Written byMedia by Sara Dawson.
Media is a way we communicate through a variety of books, TV, radio, movies, the Internet, magazines, music, vlogging, so on and so forth. What difference does it make if we add the word “Christian” in front of media? I think we can all agree that it makes a huge difference because it’s media that has just been put in a category that people avoid or run to. This is not to tear down Christian media or any other form of media—it’s not worth it, in my eyes. Instead, this will be encouraging us as the Church to respect Christian media even if it’s not our preference.
As a Digital Media major, it comes oh-so-easy to criticize the quality of media, especially Christian media compared to what the world’s offering. Yet, as a Christian, I feel convicted about why I’m criticizing Christian media in the first place. If we call ourselves Christians, we can’t be frustrated with Christian media because God has provided us with options, variety, and even free will—Christian media is just one category of media in general. Also, Christian media is a broad category that holds deep and life-changing mission fields. It’s bringing light to a dark world (Matthew 5:14-16).
Christian media has a reputation for providing encouragement and happy, predictable endings to movies and books, but also music that’s uplifting and full of truth. We can agree we are frustrated that certain topics aren’t being discussed by the church of Christ. We sugarcoat and avoid tackling hard topics like racism, LGBTQ+, human trafficking, and the list goes on. We also cringe when we hear a phrase in a song repeated more than it ought to be and don’t understand why Christians aren’t taking risks and providing for us what the world seems to be offering us instead. Yet we are still concerned about the appearances of the buildings we worship in and the clothes we show up in on Sunday mornings.
We all need to go back and rethink our priorities because the world struggles with selfishness—all about me, myself, and I. As Christians, we are in the same boat, but the difference is that we are called to “not conform to the patterns of this world” (Romans 12:2). We need to continue to share our testimonies, our praises and requests, and respect each other. Christian media may feel like it’s dying, but it’s not. There continues to be thriving and growing in the Church and risks being taken. It just may not feel like it due to our selfish expectations and comparisons.
Christian media is a category that considers what viewers and readers are exposed to—what the mind is soaking in, the ears are hearing, and the eyes are seeing. As Christians, God has transformed lives in all areas—behavior, activity, and speech. Christians create media not for human masters, but for the Lord (Colossians 3:23-24). It’s not that we can’t go and watch or read other media; we can. It’s about acknowledging our gut feeling, the voice we get from the Holy Spirit who’s there to guide us, not to be avoided. Whether we want to admit it or not, it will affect us, for good or bad.
We all have our own individual tastes and preferences, and how neat is it that we have such a wide variety of choices to choose from? At the end of the day, we as Christians are one with our Father in Heaven. We are the body of Christ. There’s no need for segregation and separation even on the topic of Christian media. We have more important topics that need to be discussed—life is too short.