After the Hype

After the Hype

Amy Welborn gives her brief review of The Chronicles of Narnia movie and then adds a great insight into something I’ve been thinking for some time.

It took a couple of hours for my thoughts to form on this…as Katie and I followed up on a thoroughly lazy day by watching Mad Hot Ballroom…but I think I decided that I am weary of the dynamic of this new Christian market - what Barbara Nicolosi calls the Passion Dollars. I am tired of the film producers and distributors using (some) Christian churches and organizations to market their films and tired of (some) Christians clinging on to these cultural products in the hopes that they will evangelize. It all comes out seeming rather sad in the end. It is this web of mystery we are caught in. Art is a fundamental part of life, and people see glimpses of the transcendent through it, which has the power to open their hearts to God.

I believe this goes even beyond marketing of secular products with a religious bent, but to celebrities who we hear are Christian or even Catholic and so we leap with joy and rush around like little fanboys, all excited that Jim Caviezel or Mel Gibson or some athlete or politician is Catholic. Don’t get me wrong; I’m glad they are and appreciate the opportunity they give for people to be reminded of the Gospel. But too often we let that be a substitute for real evangelization work by us, something which is supposed to be a personal sharing of the Gospel. Like calling government handouts funded by involuntary tax payments charity, calling movies and TV shows and celebrity appearances evangelization is a bit of a stretch.

As I said I’m glad they make movies with explicitly Christian themes and I’m glad that celebrities are embracing their faith. I’m less glad of Christians falling over themselves to lap up the scarps thrown to us by the cultural elites, who are mainly interested in the dollars we can provide than in the mission we imbue their work with. I’m certainly not happy when Christians confuse marketing and evangelization, like running a contest for pastors, awarding a prize for the best homily that flacks a movie. Ugh.

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Written by
Domenico Bettinelli