I want to start day 35 of the 40 Days (and Nights) of Christian Media Challenge with something positive.
Over the past month I’ve been enjoying reading about the resurgence of Christian artists trying to create things of lasting beauty that engage people’s hearts and minds, rather than just creating media tracts to churn out the four spiritual laws.
In support of this idea, I was referred to this worthwhile article by a friend, and would commend it to my readers here.
“…the difference between good art and sensual trash is principally seen in the responses any given piece calls forth from us. Sensual trash can only be discussed immediately afterwards, while good art can only be discussed at a much later point.”
On a less sunny note, I had a couple of Facebook posts come across my screen today that made me feel somewhat depressed as I near the end of my Christian media challenge.
First, let me say that I like the guys at Christiancimema.com. They were kind enough to offer me access to their library for the duration of my challenge (which I was unable to accept, because of being in China and all), and I think they provide a good and important service, alerting people to news in the world of Christian-made film.
But I was really irritated by this attempt to gain attention for a movie.
I really, really dislike when people use things like “support the troops” and “do you love Jesus?” to try and motivate people to like/buy/use products. To me, it’s manipulative and takes something of immense worth and transforms it into trite salesmanship. And it’s something that we Christians do all the time with our pearl of great price. (See my last post regarding the branding of the faith).
And why does my support of the American military have to be displayed by my supporting a film that I haven’t seen yet? How do I know that I will agree with this film? How do I know that it will do anything to encourage the men and women serving in the armed forces?
And yet the post has been liked 570 times and shared 207 times.
Things like this make me understand why Jesus referred to us as sheep.
The second Facebook post I want to mention was this one, from the guys who made the award nominated Nicolas Cage Left Behind film.
Let that sink in. Christians who vote on this sort of thing voted Left Behind as the best action film of 2014.
Left Behind. This Left Behind.
Left Behind as a better action film than Captain America: Winter Soldier, or Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1.
I’m thinking of a particular Forrest Gump quote right now that I just won’t quote, but you might be able to guess.
Finally, I’m considering doing something different, and want to get feedback from anyone who is still reading these updates.
I’m thinking of opening myself up these last five days, exposing myself to media that is not made explicitly for the evangelical American Christian audience, but media that has intrinsic Christian value, whether Christian-made or not. The point of this would be to compare the media that I’ve been consuming, media that is made with an evangelical agenda with media that is made for the sake of exploring the human condition, that communicates the truth of the Gospel message in the process.