Entertainment for Christian Folk

Photo taken at the 41st Emmy Awards 9/17/89
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Sorry for the lack of updates. Most of my focus has been on finishing the rough draft of these darn ordination papers.

But recently, I had a conversation with a friend and she suggested that I watch Fireproof starring Kirk Cameron or watch To Save A Life. Both of these movies were (at least seems like) made by Christians for Christians. I’m sure they were made to be viewed by non-Christians as well.

But here’s my thing. Those movies and shows and music made by Christians… simply put: they suck. I’m always insulted that just because I’m a Christian, I have to watch low budget, low production, low talent things because it’s “safe.”

I remember in high school in Hawaii, where our youth pastor told us that we should listen to Christian music. So he gave us a list that said things like “If you like Pearl Jam, try listening to this Christian group” and so forth. And I tried to listen to the more “safe” altar-native counterpart and I remember thinking, “this is crap. Why not just listen to the real deal?”

Now, Christian entertainment might have vastly improved since the 90’s, but I don’t want to go watch movies that star Kirk Cameron, because it looks cheesy.
That’s the other thing, why are they so cheesy?
I think people outside of the Christian faith have a better grasp of Christian faith.
Some episodes of the Simpsons are remarkable with their insight of people of faith, such as the episode where Rev. Lovejoy loses both love and joy for the ministry (episode In Marge We Trust).
Movies like Saved starring Mac Culkin and Mandy Moore showed Christians that I actually knew in real life.
Shows like Lost have a deeply profound theme of spirituality and faith, even if it’s not about Christian God. Shows like Dexter forces me to think about revenge and the need to play judge, when actuality God says that vengeance is His, and God is the one and true Judge.
Then you have these Christian entertainment made by Christian, and they seem to over simplify everything. It’s like an episode of Full House on crack. It’s always going to have a nice, tidy ending.

I know people who won’t let their children watch anything that doesn’t have the approval of the Christian community. I get that. I applaud that. But I disagree with it. Why are we working so hard to separate the spiritual and the secular? Only because, I believe that God can be found anywhere.
As Rob Bell said in his “Everything is Spiritual” DVD, the Hebrews didn’t have the word “spiritual” because by labeling one thing spiritual, something else won’t be spiritual, and everything was spiritual to them.

I watch a lot of movies and TV, and there are some that are profoundly spiritual, even if that wasn’t their case.
Friday Night Lights is one of my favorite shows on TV, and I’ve learned so much about pastoral care the way Coach Taylor reaches out to his players.

I firmly believe that God can be found everywhere.
That’s not an excuse to allow your 12 year old to watch Jersey Shore.
It’s just a suggestion that we don’t force such a dichotomy between the Spiritual world and the secular world, where we might begin to (un)intentionally imply that God can only be found here, and not here.
God is everywhere.

2 thoughts on “Entertainment for Christian Folk

  1. Right on the money. I remember hearing the same thing about Christian music in the 70’s (it’s just as good as the secular stuff, etc), and being equally embarrased by “Christian” movies. My suspicion is that so many preachers say secular music & movies are evil because they don’t want their flock discovering how insipid most religious “entertainment” really is.

  2. I agree with the part about christian movies and music… mostly second rate garbage. I think fireproof is suppose to be decent though. As far as watching shows compromised with blasphemy, sexual immorality, etc that is sin however you try to excuse. For me it was rooted in a hidden love of the world left in my heart (1 john 2:15)

    Here are two good youtube videos to checkout on the subject. God bless you in Christ Jesus.




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