This is a vent/opinion piece after taking the family to the movies Saturday night. We went to see Soul Surfer which I had only seen one promo for it prior to my wife telling me it was good and she wanted the whole family to go see it. So we went and she was right, it was fantastic! Very unusual how they handled the promotion of the movie though. I don’t watch a lot of tv but it always seems to me that before a movie is released I’ll see dozens of advertisements. There wasn’t a lot of hype prior to this release and then when it was released there was still little fanfare. I don’t know what’s different but I think maybe the producers of the movie held back because they weren’t sure how such an open Christian message would be received. I can’t answer that question for Hollywood but it did prick my curiousity in another realm.
I personally believe the entire message from God through Jesus Christ his son, the gospel. I am actively involved in a community of believers and am on Twitter and Facebook following and being followed by believers and non-believers. Prior to the movie Grace Card being released a short time ago there was a lot of chatter from believers spewing out full page status/tweets to let people know they need to go see Grace Card, for among other reasons, to “let Hollywood know this is the kind of movies we like”. This went on and on and when the movie was released the praises were lifted on social media as if it was “The Ten Commandments” repackaged and rereleased. This went on for months.
Soul Surfer has been out for nearly two weeks now and as I look at my Facebook updates, there were three posts from teenagers at our church about what a great movie it was. All the Grace Card advocates have not mentioned one thing about the movie. A movie about a teenage girl from a Christian family, who struggles with God’s purpose in her life after she loses an arm seemingly ending her pro-surfing career.
How much more “Christian” can it get? It was such a great movie that before I left the theatre I was already mad that there had been no stunning personal testimonies about this movie the whole week leading up to us going.
It didn’t take long for me to remember that I had been down this road before. When I saw the movie The Blind Side I was in awe of this story about a white family that lived out their faith in loving others by taking a young black man into their home to help him have a better life and eventually adopting him. This movie was equally ignored in the believer community while Facing the Giants and Fireproof just finished getting a full Christian signoff.
I am too timid to flat out ask a Grace-carder what causes this faith-based phenomenon. It could be because The Grace Card, Fireproof and Facing the Giants were not produced by mainstream Hollywood production companies. Everyone likes to support David taking on Goliath so they get behind these little homegrown productions with the hopes of them winning big. But to be honest, I wonder if the reason the last two Hollywood Christian movies(Soul Surfer/The Blind Side) were ignored in the faith community was because they are a little bit earthier(real)? Or, maybe when viewers see people doing what they should be doing it induces a little conviction? You see it’s easier to see a movie like Facing the Giants/Fireproof where a “lost” person is challenged in life and ends up accepting the gospel. It’s pure Christian entertainment. The lost person gets saved so everything’s resolved right there in the movie theatre. I’m warm and fuzzy and go home feeling good that it all ended so well.
When I see Hollywood showing me how it’s REALLY done, that is just shameful and causes me to measure my faith in action in relating to others…really loving them not just wanting them to believe like me.
Not going to edit any of this…tired of thinking about it…I’m done.