The other day my wife received an email from a more mature Christian, passing on another email that he had received, asking Christians to ban a particular movie.
How stupid are we to pass this information on?
What incredibly good advertising for the movie!
Let me explain what I mean:
a) When was the last time that someone told someone not to see something or do something only to have them immediately go ahead and see it? It's like wet paint. Everybody just has to touch it.
It wouldn't surprise me if this particular post that we received, wasn't sanctioned by the producers of the movie (even if they were not directly involved in organizing it), knowing full well that Christians would innocently jump right in there, potentially jamming up computer server's with this kind of sanctified email.
b) Remember Harry Potter? Think about the amount of effort involved in trying to convince everybody that it was not safe to see the movie. Think about all the anti Harry potter books that have been written. Out of all of this what is it that survived?
The movie and the books Harry Potter. One is compelled to ask what value was it all.
Some would try and argue that even if it stopped one person from going to the movie it was a good thing. But how many others did it encourage to go? When the books first came out I even received an email from another Christian, about the author of the books JK Rowlings, directing me to a web site that made all sorts of claims about her. Strangely enough till that point I had never heard of her let along the fact that I knew nothing of the books (talk about being out of touch).
What was worse was that even to someone like myself the information was clearly lies and the smallest of research proved it to be so. What does that say about us as Christians? That we are prepared to defame people in order to win our argument? Surely not! But it was so in this case.
c) Think about the movie "The Exorcist" back in the 70's. We had groups of Christians standing out of the front of the theaters, trying to convince people not to go in. The movie is now considered to be a classic horror movie despite its incredibly poor special effects or so I'm told. Yet the equally pathetic "Amityville Horror" which was also supposed to be a true story and was for whatever reason ignored by the Christian community is almost unknown now.
Since we are talking about special effects, I can't help wondering if both movies would have gone the same way if it weren't for the Christian effect. And why is, one movie chosen over another to have a commotion made over it?
I'm sure I don't know and I'm reasonably convinced most Christians don't either. Is it perhaps that it isn't part of our mandate. Perhaps being censors is not the same as being Salt of the earth.
d) Christians have shown by the continual production of such movies, to be totally ineffective in this regard. And the more that are produced the more it becomes impossible to combat because of shear scale. There is no way we would have the man power.
So what is my point? After all we do have a responsibility to protect the innocent and the young. Especially the young in Christ.
I remember when the Rock opera "Jesus Christ Superstar came out. The whole Christian community was up in arms because instead of Jesus being raised from the dead at the end, Judas started singing "I only want to know".
I could never understand what the uproar was about. It's the very question I dreamed that every body in the world would ask of Christians and all they could do was condemn the show.
I've never had more witnessing opportunities in my entire Christian life. I am convinced that Jesus himself would have jumped at the opportunity and I know he would have come up with even more creative ways than I did. When are we going to be true missionaries for Christ? What if Christians were to put as much effort into reaching the world for Christ as they do protesting modern entertainment? What if instead of being considered to be Liars, Spammers, and Censors, we became known for telling the truth about Jesus Christ to all those who would listen? How long will we give by our actions more credence to Fiction that to the truth of the Good News?
What if the same time and effort that was put into stopping people from hearing a story was put into empowering missions and pastors to be able to tell the story of Jesus?