This is going to be a short report tonight. To put it lightly, day four was tough. I’m just ten percent of the way into the 40 Days (and Nights) of Christian Media Challenge, and today I hit a wall. For the first time, I felt like I couldn’t do this – just limit myself to the things produced by Christians for Christians, because the options were just so limited (especially living overseas) and so often poorly made.
I know that yesterday I was finding the positives in the situation, saying something like “at least there are Christians who are creating,” but today I’m over that. Today, I’m thinking that just creating isn’t enough.
We need to be creating better and better things.
This is especially an issue for those Christians out there who don’t see the big deal in what I’m doing because they only consume Christian media every day anyway. There are three problems I see with creating such a bubble for yourself. First, this isn’t what we were called to do. “Go out into the world”, remember? How can we do that if we spend all our time in our Christian sub-culture bubble? Second, people in the bubble tend to get used to slapping the “Christian” label on everything, thinking that the label alone gives something value. But slapping a “Christian” or “faith-based” label on something doesn’t automatically make that thing good. Usually, it just sullies the label. Third, dealing specifically with filmmakers living in the bubble, I know of a few Christian filmmakers who never watch secular movies. My question for them is – if you don’t watch good films, how can you hope to create good films? I just don’t get that.
The thing that saddens me about all of this is that I know that there are so many talented Christian artists who could be making great media, great art, but they’re forced to tailor their work for those Christians living in the bubble, Christians who aren’t interested in being challenged by what they consume. Their audience wants to grow spiritually, but they only want it to happen by having their beliefs reinforced. They want to be told that their interpretation of the Bible is the right one, that the idea they have about God is without error, and they’re uncomfortable with the idea of exposing themselves to alternative notions – or even looking at their own ideas in alternative ways. This means they aren’t necessarily experiencing growth of any kind, but more likely just entrenchment.
And that depresses me on this, the fourth day.
So, with all this in mind, I feel like I’m having to push through this day like I’m ensconsed in some bizarre alien membrane. I’m trapped, trying to push my way out.
Today, Christian media is not making me feel free, but entrapped.
I’m hoping tomorrow will be a better day.