Is Every Movie a Sermon?
"Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!" (The Wizard of Oz, 1939)
We live in a world intelligently designed to communicate the attributes of our creator (Romans 1:20)
As much as we may try to ignore what’s behind the curtain, the entertainment we consume is no less intelligently designed to communicate a message from the mind of its creator to the consumer (that’s you and me). Nothing is mindless, and in its own way, every movie is a sermon.
The high-octane Fast and Furious saga is preaching a message about family, Avengers tries to sell us on the value of teamwork (even if you could bench-press a truck alone), Scott Pilgrim vs The World is trying to teach us about overcoming our insecurities, and Transformers… well… it’s teaching us to steer clear of Decepticons.
On one hand - what a time to be alive! Lazy evening wind-downs spent with Netflix and Amazon Prime. Counting down till opening night so we can check out the latest billion-dollar juggernaut at our local cinema. Afterward, we take to the Twittersphere, schoolyard, and watercooler, with talk of remakes, spin-offs, and thirty-year-in-the-making sequels.
This cinema-buzzing world is full of challenges and opportunities for Christians who are on a mission to make Christ known to the nations. Competing messages have loud voices, and higher production values than even a mega-church could muster. Meanwhile inside every man and woman their fallen human nature yells "I'm the king of the world!" (Titanic, 1997).
“Let not your hearts be troubled” (John 14:1a). This cinematic world brings with it as many opportunities as it does challenges. With the right tools, and a bit of thought we can learn to use movies to our Kingdom advantage and discover that movies you love can help find common ground and open up conversations about God with Christians and non-Christians alike.
If you’re interested in finding out how films and TV can tell us about ourselves and where we are in our daily walk with God. If you’d like to see how movies can inform us about the things that matter to people and help open up real conversations about Jesus. If you want to learn to see how the silver screen is a window that lets us see into situations and places we haven’t had (and may never have) access to. If you’re interested in all these things, or you simply want to learn and enhance the way you watch entertainment, join us this November and December at Belfast Bible College.
Until then… "Hasta la vista, baby." (Terminator 2: Judgment Day, 1991)