Christian Media: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

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Since the beginning of Christianity, art has played a huge role in shaping Christian culture. Beautiful murals, songs, books, and poems all written about faith and Christ. Unfortunately in recent years (recent being 1970 and on) Christian media has fallen short, very short. In a

good hearted attempt to separate it from secular culture, or play off of culture to add appeal to more consumers, Christian media has become outdated, mediocre, and overall just plain bad.

As a filmmaker and musician, some of the worst examples for me deal with is these two outlets, music especially in the CCM outlet. Now, before you get your pitchforks ready, hear me out.  When was the last time you turned on a Christian radio station and heard any song that challenged your faith, or just sounded any different then the previous 30 songs played on that same channel.  Most “Christian music” sounds the same. This is because the record labels know what consumers like. Uplifting songs, speaking of praising God, and how you surrender yourself to God, but aren’t we called to be more creative and abstract then that? Shouldn’t we be able to portray that same message in a way that uses creative thought and ideas that isn’t molded into the same pattern as those around us?

The entire book of Psalms is evidence of this. Every Psalm shows something different; struggle, heartache, joy, anger.  Every normal emotion a human being experiences, showing authenticity. I think this is what Christ wants from us. I challenge you to find different artists who are approaching Christianity in music, but in a more creative manor, I even made a Spotify playlist to help you out.

God put all of his effort and creativity into creating the earth and everything in it, in return we should want to create the very best we can in return to honor Him, and the skills He has blessed us with. As someone who creates media in order to hopefully make a living, I want to strive to do so in light of my walk with Christ, a way to witness to the world around me, and show the beauty of Christ through my creations.

Pilgrim Band Source:

Why do we even need “Christian music” or “Christian media”? Wouldn’t we be much more effective in our journey to show others the love of Christ if we implemented ourselves and what we make into secular society. In the Bible when Paul is speaking in to the church in Corinth he says, “To those who are without law, [I become] as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, that I might win those who are without law.” (1 Corinthians 9:21) I think this is a good model for how we are to create. I don’t believe we need to follow every pattern and popular idea, and we definitely should not go against Biblical principles and God’s law, but how can we expect to reach the non-Christian when we don’t create things that appeal to them. Part of the call of Christianity is to do things in such a way that people want to strive to be like Christ, and creating separate media for only those in the Christian community goes very much against this idea. Christians should be striving to integrate themselves into culture in order to spread the Gospel message, just like Christ.

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Relevant Magazine

I know it may seem like most of this post was a rant about my disdain for Christian media, but it is also a way for me to share great things happening in media to increase God’s Kingdom. Relevant magazine does a fantastic job of implementing their Christian faith into modern culture and understanding their beliefs in light of modern issues. They are a great source and I highly recommend them.

There are plenty of people out there using their God-given gifts and talents to create media that is not only glorifying to God, but also shows off their creative ability and skill. Finding these people and supporting what they do can help push Christianity forward, and reach the lost.

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