Movies

Christians and the Movies

This article first appeared at Proclaim & Defend, the blog of the Foundations Baptist Fellowship International. It is republished here with permission.

You can’t escape the media these days, which means almost everyone knows of their latest obsessions within a few hours of their formation. The last week or so, one story crowded out the regular obsessions. You can hardly go to a site on the web that isn’t offering some kind of opinion about Harvey Weinstein and the Hollywood scandal. I’ve read a few of these articles myself. Some of them offer some interesting and/or helpful insights. I’ll give some links throughout this post.

Two things interest me about the articles I’ve read. First, the voluminous secular reaction and (mostly) outrage. Second, the comparatively quiet Christian reaction, which fails to speak to what ought to concern Christians most about this scandal, at least in the articles I’ve been able to find.

Hypocrisy

Many writers focus on hypocrisy, both by the principals in the story and by the tongue-clucking observers in the pundit class. Jonah Goldberg skewers hypocrites on the left and the right with this:

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Christian Movies - Ministry or Menace? (Part 2)

After reading part one of this two-part series, and seeing all the good things accomplished by Christian films, one might wonder if anything could or should be wrong with them or if any negative aspects could or should overshadow the positive ones.

It was evident in the “Who’s Who in Religious Films” article that Youth for Christ lauded the Christian film industry as beneficial for missions and evangelistic efforts. However, those familiar with A.W. Tozer know that he was unsympathetic to that viewpoint. Tozer’s seven arguments against Christian films were abridged in Youth for Christ Magazine along with Evon Hedley’s seven arguments in favor of Christian films in an article titled “Christian Movies? The Pro and Con of Religious Films.” The pro arguments of Hedley and con arguments of Tozer in that 1954 article are summarized below.

A church service using a Christian film “is geared to the drawing in of the net for people to seek Christ as Saviour or to offer their lives as missionary volunteers.” Even though the entertainment world shows religious films in the theatre, the best place for them is the church where the service is planned for evangelistic purposes.

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