Youth Speak News' Patrick Grant says Christian films are often too "in your face" with their faith messages. Photo/courtesy of Json, Wikimedia Commons

The problem with Christian movies

By  Patrick Grant, Youth Speak News
  • September 29, 2016

If you have seen a Christian movie, you probably know that many are cheesy, low-budget films that are rarely lucky enough to make their way into theatres.

The problem as I see it is the content. I love the message these films are trying to get across, but the message is really the only thing I like about the movie.

Take the movie God’s Not Dead, for example. The message is great. It encourages you to stand up for your faith even when your elders and your peers are telling you you’re wrong.

But if you think about it, in today’s society a professor saying “God is dead” and making their students sign a paper agreeing with that statement probably wouldn’t have their job for long. The whole movie is just unrealistic, the acting isn’t all that great and it seems more like a propaganda piece than art.

Jesus often spoke to us in parables because they made it easier for His teachings to reach out to people. Even today, we’re still learning from His parables.

I think Christian films are too in your face. But if directors were to use the same “parable” method that Jesus used, it might reach out to non-believers more easily.

There are some Christian movies that do a good job of applying this method, like The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. The symbolism in it is easy to see for any Christian and it’s a good, entertaining movie.

What people love about Aslan is his similarity to Jesus. Aslan sacrifices himself for Edmund, and then later rises to save Narnia. This is similar to Jesus dying on the cross for us, then rising from the dead and opening the gates of Heaven to save us all.

Setting aside Christian movies, there are some secular movies out there that can be modern-day parables, too, whether it’s intentional or not.

Take Captain America: The First Avenger. A scrawny, young Steve Rogers, a.k.a. Captain America, has tried countless times to join the U.S. Army. But due to his health issues, he’s never been accepted.

But Dr. Erskine, head of the Super Soldier project, believes in Rogers. As he examines Steve, he asks him, “So you want to kill Nazis?” And he replies, “I don’t want to kill anyone. I just don’t like bullies, I don’t care where they’re from.”

While this isn’t a Christian movie, Steve Rogers’ morals and beliefs are very close to those of a Christian. The quote could even be taken metaphorically in that the Nazis are replaced with evil and he is a soldier in God’s army.

I think it’s safe to say that a lot of people saw this movie. This movie is full of Christian symbolism of sacrifice and doing what’s right; and if you were to see this movie with a non-believer and then have a discussion about it with them, it could be a great tool for evangelization.

With movies being so influential in today’s world a film like this is very helpful.

(Grant, 17, is a Grade 12 student at Colonel Gray Sr. High School in Charlottetown, P.E.I.)

Please support The Catholic Register

Unlike many media companies, The Catholic Register has never charged readers for access to the news and information on our website. We want to keep our award-winning journalism as widely available as possible. But we need your help.

For more than 125 years, The Register has been a trusted source of faith-based journalism. By making even a small donation you help ensure our future as an important voice in the Catholic Church. If you support the mission of Catholic journalism, please donate today. Thank you.