Why Christian Movies are BAD | The Problem with Christian Media - Part 2

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Sean Paul Murphy : As the screenwriter of a number of PureFlix films, I could hardly agree more with your perspective. I grew up watching indie films of the 80s and 90s, those filmmakers managed to make art with small budgets because they had a passion for the medium. It's not the budgets. It is a disregard for the art of filmmaking. And faith films will not get better until the audience demands something better, but they tend to evaluate films solely on the message itself. As for the counterproductive hatred of atheists and other non-believers, I tried to buck that trend. In Hidden Secrets, the first film produced by PureFlix (but its second release), my co-writer and I sought to create a fuller, more sympathetic portrayal, and, if the following review is any indication, we succeeded: "But don't dismiss Hidden Secrets as The Big Chill rewritten from a Christian perspective. It has the nerve to make one of its most appealing characters, a stem-cell researcher played by John Schneider, an atheist and the least appealing a scripture-spouting hypocrite. While its proscriptive tendencies might not sit well with some moviegoers, it does strive to distinguish between sinner and sin. Even the death merchant and the homosexual - played by Arkansan Corin Nemec - are worthy of love and respect; it's their actions that God despises." Nowadays, however, the audience reward films that fight the Culture War for them. It is easier to generate anger than compassion. I have no interest in that. As for the muddled purpose of Christian films, I think you will appreciate my recent blog: http://seanpaulmurphyville.blogspot.com/2017/09/building-faith-based-film-ghetto.html

Moving Parts Gaming : I clicked on this expecting a brutal take down of Christian movies. I was pleasantly surprised by tone and view of the situation.

Pranav Dhilip : "I would like to start off by establishing that film...is an art form." *cuts to Interstellar. Well played, sir. Well played. *Cue admiring applause

chrisw443 : Great video, from an atheist, thanks for not hating me, I take pride in making sure everyone can practice whatever religion they want. :)

Roll Like A Buffalo O_O : The only good Christian movies to me are Prince of Egypt and Joseph, King of Dreams. Thats it.

Daniel Skupien : The current Christian/Evangelical world is shallow and has been for some time now, and when I say shallow, I mean shallow in theology, doctrine, conduct, preaching, and etc. Why? Well, much has to do with what has been done in the past, and the end result is that the overwhelming majority of what calls itself 'Christian', isn't. We have tons of nominal churches filled with nominal Christians, when you understand that, your confusion should be greatly lessened. If someone says they're a Christian, learn to challenge them on that, or just simply watch and listen, as in, be attentive, ask the right questions, watch their behavior, reactions, but most importantly, their mouths! James 1:26 "If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is worthless." It's a tragedy that the Bible speaks and explains so much on the things that most non-Christians take issue with regarding Christians and Christianity, but won't ever have the answers because the pretend Christians (which is the majority) have put them off Christianity in such a way that they wouldn't bother investigating the claims of Christianity. It's a genius tactic by Satan; create so much confusion through heretical teaching, which leads to countless false professions/Christians, which ends up causing extreme misleading/misunderstandings about Christianity/The Bible, which leads to countless numbers of people to ignore it altogether. What we have today is a lot like a person who would say they love racing, they love going fast, they love the thrill, the smell, the look, the feel of it all, but they actually hate cars and don't know a thing about them. Many self-deceived people out there love their religious activity, the coziness/comfort of sentimental, emotional, non-confronting preaching, which sadly leads to self-deception in such a way so that they don't understand that they themselves hate the God they say they worship, because they do not truly submit to Him in thought, attitude, and deed. There is a lot that could be said about all this.

SerMattzio : It's genuinely pleasant to see a Christian actually noticing that these films are blatant propaganda and the portrayal of atheists is ridiculous. Good video :)

Xander Ward : I couldn't agree more. I almost feel as though, rather than spreading the message to the audience, the directors often 'suck up' to God, as if they're trying to confirm their place in Heaven. Yet, in doing so, they inevitably go over the top in preaching.

cafequeen : "You're not making Christianity better. You're making Rock n Roll worse." ~ Hank Hill, King of the Hill

ViaVia : God's Not Dead, or it's in development title, Echo Chamber: The Movie

Jxswager 21 : What about the prince of Egypt that was an amazing movie

Daniel Richwalski : obviously you've never seen the Veggie Tales movies, They are Masterpieces!

Anyposs : I didn't realize you were Christian until the end of the video, which was a happy surprise for me. It is expected for non-Christians to criticize the abysmal state of Christian films nowadays, but for a Christian to realize how terrible they are gives me hope for Christians as a whole. These movies only polarize and divide Christians and non-Christians to a dangerous degree. I myself am not Christian, but I fully support everything this video has to say. Thank you.

Lookoutitsdomke : I'm an atheist. When I was in the Navy I worked with a group of people who were all super hardcore christians. When we were deployed, I told one of my co-workers I was an atheist, which resulted in us having a discussion about god and belief. It was almost as if he was surprised that I was an atheist. It was like he thought that all atheists were devil-possessed monsters who were nothing but contemptible. At this point in time I was a relatively new atheist, having given up my christian religion a few months prior. At the end of the deployment, as we were packing up and turning over with our relief, I saw that he had God's Not Dead in his movie collection. I think it explained his surprise. If he's the sort of person to watch that movie unironically, it makes sense that he'd think that way.

Logoncal : My favourite Christian movie is Life of Brian AAAAALWAYS LOOK THE BRIGHT SIDE OF LIFE DOO DOO DOO DO

William Estes : Excellent commentary, thank you very much. I show Inherit the Wind to my biology class at a Christian School every year. The tone of religious dialogue in our society is very important.

Aria Clements : I am a progressive atheist, though grew up as an extreme Christian, basically a prototype of today's Tea Partiers. So I've been on both ends of this. The lack of compassion from Christians is what ultimately drove me away from religion and convinced me there is no such thing as god. When Christians start seeing your life as a comedy because everything that can go wrong will go wrong, and I'm talking everything from losing organs to witnessing my father's suicide to homelessness, and they think it's amusing to see someone they compare to Job, it's hard to find compassion in anyone. Christmas Day in 2005 is the day I left it all. I was homeless (thanks to an ex who screwed me over), and collapsed on the group in Union Square when going to the big Christmas tree where people were gathered. On one side was the tree, and on the other, a menorah (the last day of Hanukkah was Christmas that year), and both easily had over a hundred people. I started crying because I was so tired and hungry. When the sermons on both sides were over, I desperately hoped someone would at least say hello in passing. Instead, every single person who walked past me walked far around me, obviously intentionally trying to ignore me. On Christmas/Hanukkah, not a single one of them even said hello or anything, and that was when I knew it was all a lie. If there was a god, one of those hundreds of people would have acknowledged me with a simple greeting. Now, I so often still see Christians acting in the most appalling ways, supporting a president who cheats, lies, steals, throws people under the bus, cages immigrant children whose families are trying to escape violence... I see Christians supporting the caging of those refugees, without noticing the irony in what they're doing. They'd rip Jesus from his mother's arms, toss him in a cage with an aluminium sheet as a blanket, deport his parents, then DNA test him when a judge orders the return of the kids, DNA testing that has to be done because the government those Christians support didn't bother seeing track of which kid goes to which adult, and that government is still talking about how the government *cares* about the kids and wants to make sure the parents are *suitable*, because sleeping on concrete is how the government shows "love." I see Christians support this because "if they didn't want to be treated that way, they shouldn't have come here illegally," as if those people had a choice other than to wait for murder. I see Christians calling cops on people for being black, and not bothering to try to excuse themselves. I see Christians fight against universal healthcare so that every sick person can see a doctor instead of dying. I see Christians support the cruelest things, than claim that atheists support gangs by supporting refugees, and claiming that we are bleeding-hearts for wanting LGBT people to be allowed to have the same rights (which those Christians call "special privileges") as the rest of us, and saying you shouldn't get to see a doctor if you can't pay. I'm not saying every Christian is like that (I have such high respect for the religious leaders who have been arrested for protesting against inhumane treatment of immigrants, and I adore the current pope for his attempts to change the Catholic Church to one of acceptance, and understand why he has to do it slowly and defend him for it), but it's hard to deny that a HUGE chunk are, and they support Trump, and they are just cruel. I see atheists heading up hunger strikes to protest the inhumane treatment of immigrants, fighting for health care access, for better schools. I see atheists being more Christ-like than self-proclaimed followers of Christ, who are so often anything but. So when movies like these come out, we atheists don't sit there feeling insulted. We laugh at the characters who are supposed to be the "good guys" because they are just so stupid. These movies are an insult to Christians, and we atheists find that to be hilarious. These movies backfire. They preach to the choir and try to reinforce the idiocy of people who supposedly persecute them. Uh huh...Christians are reeeeaaally being persecuted in a country where Christian faith is a legit legal excuse from the law now, and where laws are being written to align with Christianity, and where non-white, non-Christian, non-cis-hetero, non-male people are at risk of losing rights int he very near future. These movies make Christians look like a bunch of snowflake babies who are so insecure that they have to make and watch movies as pathetic as these to make themselves feel better. These movies backfire and make all Christians look stupid. The filmmakers? It's not about the message. It's about the money. They pocket those tens of millions in profits instead of investing in better movies, or in setting up free screenings so poor people and those who might otherwise pass up seeing it (how many atheists want to pay to watch movies that try to insult us?) can see it and maybe be moved. It's like that episode of South Park where Eric Cartman starts a music band called Faith+1 and changes the words "babe" and "girl" in love songs to "Jesus" and "god," which results in some blow-job-sounding lyrics, and he shows Christians to be sheep who will pay money for anything they think is about god, no matter how bad it is. These movies prove him right. Point to South Park.

Eagle J. : As an intellectual, the best Christian movies are the Veggie Tales movies.

Caitlin Broza : I am an atheist and appreciate your bringing up the demonizing of atheists in these movies. I have never once felt the need to hate or demonize any religious person or argue with anyone. In fact I remember a Jesus story I heard once about a rich person who Jesus told to sell all his possessions and give away everything to free himself up to follow along. The man didn't and walked away and Jesus didn't chase after the man or shame him or anything. The man wasn't a bad or evil guy, just well off and unwilling for whatever personal reasons he had (which could be several) to do what he was asked. Jesus did say that that part about the camel and the eye of a needle to those around him but he didn't say bad things about the guy making him out to be an enemy. I often run into Christians who are so angry at me and people like me, so defensive and full of hate and fear about anything that is outside of their pastor's word or church group. Why are heaven bound people so angry at everyone? Why don't they trust their all powerful God and all the supposed goodness, mercy and blessings he bestows? Why aren't they happy and rejoicing but are instead angry and full of fight all the time? Why do churches fight, split up and go their own ways instead of following the supposed one way? Why is hate and intolerance preached? If Jesus knew that some people aren't going to follow him and he let that go, then why are Christians trying to force everyone to be like them? If this world is temporary and heaven is permanent then why try to fight to make this world conform to Christianity when not everyone is going to be convinced even at gunpoint? I don't want to spend my life worshipping a god that wants me to be angry and defensive about everything outside of my church all the time. That is exhausting and can lead to mental health problems! Or paying for a pastor's private jet or lavish lifestyle through 'tithes' (when Christianity was spread over Europe on foot or horseback by many simple common people). I am not a bad person or a demon. I have compassion and a mind and do what I can for people not out of fear or ego but because we all need each other to survive and make it. I don't believe, but I won't stop you from believing. Just let me walk away peacefully. Your Jesus would have.

Coast Guard Chris : I love that at 13:28 in the bottom left her "God is Good" sign is upside down, as is the "Love" sign in the middle. How was that not caught during production?!

Formoka : Perhaps we should rewrite that quote from Bambi. If you can't say something nice, say something constructive as politely as you can.

Sam Smigla : I couldn't disagree more Veggie Tales is a cinematic masterpiece.

Picklebiker : As an Atheist, I 100% agree with you! I think religion and religious freedoms are very important. In fact, I think religion is a great thing, even if you don’t share my beliefs. I personally believe that people should embrace their differences, rather than be mean to other people because of them. I think it is good that other people don’t have my beliefs. They have theirs, and I have mine. I think it is a very important thing to learn about al religions, and decide which one you ‘agree with’ most.

DelNiceBeto : art lets you interpret it yourself propaganda tells you what to think and that you're evil if you don't agree

Seth Fry : i always thought Facing the Giants was a boring movie. And not even because I don't care about football. It was just so cheesy. And they played for us like all the time in elementary.

Breaking In The Habit : I really appreciate this video and your perspective. I think you put it perfectly that they are video sermons rather than works of art. That makes a huge difference. As a Catholic, I think this is why Catholic movies tend to be of a much higher quality than Evangelical ones. Theological differences aside, they come from a history of appreciation of art and so seek to be art themselves. Look at movies like The Mission, Silence, The Way, and Babette’s Feast; heck, look at something like The Lord of the Rings, written by a Catholic and filled with Christian imagery and theology. These things seek to make good art inspired by their faith, rather than trying to make a sermon visual. It makes all the difference. Thanks for a great video!

Bijinius Cross : Uh, I'm sure *SOME Christian Movies are good.* There's no such thing as an accurate blanket statement. Except, perhaps, for "All modern Star Wars™ brand movies are humiliatingly terrible."

Jaasau : I’m a conservative Christian, and this video describes my views on Christian film exactly. I’ve been saying the same things for years. I left God’s Not Dead with a bitter taste.

Cameron Nelson : The Star Wars prequel trilogy follows similar beats in the Bible. Does that count? lol

Karun Sagar : "These movies don't encourage you to think for yourself." I don't think you understand how religion works.

Lyrix : my favourite christian movie is the life of brian xD

Arata35 : While I was watching this video I immediately paused to see if my LoFi Hip Hop Spotify playlist is actually playing in the background when I'm dead sure I stopped it. Then, I realized it's actually in your video. That aside, a very thorough video essay. I personally love the part when you said that you "grew up and felt stupid". It happened to me. I was a religious person who, in all my power and knowledge, had been defending my religion and hating on others with different beliefs. All because of the teachings from people around me and the media that supports it. Now, I'm an atheist and that is why I feel stupid. I've come to hate the concept of beliefs and the people who has them, yet I need to come to terms with the fact that I came from those group that I now hate. I have to accept that not every one of them are like that. More media needs to show that as a point as the world and the society we live in grow. You've earn a sub. This was great.

Adeeb Hamad : Here is the problem. Christian movies are made only to make money and the christian agenda is there because the people use it as a way to get funding from churches etc. They want to make money by spreading their faith and they believe that what they are doing is righteous. Lying to themselves saying they are doing it for their faith. It's some serious BS. How do I know?? Because they are always OBNOXIOUSLY christian. Also they almost always put as much as they can into marketing the movie. Money that could have been spent on a good script or director. They are jokes. Can't even compare it to Christian music, it's an insult to the musicians who make Christian music. Look at God's Not Dead. Budget of $2mil and made $63mil wow. They are knowingly capitalizing on Christians who wan't to do something other than go to church in the name of their faith. Not to mention the countless church groups that went to see the movie together etc etc. It's a sham. Then these preachers get to tell the world they are doing it in the name of Jesus Christ.

Anthony Eldridge : I have taken it upon myself for several years to write harsh reviews of Christian movies, while trying to insert humor into each of them so I don't come of as a hate-filled monster. That clip at around 2:18? I call that the Gospel Stop Point (or GSP) when the film drops all pretense of actual cinema and straight-up preaches at the audience. For those of you out there unaccustomed to Christian films, imagine watching James Cameron's "Avatar" if you're not an environmentalist. You notice how the characters are one-dimensional, the plot is insultingly predictable and there are sequences that simply kick you out of the movie and all you're doing is bearing witness to CGI cats swaying in unison before a neon tree? THAT is how it feels watching a ton of these movies, even if you yourself are a Believer. The argument that putting the Gospel first guarantees a bad product is bunk because I've heard good Christian music that is centered on the Gospel. The difference is that the musicians understand the fundamentals of actually making music. More importantly, they've suffered the slings and arrows that come with performing in front of hostile crowds, getting torn apart by know-it-all critics (*ahem*) and having to go back to the drawing board and seeing what works. Steve Taylor comes to mind. How often to Christian filmmakers have to answer for bad choices made in the editing room? When a Christian film tanks, where are the reprisals? The only thing worse than Christian films that can't stop preaching are the films that swerve clear of the Gospel altogether. You've seen the movies that can't be bothered with any real discussion of Scripture but skip right to anything that might get butts into seats. Both extremes are hurtful to keeping people out of Hell.

ProjectMPoem : As a Buddhist and a filmmaker, I agree with what you said, and salute to you!

Hannodb1961 : As I Christian, I can't agree more. I must say I've always avoided these films. Although I could never articulate why (Haven't seen enough of them to do it) they seem ...fake. The characters are all one dimentional, the dialog feels forced, and worst of all, it's af the director gets to play God, inserting "fortunate coincidences" into the plot as if to demonstrate divine providence. However, it is not a reflection of real life. You say that these movies cast Atheists in a very bad light, but I would argue that they paint Christians in a very offensive light as well: We're all perfect one dimentional Mary Sue's that have all the answers to the world's problems. And then the conversions. They're all overnight conversions, they happen so quickly, and then suddenly this former evil atheist turns into yet another Mary Sue. Don't get me wrong. I take my faith very seriously. I know the Bible well, and I am but all to aware that my salvation is by grace alone, that I have nothing to boast about. That is part of the reason why I dislike these videos. As Christians, we are called to love the truth. These videos might have some sound preaching in them (not always), but their representation of reality is anything but truthful.

Sebastien Sade : The movie God's Not Dead is merely a pep-rally for Christians. It did nothing to advance Christianity. It did nothing to win over the opposition or attract new followers. It did nothing to prepare Christians for interacting with secularism in a productive way. It's sole function is to make existing Christians feel good about themselves.

NicAlba : Thank you for this video. It is thoughtful and you are right on so many points! I tend to stay away from Christian films because they are Christian (and I am a Christian). Because they are usually not that good. Some of the Kendrik Brothers films are good (they get better with each film about lowering the cheesy levels) but I don't seek those movies out. There was one Christian film I watched that I really liked which was "To Save a Life" because it felt more real than maybe "Fireproof." I hope Christian films get better and some of them are decent but as to an art form? They are not there yet. Script writing is an important part they need to get better at. There's just so much cheese! It's cringey.

xaenon : I think a lot of people assume these movies are propaganda. Most of them are not. The people who go to see them are already Christians. The reason the movie studios churn these things out is because they're 'no miss' propositions. Christians will rave about them, no matter how shitty they are, because the movies pander to their beliefs. There's virtually no production budget, so if the film grosses ANYTHING it's money in the pockets of the studios that make them. They're not out to 'convert' anyone. If they do, hey, great, but the goal is to fleece the diehard 'faithful' who will flock to see these shitty films. This is what Hollywood DOES. It's exactly why they remake old movies, why they crank out sequel after shitty sequel until they've milked the franchise for its very last penny, and why the studios copy each other incessantly. Movies are big business, after all, and their goal isn't to entertain you - it's to pry the cash from your wallet.

Biovox13 : Excellent video. Mind blowing really, loved it.

FutureLaugh : Christianity is more than a personal relationship with God, it is a philosophy that has sculpted western civilization. Where else would you derive your morals from? These films were not intended to rope in atheists, they have already made their decision and spend every waking second arguing about something that nobody can or cannot prove- the films were intended to re enforce beliefs and yes are low budget and dumbed down, but are supposed to be feel good easily digestible christian messages of good overcoming adversity and reasserting christian ideas. Although I do agree, more complicated subject matter would be better- i dont expect multi million dollar hollywood movies to be made for a christian audience with one sole message- unless it is re depicting a scene from the bible IE passion of the christ.

Todd Douglas : Thank you for including the recommendation of Scorsese's Silence. Powerful and beautiful film.

IRanOutOfPhrases : To be upfront before continuing here: I'm an atheist. But I don't have any issues with people who are religious. I think you really start to get at it near the end. The movies you highlight/critique in this video certainly are not meant to convert people like me. Instead, they are just meant to be rally points for those who already believe. To strengthen their resolve. I think you're right that there is a bit of a brainwashing attempt that comes with them which is morally corrupt. But I think that is intentional. As I said up front, I think religion can be fine and helps a lot of people. But religion has its own bad side as well, and this is one outlet of it. I know a number of people who go to very strict churches. These people are cool, but when I hear them talking about their church experience, they mention how it is frowned upon for them to hang out with people outside of their church. These churches are more interested in controlling people to what they think is the only proper lifestyle. Even as he points out, when movies try to point to actual court cases of how Christianity is threatened, much of it just comes down to being against gay marriages and abortions. These movies are just meant to solidify their base. Spreading the word and converting others to God is really just secondary here. They hope that their base will continue to do that. Although, truthfully, making a buck off of this target demographic that already believes Atheists are the worst is even more important than solidifying the base.

Captain Obvious : It's because many Christian films aren't made by true filmmakers, they're made by Conservative ideologists. Conservatives suck at art.

Thunder Badger : Very Interesting video. My parents (my dad is a minister) love these pureflix movies. They love the movie trilogy of God's not Dead. They absolutely love these films. I was raised and born to Christian parents. But at teenage years, decided to stick to God on my free will. I've seen a lot of these Christian movies and I agree with you on this topic. When I watched these films, I always cringed and I actually did laugh. They were so bad, and I started to refuse my parent's invite to watch the new latest Christian film with them. I feel put off in my spirit and soul about these films. Passion of the Christ is a good film. But something like that Car Sales one where the Christian Father/husband and manager of car sale place rips off people, forgotten the name, but I think maybe was one of the first pureflix films... That movie, I can't stand to watch it. So bad. Reminds of high school drama art class projects. Seriously. I support what the idea is with every movie Pure Flix put out, but they never come out right. I have so much I want to share here, I could really write a thesis on this. But I'll refrain from doing so. So I'll just write, never heard of your channel before, this video came up on my home YouTube tab and I agree a lot with you. I'll definitely share this around and try to share with my parents. I wish the Christian churches and organisations behind these cringy hard to watch aweful Christians films would change and start actually putting out actual Christian films like the latest Mercyme film with Dennis Quad in it. Pureflix should learn from this movie. They should get the two ministers off the directors seats and put actual skillful directors who support putting out a Christian movie. Look at pile of garbage Star Wars the Last Jedi film. Feminist/left agenda movie lead by Kathleen K and how she's been booted. They put someone who wasn't Skilled or Talented and had a feminist Agenda to push in their movie and look what happens. It fails. Anyway, great video. I might subscribe...

The Doc Jay : A lot of Christian music or Christian films are not good. It is because it is a niche community who are limited by who they have to work with. However I don't it is because it is Christian. I think the same problem exists in political films and other religions or whichever closed group you come across.

Patrick Roanhouse : Hey just ran across your video. As an Atheist / Secular Humanist thank you for your level headed review. It was nice to know that a christian today can truly be a follower of the philosophies of Jesus. Compassion and kindness is something at the golden rule of all religions as well as spreading their word. The way that word is spread has sadly been taken by men and turned into an excuse for violence and oppression though time and time again. So i don't blame the religion i blame the people who use religion as a tool of control through fear rather than a tool to teach empathy and compassion.

XERO for Hire : *Slow clap*

M B : How do you only have 1k subscribers? This was brilliant

JCLegoMan : As a Christian, I personally extremely dislike "Christian" movies because like a lot of "Christian" music, it feels disingenuous and repetitive like it's trying to drill these ideas into me.