It’s okay if you don’t like a Christian movie.
Regardless of how Christian media companies are pushing the films that have been coming out recently in an attempt to “send a message to Hollywood”, if you think a Christian movie is a bad movie, then it doesn’t mean you are a bad Christian. In fact, having such feelings might just mean that you are experiencing some detachment from American Cultural Christianity.
And that’s not a bad thing.
For example, this weekend, God’s Not Dead 2 was released, and my Twitter page was filled with people Tweeting: “I would rather stand with God and be judged by the world, than stand with the world and be judged by God” – Grace Wesley
#GodsNotDead2 #TheHumanRight #GodsSurelyAlive. I found myself wondering why people were so excited by this movie, when (in my opinion) the first movie was such a poor example of a movie.
Hey, Christian, if you also feel that way, then it’s okay. It doesn’t mean that you are any less devoted to Jesus because you don’t like a movie that the Christian media industry is insisting that you like. Jesus based salvation on grace and his finished work on the cross, not how many faith-based movies we see.
Maybe your church purchased the God’s Not Dead 2 Church Kit ($59.95 at the God’s Not Dead 2 website), and your pastor used the provided sermon outlines to preach about the movie for a month of Sundays. And you couldn’t help but wonder: What the heck is my pastor doing preaching sermons provided by a movie company?
This should make you uncomfortable. In fact, you should probably schedule a meeting with your pastor to discuss his choices for Sunday morning messages.
But it doesn’t mean your own salvation is at risk. It might just mean that you are experiencing discernment. And that’s a good thing.
Did your cousin buy multiple copies of Rice Brooks’ Man, Myth, Messiah which was so subtly promoted in God’s Not Dead 2, and has she been giving them out to friends and family, hoping that the apologetics presented will convince someone to come to faith in Jesus?
While your cousin might have her heart in the right place, maybe you find yourself questioning this action as well. After all, you see big faults in the film that featured the book, such as the false persecution narrative that might just end up being a self-fulfilling prophecy…
…and well, you’re just fine thinking that. It doesn’t mean that you are somehow less mature as a believer.
You are likely still a faithful Christian.
Back to your cousin: certainly you can appreciate your cousin’s motivation, and there are probably lots of good things to be learned from the book. But maybe you could take the time to explain to her how these God’s Not Dead movies affect many atheists. Maybe you could discuss that many atheists watch them and are deeply offended by the way the films turn them into moustache twirling cartoons, demonized and villianized, and that the very audience that the movie purports to be trying to reach are likely to become closed to the message because of the way they are portrayed.
And then maybe you could recommend a different resource for your cousin to use to reach people: your cousin’s own life.
Maybe your well-intentioned cousin could simply live out her testimony, loving her neighbors, and demonstrating how Jesus has impacted her, changed her, and made her a new creation.
Perhaps you could explain to your cousin that she doesn’t need a movie or a high-priced movie resource to do this. Encourage her that a personal testimony is free, and much more effective than than a movie or a book.
At the end of the day, Christian movies are just movies, and you, as a Christian, are not beholden to them. They are a business like any other business, and they were made by people just like you and me, people with a myriad of motives and hopes.
But if you aren’t inspired or encouraged by a movie, faith-based or not, then it’s fine, because regardless of the importance that many Christian media companies place on the new Christian film movement, at the end of the day, they aren’t Scripture.
They aren’t reality.
They are just movies.
And if you don’t like a Christian film, then it’s perfectly alright. You are not any less of a Christian for not liking it.
And don’t let anyone make you think otherwise.