Christian Author Slams ‘Terrible’ Christian Movies, Says They Are Made by ‘Propagandists’ Not Artists

A Christian author and preacher tore into what he called “terrible” Christian movies today, arguing that many are being made by “propagandists” rather than artists.


Jared C. Wilson, director of Content Strategy for Midwestern Seminary, said in an article earlier this week that the only real good “Christian movies” are those made by world artists.

As examples of rare good Christian movies, he pointed to “The Passion of the Christ,” directed by Mel Gibson, and 2016’s “Silence,” directed by Martin Scorsese.

He then listed several reasons why Christian movies as a whole are terrible, starting with the accusation that they are not made by artists, but by propagandists.

“Christian movies are more akin to propaganda than art, because they begin with wanting to communicate some Christian theme — the power of prayer, the power of believing, the power of something — and then the story is crafted around that message. This is true even when the story is something based on a real-life incident. Delving into the depths of human character and motivation is subservient to getting the message across. This is why so much of the dialogue in Christian movies violates the classic writing proverb, ‘Show, don’t tell,’” wrote Wilson, who is also managing editor of For The Church and director of the Pastoral Training Center at Liberty Baptist Church.

He clarified that he is not questioning the skills of the cameramen and others working on the faith-based movie sets, but he believes these are “people who don’t really know what the job ought to be.”

Famous authors C.S. Lewis and G.K. Chesterton, he pointed out, “just weren’t writing for the Christian market, because that market does not want art that [communicates] truth but art that is being used by a message. And there’s a difference. It is the difference between art and propaganda.”

In his second argument, he said that Christian movies often suffer from “Christian sentimentalism.”

“Characters in Christian movies don’t often sound like people in real life. They sound like Christians imagine (or desire) real life to be. This is why the Christian protagonists are always earnest, even when they ‘don’t have all the answers,’ and why the non-Christian antagonists always sound like the one-dimensional memes Christians tilt against in their Facebook streams,” Wilson argued.

Third, he positioned that Christian movies look to portray “narrative tidiness” instead of nuance.

He used an example from his own writing career when he was trying to get a novel published but an interested publisher told him:

“We can’t publish this if the sheriff has his arm blown off in the firefight at the end.”

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SOURCE: Christian Post, Stoyan Zaimov