Thursday, April 14, 2011

My Heart's in the Arts

My daughter Cricket
I had a rather disturbing conversation recently with a co-worker in children's church. At least it was for me, although he seemed unfazed.

I was preparing to show a clip from the overtly Christian movie, Facing the Giants, at the end of a David and Goliath lesson for over 100 elementary-aged kids. When I mentioned how the last football scene in the movie always gave me chill bumps and misty eyes, Sean (name changed), my "co-host," abruptly stated that he'd never seen the movie and probably never would.

"Why not?" I asked, astonished. I knew he had a son and daughter who were the perfect ages to benefit from the tremendous application message in the film about honoring God in sports (and life) no matter what - win or lose.

"Because," he stated rather smugly, I thought, "the acting and directing are reportedly sub-par. As an actor myself, I can't abide movies or plays that don't achieve the highest standards."

"Oh, I see. So you've never been to your children's school plays? Or any church productions?"

"It's not the same thing. They're not professionals."

"But what is their end goal - their purpose (as believers) for performing?"

"To glorify God, of course."

"And what is the purpose of Christian producers, directors and actors in the mainstream arts?"

Sean paused. "To glorify God, I suppose." The irony of his answer seemed to sink in as his face colored slightly. "But when I'm spending money to see a film, I want to spend it on something that will edify and challenge me. Not something that I could have done better myself."

"I thought you said you'd never seen it."

"I haven't."

"Then how do you know God wouldn't use it to touch your heart, or edify and challenge your wife or your children through a movie that was completely created and dedicated to His service? The first time I saw it, I thought some of the acting could have been better, but in the end, it didn't matter one whit. I was so caught up in the story and the wonder of God's miraculous intervention in the lives of the characters that I was intensely moved, more than by any movie I've seen in a long time. In the Bible, God speaks through donkeys and chickens. Why would you assume He can't speak through arts created by gifted people who love Him?"

Sean shrugged and turned away, but I noticed later while the clip was playing he was riveted to the screen along with every other eye in the room.

I feel very strongly about supporting faith-based arts. I'm not saying we have to pretend to like them all, but I feel that we owe it to our brothers and sisters in the Lord to support their efforts to use their talents and abilities in His name. After all, He intentionally gave them their talents and abilities for just that purpose.

I want my money to speak for my choice to dwell on things that are true and honorable and right; things that are pure and lovely and admirable (Phil.4:8). I want Hollywood to know by my attendance - numbers ares the only way to speak their language - that I support movies that make me think about that which is spiritually "excellent and worthy of praise."

And I'm willing to plunk my Andrew Jacksons down as proof.

I haven't yet seen the newest big screen phenomena, Soul Surfer, but I plan to as soon as Spouse emerges from tax week and we can manage to carve out a date night. I've heard good things about it, but even if I hadn't, I'd go to make a moral statement. And I hope you will too.  



Josh said...

Well said! I'm right there with you!

Josh said...

Well said! I'm right there with you! -Christy