I have been a Christian all my life and I want to start by saying that I am not against Christianity in any way, with that said; why do most movies and TV shows made as “Christian Alternatives” suck?
Maybe sucked is too harsh of a word but I still feel like using it. I can count the number of good, non-cheesy Christian movies I have seen with one hand. The same thing goes for Christian bands, and most products or productions put on by us Christians.
I once knew a man who was a fellow writer; me, him and another good friend of mine shared our current work, and he came back saying that our writing needed to have more God in it and that we were not sharing the right message. Not everything we create needs to be a sermon from the pulpit, there is something to be said for projects that just show good values or making clean entertainment.
The perfect example of a great Christian independent movie was the 2001 movie “Extreme Days” This movie was really funny and only cheesy when it wanted to be. It was not overly preachy and had a great message behind it too. The movie was about four boys on a road trip and the lessons they learned about life and God along the way.
I think I see one reason that Christian movies fall a little flat. I love movies and see them as much as I can, and I know the good elements of a good movie. Most good movies have an A plot that is the external conflicts or completion and a B plot the internal conflicts. A good movie will use the A and B plots and have them play off each other and make you care for the character and want to see them overcome their external and internal conflicts.
Christian movies more often than not will down play or totally leaves out the A plot. They focus too much on the internal changes that the character goes through. Christian movies care more about the changes and conversions of the heart than any other element, and that is well and good, but it does not make for the best movies.
I always feel like Christians take “be in the world but not of the world” as “do nothing like the world.” God has given us all gifting’s and Hollywood has had many years to perfect the art of the motion picture, and if you ignore it. You ignore the talent and God-given skill among the people who make movies what they are.
The world is not split into the Christian and secular worlds, there is good and bad in each world and when we see them as two worlds and see the need to make Christian copies of things we see as secular, then I think they lose quality.
You can make a Christian movie that is not cheesy, and you can have a Christian band that does not sound like other Christian bands. When we make products from Christians by Christians, it’s not really leaving the church walls. We are called to be a light and when we make a good movie that is not shoving God down people’s throats and make music that is clean but still amazing it is more of a light in the dark then anything else.
The Fedora Nerd – Ben Crawford