Thursday, August 12, 2010

Today’s Rant, Part 4

I hope I’m not going to ruffle anyone’s feathers, but I have a feeling that some of you may be upset about what I am about to say. But here we go anyway. I’m not against Christian movies. I’m not going to tell you not to produce a Christian movie. If you think that is what God is calling you to do, then I say go for it. And if you are a fan of Facing the Giants or Fireproof, that’s fine.

But here’s what frustrates me. Most of these films are made for a niche audience and will not have the capability of penetrating into a mass or mainstream audience. What I am afraid we are doing is creating nothing more than a Christian movie subculture. If you are my age, you will realize that’s exactly what we did with Christian music in the 1980s. What we accomplished was cutting ourselves off from the very audience we wanted to impact. Do we really want to do that again with movies?

Listen, I realize if you are a filmmaker and you talk to people about making a Christian movie, you have a far greater opportunity to raise funds. Unfortunately, that’s just how the system is. Want to make a redemptive, transformational story for a mainstream audience? Talk to Christians about fundraising and see how far you get. I think you get the picture. It’s unlikely to happen.

Why is it that we put our money toward things that often offer no return or produce no fruit? Hey, I’m just being honest. Could you imagine the producers of The Book of Eli approaching Christians? But I challenge anyone to watch this film and tell me that it does not present a Biblical worldview than honors the Word of God.

What also bothers me are those who feel they are called to go to Hollywood or the entertainment industry and live a missional lifestyle but often find it impossible to find support from the Body of Christ. For example, I talked to a young filmmaker who has worked both in Hollywood and on foreign mission fields. Recently, he raised $45,000 to support himself and his wife for one year on the mission field in Africa. I asked him if he was able to do the same for his mission work in Hollywood. What do you think his answer was? I’m sure most people thought this guy must have hit his head on a rock.

It’s frustrating, but we have to push on. There’s a mission field out there that’s in need of workers and people who are willing to support them in their efforts. Do you want to reach the world or preach to the choir? Don’t you think it’s time to get on board?

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