As an aspiring filmmaker, it would seem that I'm on my way to entering an industry that isn't exactly brimming with Christian values. The film industry, along with the rest of the entertainment industry (music, theater, advertising, etc.), tends to be more interested in what makes money than in promoting good morals or redemptive entertainment. Steve Turner, a Christian journalist who has worked among artists for three decades, expresses in Imagine: A Vision for Christians in the Arts, It's rare to find Christians directing in Hollywood, producing serious fiction or writing plays for London's West End or New York's Broadway (22). Based on that statement, as well as my own knowledge of what sells in entertainment and what gets pushed aside, my first inclination, it would seem, would be to dive headfirst into Hollywood with the Bible in hand, ready to show both the industry and its audiences the errors of their ways. After all, as a Christian artist, shouldn't I be using my art as a means of evangelism?
Well, if I were to answer that question honestly, which is always the best way to answer any question, I'd have to say no. I do not believe that as an artist, it is my duty to use my work as a means of conversion. While it is important for me to make art that is pleasing to God, it is just as important for me to make art that is pleasing to myself, and doing so, in my case, means making art that isn't explicitly or exclusively Christian.
[...] Which, again, is not to say that Christian values shouldn't be present in entertainment arts. But a truly great artist knows how to present such wisdom and value in a more meaningful, successful way. L'Engle says on the subject, “The great artists keep us from frozenness, from smugness, from thinking that the truth is in us rather than in God, in Christ our Lord” (155-6). Turner expands on the use of God in the arts when he says, “If we are cautious about how and when we introduce God by name, his appearance will have an impact that it loses if scattered throughout almost everything we do” (58). [...]
[...] I've come to believe, strongly, that the most successful films are the ones that present a clear, positive, redemptive message without shoving it down the throats of the audience. It is with this belief that I plan on shaping my future films and endeavors. Works Cited Godawa, Brian. Hollywood Worldviews: Watching Films with Wisdom & Discernment. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2009. Print. L'Engle, Madeliene. Walking on Water: Reflections on Faith and Art. Colorado Springs: Waterbrook Press, 1980. Print. Turner, Steve. Imagine: A Vision for Christians in the Arts. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2001. Print. [...]
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