Comfort zone…

I hate to be that person. Honestly, I do. 
I know that quite a percentage of my readers do not subscribe to the beliefs of Christianity. Please allow me to take a moment to tell you how grateful I am that you read my words anyway, knowing that I do. In an era when even the word Christian is synonymous with bigotry and so many other negative words and actions- i am incredibly grateful that you stick around. 
So, back to my original sentence… i really do hate to be that person… You know, the critical one. 
Let me back up. 
I saw a really amazing movie recently. It raw, and honest and moving. It deals with real sticky subject matter and I honestly believe that anyone whose life has been touched by cancer would draw something from it. It really left me changed, in a way, and thinking about how that’s what movies should be like. I mean, granted, there always going to movies simply for entertainments sake and that’s ok. Some of them are awful and some of them are fun to watch. But most of the time, the movies that will stand through time and hold the loyalty of faithful audiences are going to be the ones that truly meant something… The one’s we take from. 50/50 is that film. 
Also recently, (more recently than 50/50) Chw and I went on a double date to catch a showing of Courageous. I can’t begin to tell you how many friends i had who enthusiastically encouraged everyone they knew to see this film. I long ago made the decision to NOT overly criticize “Christian” films because they lack the big budgets and screen start power that mainstream films have. Typically they are rough, poorly acted, blah blah blah. But again, i firmly believe that movies should mean something, so the other stuff doesn’t matter.
Courageous… I felt like this film sorely missed the mark (and the point) with why this company began making films to begin with. Somewhere along the way I think the ticket purchases took away some common sense. The storyline in this film was truly beautiful. It convicted my husband, on multiple levels, about what it truly means to be a good husband and father. It challenged his perception of good enough vs. great. We laughed, and a scene even choked us up a little… And then, though it had teetered on crossing an invisible line before- it blatantly jumped off the pier head first towards the end. 
A few facts: 
– people go to the movies, first and foremost, to be entertained. 
– on occasion, SOME people may hope to take some depth with them, as well. 
– people who don’t already love Jesus DO NOT feel respected paying $10 for a ticket to a sermon. They feel ripped off. IT DOES NOT REACH THEM- it insults them. 
– churches buying out theaters so their members can see the film does not make it a “box office success, changing lives and reaching millions.” It makes it a staged success… 
– save everyone some frustration and money and buy a pre-release DVD to show at your church. You know, where preaching is supposed to happen. 
From a Christian perspective, the bottom line should always be to reach others. 
At least in America, throwing it in their face doesn’t reach people. Instead it convinces them that they were right about us to begin with… 
Movies like Soul Surfer, for example, gently tell the story they came to say, and then respectfully roll the credits. They plant seeds and leave the audience to mull over it- or walk away. I appreciate that. 
I love Jesus. i do… And yet, this movie was a bit much for me. 
And, as i have undoubtedly ticked off a lot of people, I have one more thing to say… A PG rating does not make it a family film. Please treat your kids better than that. Telling your kids you are going on a “family” trip to the movies, and then seeing a movie like Courageous sends the wrong message to your kids. Your kids do not understand what is on the screen before them. How can they, this adult stuff and they are KIDS. They will be bored. You will get upset. It isn’t pretty for anyone. 
Pretty much that’s all i have to say. Like it or hate it, it’s ok. I know people who, at the very moment are accusing me of dumbing my beliefs down or denying them. It isn’t about that. It is a matter of respecting people. 
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7 thoughts on “Comfort zone…

  1. We saw it, as a family, with our church, in a rented theater.I wish we hadn't taken the girls (who are 8)but Bubba was mature enough (a pretty mature 11 year old) to understand it and digest it. I agree that this movie addressed adult issues. Sex isn't the only "adult issue" and just because a movie doesn't talk about or address sex doesn't make it a "family movie".This is the first "Christian" movie I've seen…at all. I am a Christian, but I'm not a lover of Christian movies. I am guilty of judging before I give it a chance, but they all seem overly emotional, and I resent anything that introduces Christ in an overly emotional way. Generally, overly emotional responses to Christ aren't real and don't last.To me Courageous was written for people who are already Christians and need a wake up call to quit just talking about their faith and DO something about it. It wasn't written to introduce Christ to unbelievers.My advice to Rebecca…If you really want to see it, catch it on DVD and watch it after the kids go to bed one night. Save yourself the theater prices and babysitter money.

  2. I completely agree with everything you said, Jenni… I do feel that, in the marketting of this film, there was a hope/plan for it to reach the fatherless/fathers who don't believe. While I suspect the storyline had that potential, it just became too much. It is entertaining/fun to watch, in parts. To believers, I too recommend the dvd.Jenni, you never saw Fireproof or Facing the Giants? (Both By the same production company) horrible acting more often than not, but very worth the watch…

  3. Oh my gosh… I about fell out of my chair laughing… "I read Christian fiction, but I skip over the Jesus parts. I'm terrible…"Classic… Soul Surfer is lovely. your girls would love it too. It has been Genny's favorite movie (and we are movie people, you know) since it came out. She reads and Re-reads Bethany Hamilton's book. It's good. Fireproof is a good marriage story. And it has Kirk Cameron- which is why i saw it in the first place… Guess i am no less terrible.

  4. I thought Facing the Giants was HORRIBLE, but liked Fireproof for a DVD viewing. That's probably what this will be for us, too.I haven't heard too much about it, but those movies typically are for Christians, so it's too bad if they billed it as an outreach and then failed so miserably. :(

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