Why is today’s entertainment showing immorality as normal behavior?
How can we, as Christians and film makers, best hope to effect the world’s culture for Christ?
We need to re-establish a new norm.
When I was a kid, televisions shows first started to show divorce as an acceptable response to marriage. Shows like Love, American Style and Three’s Company were shows that embraced a more “liberal” view of sexuality and marriage.
Flash forward forty years to today and what do we see in film and television? Now co-habitation before marriage is shown in almost every television show. Divorce is common place. Premarital sex expected. Babies out of wedlock or abortion are considered “normal.” And the idea that a family consists of a married father and mother is considered archaic.
In the 1970s religious figures in films were still shown with respect and as holy people. However, if previously immoral behavior was to become the norm, previously moral role models had to be corrupted. (As a side note, scandals by Protestant ministers and Catholic priests over the past forty years haven’t helped!) Now, people of faith and religious leaders are shown in film and television to be hypocrites.
So, how do we effect today’s culture for Christ?
We need to re-establish a new norm. Granted, films about sinners turning to Christ are wonderful and have their place, but the best thing we can do is start creating films and television shows that portray believers in Christ as normal people, nice people, flawed people who are striving for holiness.
In our circle of friends, we openly talk about the Bible, about our faith journeys, about the challenges and temptations in our life. We’re not odd balls, we’re not freaks of society. We’re normal people who have strong, devoted faiths in Jesus Christ.
So, why aren’t positive stories about believers being made today?
That’s one of the reasons our films at Sonlight Pictures are about followers of Christ dealing faith challenges. We want to show believers as imperfect, but not hypocrites. We always show religious leaders in a positive light. We show the goodness that the teachings and of Jesus can bring to our lives and to others.
We need to start planting the seed of what is really normal for strong Christians and let it grow. We need to sprout examples of positive Christian values and people living their faith so that the weeds of immorality currently infesting the entertainment industry can be replaced by the vines of Christ which will bear great fruit.
If you are a Christian, support Christian filmmakers and musicians. If you are a Christian story teller, help to re-establish a new norm and tell stories about good Christians being good, about religious leaders being holy, and about believers in Christ leading by example.
In forty years, let’s look back and see the fruit of our labors and take back the world’s culture for Christ.