kenmorefield said: It is an entertainment/inspiration vehicle for those who already professing. (In my opinion).
If I approach a film from the standpoint of how persuasive it will be at inciting the action that it wants, then the way it alienates its target audience (those it is trying to convince) is a problem.
BUT If I look at it as a sort of soft indoctrination of the already converted--here is an expression of what you already think to let you know you are not alone and all those people
who are mocking you or disagreeing with you are wrong--as a sort of ego-massaging, socio-political.
I think you have a point, these film are partially inspirational, and also partially with the very good intention of building up fatherhood, and encouraging people in their sub-culture. My
concern is that some Christians don't seems to have much care over whether or not it alienates those outside. Sure sometimes alienating people just happens, or is unavoidable, but
it seems to me that, to some at least, the idea is to take a stand for the family, or in the culture wars, and be damned if it alienates people, or even the idea that if people find these things
odd then it's really their problem because they should just get to know God. ect. ect.
I think this is a big problem with the Christian ghetto that has risen. In this subculture I've seen that so many Christians are going from one Christian event to the next, to their homegroup,
church events, mens meetings.... and never truly stepping out of their ghetto to connect with and interact with the other. In fact they are driving by the other to get to these things.
There just seems to be so much of the Christian ghetto that's geared towards us, and not towards connecting with the other, to the point that this actually has become big business,
I read somewhere that only 4% of christian based websites are geared towards outreach (or maybe even better, conversation with those outside the church.) This seems to me to be lopsided, and yet is very prevalent in Christian subculture..... I think to the point that Christians have no idea as to how lopsided it is.
My wife and I held a homegroup for several years as part of the Evangelical church we were involved in, one season during the homegroup we were given a video series that Bill Hybels made
called "crossing the street", what it was teaching was very admirable which was basically the idea of Christians "crossing the street" to help their neighbor. Maybe join a secular golf tournament, baseball team, art group ect., and then possibly connect with people and invite them into their lives. I said to my wife after we had finished the series "Why did they need to teach on this in the first place, shouldn't it be common sense to be connected with the people in our communities and loving them". The thing is..... if a video series from a big name pastor needs to be made to educate Christians on this subject, then that means that there are an awful lot of Christians that are not crossing the street, which of course, at least in part, comes from living inside the ghetto we've created.
I would think that we're supposed to leaven amongst the loaf, and we've gone and created our own sub-loaf so I just wonder if these type of films and this particular view of "art and culture" is to accepting of, and even encourages, this "sub-loaf".
Peter T Chattaway said:
:Right, and there's nothing wrong with that. Whenever someone criticizes the film (or tries to) by saying "It's preaching to the choir," I can't help thinking that the critic is basically saying "They didn't make it for
ME." And I'm not sure how valid or relevant a critique that is, really.
Just to be clear. In in what I am (and have been) saying I don't want to come across as more negative on these filmmakers (and this type of filmmaking) than I really am.
After all it's quite possible that God is leading them to do this, and if so, who am I to judge. They also got the thing made.... which is in itself quite an accomplishment, I also
have no doubt that there were many positive experiences during the making of the film and that the film has had a positive influence on lives, and as well have heard that the filmmakers
are pretty good guys.
I agree that there is nothing wrong with making film for Christians but even in that I'm wondering if many wouldn't benefit more from stuff that is of a bit different nature. For example
during the above mentioned Bible study we also had a series of short films based on the ten commandments. The films were of course complete with obvious lessons written into the
story, and a discussion booklet. People were finding it to be alright, but not overly engaging, so after awhile I put in several of the films from "the Decalogue", and people were
enthralled with them. Of course more often than not the stories in these films were ambiguous as to their connection to the actual commandments, but this caused the homegroup members
to dig in more, to talk about the concepts, and provoked them to go home and later on ponder over how the ten commandments were relevant to their own lives, and it sunk in deeper
Of course I realize that people are different, and possibly others may be more impacted by more obvious storytelling and I also realize that there is a business aspect to filmmaking where filmmakers have to take their target audience in mind when making the film, but here - again - I wonder whether this target audience shouldn't be more concerned as to how the films are perceived outside of their sub-culture.
I guess I'm coming from the angle that I'm not really interested in these films being made for me as much as for others, and am more interested in seeing film (and the "Christian" arts in general)
being more able to connect with those outside of the "church system", and I know in as sense, this would mean I kind of do want them to make a film for me. At least according to my
I recently had a short film that was accepted into a prominent Christian film festival, where the promotional material that was connected with the film festival (and therefore in a certain
sense my film) was full of slogans such as saying that the films, and filmmakers, were part of "God's media army". I'm not comfortable with that kind of language, I mean, if someone like myself wants to have their works go out there and connect with people, then slogans like that when they are attached to the film in any particular manner, are things that can get in the way. It's not a saying that people outside the church are comfortable with, at all, and I would argue that this kind of language surrounding film is not really all that necessary or beneficial for those within the church system, so then.... why do Christians want to use that kind of language surrounding their art.
I think some of these views come, at least in part, from the tendency to overemphasize a separation between the spiritual and the secular (at least in some Christian circles), which, I expect,
is part of the reason for an overseparation of certain Christian groups from the culture at large. I would think that God can work just fine, and maybe more so, through a film that is not part of
"God's media army".
My concern is that Christianity, or at least some portions of it, is going in the same direction with film that it did with CCM (possibly even more so), where there is to much of an unbalance towards
catering to those within the subculture than towards connecting with those outside of it, and where there is even an unbalance of music that caters just to "Christiany" stuff instead of everyday life, which God is, and should be a part of. It seems to me that this unbalanced expression of the arts can lead towards a certain mindset where God is only in the big activities, or victories, instead of also being in reading a great book, or relaxing during a good cup of Herbal tea, or the beauty of nature. Or even, dare I say, in a "secular" film where there are swear words.
If there is a Christian film-culture that is being created which is similar to the CCM culture then we are creating something that could be putting Christian filmmakers in the same constricted place as
the CCM has placed many Christian musicians. For example, when Chris Rice wrote his song about cartoon characters being saved, he had intended it for the purpose of being a satire of how CCM culture can sometimes force musicians to sing goofy or trite songs, but then it went on to become a number one hit on Christian radio..... which more or less proved what he was getting at in the first place.
I wasn't really wanting to be to negative on the folks at Sherwood pictures, but just feel that they are another spoke in the wheel of a Christian cultural juggernaught that I'm concerned is going in
the wrong direction. Purity balls included.
There.... I'm done. Sorry if that was to long winded.
Edited by Attica, 15 October 2011 - 04:33 PM.