6.06.2008

What Christian TV should be like

I'll go ahead and say it right now. I am not a fan of Christian Media. I treat it like that one guy you know that hangs around you trying to impress you with his extensive knowledge of Monty Python quotes. Ugh. There I said it and I doubt I'm alone. In fact, I know a lot of people don't like it as well (unless you do the Dead Parrot Sketch, man that thing always KILLS.)

I started to really despise it when secular media started doing TV shows that Christians should have been doing first.

Extreme Home Makeover is the show that comes to mind. Granted, I haven't watched it for a long time if it's even on anymore, but that was something that seemed very selfless and giving - appearance is everything after all and it wants to make you cry.

Christians like to cry happily so it seems like a natural fit.

People may say "but there's Christians on the show," but how would I know that? I'd just assume that ABC grew a big heart and became a Mormon or something - a collective borg-voltron mormon. Wow, that's scary. My point is that ABC gets the "props" or at least that energetic guy with the wild hair and God remains left to wait until someone from the show writes an article about God working on the set in some obscure publication read by people who don't watch TV.

I'm not saying that Christians should get into TV, no we tried that and failed and still fail. Lots of fail. Would, you want some ideas?

Watch this clip and imagine that is was a Christian Group who did it and not a regular comedy troupe:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Nbkbss7i5s

I do a lot of watching of movie clips and imagine the setup is that the main character is a Christian and I'm watching a "Christian" movie.

Go ahead and try it with "Big Trouble in Little China," minus the cursing you can get some interesting inspiration for a movie script.

4 comments:

Kyle Chowning said...

Eric...I appreciate your post. Something that I have been considering lately is this...what if "Christian" was never used as an adjective, only a noun? How would that change our vocabulary, definitions and approach to media? What would you do if you could change the way "Christian" TV platform was used?

Eric said...

I wish that "Christian" wasn't defined as a sub-culture. What should have happened is that Christians should have led the way for the rest of the world. Rather, a Christian "platform" was created to allow a substandard form of media come about.
What would I do if I could change it? I'd give the challenge of a bar of excellence that needs to be achieved, otherwise go do something else. But that's from the outside world looking in. What really matters is that God is able to speak to men's hearts despite the crappiest delivery that his followers could produce.

Kyle Chowning said...

I agree. "Christian" isn't a sub-culture. Christian is what I am. It can't be an adverb.

You mention raising the bar. What does that look like to you? Who holds the standard? When do you stop raising it? When is it too high; too low? Who defines the bar? Does current TV define it, or does our God, who created anything and everything that's good, create it? If HE creates it, then define it.

These are the questions that are easy to ask, but extremely difficult to answer. So I ask, if you had were responsible for initiating a change, how would you know that you landed on the right idea?

I like you, am not satisfied with using sub-par media to reach people. Personally, I think your last statement is a bit of a cop-out. "What really matters is that God is able to speak to mens hearts despite the crappiest delivery that his followers could produce." How is that anything different than what's out there already?

You asked if I want some ideas. I'm saying yes, I do.

Eric said...

Cop-out? Hardly. I've seen God work and change lives in poorly given sermons, cheap looking presentations and the like -(poor and cheap by the world's standards). The only difference is that the person felt God leading them to do it. But I wonder if anyone had asked God is they should have tried to compete in the first place. He might have said "yes," but he could have probably had other plans in mind.

For instance, "MTV" debuts and becomes a culture moving phenomenon in the 80s. It is easy to imagine a Christian saying "HEY! We should do that with Christian Music" and then immediately start putting plans in the works, because it sounds like the right thing to do. If God was asked, he may have said "No, you don't need to do that, I have something more powerful planned." Regardless, the Christian MTV plans continue on, funding is hard to secure, it seems cheesy and then ultimately falls apart and people wonder why it wasn't "blessed by God."

A Christian has two choices in proclaiming Christ:
1. Do it their way in a way that seems right to him with the gifts he's been given.
2. Join God in what he is already doing

#2 comes right out of "Experiencing God." It's the difference between feeling led to go to Germany and preach the Gospel even though you know nothing about Germany vs. deciding in your own mind to go to France for a mission trip because you think France is cool.

God doesn't need marketing or special effects, what he does need are Christians asking themselves "Am I suppose to be doing this? or does God want me to do something else?"

That's the scariest question a person can ask themselves.