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What’s Wrong With Christian Filmmaking?

General, open discussion regarding writing, getting published, markets, pointers, and other related topics. All are welcome! No advertising, please!

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What’s Wrong With Christian Filmmaking?

Postby RedBaron » Thu Mar 27, 2014 10:27 am

Not just filmmaker, but all Christian creative works.

Something to think about. I think our group of writers have done this, to a degree, as some have pushed some of those boundaries, while still presenting things from a Christian world view. ... ilmmaking/
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Re: What’s Wrong With Christian Filmmaking?

Postby RachelM » Thu Mar 27, 2014 11:19 am

Very interesting article! Thanks for sharing.

I've been wondering why everything we write or sing about has to be "Christian." A Christian author could write a book about gardening without it having to be religious, but a fiction writer or lyricist doesn't really have that freedom.

I love God! And I want to share his love with others, but preachy books never get read by non-Christians anyway...hmmm, makes me wonder.
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Re: What’s Wrong With Christian Filmmaking?

Postby buckspub » Thu Mar 27, 2014 2:02 pm

Perhaps a concept introduced by Jan could be applied... the "don't tell, show" one. Rather than "tell" the audience how great God is or how blessed we are in the Light of Christ, show it through descriptive narrative (that does not contain adverbs).

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Re: What’s Wrong With Christian Filmmaking?

Postby Hoomi » Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:20 am

We live in a fallen world, full of people who have little thought or concern about God. I've ventured before, how can we write fiction stories that offer lessons and insights into Christian principles in a fallen world, if we cannot write stories that take place in a fallen world?

In real life, not everyone that is "Christian" behaves like it. In real life, not everyone that behaves well, is Christian. In real life, people that wait for the wedding before the bedding are getting increasingly rare. In real life, dire consequences don't always happen when someone sins. In real life, the wicked prosper and the righteous suffer.

So often, Christian artists are pushed to portray what the market mavens view as the "ideal," which is rather odd, considering God didn't sugar-coat the failings of this world in His Book. When we begin to pander to a market, whether that market is the Christian market or the secular one, instead of remaining faithful to the art that God has given us, we embody what's wrong with Christian filmmaking, Christian writing, Christian songwriting, etc.

God had His hand on my stories whether I intended for Him to or not, and what is really funny is, a lot of Christian publishers would be bothered by what ended up in those stories.
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Re: What’s Wrong With Christian Filmmaking?

Postby lish1936 » Fri Mar 28, 2014 11:45 pm

Every Christian should not ignore the events taking place that signify what the Bible says about end times. I'm particularly concerned about the insidious way secularism is creeping into our institutions and influencing what we see, what we read, and even how we should think. Compromise is not something "out there," but is a real and present threat within the Christian community. This article is well written and the author's views are clearly articulated, but I have reservations and questions about the article.

"How cool would it be if a film made by Christians could make the box office that Noah will make, with audiences from every different walk of life? Here are my tips on how the body of Christ can come closer to making that happen:

1) We need to permit our artists (writers, actors, musicians, filmmakers) to take more risks. And artists, whether you are permitted or not, take more risks. Did you really get into your artistic field because you liked playing it safe? Why play it safe with the most important thing you have to say?

Some artists need no permission to "play it safe." They prefer it that way. Every Christian artist should feel free to create as per their convictions. To imply that one is less of an artist or flawed in some way because they don't take "risks" according to this author's belief is troublesome to me.

2) We need to encourage our artists to challenge rather than stroke our sensibilities. A pearl is made when dirt is irritated inside the oyster, after all. And so artists, don’t wait for permission. Start challenging your audience. They will undoubtedly resist you, but we need to be challenged or we’ll stagnate and fade away into irrelevance.

And yet, among the most sold books world wide last year and on the Times bestseller books for months was "Killing Jesus." Irrelevance? Not as long as God has something to say about it.

3) We need to recognize that art is art, the pulpit is the pulpit, and while the two might cross paths from time to time, they are completely different animals. They are as per the secular world, but for the Christian artist, should they be? What happened to being "light," "salt," "being in not of," and "examples" not "carbon copies," leading not following.

This goes for everyone. Does everyone truly understand this? With all the recent criticisms of Noah because it “is unbiblical”, I have to think that lots of people don’t.

Why would an admitted atheist want to take a biblical story and turn it into a non-biblical film? Could it be that Hollywood has discovered a new way to make money by exploiting the Bible without embracing it?

4) We need to be okay with movies that don’t give all the answers. Says who? Why should we have to be "okay" with it? The overriding stamp of approval is whether we feel God is "okay" with it. I'm still a proponent of God's opinion rather than man's.

If they succeed in asking some good, deep questions, they might actually open the doors to conversations where answers can be explored. The Bible is not only to be explored, as if it's in some artistic laboratory, but accepted. Anything that doesn't lead to that end is mere entertainment. Entertainment is fine, but let's not confuse it with trying to communicate truth.

Artists, isn’t part of our job to provoke questions? Don’t feel you have to end every sentence with a period.
No, but we need be tolerant of everyone's point of view and preferences. And in spite of my comments, I respect this author's right to express his opinion.

5) Jesus wasn’t known for telling mediocre stories that ticked off all the correct religious boxes. He was known for telling compelling stories that challenged his listeners while communicating God’s truth. Aren’t we supposed to be like Jesus?

Yes, we're suppose to "communicate God's truth, not that of a secularist/atheist. I haven't seen it, but I was wondering, should I decide to see it, will I find any of "God's truth" there?

I just hope we can figure out how to tell The Story – truly the Greatest Story Ever Told – in the manner in which it deserves, and in such an excellent way that people outside the Christian subculture will receive it.

Can you find the "Greatest Story Ever Told" in the film in question? And why do we need to "figure out a way to tell the story? The blueprint has worked ever since Jesus told His disciples what to do and how to do it. I need to be convinced that relevancy is the answer to rebellion and apathy.


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