Many feel that with his long acting, writing and directing career, he also deserves getting his own top award
By Michael Ireland, Chief Correspondent of ASSIST News Service
LOS ANGELES, CA (ANS – February 23, 2017) – It was an extraordinary moment at the star-studded Movieguide®’s Annual Faith & Values Awards Gala, also known as “The Christian Oscars” that was held on Friday, February 10th, at the Universal Hilton Hotel in Los Angeles, California, when veteran Hollywood actor/director, Corbin Bernsen presented long-time Christian broadcaster, Pat Robertson, with a Lifetime Achievement Award.
Robertson, now 86, was honored by Bernsen for “Living and Communicating the Good News” for 57 years of “redemptive work in the mass media to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ worldwide and helping needy families and providing disaster relief through Operation Blessing.”
Before he made the presentation, Corbin Bernsen told ANS Founder, Dan Wooding, who was filming a series of interviews on the red carpet for his “Inside Hollywood” TV show, why he was so honored to be able to present the award to Pat Robertson, saying, “I’ve had the fortune of working with him and his Regent University on a film with his students called ‘In-Lawfully Yours’ [in which he played Father Grayson]. It came out last year and it’s on Netflix.
“It was then that we got to know each other, and he certainly inspired me,” Bernsen said.
There are many in the entertainment business who now wonder when Corbin will also receive a Lifetime Achievement Award for his long career in Tinseltown, which has included a long list of roles, such as divorce attorney Arnold Becker on the NBC drama series L.A. Law, as Dr. Alan Feinstone in The Dentist, as retired police detective Henry Spencer on the USA Network comedy-drama series Psych, and as Roger Dorn in the films Major League, Major League II, and Major League: Back to the Minors. He has also appeared regularly on other shows, including General Hospital and Cuts.
Bernsen, himself a committed Christian, then revealed a change in his career. “I wrote a movie called ‘Rust’ which was my first faith-based movie,” he told Wooding. “It’s where I discovered I was a faith-based filmmaker. I discovered I wanted to know more about my faith. It was an extraordinary key that God gave me on that film to say ‘hey, come take a look.’ I started exploring films like a movie called ‘Beyond The Heavens,’ ‘Twenty-five Hill,’ ‘Christian Mingle,’ ‘ In-Lawfully Yours.’ So I’ve gone on to make my seventh film. I just finished writing one – hopefully – well, you never finish, but I’ve written one that I’ve put the pen down today on.”
Wooding said that when Movieguide® first started these events 25 years ago there were hardly any faith-based films. He asked Bernsen, “What has caused this flood of new movies?”
“The world’s an extraordinary place right now, and I believe there is a lot of enormous growth from our environment, the way we eat, the way we take care of ourselves — despite what might be in the news from both sides — a lot of spiritual awakening, people coming alive. And at the same time that happens we have a tendency for our ego to roar its ugly head and say, ‘No, I don’t want enlightenment. I want power,’ and I think to answer your question simply, there is not an appetite, but hunger — I’m a writer, so hunger is a better word to say — people want to become closer to the source. We call that God. And the message is brought to our world through Jesus Christ, which are universal truths.”
Is Bernsen optimistic or pessimistic at the way the world’s going at the moment?
“Extraordinarily optimistic, extraordinarily optimistic. Through my faith and through some philosophical reading, working with a shrink a little bit to be honest, just to understand ‘me’ a little bit more. My shrink’s become a friend that I talk to, and I get things out — it’s not like you are problem-solving, but it’s not for anything specific. I just was interested in somebody who had that take on things, history and all that. I’ve come to the place to where, first of all, whatever is right now is, there is nothing: there’s no past and there really is no future. This moment right now, for me and you, is you and me — and him with the camera and now the people listening to it. And all the bad things that are happening in the world, all the things that we perceive as this fight between each other, stuff that divides us, is I believe part of the process of awakening. And you can’t fix a divide — it’s been there since the first days and– if you want to, in this world back to Adam and Eve in the garden. You cannot address that divide unless you have both progress and arecoil to reflect. And I think we’re in a huge reflection period; and it looks ugly.
“Sometimes when you reflect, it’s ugly. But we’re in that period, but I know because of my love for God who loves us, that it’s all meant to be, and in that way it’s extraordinary. By the way, you have to come to accept that all the fear-mongers and all, maybe the planet won’t be here as we know it. Maybe human life as we know it goes; maybe we’re left with palm trees and cockroaches again. But if that’s God’s plan, that’s God’s plan. And there’s an extraordinary magnificence when you come to that kind of understanding which allows you to be optimistic, and therefore work in the real world and try to make things good.”
Bernsen said his father’s family was Jewish and his mother converted and became a hardcore Christian Scientist, “died of it, so to speak, because she had stomach cancer and she wouldn’t get treatment.”
“She wouldn’t get treated. But that’s ok, that was her faith. So I grew up Christian Science. My mother is part Cherokee Indian and she had an incredible spirit so that she could relate to the Indians, but she would also refer to Christ as a sort of anchor, a signpost, to make it relatable, so it wasn’t so spiritual.”
Bernsen was asked about his thoughts on the Middle East and particularly what’s going on in Israel and the West Bank and Gaza.
“That’s a really tough one — I tend to not really want to get too political, partly because I don’t really know or understand and if you ask me that because I have some Jewish roots, that would not be something that guides me in that way. I do know that from where I sit the differences that we have and the ego that drives both sides to be right is not the solution. The solution always is you’ll hear me say if you’re in there tonight is love, God’s love, and I say things here that might shock some, however you view God, whatever you call God, there is only God and his love. And the other stuff we do when you get to this place that I’m trying to get to it’s you can almost look at it and it looks like a silly info-mercial. It’s predictable.”
** ANS would like to thank Robin Frost for transcribing this interview.
Photo captions: 1) Corbin Bernsen at a previous Movieguide® Gala. 2) Pat Robertson speaking after receiving his Lifetime Achievement Award. 3) Corbin Bernsen being made up by Regent University students for his role in In-Lawfully Yours. 4) Corbin Bernsen appearing on the 700 Club on CBN. 5) Michael Ireland.
About the Writer: Michael Ireland is a volunteer internet journalist serving as Chief Correspondent for the ASSIST News Service, as well as an Ordained Minister who has served with ASSIST Ministries and written for ANS since its beginning in 1989. He has reported for ANS from Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Israel, Jordan, China, and Russia. Please consider helping Michael cover his expenses in bringing news of the Persecuted Church, by logging-on to: https://actintl.givingfuel.com/ireland-michael
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