This is the continuation of a series on Christian media, so if you want to start at the beginning you can start here. Otherwise you can just read this on its own.
Let me once again take time to add humor by guiding you through all the various movies that God has blessed.
Let’s kick it off with the biggest genre of Christian film; the Christian wet-dream; what I like to call: the apocalypse now. Its simple enough: either the main character becomes aware of the impending apocalypse and is trying to tell others about it, or the main character is in a post-apocalyptic/ mid-tribulation world, and despite being a devout atheist, eventually comes to a faith in God. These take up approximately 50% of the shelf space for Feature Film DVD’s. Why? Because it is the fictional middle-finger of righteousness to all non-believers; the I-told-you-so story. It lets Christians live out that end-of-days scenario that they just keep waiting for and just keeps not happening. Let’s say you thought Jesus was coming back in 2012 and you and your buddies held your all night vigil on the supposed advent of His righteous return, but then, of course, The Lord of Lords doesn’t show up like He was supposed to, how do you go on? Step 1: Pop in Left Behind. Step 2: Enjoy how right you could have been as you watch the type of people who called you crazy for thinking that President Barack Obama could have been the Anti-Christ suffer through the tribulation of the Lord your God.
The next contender is the apologetic film. There are two breeds: the documentary or the persecution narrative. Occasionally, you will get a hybrid, so don’t be surprised if you see Kirk Cameron play the antagonist who tosses you a statistic while at the same time complaining about how difficult it is to be a white, North American Christian in these trying times. Most of these films have the same enemy: Science and Government. The Government is taking away everything that makes a Christian a Christian, while the Scientists who aren’t Christians believe in evolution and the Big Bang theory in the face of the all the facts that clearly show that the Bible is completely historically accurate in its accounts. Sometimes it will be that government scientists are in on a Satanic conspiracy to keep the world ignorant, and for variety, it will center on the historicity of Jesus Christ and his bodily resurrection. The science is usually very closely related to the depictions of non-Christians: highly inaccurate. It doesn’t take a genius to see many of the leaps and bounds in logic presented by the Christian arguments, while the non-Christian is villainized and his arguments dumbed-down.
This next category is the Christian equivalent to dog movies. The Christian dog movies actually go in a separate category. No, this is the someone-is-dying movie. It could be cancer; it could be a car accident; it doesn’t matter because this is a tale of hope in the face of ever-approaching doom. The person who is dying is either the person who needs to “get right with God”, or is the ray of sunshine to everyone else. Whether the person lives or dies in the end is unimportant. Spoiler alert: If they die, they will be going to heaven, because they either become a Christian, or are already one by the time of death. So the weighty blow of death is taken away, and the reality of loss is absent other than a quick cry from the close friends and family as they take comfort in knowing the God wanted their dearly departed to be Saved. If they end up living, then it’s a miracle by God, and the scientific doctors and doubters are dumbfounded because of how holy the recovery was.
So, now we have missionary films. The fictional tales are all about missionaries who go into their field completely unprepared, end up failing at whatever they thought they were going to do, and God magically bails them out. The end. The Biographical ones are even more boring. The word monotonous would be appropriate because there is one tone to the entire movie. Nothing so exciting as The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, these films follow the progress of the missionaries as they go into their field, stay there, and stay there. The End. That’s right: there is no climax or resolution. On one of those literary plot charts, the patient has flat-lined with no rising or falling action to be heard. Missionary stories can be exciting, but good films about them are usually foreign, so good luck with the subtitles.
In a more domestic nature, let us explore good-Christian-people-being-good. This is the home to the actual Christian dog movies. It doesn’t have to have a dog, but like usually, it doesn’t even matter if it does. The plot usually goes like this: The new Christian family moves into town, and they have a mean neighbor. Naturally, their good Christian cheer and perseverance allow to convert their neighbor just in time for them to come over for (insert holiday here) dinner! It’s that or a Little House on the Prairie wannabe, which ends up being half a step away from the fictional missionary stories I talked about before. The obvious problems is that there is no real problem that the characters actually struggle with. Its a wrestling match with a blow-up doll: Sure, it looks kind of like a person if you squint real hard and really want it to, but you can pop it with a needle, and pin it under 7 seconds. This genre of movies specifically have the most in common with bad Hallmark Channel Originals. If you took out the mention of how God preformed the miracle at the end, it’s essentially the same.
P.S.- The next article on Christian media is actually positive, I swear.