Christian Entertainment: Tyler Perry's, The Passion, isn't so Passionate...
I had plans for a wonderful Bible study, like most of the other articles on The Rebel Christian, until I came across a review for Tyler Perry’s recent attempt at Christian entertainment, the famed The Passion. I had absolutely no idea what this Passion was so when I read the headline, ‘Sexy Jesus Sings Katy Perry’ you can believe I was a little more than interested in what was going on.
Let me give you a quick run-down on this new project. Tyler Perry decided to step back into the Christian realm and remind everyone that, 1. He is somewhat religious, not necessarily devout, but religious nonetheless. Which I guess counts for something… 2. He cares for Christian entertainment, which is why he sometimes plays gospel music in his movies, which apparently counts as Christian entertainment. And 3. He thought a live musical retelling the main points of the life of Jesus would be good Christian entertainment. Because retelling the life of Jesus is something that’s never been done before…
The Passion is a semi-live retelling of the life of Jesus, if you haven’t figured it out yet. But it’s not your everyday Jesus story. This show was set in the modern era with Jesus singing famous hits on the New York subway while sporting white t’s and stylishly ripped jeans. The twelve disciples were every day hobos who slept in cardboard boxes and Judas was played by some American Idol rock-star whose name I didn’t care enough about to look up and include in this article.
According to the review I read, 70% of Americans identify as Christian—I’m actually guessing that 70% umbrellas the Catholic and Mormon faith as well, which are not actually Christian but that’s an argument for a different article. My point is that so many people in this country consider themselves Christian so why isn’t Christian entertainment represented in Hollywood more often? Well, it is represented just not very well. And I mean that in the least offensive way possible.
I’m a Christian—no surprise there—and I love entertainment. I love watching movies with my mother, TV Tuesdays are my thing and I’d rather spend time with my beloved Xbox than my actual friends. I can read two books in a single day and, give me the time, I’ll write two books too!
My point is, I love entertainment but, I’ll be honest, Christian entertainment isn’t all that great. Not even many Christians watch Christian movies—myself included. Recently, Christian entertainment has gotten a bit more time in the spotlight with the recent poor attempts at retelling famous biblical stories such as Noah and the story of Moses in the movie Exodus: Gods and Kings. Neither of those movies were biblically or racially accurate. In fact, they were so detached from the original Biblical tales that I’d go as far as saying they weren’t Christian movies at all.
The Passion isn't so far off from Noah, it may have followed the story of Jesus in modern times but I don't believe having Him sing hits by Katy Perry necessarily made the thing biblical. If the goal was to make Christians seem cool by mixing in semi-Christian celebrities then maybe they did it right? But then, if you're going to include celebrities, why not just have ones that actually make CHRISTIAN music? Unless the goal was to appeal to non-Christian audiences which probably didn't work either because why would a non-Believer watch the story of Jesus? Katy Perry's music is alright but it won't convert anyone, believe me.
Regardless of what I think about The Passion, it's fair to say that Christian entertainment deserves a little more than God’s Not Dead 2. I mean, come on, is this the extent of Christian creativity? Don’t get me wrong, I loved God’s Not Dead 1 but I want more than that. Why can’t Christian entertainment do something like The Maze Runner? CS Lewis proved Christians can dominate in magic, JRR Tolkien proved we can dominate in fantasy. Who will take the stand for Christian action? Comedy? Romance?
Granted, there was the very successful Son of God, another retelling of the story of Jesus, and Risen was very innovation and I found it to be very good. The Young Messiah was recently released and seems to be good but after being so deceitfully tricked by the horrid that was Noah and the other insanity which shall not be named, I won’t pass judgment on that movie until I’ve actually seen it.
I’m not sure what you all think about Christian entertainment. Some love what’s available while others, like me, aren’t quite satisfied. I think at the end of the day we can all agree that there’s room for improvement. So where do we go from here?
Until next time, God bless.