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Christians Don’t Support Christian Movies

11 Mar

Over the years I have rolled my eyes time and time again at Christian cinema. I paid attention to the obvious budget constraints that tainted the overall quality of the final product and made my critiques, taking in the popular belief that Christian movies are LAME. They are usually characterized as “B” movies and are characterized as having lame story lines, bad acting and lacking overall in the other qualities that mainstream movies possess. They became and still are somewhat of a laughing stock amongst pop culture, and myself and many other believers have mocked and scoffed at these movies. Hardly any of them made it to the big screen and usually you would see them at your local Blockbuster for rent; at that time.

Since then, more Christian movies began to make it to the big screen and this select few had more money to back them. Obviously, “The Passion of the Christ” is the biggest Christian movie of all time in terms of the money it made and the media attention it received around the world. A few other notable movies have also hit the big screen since then and some even managed to grab one of the top spots during their first weeks of release.  Unfortunately, these movies have been few and far between. You can count of the number of them on one hand. However, Christian movies as a whole still don’t do well in the box office and typically go straight to DVD. They are usually found in Christian bookstores and make little profit, if any.

So what is the issue? Well, a friend and co-host of mine for an Internet radio show we do had an experience that answers this question no holds barred. He is the youth and young adult pastor at his church, and not too long ago, he tried to take his group to see the movie “Grace Unplugged.” The movie had been released just a week prior but when they got to the theatre, they were shocked to see that the movie had already been pulled due to lack of sales. Obviously for them to pull a movie after one week means that it did HORRENDOUSLY. He spoke with the manager of the theatre and the man told him the ugly, unadulterated truth: Christians don’t support Christian movies. From what my friend said, he wasn’t even sure if this man was a believer in Jesus Christ. So for this statement to possibly come from the outside is really, really sad… My co-host told this story during one of our radio broadcasts.

empty theatre

On this same broadcast, we were interviewing a lady who operates a local inspirational magazine. This issue of Christian movies came up, and I was once again being critical and cynical of them during the show. However, this lady said something so simple, yet so true. She stated that Christians need to support these movies, especially the ones that make it to the big screen. If these movies can generate the money that these film companies need, Christian movies can begin to improve due to more money and resources. Doesn’t that make sense? After all, the most important factor in these movies is the MESSAGE, is it not? The execution may not be totally on par, but can we seek the message and choose ministry over mindless entertainment? If the body of Christ would choose to support more Christian movies instead of flocking to see everything else that the world sees, it would cause Hollywood to take notice. In other words, it sounds like we need to sacrifice in the area of entertainment so that there are better options available to us to enjoy wholesome, godly movies. God can use any medium to draw people into the Kingdom through His spirit. Just imagine for a second if Christian movie makers had more capital and also allowed God to strengthen their creativity. The result could be MAGNIFICENT! Imagine the ministry that could go forth in movie theatres across this nation! The possibilities would be endless if the body would commit to supporting these movies and died to more worldly entertainment! Anything is possible!

So recently, when I saw the trailer for “I’m in Love with a Church Girl,” I shook my head and rolled my eyes. (Yeah I know… sigh) It looked boring and predictable, and I was agitated at what I considered to be a lack of originality and creativity. However, this movie may be good and I will support it as soon as it hits Redbox and DVD. I’ve somewhat been a part of the problem and not the solution, so the buck stops here with me. We have to start somewhere. If we want things to change, we have to make our voices heard and that is through our support. We must also take personal inventory of the types of movies that we allow to flood our eye gates and ear gates. As disciples of Jesus Christ, there are obviously certain types of movies that we shouldn’t be watching, but the fruit speaks for itself. The fact is that too many self-professing Christians who will pass up Christian movies to be entertained by the world system. In fact, I believe that entertainment is an excellent tool of distraction that the enemy likes to use to keep the people of God focused on the things of this world instead of Him. If we are not careful, our beliefs and values can be tainted by television and the movies that we watch. The enemy’s tactics are often subtle, and this is a perfect example. Too much entertainment is one of the reasons why Christianity in this country is so weak and watered down that it’s not even funny. Let’s stop giving Babylon our money and start INVESTING in Kingdom movies. Yes, it is an investment that could pay the dividends of more quality, ministry-drenched, creative Christian movies in the future.

Nathan Allen Copyright ©2014

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7 Comments

Posted by on March 11, 2014 in Spirituality

 

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7 responses to “Christians Don’t Support Christian Movies

  1. ayaacademy

    March 11, 2014 at 4:05 pm

    I love Facing the Giants and Fireproof. Opened both – I lent the latter one to a friend and never got it back. I also have some lower budget black Christian movies in my collection too. I bought these for $5-10 at Walmart. I also catch Christian films on Netflix. Here’s my rationale for spending money on films with possibly poor audio, editing, and in some cases acting, I’m a mom with two daughters. I realize that pop culture, whether films or music, helps define and reinforce their value systems. So for every few times we watch a Disney or Pixar movie, I want us as a family to invest time watching a Christian-based film.

    As far as the poor production quality, our people need to work together like the church in Albany, Georgia that produced Facing the Giants. They used a pool of volunteers with little to no experience so if they can, black producers, editors and writers can do so as well. I do not think money or talent is as much as an issue as it is the willingness to work together.

    As always, I enjoyed your post.

     
  2. Kyra

    March 11, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    I thought Facing the Giants was pretty good. I liked The Blindside. (I don’t even like football, but I enjoyed those movies.) The Ultimate Gift was alright. End of the Spear was pretty good. Honestly, even the scripts for a lot of Christian films are not good. I think I can handle low-budget if at least there is a good script. I saw the Passion of the Christ when it came out and it’s not one I would add to my collection. However, Jesus of Nazareth is a favorite. Of course, the director for that one was Italian and a lot of times I prefer foreign film styles over American films because ours are often too fantasy-based for my taste. I think I would much rather support testimony reinactments or documentaries on spiritual themes rather than cheesy Christian films where people are raptured out of their clothes. One of my favorite things to watch is Ian McCormack’s testimony reinactment video “Glimpse of Eternity.” That one is super low budget- and not even intended to make any money. They give it away for the cost of the DVD and it’s on YouTube for free. Oh! And I LOVE the Bethleham Star DVD. There are some good ones out there. I will support anything if I feel the Spirit in it. But there are some that have a manipulative undertone to them and I’m not into that.

     
    • SpiritualHardCandy

      March 11, 2014 at 5:26 pm

      Yes there have been some good Christian movies and I agree we should avoid any that have an impure agenda. I just think we have to sacrifice or endure if we want to lose the cheesy Christian movie stereotype. But I like your perspective.

       
  3. The P.O.E.T. aka The Anointed Pen

    March 11, 2014 at 10:15 pm

    I think it all comes down to lack of unity in the body of Christ. Whether it’s movies, CD’s business ventures, etc. We don’t support each other in the body of Christ the same way we support secular artists or secular ventures. Quality, variety or even innovation in Christian films will not take place until we support one another properly. There’s lots of untapped talent in the kingdom that we should be utilizing to make an impact for Christ. Every other religion or belief system knows how to come together for a common cause. It’s a shame the body of Christ hasn’t caught on to this & we’re the ones that are supposed to have the power of Christ to change the world. We have to do better in this regard.

     
    • Kyra

      March 11, 2014 at 10:47 pm

      Good point. And good discussion topic, Nathan

       
  4. LW Donovan

    March 12, 2014 at 9:09 am

    Hi Nathan. I like the sentiment you’re bringing up and the fact that you’re discussing it. Christian involvement in and support of the arts has and always will be a sticky subject.

    We should always be free to support the Kingdom as we are let. Beyond that, we have to let the creations of others speak for themselves, we have to let them rise and fall on their own merits.

    If one of the merits of a Christian work of art (a movie, in this case) is a message or ministry end that is compelling, we can or should support it as we feel led. And it will succeed if it is compelling. But if the ministry or message objective is not met as stated, or comes off as lukewarm or ineffective because the movie producers or writer were willing to settle for a “muddy” or poorly executed message, we have to leave it up to the patrons and the Holy Spirit where it goes from there.

    If the church wants cheese, they will support cheese, and they will call it “good enough” when it hits enough cheesy points – budget won’t matter. If they want meat/ministry/power – they won’t settle for a movie that is all cheese and no power.

    I hear that the latest Jesus movie “Son of God” was immaculately produced with dollars and stars or at least a powerful slate of actors. However, I also hear that the message is not one of power. And so it is meeting with mixed reviews in the church and dismissal from the world. I believe this is part of God’s order. The message is not hitting the target. Or perhaps it is, time will tell.

    No offense meant here, what follows may sound harsh. It is not meant to be, but here goes: I support artistic endeavors and Christian movies to a degree, even when they don’t *WOW* me, if I think they have a good message and do okay “getting there” – in the same way as I would give money to a homeless person. I do it not for selfishness, reward or consumerism. I do it from the heart and for the good of the kingdom. Once the offering has left my hand, it is up to them and the Spirit as to whether they will be faithful with the seed/investment I have sown in them.

    If the gift they present continues to compel me and prove to me that my investment is working. I will keep investing.

    I dare Christian artists to stop settling for a message, and start lifting up a compelling message. If Christ is lifted up, he will draw all men unto himself.

    God bless Nathan!

     

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