“Why Are Christian Movies So Painfully Bad?” REDUX

This is a question that has been asked more increasingly often as it seems the christian movie industry is beginning to produce more films that are making it to the box office. Although numbers may be up, the same cannot be said about the quality of these films that are making it out to the world. So why is this the case?

Brandon Ambrosino’s article, Why are Christian movies so painfully bad?, tries to answer this question, and he brings up some very interesting points. One factor that plays into the poor quality of this genre is the lack of originality that plagues the production of these movies. In his article, Ambrosino gives a great example of where this is present. Around the same time of the highly anticipated release of 50 Shades of Grey, a Christian response to this film titled Old Fashioned. This Christian knock-off held many similar characteristics to its big budget, secular counterpart. Other than the film’s core message, glorifying chastity as oppposed to sex, the two works are strangely similar, and this does not work in favor of Old Fashioned.

Old Fashioned (Image Courtesy of timesfreepress.com)

The article goes on to comment on what the overall goal of Christian movies should be: to convey the message of the gospel to the audience. An analogy of a gift wrapped in paper was given as what people in favor of these movies use as a justification for their poor artistic quality. They claim that as long as what is on the inside is of quality, then it shouldn’t matter what the outside looks like. Essentially they are saying that if the message is good it does not matter how it is presented. I agree with how Ambrosino addresses with another analogy using a shoemaker. He quotes Martin Luther, saying:

“The Christian shoemaker does his duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes, because God is interested in good craftsmanship.”

I think that this idea is especially important considering the potential portion of the audience that may not be saved. By creating a good movie that conveys the message of the gospel well, it makes getting this secular demographic into the theater so much easier. People are intrigued when they hear good things about a movie, and as long as Christian movies continue to lack quality, people won’t be hearing good things about them.

As big as the entertainment industry is, it blows my mind that this medium of communication is largely untapped by christians. Media provides such a great opportunity for the gospel to be spread, and for that to be done effectively, christians need to start focusing on the craft of their work.