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Christians Don’t Support Christian Movies

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.

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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

 
7 Comments

Posted by on March 11, 2014 in Spirituality

 

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Digging Deeper

The sun showed no mercy as its heat and rays beamed down upon my bald head. Little did I know, I would eventually get sunburned and the skin on top of my head would start peeling the following week. My muscles were getting a heck of a lot more workout than my typical routine when I go to the gym, and I was sweating profusely to the point where I looked like I had jumped into a swimming pool. I raised the ground tiller and drove it into the grassy ground as a part of the process for laying the foundation for a new building that was being built on the school campus. This was my first mission trip and I was literally being baked by the ninety-something degree Nicaraguan heat, even though it was technically the winter season. Go figure lol. Over and over again I would use the tool to break up the ground so that a teammate could dig the ditch deeper. Granted, this was for a more than noble cause, but I was totally unprepared for MANUAL LABOR of this magnitude.

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However, one thing that I was somewhat prepared for is when the Lord began to speak to me. Ever since I committed my life to Christ, my experiences have usually been that the Father speaks whenever He feels like it, and it usually is not at convenient times. I have discovered that He likes to catch me off-guard and really get my attention. Well, on this dreadfully hot day that is exactly what happened.

As I tilled the ground and the ditch got a little deeper by the hour, the Lord began to speak to me about going deeper in my understanding of Him and His Word. It soon became even more clear to me that He was speaking about a deeper relationship with Him. As a result, the following scripture came to mind:

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. (NKJV)

I believe that the word “diligently” is not their by happenstance. We must chase after Him if we really want a deeper connection with Him and if we desire to know the mysteries of the Kingdom of God. So as I drove the tool into the hard ground and dirt was shoveled out, the Holy Spirit showed me that the act of digging the ditches represented what it meant to diligently seek Him. The ground represents our hearts. As we go deeper in Him, our hearts have to be softened more and more so that we can be transformed into the person He always meant for us to be. The tilling of ground can represent so many different things, whether it is trials and tribulations or the arduous process of dying to self. It is like the willingness to alter our very lives and be purposefully inconvenienced because we desire to know Him more than anything else. Digging deeper into the ground and encountering the roots and rocks is just like going against the grain of society. It is the willingness to do what is unpopular and/or uncommon. This is the narrow road. The path that requires back-breaking faith on our part to let go of our lives so that we can discover the life He intended for us. This is often a hard thing to do.

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When we go deeper and get more intimate with the Father, He will begin to reveal His mysteries to us. I actually had a cool manifestation of this in the natural as we dug those ditches. The deeper we went; the more grub worms began to be unveiled.

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We even found a toad that had burrowed itself deep in the ground, probably for the purpose of shielding itself from the sun. The point is that we uncovered some things we were not aware were there. The same holds true when we consider our own lives. As we get closer and deeper with the Father, He will show us things about our past and reveal our “blind spots” we need to address. He will also deepen our understanding of His Word and solidify our foundation in Him so that we are not moved when “life happens.” The foundation for this particular building had to go to a certain depth because the building was being built to stand its ground during earthquakes. Do you see the connection? (Smile)

Luke 6:48 He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. (NKJV)

So despite the back-breaking labor, my skin being darkened a couple of shades and getting my bald head sunburned, the experience was extremely rewarding and life-changing. I have so much more to write about even though this mission trip was only a week.

Nathan Allen Copyright ©2013

 
3 Comments

Posted by on November 20, 2013 in Spirituality

 

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They Want to be Worshipped

II Timothy 3:1-3 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: 2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, (NKJV)

The words I highlighted in this scripture are some of the very reasons why pure ministry hardly ever takes place in this country. The spirit of Hollywood has infected the modern day church and it is playing out in ways that appear to make a total mockery of anyone who professes to follow Jesus Christ.

So what am I talking about specifically? Well, we now have four reality shows that involve “Christians.” One involves a popular gospel duo and another new show now involves a family of gospel artists. I know that many folks think this is a good thing for Christianity and see this as a positive. But aren’t those of us who follow Christ supposed to be about advancing the Kingdom? Well, sadly neither of these shows reflects that in any kind of way. The gospel duo’s show seems to only reflect materialism, drama and lives that are ultimately self-centered. The other gospel family show is very comparable. Why do we need to see “celebrity gospel artists” parade around in expensive designer clothes just like the “A-listers” in the world? Their “acts of service” appear to be limited to that of showing up and profiling at charity events, and while they might donate some money; do we really believe that this is the work of pure ministry? All they do is show up to gospel music events and perform. What one would see on these shows is only a step or two above the FOOLISHNESS present on such shows as “Real Housewives of Atlanta,” “Love and Hip Hop,” and “Braxton Family Values.” So many gospel artists and ministries nowadays appear to clamor for attention and notoriety, while they are supposed to be sharing the good news. The spirit of Hollywood is seducing the body of Christ and taking people’s eyes off of the Father.

The other two reality shows don’t involve gospel artists, but supposedly take place in the “Christian community.” One show is about preachers’ daughters and their struggle to stay pure and holy. Sadly, this is nothing but another means for nonbelievers to continue mocking and scoffing at the faith. There is already a belief in the world that says that preacher’s kids are rebellious and wilder than other kids. Come on folks! We’re supposed to be set apart! What was the motive for these pastors to actually air their family business on TV? I think we all know the answer. $$Money$$. The other show is called “The Sisterhood” and it is about preacher’s wives. As I expected, it amounts to nothing more than a slightly cleaner version of “Basketball Wives.” The women on this show don’t model the character of the Proverbs 31 woman by any stretch of the imagination. Trust me, these ladies care more about getting their hair and nails done than ministering to the lost and broken.

I shutter at the possibility of future Christian reality shows that will continue to make a mockery of what is supposed to represent the TRUTH. So in mentioning these shows along with some other examples I will give, it all boils down to this one truth: THEY WANT TO BE WORSHIPPED.

That may sound a bit extreme to some of you, but I believe that is the truth that resides in the recesses of the hearts of many in the body of Christ. People need to be validated and need to be reassured of who they are because too many of us are not operating as true heirs of Christ. Our identity isn’t grounded enough in Him, which is why so many in the worship arts and ministry seem to seek notoriety. There is so much competition in the modern day church culture, it is no wonder that ministries don’t work together. Have you ever noticed how it seems like most of the major ministers always have their face on the front cover of most or all of the books they’ve written? Why is that? I believe it is because they unknowingly or even unconsciously become too big in their own eyes. There is just too much self-importance.

I also believe that it is becoming rare to experience pure ministry that would cause one to fall to the floor in true repentance. Where are the psalmists who can manifest anointing that brings visitations from the Lord? Where is the poet whom can speak words that tear into the core of your heart and bring that conviction that leads to change? Where are the ministers who actually can lay hands on someone and they be healed or delivered? These types of experiences won’t take place when there are impure motives behind the “ministry.” These manifestations will never occur when vessels are affirmed by being the center of attention. They will only occur when we desire that He and He alone is worshipped, not us. Becoming invisible and decreasing that He may increase is the only way we will see His glory.

Father I pray right now that You would purge the spirit of Hollywood that might be residing in the hidden areas of our hearts. Create is us a clean heart and renew a right spirit within us. May the blood of Jesus kill any desires within us to be worshipped and admired. May we learn to embrace humility and operate with pure motives. May we desire that You alone be glorified and that Your Kingdom be manifested in the earth. Help us to keep our hearts and minds on things that are eternal and not temporal. Prepare us for these last days so we are not distracted by the temptations of the world. May we be set apart for Your glory. Amen.

Nathan Allen Copyright© 2013

 
4 Comments

Posted by on May 28, 2013 in Spirituality

 

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