Christian Filmmaker Befuddled Over The Relationship Between Media & Religion

In an episode of Generations Radio titled “Filmmaker Chastises Christians For Watching Ungodly Films: Film Has Usurped Church”, Christian filmmaker Rich Christiano provided a summary of an upcoming project as well as reflections upon Christianity and the media.

In the synopsis, he name drops that the upcoming film features Harry Anderson.

The cinematographer reminds that Anderson, before his descent into obscurity, starred as the judge on the sitcom “Night Court”.

So if the truly sanctified believer is to refrain from these kinds of wordly entertainments, how is anyone in the listening audience even supposed to know what “Night Court” is?

Admittedly, I saw a few episodes of Night Court in my youth.

From what I remember, the comedy was heavy on innuendo,

I will confess I enjoy doubled-meaninged word play a little too enthusiastically at times.

However, I don’t host a podcast insinuating that your daughter is going to end up being a lesbian if she’s too infatuated from a literary or dramatic standpoint with the world of “Little House On The Prairie” as Generations Radio suggested some years back.

Are we to take away that it is acceptable to watch “Night Court” but we need to repent if we find “Hunger Games” to be an intriguing dystopian projection of the world to come in a few decades?

For this very same director that bragged about casting a former celebrity from “Night Court” insisted that it is not enough for a movie to be family friendly, wholesome, or make valid moral observations.

Rather, to be acceptable, a movie must deliberately push Christianity onto the viewer.

Christiano went on to lament how Christians don’t get excited over Christian movies.

Sorry, but I don’t plop down $10 for any movie where the characters do little more than sit around crying about their everyday feelings and common disappointments.

To be theater worthy in my opinion, considerable spectacle is needed such as some kind of mass battle, talking animals, robots, superheroes, space aliens, clashing wizards or spies.

Christiano further observed that someone couldn’t remember what their pastor preached about a month ago but could recall details about “The Wizard of Oz” despite having not seen it in years.

Before heaping hellfire and damnation upon those that might respond similarly, a number of things need to be taken into consideration.

Firstly, how old are they now compared to when they first saw “The Wizard of Oz”?

So isn’t that more of God’s responsibility for how He allows the brain to decay overtime where it is often easier to recall things that happened to minutest detail 30 or 40 years ago but you can’t for the life of you remember what you had for dinner last night?

Secondly, perhaps the blame should be placed more upon the pastor for lack of showmanship and presentation rather than upon the average Christian for failing to retain the intricate details.

For I am sure the next time that there are flying monkeys and dancing midgets in church that you are going to remember it.

Which brings the discussion to another very important point.

One goes to the movies precisely to see an out of the ordinary spectacle.

That is not the the case necessarily in regards to a church worship service.

Upon further consideration, what is retained from a sermon might not be all that different from what is retained from a film.

For example, unless one sees especially at a young age a particular film over and over again, does anyone really retain much beyond a memory of the basic plot usually?

As I approach middle age, sometimes I find I can’t recall what happened the previous week on some of the dramas that I follow quite closely.

Thus, instead of condemning a congregation or group of random Christians if they can’t elaborate the specifics of a single sermon, shouldn’t the professional clergy be more pleased and concerned that those under their care recall the main points of the comprehensive Christian saga rather than the obtuse actions of a single Old Testament character with a name that defies pronunciation?

Along the lines of this criticism about the moviegoer longing for innovation and spectacle, Christiano lamented how movies never satisfy and people always want to see the next big blockbuster.

Let’s apply that presupposition to other aspects of life one would otherwise consider wholesome, admirable, and desirable.

For example, according to this logic, shouldn’t it be enough to go to church once and never have to go again to quench one’s spiritual thirst?

If one’s marriage is truly based upon love and not upon the titillation of fleshly desires, by Christiano’s thinking, would a couple need to enjoy carnal relations more than once throughout the course of their entire marital union?

Media spectacle will never replace sermonic exposition as the primary didactic methodology through which concise doctrinal content is transmitted to the believer.

However, it often seems that certain Evangelical factions aren’t that interested in making much use of these supplementary media formats to augment the learning experience.

In regards to the upcoming “AD” miniseries, the hosts of one program after remarking just moments before about the tendency of a number of Christians to stay in their own bubble, didn’t really give much of a reason to avoid the production other than that its producer Roma Downey is a Roman Catholic with mystical New Age tendencies.

Wouldn’t it have been better to wait and see if there are any factual errors in Downey’s narrative rather than condemn the production on the basis of whatever errant peculiarities she might gravitate towards in the personal aspects of her devotional life?

After all, most conservative Evangelicals allow the King James Bible to stand on its own merits without the homosexual and Romanist proclivities of the monarch for which this translation of divine revelation is named allowed to detract from its literary, historical, or theological merits.

Like it or not, believers find themselves in a culture surrounded by media.

It is therefore imperative not only to figure out how the media can be used to disseminate the Christian worldview but to also understand where the methodologies of entertainment and the church can diverge from one another without there having to be a spirit of hostility between the distinct purposes of each of these modes of communication.

By Frederick Meekins

A Plea for Righteousness Sake !

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Ladies and Gentlemen, Boy and Girls, Christian Warriors and NOT ! As we enter into the weeks of Lent before us, I ask with all sincerity that all read this short passage from the Gospel of John. Keeping an open heart and mind to ones personal salvation and repentance. It is imperative for all mankind, young and old, Christian or Not.

Try deeply, with all one has of ones faith to believe. Even if that level of faith is but the shadow of a muster seed. Try as you might, hold fast to the truth with in these sacred words which have been passed onto you today.

Accept what is written here, for if one truly wishes eternal life in the presence of our Lord. Repent from within your private prayer closet (Matthew 6, ver.6) and speak with the Lord from your heart, for he knows all things, be they good or bad which one has done.

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Ask for forgiveness and turn now, from the ways of this world and the evil which lurks and seeks the weak, ready to devour one and corrupt what is Godly within you.

In Jesus’ Holy and Devout Name, I pray for you and your eternal salvation. For it is your most precious possession and a gift from our Lord to you. And one you need to guard at all times. So please, with great humility, find it in your heart to accept what maybe contrary to your belief, heart and ways. Turn back towards Him who loves and is reaching out for you, now and always until the end.

Sincerely and Prayerfully – IHS and yours, humbling ones self to the Lord will, is all He seeks from those that have strayed and or Lost in this world. Be they Christian or Not. All can be His “prodigal son and daughter”, forevermore !

The Most Rev. Dr. Archbishop ++ Andrew R. M. Manley
D.D., Th.D., M.R.Php., B.D., H.O.S., A.O.H., S.O.of E., COstC.,
O.S.A., O.S.P., O.S.B., S.O.BB.

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Joh 3:1 There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews:
Joh 3:2 The same came to Jesus by night, and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God: for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.
Joh 3:3 Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Joh 3:4 Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born?
Joh 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
Joh 3:6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Joh 3:7 Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.
Joh 3:8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Joh 3:9 Nicodemus answered and said unto him, How can these things be?
Joh 3:10 Jesus answered and said unto him, Art thou a master of Israel, and knowest not these things?
Joh 3:11 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, We speak that we do know, and testify that we have seen; and ye receive not our witness.
Joh 3:12 If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how shall ye believe, if I tell you of heavenly things?
Joh 3:13 And no man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven.
Joh 3:14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
Joh 3:15 That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
Joh 3:19 And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.
Joh 3:20 For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.
Joh 3:21 But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

TheProdigal