah, we could talk all night about movies, but, we’ll end with one more. You talked about Quantum Leap and I’m a huge Scott Bakula fan and I own all of all the stuff that he’s ever been in, including the original Quantum Leap.

[00:51:43] And so it was like, how dare they remake Quantum Leap? That’s wrong! we watch it, but I felt exactly the same thing that you did about Quantum Leap. It’s not the same. It’s nothing like the original. And I would [00:52:00] like Scott Bakula to at least do a cameo. Yeah. But you talked about Ian in Quantum Leap. Ian’s the transgender character in the show. Yeah. And we talked about how that Ian is portrayed as promiscuous.

[00:52:17] So elaborate on that.

[00:52:20] Paeter: Oh gosh. Yeah, that’s ringing a bell now. It’s funny. When I review stuff, I’m reviewing stuff every week and it’s the kind of thing where I watch it and then I make my notes about it, and then I record and get my thoughts out there, and then they like exit my brain and I’m, and I just move on and unless it was something I really loved, I forget a ton about the experience.

[00:52:40] But you’re not watching it anymore, huh? No. I think I. Did I try one or two more episodes? Maybe I might have watched one or two more. I can’t remember now. But yeah I if memory serves and it probably won’t. Yeah, I remember that character being portrayed as promiscuous and just in a way that I was like, [00:53:00] huh I wonder if the transgender community likes this portrayal or if they would say, this is falling into a negative stereotype.

[00:53:08] So it’d be interesting to talk to someone from that perspective and ask them, what they think about that character.

[00:53:13] Diana: I have some friends at work that are in the L G B T community, but we haven’t really talked about that show. I might have to bring it up. I don’t have a problem with having characters from the L G B T community.

[00:53:25] I especially like when they talk about, treating everyone with respect because everybody’s a child of God. Everyone deserves not to be bullied or abused or beat up or, lose their job or whatever. But what I don’t like is when they make it an agenda. Yeah. And then they’re like shoving it down your throat and that’s what the focus of some of these shows are that, I think you mentioned a few other shows that had the same shallow relationships.

[00:53:56] And yeah. Willow, it’s like [00:54:00] Willow is nothing like the original Willow, and we just turned it off. It’s , Yeah. And it seems like they’re trying too hard now. I like seeing diversity in movies. I think it’s great. Is it mainly trying too hard?

[00:54:12] Paeter: It’s interesting. It I don’t know exactly how to connect the dots, but I remember feeling something similar about eight to 10 years ago when I was reading DC Comics.

[00:54:22] I’m a huge DC Comics fan, and they rebooted the DC universe and had an initiative. That, that reestablished characters and re erased some of their histories and recreated ’em and stuff. And they introduced a bunch of new characters. And what I was noticing was like all at once there was what I would call demographic box checking.

[00:54:41] It’s, okay, you’ve got the Latino, you’ve got the African-American, you’ve got the person in the wheelchair, you’ve got the transgender character. And you’re just seeing all these different demographic slices. Suddenly showing up all at once.

[00:54:52] Yeah. Instead of in a more organic way. Yes. And I think that because before then there was a character, a gay character in the Flash [00:55:00] comic that I found really endearing. He had just wormed his way into the ensemble cast and was a friend to the hero and stuff.

[00:55:06] And and it was just this organic kind of thing that developed and it didn’t feel like they were trying to force anything in, and I couldn’t, it’s hard to quantify. Okay. If they had done this differently and not had these different boxes all checked at once, would that have resulted in a better story?

[00:55:22] I mean, I don’t know how you can figure that out and measure that. All I noticed was at the time that was happening, I felt like the stories were making less sense and the characters were less interesting and less well motivated. And so I, I can’t help but suspect that there was a connection between the two, that maybe somewhere in the editorial room there was energy and time being given to

[00:55:46] making these other things happen and checking these boxes instead of really trying to craft the story that was really gonna dramatically connect with audiences the most. But that’s speculation. I don’t know.

[00:55:58] you want stories that [00:56:00] reflect the kinds of people we find ourselves interacting with. But it’s you, as you said, when it’s an agenda, when you notice oh, the gay person is always right. They’re always saying the right thing and all the other characters are wrong.

[00:56:14] I don’t actually, I don’t see as much of that anymore, and I think that, LGBTQ characters are allowed to be flawed and I appreciate that, but you can start seeing the puppeteer strings if you’re familiar enough with story, even enjoying story for long enough and it does take something away.

[00:56:29] No, no matter what your view is on L G B T Q issues, it takes something away from the effectiveness of the story itself. If you’re focusing and prioritizing these other things instead of telling the best story you can.

[00:56:41] Diana: Yeah. Let’s pick the best actors and actresses, and let’s come up with the best writing and plot.

[00:56:48] Yeah. For the entertainment that people are coming to see. , you’re not really necessarily coming to see, exactly what you said. The checked boxes. , because it looks fake. Yeah. Boy, we could [00:57:00] talk all night about a whole list of movies, which we’ll probably have to do in church,

[00:57:04] at the luncheons. Yeah. Great. And sit down and argue and disagree about stuff or agree about stuff. But I so appreciate you coming on the show. Anything you wanna say to the audience? Definitely tell them where they can reach you and watch your podcast or YouTube channel and such.

[00:57:21] Paeter: Oh, sure. Yeah. I mean, you can go to christian geek central.com and it’s not, it’s just basically a link tree. But that’ll take you to the YouTube channel, the podcast the Patreon page. Anything else, you might wanna know about what’s up with this weird Paeter guy, you can you can find your way there at christian geek central.com.

[00:57:38] And I appreciate you having me on Diana. This is great. I and thank you listeners for going off the beaten path. I know this is not what the podcast here is normally about, but I appreciate the opportunity to just chat and share.

[00:57:51] Diana: Yeah it’s fun to do something different cuz we talk about really dark topics, so need a little break from that . So thanks for being on the show and say hi to your family [00:58:00] and God bless you.

[00:58:02] Paeter: My pleasure. Thanks so much.