Famous speakers and pundits in the world of Christian America have encouraged us to support films that have included positive messages about the Church, belief in Christ, and family values (often as defined by these speakers and pundits). I can jump on this bandwagon rather readily—if we want movies that we can take our children to, or let our older children go to, we must encourage the movie-makers to offer something worth seeing. The move has worked well, at least in one respect: Fox has developed their “Fox Faith” brand to market movies that would appeal to the vocal group of Christians. As a result we have been able to view adaptations of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The End of the Spear, and other worthy writings on the silver screen. No longer are Christian movies (or movies with a faith bent at any rate) relegated to the shelf containing bad scripting, bad acting, and low budgets. I say, “Keep it up,
Hollywood.”

            And now to the question of mainstreaming: in an effort to reach a video age, we may be over videoing our worship. Fox Faith, while addressing the need for positive messages encased in a viewable format, has also begun releasing Bible study guides to used when viewing these treasures. Curriculum publishers have turned to the art of producing movies as the basis for our small group study. I’m not opposed to using technology for the best purposes, but I am concerned that instead of training people to prepare and lead Bible study, we are expecting them simply to be a discussion facilitator based on someone else’s teaching.

            Another trend is to use video in worship—for the sake of video. Again, use video. Use it to make a point, to illustrate a point, to enhance a point. But for the sake of true worship, make sure that the video you use fits the point you are making in presenting the gospel. It may be my developing crotchetiness, but I lean toward removing some of the flash and glitz of
Hollywood from our worship so that we can return to worship: worship that is about entering the presence of God, not entertaining the masses.

            So, is the trend to incorporate Hollywood-style productions in our worship a mistake? A great idea (upon which we need to expand)? Or a flash in the pan that will soon have run its course (so why are you talking about it?)?

 

 

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