Christian media. What is it? Does it serve a purpose?
To be honest, before this topic was presented to me even I didn’t fully understand what it was at first. But first, let me share with you some of my personal background. I come from a loving Midwestern family, I have two very supportive parents, a sister who loves me through her annoyances, and four lazy but totally adorable dogs. Sounds like the average family. However, even though I chose to go to a private Christian college, my family is not necessarily religious. My dad spent his years of grade school and high school in a Catholic environment, so in his opinion he can get by without going to church anymore. My mom believes in going to church and that God does exist, but even at home I don’t believe its totally apparent to those who walk through our front door that we are Christians.
My background in religion came from my grandparents, particularly my grandpa. He was the strongest person of faith that I ever knew. When I was 13 I decided I wanted to go to church with my grandparents on Sunday mornings. It started out as just a way to spend more time with them and just be with them in general. Then I started listening to the preacher and what he had to say. Of course I had tons of questions because I had never really had any real exposure to God’s word or what the Bible has to say, so I would always turn to my grandpa. When I turned 14 I felt called to be baptized in front of the people at the church. My grandpa was sitting in the front row with the biggest smile on his face and telling me afterwards that he was the proudest grandpa in the world that day.
So what does my little story have to do with Christian media? A lot actually. My grandpa was not the kind of person to listen to Christian music, he loved old country music like Willie Nelson and Johnny Cash. He was never one to watch Christian movies, he would much rather watch old Westerns or horse racing. The only time he would watch a church service on television was if he couldn’t make it there in person. So does that make my grandpa any less of a Christian because he didn’t pay attention to Christian media? Not at all. My grandpa knew the Bible inside and out and he loved God with all his heart. He was the kind of man to be driving down the road and as he passed a church he would pray to God for that church and ask Him to bless it and the people who attended.
As Christians, why do we think we have to produce “Christian media”? I have personally never seen a Christian film, like Facing the Giants, Fireproof, or Courageous all produced by the Kendrick Brothers. I can imagine the general gist of them though; the movie starts out with a focus on a family or group of family and things are going good, a series of bad things happen, people come together and pray, things are all better, happy ending. Honestly, I don’t think any of that is relevant in today’s world at all. Unfortunate and sometimes even tragic events happen nearly everyday, and even if the power of prayer aides in the problem that doesn’t mean all issues just magically go away. In my personal opinion, I believe that Christian movies create a false hope. While it makes us feel good to watch them and relate to the characters, it doesn’t give a real perspective of struggle and faith together.
Does that mean Christian media irrelevant? In my very personal opinion, kinda. I believe that Christian media has its time and place. I think its great that people are wanting to create media works to put out for the Christian community, however I also think that there should be some truth and relevance to them as well. I don’t think that for a person to be Christian in faith that they should have to be exposed to Christian media. If you love God and accept his word as the truth and try to live a life devout to Him, then that should be more than enough. So why can’t Christian media see it that way?