by Scott Nehring
When a Christ-follower produces a film that speaks to Biblical truth and morality, he has made a Christian film. The product itself should not carry the label; the artist is the Christ-follower. His fruit will bear His name.
The following excerpt is from an article written by Scott Nehring, a movie critic, speaker, instructor, author and screenwriter, for Relevant Magazine. A student of theology and film for years, Scott wrote You Are What You See: Watching Movies Through a Christian Lens to inform and instruct those who want to be more than just casual moviegoers.
A Call for Christians to Get Serious About Being Artists
Christian culture is often the enemy of quality. Independent Christian film, in particular, has a history of being seriously and deeply flawed, routinely dismissed by secular critics and audiences as intellectually vacant and disconnected from reality.
The term Christian film has become synonymous with substandard production values, stilted dialogue and childish plots. Why is Christian film no more than a side note to modern culture? Why are Christians left behind?
Throughout the 1960s, heavy-handed Christian values were overthrown by the hippie generation. Christians retreated, overwhelmed by social changes—but we still wanted the pleasures of modern culture, only without any tempting content or foul philosophy.
Our reaction was to build a cultural wall around ourselves complete with self-prescribed content filters and an isolationist attitude. This cocoon was a comfy, safe place for Christians, but the cocoon became a time capsule. We spent decades discussing what we hoped the world was like rather than dealing with how things are.
Our isolation also bred well-intentioned but poorly trained artists. Instead of playing with the big boys, Christian filmmakers remained in the minor leagues.
Christian audiences learned to accept substandard artists who make substandard works. We no longer have any expectations of quality. Like expecting a church youth group to compete with off-Broadway, we are ill-equipped and out-matched.
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