The J.J. Abrams sequel to Star Trek began filming this week. Even though nothing has leaked about the script or the plot, I am so excited. I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited for a movie beginning filming. In fact, I can’t think of a time when I even knew that a movie began filming.
When it comes down to it, I am far more excited about Star Trek 2 beginning it’s filming than I have been for the actual release of any recent Christian movie.
Fireproof? Didn’t see it.
Soul Surfer? Didn’t see it.
Courageous? Didn’t see it.
I have never had a desire to see any Christian movie. Not the direct-to-DVD movies or those with wider, theatrical releases. No matter how many people tell me that Soul Surfer is actually pretty good, I have made zero effort to see it or any movie like it.
There’s a part of me that’s jaded and cynical toward Christian artistic efforts. I don’t like most Christian music because it feels like an attempt to simply recreate a secular sound with a Christian message. I guess I have taken that same perspective and applied it to Christian movies. Part of me thinks that the best actors and directors aren’t making Christian movies so why should I watch them?
I know I sound completely ridiculous and uninformed because I haven’t seen any of the movies listed above. I am judging the movies because of their Christian label and allowing that to color my perception of them. I readily admit that’s bad and, unless I see those movies, I can’t allow my jaded and cynical perspective to influence my opinion of them.
It’s also important, though, to make sure our Christian perspective doesn’t push us to wholly ignore other movies.
Some people refuse to watch a lot of movies because of their Christian faith and perspective. I understand that a lot of movies have no intrinsic value and are probably best avoided. But there a lot of movies, even rated R movies with cussing and violence, that have value and are capable of teaching us more about ourselves and our lives with Jesus.
Braveheart is full of violence but shows what it means to live courageously.
Good Will Hunting has a lot of cussing but shows the value of honesty and authenticity.
The Shawshank Redemption depicts the disturbing nature of prison life but shows the importance of friendship and perseverance.
Would I show those movies to children? Absolutely not. If someone really wrestled with cussing or chopping people up with swords, they may not be the best. But, just because they’re not Christian movies, doesn’t mean they don’t have value for our lives. Just because they’re not Christian movies doesn’t mean they can’t show us how to live more in line with Christ and his desires.
Christian movies are great and have a great message. But a movie doesn’t have to be Christian to have a great message and show us what it means to better live for Jesus.
What secular movie has impacted your life with Jesus?