Hollywood is pushing to get rid of the term, “faith-based films.” The reasons are varied, ranging from the lack of specificity in labeling a film as such to financial, potentially turning off some moviegoers. I found one point of view from movie producer, Thurmon Mason, interesting.
“The problem with faith-based [films] is not the name; it’s the content of these films...The secular world cannot relate to on-screen faith-based characters who have been so sterilized that they never curse, make bad decisions, or engage in bad behavior like the majority of folks -- Christian or not -- in the real world.”
This quotation stereotypes the Christian believer with the familiar facade of a haloed saint, who walks above the chaos and sin of the world, always doing the right actions and speaking the correct words. I wish I could be this “sterilized” idealized person!
For we have spent enough of our past lifetime in doing the will of the Gentiles—when we walked in lewdness, lusts, drunkenness, revelries, drinking parties, and abominable idolatries. In regard to these, they think it strange that you do not run with them in the same flood of dissipation, speaking evil of you.
1 Peter 4:3-4 (NKJV)
Christian believers are not sterilized. Do Christians make bad decisions or engage in bad behavior? Yes. Do I? Yes. What is the difference? Christians are not sterilized but they are sanctified, taken aside by God and transformed into a new life. When I confessed and repented of my sins and accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior, He began a new life within me and sent His Holy Spirit to indwell within me. At that very moment, He sanctified me and began the transformation. It will not be complete until I die and am in the presence of Jesus in Heaven. Until then, my old sinful nature is at constant battle with the new nature of Jesus. Sanctification is both immediate and continual. When I am obedient to God, I can live a life that is pleasing to Him.
Faith-based films may not be a moniker for this genre of movies. But living a faith-based life with Jesus Christ will never be outdated or irrelevant. A faith-based life understands the reality of our existence. Christians do live a life that is different than the world because the perfect example of Jesus Christ is always before us and within us. We understand the depravity of our sinful nature because Jesus paid the terrible penalty for our sins by dying on the Cross. We understand the futility of living the life we used to live because of the even greater pleasure and joy of living a life in fellowship with Jesus Christ.
Sanctified not sterilized.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.