Hallmark Christianity

Nov 7 2010 @ 11:09am

Scott Nehring rails against the saccharine state of "Christian films" today:

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?…

Rather than developing organically, the average Christian film is more pushy and sanctimonious than the global-warming agenda movies. Violence is almost non-existent, salty language never happens, unmarried people never struggle with lust and evil is never very bad, because showing various forms of sin is not allowed. By movie’s end, everyone is converted with no residual issues. Life is reduced to an after-school special with prayer thrown in for good measure. For me, this is where the dry heaving begins. …

It is a tough argument to think modern Christians cannot handle a simple kiss or rough language when God allowed Joshua to slaughter thousands behind the walls of Jericho. .. Christian artists cater to us, give us what we want, what we prefer, and Christians’ expectations have tended to not stress biblical truth, moral clarity or technical achievement, but a watered-down, unrealistic view of the world.

When faith is a kind of neurosis to protect us from modern reality – which a lot of fundamentalism is – its cultural artefacts have to create an alternative reality as well. So we get Hallmark Christianity – that'll make you richer and happier! Nehring understands what the problem is:

the first step toward establishing the groundwork for a vibrant, relevant cultural movement based on scriptural thought is to stop producing “Christian films” or “Christian music” or “Christian art” and simply have Christ-followers who create great Art.