Don't you just love a good movie? Sitting in front of the big screen, popcorn in hand, and a large coke is the best way to spend an evening. Movies are a snapshot of life. They allow us to be someone we're not and do things we normally could not have done. The challenge comes in when we try and add "Christian" to it and pass it off as something it is not.
What are movies anyway? Simply put, they are pieces of entertainment. Some folks like comedy, some romance, and for some reason some even enjoy horror. What about "Christian" movies? What makes them "Christian" versus a regular "secular" movie?
I liken this to prayer in school. Everyone wants prayer in school, right? What if prayer was in school. Would you REALLY like it? According to www.quora.com, there are over 4,200 different religions in the world. The average school day is about 6.75 hours. That comes out to about 405 minutes of class. If you were to have prayer in school, who gets to pray? Assuming you want prayer in school to be prayed aloud, how will that work? If each religion were to pray for just 10 seconds each with no break between them, you still do not have enough time in the school day. Well we only want "Christian" prayer. Really? How will that fly to a Muslim, Jew, Catholic, Atheist... You get the picture. Speaking of picture, what constitutes a "Christian Movie"?
Looking at Hollywood's idea of what a Christian movie is was quite eye-opening. The following were considered Christian films.
Monty Python's Life of Brian
Jesus Christ Superstar
Chariots of Fire
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Oh, God! You Devil
The Last Temptation of Christ
Dead Man Walking, etc.
Certainly there has to be some guidelines to be able to call it "Christian", right? I guess if there is the mention of God, the devil, or just an angel somewhere, Hollywood considers it "Christian". Here's the thing. The Bible lays out what is "Christian" and what is not. When you take even a modern version of a Biblical story, how weird does it get?
There was no editing of that scene so you could be entertained. That is the point of the movies; entertainment. To think that this in anyway resembles the Biblical version of Genesis 6-8 is ludicrous. However, to think that it is great cinema, well, that is believable.
This is considered a "Christian" movie. Why? Because it has the title, "Noah"? Well it is a good thing that we now have "Christian" film makers. Really? Wouldn't it be smarter to just say these are "family friendly" instead of labeling them as "Christian"? The difference is that the world sees these and laughs. They believe what they are viewing is really a depiction of a Biblical event. NO! It is just really good entertainment. So what of these "Christian" movie makers.
Without offending anyone, just think about some of these films you have seen. The groups are always the same. In one of the most popular ones, the "atheists" look so angry and the "Christians" look so perfect. Yeah, that's real. The point here is they are always pitting an "us vs. them" scenario. Jesus never set up division, although He said it would happen. However, it would come naturally. We intentionally set it up so that "Christians" look as though we are saving the planet. This just in; Jesus already did that.
Who is watching these movies? Christians? Then they are not evangelistic. What are they? ENTERTAINMENT! Atheists? Then they think Christians have a less than "Christian" view of their beliefs and are out to get them. Reality is movies are for entertainment. Documentaries are a different story. But I digress. Movies labeled "Christian" and made by "Christian" movie makers are not even made by movie makers. These are self-proclaimed pastors. Great, but who is watching them? They are sermons set to film. Once the movie is proclaimed to be "Christian", you have lost all opportunity for a non-Christian to view it. It is basically church on the big screen and a non-Christian rarely goes to church.
The average budget for a Hollywood movie is around $100 million dollars to make. The average for a "Christian" movie? Without giving a name, one of the most popular had a budget of just $1 million. That is NOT because they don't have the money. How much do these movies make?
Top 10 highest-grossing Christian films
The Passion of the Christ - $622.3 million
Heaven is for Real - $101.3 million
The Shack - $96.9 million
I Can Only Imagine - $86 million
War Room - $74 million
Miracles from Heaven - $73.9 million
Son of God - $70.95 million
God's Not Dead - $64.7 million
The Star - $62.8 million
Breakthrough - $50.4 million
They have the money. The main reason they have the money is because of their backing. Let me ask another question, would you go to a church to worship God if it was funded by an Atheist group? What about a pro-abortion, pro-homosexual, blah, blah, blah organization? Of course you wouldn't. Then why do you go see a Christian movie that is made by these places under the guise of "Christianity"? By all means, go see the movies. They are all very entertaining. However, STOP calling them Christian. By the way, Sony, Lionsgate, and Twentieth Century Fox made 7 of those 10 films.
Here's the point of this article. Christian worship is being hijacked by the world, as it has always been. The difference is today we have such great technology that it is easier to see. We, as Christians, want so badly for everyone to know the Truth that we will put anything with the moniker of Christian in front of it as "good for us".
As this article draws to a close, let me recap for you. Movies are entertainment. Because we put "Christian" in front of it does not make it Biblical. It may make it family friendly, which is a great big plus. Don't let anyone keep you from watching them. Enjoy them. However, look for things in them that you can explain to your non-Christian friends about and be prepared to explain. The video below I couldn't help but put here at the end of this.