Saturday, September 27, 2008
Fireproof, The Latest Christian Cheese?
Why can’t Christian media ever seem to come up with anything worth spending your money on? Let me share my two cents, if anyone even cares. Last night, my wife and I went to a really early showing of the movie, Eagle Eye. We only go to the theatre about once every three months or so (seriously), so it is a pretty rare instance, I know. As the movie wrapped up and the credits began to run, we grabbed our snack bar remains and began to exit theatre number three. As we spilled out into the lobby, we were greeted by bright lights and people - lots of people! The 7 o’clock opening of Fireproof had arrived! For those of you who don’t know, Fireproof is the latest “Christian” movie. It stars (sigh) Kirk Cameron and is about making your marriage work and “never leaving your partner behind”. Kirk, ready to abandon his marriage and give up on life is challenged to “…try an experiment: The Love Dare. While hoping The Love Dare has nothing to do with his parents' newfound faith, Caleb (Kirk) commits to the challenge. But can he attempt to love his wife while avoiding God's love for him? Will he be able to demonstrate love over and over again to a person that's no longer receptive to his love? Or is this just another marriage destined to go up in smoke?” (taken from the movie’s synopsis page.)
OK, OK, let me just say it – I cannot get into cheeseball Christianese movies just because I’m a Believer. My wife and I watched the theatrical trailer online just to give it a shot and see if it might be worth checking out. I could literally not even make it through the two minutes and twelve seconds – no kidding. The acting looked like a local community theatre and the “faith-based” motives just seem so fake to me. I just can’t buy into it.
Now I know that many readers will say, “well, we (the Christians) are tired of “secular” movies riddled with sex, language and gratuitous, well, everything. I’m with you! OK? I reflect back to how infrequently we watch any movies – 99.9% are not even fit to watch. But, will anyone ever make a Christian movie that is actually worth watching either? Why should I have to sit through some pathetic plot and recitation acting just because it’s “Christian”? Don’t even ask me to give you a rundown of sorry Christian movies of late (One Night With the King anyone?). Thankfully, the Narnia series was picked up and Mel Gibson made at least one fantastic movie that was reputable! But seriously, “the church” and Christian media outlets like TBN (Cloud Ten Pictures) have MILLIONS of dollars within its grasp to use as it wishes and the best they can do is hire actors like Mr. T (see Apocalypse Part IV) and has been’s that no one else wants anymore. Where is the creativity? Where is something that is not just a “secular” rip-off or a “salvation in a wrapper” plot? I’ve see better green screen backdrops on The Weather Channel than in most Christian sci-fi/end times movies for goodness sake! (grrrr)
But getting back to Fireproof – the lines were crazy! The 7 o’ clock sold out, we heard. You could easily spot the “Fireproof people”. The ladies were all dressed the same and most of the men had on their “Christian” t-shirts. “3 Nails, 4 Given”… “Lord’s Gym”… “Jesus Christ” in the Harley logo… sheesh. It was like a Christians night out party!
So my question is this, is Christianity so desperate to have yet another genre that is all their own that when someone like James Dobson calls for “the churches of America to unite and get behind this great faith-based film” they all just run out and do it? “OK, boycott Harry Potter and go see Fireproof – got it. Why are we doing this again honey?” “I don’t know really… the Christian community says so, so that’s what we’ll do.”
After exiting the theatre, we walked over to a restaurant next door and within 5 minutes we saw at least 13 Christians that we personally know. “Did you see Fireproof?” “Are you going to see Fireproof?” “Did you like Fireproof?” Oh man - we began to feel like we were not even Christians because we didn’t go see the stinking movie! We chuckled though, seriously. It was quite metaphorical to me as I actually revel a bit in not following the Christian crowd any more. I want to follow Christ alone, not some rally, movement or cool thing you know? I want to be into what He is into, not what the majority would like for me to do.
If it really changes lives, then I’m all for it… I guess. I just feel like it’s just another lame attempt to do what we should already be doing in our daily lives. If people need help in their marriage and we know about it, why aren’t we sharing what the Word says about it with them instead of inviting them to a corny movie and then going through the Fireproof study booklet with them? (Yes, there really is one.) Come on people! When can we not just BE the ambassadors of Christ that we’ve been called to be? When will we stop be pansified Believers that have to always take the easy road and just hope all works out for the best? Would we rather just let a movie tell someone about Jesus so that we don’t have to?
Lastly, to all of you creatively gifted ones out there, raise the standard! If I knew how I’d do it, but it’s surely not my thing. Let’s make the best of the best with Christ as the author! I’m not saying abandon faith and standards in order to achieve excellence, I’m saying can we not have both? Will anyone do it? Can it even be done? Is there not enough quality and creativity within the Body of Christ to make it become a reality? Do we not intimately know the Creator of all who are creative, the Author of all authors, the Writer of all that was, is and ever will be written? I want to see it, do you?
Edit: What? You want to evangelize your neighborhood for Fireproof... I mean, for Jesus. Great! We have just what you need right here!
Need even more Fireproof goodies? Here ya go!