How can Christian movies be better?
There’s two things I think Christian filmmakers have to understand, that I learned from reading the writing of Christian movie critics:
1. There is a difference between portraying evil and condoning evil.
2. The Bible says to think about whatever is good, true, beautiful. (Philippians 4:8) And every person is made in God’s image. (Genesis 1:27) That means that goodness, truth, and beauty can come from people who aren’t Christians.
The reason I think Christian filmmakers have to understand these two things is:
1. When I look at the advertisements for movies like War Room and God’s Not Dead 2, I see Christians who think “We’ve got to get our message out there, or else the country is doomed.” For example:
These people don’t seem to realize that they aren’t the only ones whom God can work through.
2. The reason, I think, that so many Christian movies are rated PG is 1) To appeal to families, and 2) Because there is the belief that “If I portray evil in my movie, that means I am condoning evil.”
On a related note:
One of my favorite movies is Watchmen. The violence, language, nudity, and sex is graphic. But the reason I like the movie is because even though it portrays evil, it doesn’t condone it. Watchmen shows me how hollow and horrifying a life consumed by anger, lust, and pride can be. The movie also strengthens my belief that we live in a fallen world and God, the source of love, is ultimately our only hope.
Movies made by non-Christians — for example: the movies of Studio Ghibli — have drawn me closer to God than any of the movies made by, for example, the Kendrick Brothers. Why? Because God is the source of goodness, truth, and beauty, and any movie that conveys those things will, in the end, point back to Him. Even if its creators don’t know it.
Thank you for reading.