Christian entertainment can seem like a paradox. Entertainment is a multi-billion dollar industry filled with education, mindless fun, bad habits, and good lessons. You cannot really tag the whole thing as Christian or secular; it just is. With that in mind, what is the goal of a Christian media entertainer? Is it to entertain, glorify, teach, convert, or possibly something else?
The five world views provide different ways we look at Christian Entertainment. Odds are you subscribe to one or two of these.
Christian entertainment should be…
Worldview: Game of Thrones, Pokemon, Marvel, WWE, Magic! Followers flock to these shows and artists. They cling to every story and all the hype. Why not appeal to their love, but direct it toward Jesus instead? Using Christian media to introduce people to Christ is a direct obedience to the Great Commission. Imagine a follower inviting his un-churched friends to a God’s Not Dead showing or to a Christian concert with rappers that appeal to fans of Jay-Z. It’s the creativity of the Kingdom winning over souls.
Ring of Glory Wrestling
The Cross Movement
God’s Not Dead
Pros: In our entertainment-obsessed culture it makes sense to use media to give people the message that will change their eternity. Some people might only hear the life-saving message of God through TV, music, or movies.
Cons: Seeing Christian entertainment as only a source of evangelism might be a little idealistic. Where’s the relationships, the trust factor, and the accountability? Also, non-believers might also not appreciate that the movie has an agenda to save them.
Worldview: Have you seen the filth on TV? Sex, violence, and tons of irredeemable stuff filling our eyes. Our kids are watching this depravity. We need a Christian alternative–a medium that upholds the values of believers. Singers like Brit Nicole and movies like When the Game Stands Tall can drown out the negative influences of the world. That is why we are not of the world, only in it.
Comedian Tim Hawkins
Christian Wrestling Federation
Thousand Foot Krutch
Pros: We are called to a different life. Jesus calls our eyes lamps that absorb the sights around them. It’s so important that we take care of those lamps and not get them contaminated.
Cons: If you believe that all non-Christian media is truthless, you are also insinuating that God’s mercy does not extend to the inspiration of outsiders. Doesn’t God use enemy armies, prostitutes, and tax collectors to fulfill his plans? Separating secular media as bad and Christian media as good might be too hasty a judgement.
3. Preparing our Hearts
Worldview: Nothing makes a movie-goer shudder like a corny Christian movie. In fact, Christian movies and music that try to save with an in-your-face message always turn people off. But if a movie were to show a truth from the Scriptures or introduce a biblical topic instead, people would let their guard down. As Christians, we should be showing media that introduces people to the road of Christianity, and then we should have real conversations. Tolkien never had an altar call in his books, yet everyone knew he was a Christian.
Jars of Clay
The Lord of the Rings
Pros: This is a much softer and more tactful approach to sharing godly messages. One does not have to resort to only Christian materials either. There are lots of biblical subjects portrayed in media today.
Cons: Be careful how soft the message is. It might be too easy to ignore. Also, if there is nothing in the message that makes it distinctly Christian then it’s just a song or movie with a fluffy message. Even Dr. Dre takes a break from being a gangster to sing about love and helping a neighbor.
Worldview: Can you be a Christian plumber or a Christian electrician? No. Then how can you put a label on being a Christian performer? Glory goes to God when someone uses their skills to make something beautiful: a composition, a quality movie, or a breathtaking painting. Everyone can honor God with their gifts, even if they don’t know God is behind it.
A beautiful painting
A song that lifts your spirits
Pros: This view makes God very big. It makes sense that any work that is done to add beauty to the world would give Him pleasure.
Cons: While this view expands God’s horizon and speaks truth on His creative endlessness, it is only as effective as the heart and meaning behind the medium. The media can be used to drown out God’s voice just as much as it can be used to reveal Him. Also, it bears to mind that if there is no message or relationship attached to the medium, it doesn’t serve a direct ministerial purpose.
Worldview: Does God put us on this Earth just to copy everyone else? Are we just diet versions of the real thing? Heck, no! Back in Classical times, Christian artists and composers were the top entertainment of society. Michelangelo, Bach, and DaVinci were top examples of the church leading the culture. We need to be brave and gutsy if we really want to show that God is the most creative being on Earth.
Pros: God deserves our best and He is the Father of all creativity. It only makes sense that our Faith be the highest quality.
Cons: A drive to be the newest and the best can become an idol in itself. Why should we chase the newest trend when Solomon tells us that there is “nothing new under the sun?”
What Christian entertainment worldview do you have? Share with us in the comments!
Michael P M
About the Author
You might also like
I’m convinced if my friends had never approached me ten-plus years ago, I would have been content to live in a studio apartment somewhere, a total recluse, to live out my life completely solitary. But I know God had other plans for me. In high school, my [...]
We’ve all seen those videos pop up in our feed. The ones that draw you in with a cute puppy, and then turn around and show you how it looked when it was first discovered – matted, bleeding, oozing, and terrified. The ones that tell you a cute story [...]
Last month, I discussed Bioware’s treatment of their religious characters, specifically looking at Mass Effect Andromeda’s Suvi Anwar and Dragon Age II’s Sebastian Vael. While these two characters served to comment on many issues relevant to Christianity, [...]