Sexy Evangelism

This week I was invited to preview the movie, “Courageous” by the makers of “Fireproof” “Facing the Giants”  and a couple of other “Christian” movies by Sherwood Baptist Church.  Their movies are meant to be evangelistic.  They come off preachy in all the worst ways.

They actually have some shards of good stories, but the way they Christianize them is sad.  They make all of the conversation stilted and flatly religious.  I have been a Christian for years–committed Christian–and I have never had conversations like that.

As a theologian, I am terribly offended by the movies.  The theology is “If you believe in God and become a Christian, God will make everything right.  If you don’t, you are going to be miserable for now and forever.”  Pure crapola.

Theologically I am opposed.  But I think I am most offended as a movie watcher.

This does to evangelism what porn does to romance.

There are scenes in movies that are so incredibly sexy that they make our minds race wild even heat up our bedrooms.  They are scenes that are romantic, relational, intense and they don’t show everything.

By contrast, porn focuses less on romance, relationships, intensity and in exchange, they show physical, sexual acts from every possible angle.

Good romance gets in touch with what is basic to humanity.  It connects people to people and allows sex to have its proper place.  (The discussion of when it should occur in a righteous relationship notwithstanding.)  Porn discounts the most important aspects of our humanity and focuses on a single aspect, albeit an important one.

By making every scene and every conversation in the movie about coming to Christ and taking every possible opportunity to have someone give a homily about how God will make all your dreams come true through Jesus dying on the cross, they discount some of the most important aspects of being human to focus on one, single aspect, albeit an important one.

I think sexy evangelism should be the mark of a good, Christian movie.  Let us see lives (realistic lives), tell a story (a good story) and let us see what a man of faith looks like in real skin (and with his clothes on.)

Remember when “Shadowlands” came out?  It was the story of CS Lewis’ life.  It was made by unbelievers.  Anthony Hopkins played CS Lewis.  Leaving, I wanted to know more about this man and about his faith.  It was sexy.

When I left “Courageous” I was done.  My mind didn’t race.  My soul was not quickened.  It wasn’t very sexy.

About shepherd

I am a pastor at a local church.
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9 Responses to Sexy Evangelism

  1. Eklund says:

    I really did not like “Facing the Giants” because of the God will fix everything angle. For those of us with “unfixable” situations, it is rude and implies that if we just prayed the correct prayer, worshiped the right way, surrendered more etc…if we just did something, Gideon would not have HLHS. We left the modern church because we could not do it. I know that God chooses sometimes to fix things and other times His path for us is through the fire. It is a false gospel to sell Jesus to the unsaved as a magic pill for their problems. I’ll get off my soapbox now. :)

    • shepherd says:

      That is exactly my thought as well. It was so offensive and cliche that I wanted to scream.

      BUT Christians fall all over themselves on these movies. We don’t even think about the implications of the shallow theology. It is vicious.

      Jesus is different. Very different.

  2. Josey says:

    One time we had somebody tell us our Type 1 diabetic daughter would not be sick if we (mother and father) had enough real faith. It is a cruel theology… Unfair to God and to his very mortal followers.

  3. vernon says:

    facing the giants was pretty hokey but I kinda liked fireproof. Sorry. does this make me a bad person?

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