PHILOSOPHY OF CHRISTIAN FILMS (by Rich Christiano)

I just spoke with Rich on the phone. He is obviously a great man of God. I was shocked at how quickly his obviously love for the Lord Jesus Christ shone through. Read this wonderful article taken from his web page at http://www.christianmovies.com/store/articles.php?id=17 You will be hearing more about this very soon!

In the 1800’s, CH Spurgeon wrote a great thing in a book called AROUND THE WICKET GATE. The “wicket gate” is the narrow gate of Matthew 7:14. What Spurgeon wrote should speak to all people in ministry. Whether you are a preacher, teacher, artist, actor, filmmaker, whatever ministry you do, this applies to all of us. I will try to sum it up my way.

The movement in the arts and the church is to reach people by crossing over. (especially in films) Make things easy, don’t be too preachy.
Let’s have nice feel good sermons, feel good movies and the such. It’s the lukewarm age. The problem is that I think Jesus hates this. He would rather us be hot or cold.

Spurgeon says there are a myriad number of people just outside the narrow gate of Matt. 7:14. These are the lost church members, intellectual believers and professing Christians. There are tons of them. Our churches are full of these people. But, what the modern day church wants to do is to spend all their efforts in evangelism trying to reach the liberal guy. You know the guy in Hollywood or wherever. This is backwards. Jesus tells us NOT take our pearl and cast it to the swine. Instead, Spurgeon would say to focus on reaching the person already interested in spiritual things. Try to reach the deceived church members FIRST. Let’s reach the people “around the wicket gate.”

Many people have told me that the films we have produced are good for the church but won’t reach the people out in the world that really need to be reached. They are too preachy. Well, there’s a different view here. I believe the aim of all ministry should be to first please the LORD because apart from HIM, we can do nothing. (John 15:5)
Since ONLY God’s Spirit can reach anyone, then we MUST first please HIS SPIRIT, that is if we really want to reach people. If we do this, we have won. It’s not about how many DVD’s have you sold or how many church members do you have with God, because it’s not a numbers game with God. It’s a question of who are you pleasing? We all want to enlarge our outreach, but we need to do it without compromising the prime directive which is to abide and please the LORD. Jesus said that he “always did the things that pleased the Father” (John 8:29) and we should be no different in our ministries. Since ONLY God’s Spirit can reach people than the goal of our life should be to please and glorify Christ with all that we do, no matter what ministry we partake in. So, if you preach, preach to please Christ, not others. If you teach, the same. If you make films, make them to please the LORD first. It’s the only way to REALLY reach people.

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