Faith In Film: Cheesy or Family Friendly?


This post was previously published on a friend of mine’s blog, Scrat Talk, as a guest post. I have since updated and formatted it for right now.

While some films are meant for outreach, such as Left Behind and its reboot (I will not comment on that film as I have not seen it.) However, the premise that all Christian movies are all meant for outreach is not entirely true. (As far as criticizing the End Times Theology in these movies, that’s fine. We can have that conversation later.)

I doubt that is reason the sequels to Left Behind flopped. They were just bad movies.

However, End Times films have leaked into the secular world as well. Rosemary’s Baby, End of Days, and Revelations mini-series are all secular, but based on the Book of Revelations. They get most of the prophecies wrong and interpret the scriptures in a way that usually makes the Church or Christians look crazy, powerless, or just plain wrong. They are not criticized for their inaccuracy or for their “cheesy” plot.

Some of them give it the old college try at least.  Grace Unplugged, Brother White, and Extreme Days, they all have a TV Movie feel because of the budget, but they are at least decent.

However, there have been many ones that were hits: God’s Not Dead, Ben-Hur, Risen, The Songand War Room were all surprise box offices successes. That with the last two making it to the Top 10. None of them had “dirt” in them.

One of the biggest criticisms is that there is little or no foul language in Christian films. So what? Not everyone talks that way. Even if that was the case, just because “the world” speaks that way, why should we put in faith films? It makes little to no difference as long as the content is good.

Why are moral standards in film should be an issue as far as realism? Horror films put outlandish things in films that are not “realistic,” but it’s acceptable for them because it looks like “art.” Lambs and beavers cannot mutate into flesh eating zombies, but when Christians want to make films that are “clean” we have to hear about how “that’s not real life.” Who cares?

My favorite non-argument is “they replace the message for good art.” Okay, you cannot complain about modern art having no message and then gripe about how the message is corrupting Christian cinema. Make up your mind.

These films often touch on topics important to the viewers. Isn’t that what art is suppose to do? It is suppose to touch the soul of the person who is viewing it. If someone is encouraged, moved, or inspired by a Christian film, that’s what art is suppose to do.

Please note, I do agree that there are a lot bad Christian films, Christian Mingle, Book of Esther and Book of Ruth come to mind.

Bottom line, just because a film is made in a family friendly away, does not make it cheesy.

One final note, the Christian film industry, the horror film industry, Disney Animation does not owe anyone, not even movie goers, anything. They can make movies how they please. As long as people pay to see the films, they can make them that way.

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