By Pastor Christian on 6/6/11
Should Christians really study film, especially some of the seriously questionable films we are reviewing in this series? Well, let me begin with this caveat - we are not recommending any of the films we are featuring. In fact, we would highly suggest you don’t see some of them, that’s up to you. Nevertheless, we chose each one because we are still interested in the messages they contain or topics they raise.
You see we all have a constantly evolving “theology,” that is a set of beliefs about God, ourselves and the meaning of life that are formed from our experiences and external input. Some of us have a poor or undeveloped theology, but we all hold some basic views that shape the way we intact with everything/everyone. And some, like author Phyllis Tickle, have provocatively suggested “that more ‘theology’ is conveyed and remembered in one hour of [American cinema and] TV than all the sermons preached in a given weekend.” I completely agree. You see, all movies have something to say about what is ultimately real, what matters, what is good, bad or acceptable. And if they are good, they say it in a very convincing manner. So as we labor in the churches to form a cogent and truthful worldview with all of its accompanying theology, we often labor against the much better financed, much more pervasive and certainly more consumed media of movies and TV.
So back to my question, “should Christians study film” and thus be aware of what is being conveyed to our culture, our kids, and our neighbors - well. . .YES. But with special attention to our purpose and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit . Everything is permissible but not everything is good for us. I think our job as Christians is to really understand what popular film is trying to convey to us, even if its distasteful. Sometimes we must struggle to correct the ideas and sometimes we can be delighted and use good film to our advantage. Like it or not, even sometimes unintentionally, Hollywood also shows some of the best and most admirable qualities of being human; those universally good attributes sewn into all of us by our creator..
So, see you at the movies and at Canyon Creek beginning June 12, 2011. It will be good and probably a little fun,