The day started well, with Skye Jethani‘s daily devotional waiting faithfully for me in my e-mail inbox when I awoke. I read it, and then, since my family has not been doing very well with devotionals lately, I called everyone to the breakfast table.
Together, we read through Jethani’s devotional, which dealt with Luke 23: 27 & 28. It focused on Jesus’ encounter with the women while he was carrying the cross to Golgatha. They were weeping for him, but he told them to weep for themselves – and Jethani pointed out that Jesus had the chance to act like a victim, but instead he focused on the true victims, and he challenged his readers to do the same. It led to a really nice discussion with the kids about times they’d felt like victims.
We went to church, and had a nice service at the international fellowship here in Shekou. Afterwards, I came home to a quiet house. My wife and daughter had a girl scout event, my older son was playing at a friend’s house, and my toddler son had fallen asleep. I wanted to see what sort of Christian television programming I could find, and went searching.
I quickly realized that watching Christian programming from China was not going to be easy. Parables.tv – the Christian Netflix, as it bills itself – streams videos, but they are mostly the bottom of the barrel, quality-wise. I’ll try to give them a go later, but the two that I started watching (some Christian “comedian”, and a really REALLY low budget movie about Samson) weren’t worth pursuing. I tried Godtube, but again, didn’t find anything. I perused the Cornerstone Network (home of The 700 Club and similar programming), but wasn’t in the mood for the perfect people in suits who smiled too much and talked too much about people being “anointed”. I did find something about a Christian sitcom called “Pastor Greg”, but couldn’t find any way to watch it online. Also, there were rumblings about a sitcom starring Stephen Baldwin, but again, nothing available online. I checked the religion section on Amazon Prime, and there was absolutely nothing there worth watching.
People producing Christian programming, you guys really need to make your things available online. Riot Studios, the makers of last year’s Believe Me, were brilliant with this – releasing their film simultaneously in the theaters and as a digital download.
I checked over on Christian Faithbook to see if anyone had acknowledged my new membership, and had a single request for friendship. I’d even commented on one of the groups, but apparently the faithful Christians of Christian Faithbook rarely visit.
By this time, my toddler son woke up from his nap, and so I had to turn from the Christian media to my son. My attempts to find decent Christian programming online?
One of the really fascinating things that has happened as a result of my announcing this challenge has been the pity exhibited to me by other Christians who also don’t see much of redeeming quality about the bulk of Christian media. I received comment after comment from Christians telling me how sorry they are that I’m doing this to myself.
I was also fascinated by the folks who wrote encouraging me to consider all the great artists who are not famous for being Christians, but who were. Tolkien, Hugo, Christie, etc. One person even wrote, “there’s no excuse to imbibe bad art when you can have good art at the highest cultural level.”
Truth is, I hope to discover some new good art while wading through all the bad.
Interesting note on the day – I decided to prepare dinner, since I was home alone with the baby, and sat down on the computer to find a specific recipe. Since I could only look on Christian websites, I discovered there are very few Christian websites that specialize in recipes. This is ironic, considering how much Christian love to eat.
So, if you are a Christian looking for a niche – there you go.
I ended the day on an extremely positive note – watching Richard Ramsey’s The Song. Here’s the trailer, if you don’t know it:
This movie is absolutely amazing. Quite literally one of the best films of 2014, in my opinion. I’m going to be writing a review on the film tomorrow, but you need to see it. It was a great way to end the day.
Day 1 down, 39 days to go.