When pastors undermine the relevance of Christianity to the culture

Eric Metaxas has posted another dynamite Breakpoint commentary. (H/T Kelli)


Here’s a particularly egregious case in point: the recent campaign to remove a great movie, The Blind Side, from the shelves of LifeWay Christian stores. Remember, The Blind Side was denounced as Christian propaganda by many liberal critics. It explicitly depicts an affluent white Christian family devoting itself to helping an impoverished black kid because it’s the Christian thing to do.

The film’s offense, according to a Florida pastor who started the campaign to have LifeWay stores pull the DVD, is that the movie contains “explicit profanity, God’s name in vain, and racial slurs.” It doesn’t seem to matter that the objectionable language is used to depict the palpably unpleasant world from which the young black man, Michael, was rescued by his adoptive family.

What seems to matter to this pastor is that if we “tolerate” the presence of this movie in Christian bookstores, our children and grandchildren will “embrace” this kind of behavior. I’m not making this up – this is the exact reason given by the pastor. And frankly, I think it’s insane. I saw the movie myself. I even let my 12-year-old daughter see it. That’s because it is a great film and I recommend it highly.

But sadly, LifeWay caved in and removed the “offensive” discs from their shelves.

For outsiders looking in, the moral of the story is that “there is no pleasing Christians. They always seem to be looking for something to be mad about.”

We complain about the calumnies and caricatures of Christians on the big screen; and then, when an Academy Award-winning film shows us at our very best, we complain that scenes depicting harsh, inner-city reality are too true to life!

We are, in effect, making our participation contingent on all our possible objections being met beforehand. Since there are many people who would be happy if we stayed within our cultural and religious ghettos, it’s difficult to imagine how we Christians can hope to be taken seriously in cultural discussions and debates with this kind of an approach.

Concerns about the language in the film also miss the larger point: what made the Tuohys — the family depicted in the film — such great Christian exemplars wasn’t their non-use of profanity; it was their willingness to reach out and embrace someone in need.

If we Christians can’t get this, then maybe we really should refrain from commenting on culture in the first place.

The Blind Side is on the very very exclusive Wintery Knight list of great courting movies: (not in order)

  1. Rules of Engagement
  2. Bella
  3. The Lives of Others
  4. United 93
  5. Taken
  6. Cinderella Man
  7. The Blind Side
  8. Cyrano de Bergerac
  9. Amazing Grace
  10. We Were Soldiers
  11. Stand and Deliver
  12. Blackhawk Down
  13. The Pursuit of Happyness
  14. High Noon

These are the movies that you show women to get them to understand what it is that men do in a marriage, so that they can recognize, understand, support and affirm men in their married roles.

If you missed his last Metaxas Breakpoint commentary that I featured, it’s about how pro-abortion people are uncomfortable with the evidence for the humanity of the unborn from things like ultrasounds and sonograms.

One thought on “When pastors undermine the relevance of Christianity to the culture”

  1. This topic has a special place in my heart, since I’m now working full time as a screenwriter. The Blind Side is a rare gem — a story that exemplifies Christian ideals that’s actually well-written, well-acted, and well-directed.

    I think this pastor represents a huge problem in the church — mistaking sterility for purity.


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