When I think of Christian media, it always reminded me of the times when I decided to become a Christian three years ago. I just first started to read Bible, and ask my Christian friends about the texts. I also went to church couple times, and listened to different preachings from different pastors. Because of the works God did for me and the my efforts, I finally became a follow of Christ. Among all the medias I got contact with, Bible was the only one that I used and learned from the most. I did not really get exposed to other types of media such as film, literature, music and arts. But after I continued my academic and spiritual journey in GC, I began to get contact with other types of Christian medias; the result is not as pleasant as I would expect.
This may has something to do with my job on campus, I am one of the chapel technicians. I run lyric slides for worship songs, put slides up for announcements, and cooperate with audio and light technicians to maximally perfect a worship service. That is at least what I expect my job is supposed to be. Normal worship service always includes several worship songs, and then there is always a speaker or a group of students speaking or presenting something related to Christ on stage. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with this format. Jake Amundson did a special chapel one time last semester, and that really left me a deep impression. Jake made the chapel look like a talk show, the band played some worship songs; he used chapel announcements as commercial breaks; then he had several guests which included Coach Ackerman and Professor Sieger-Walls. They talked about their experience and did couple lip syncing songs too. The whole style of this talk show is funny and interesting. Personally, I really like it while I do know there were some people(Christians) who hate this special chapel format. It is not just because it is humorous or funny, but also it is different from most other chapels we had done before. Some or even most Christians did not like this format because it is different so they think it is “unholly“, they cannot accept a secular talk show to be held during chapel time, they think chapel service has to be serious, filled with long speech made by pastors or theology professors; all these are great ways to express their worship to God. But Jesus always acts differently in front of other teachers and theologians in Bible, he did things that nobody understood at that time, he is the weird one and the one which people felt most uncomfortable with.
Yes, it does look really biased when I only see Jesus through one lens about being different. Christians are taught by God to spread the gospel to the rest of the world, but this whole process cannot be completed without the help of other Christians, even non-Christians. I think the biggest problem about Christian media is that these media producers always look at other people through their own “Christian” lens. I am not saying that we should totally forget our what God taught us to do, rather than we should learn to embrace others without distinguishing the differences between Christians and Non-Christians. That is truly what Jesus showed us, he showed love towards every one around him no matter who they are. It is not that matter that if they are Christians or not, it is Jesus is the person showing Christ’s love that truly matters. That is exactly what Christian media should do. The function of media is created to communicate an idea to more people who do not know this idea; what is the difference between showing Christian’s theme in a secular film and a Christian film? What is the difference if we can hear messages from people about their opinions and experiences about Christ in a commercial TV talk show and a chapel service? What is the difference between talking about love towards people who have different sexual orientations, race, and even physical appearance in a hip-hop song and a worship song?
As a Christian, I think God taught me to love others like he showed me; as DM person, I think I need to use my skills to show people new ideas and help every one communicate with the rest of the world through the works I made; thus, as a Christian media producer, I think I should use my own skill to embed God’s love and words without purposely labeling it inside my work, and spread theses messages, then wait God do his own works because I am the person who plant the seed at first.
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