On my podcast recently, I spent some time ragging on a movie I haven’t seen, called “Fireproof.” It stars Kirk Cameron. I won’t restate my annoyance with this film (or rather, its trailer), let’s just say it’s the Christian-movie version of “Ladder 49.” And that phrase “Christian-movie” is important to point out. Not Christian, but Christian-movie. The two are distinct and separate entities.
I am a Christian, but not a Christian-movie. I’m always curious, and suspicious, of Christian-movie types. And to be fair, books, music, all “Christian Art” is held under this microscope, just as all Art in general is held under it. I’m not playing favorites.
And then the other day I stumbled across a website called “GodTube.” (click HERE to join the revival) You read correctly, GODTube. Like YouTube, but with less sin. Okay, hold on. Let’s give it the benefit of the doubt. I will hold back my instinctive criticism of this website and assume its creation was primarily to act as an online marketplace of Christian videos, and not as a Holy alternative to YouTube (Are there parents out there who would forbid their kids to go on YouTube? Is this level of restriction inevitable?). The real test is, are the videos on YouTube AND GodTube, or only GodTube? I don’t know the answer, and investigation isn’t on my agenda for the day.
Here are two videos I came across, one terrible, one decent (further criticisms – couldn’t embed their video onto the blog, never had any problems before):
VIDEO 1 -
VIDEO 2 -
Answer: The first one is the terrible one. The premise is interesting – what would it be like to literally hang out with Jesus in the Flesh, as they say? The problem is that Jesus is caught between two roles – Leader and Friend. He’s supposed to be ALL God and ALL Human, here he is 50% of both instead, so the dynamic is off. As well, Jesus is… sortof a dick in these videos (this is a series). Know what’s missing? Forgiveness, which I thought was THE definitive characteristic of Christ. The scene meanders upfront, covering the same dilemma of whether or not to take God’s advice, and once he makes the choice, the wrong choice, Jesus doesn’t correct him so much as he rubs the guy’s nose in his failure like a dog. This is when the scene SHOULD become interesting, but the writers cop out and go for an easy (and I think wrong-headed) moral.
The second one is interesting. Simple concept – Religious vs Christian – how do we present ourselves? Are we self-congratulatory or sincere? Judgmental or Relaxed? So, good so far. It makes its point clearly, I think, without over-simplifying. The only thing I dislike is that it perpetuates perhaps THE biggest Christian-movie cliche by being a pop-culture rip-off. Christian-movies are the guy who always arrived late to the party. By the time they heard about the party, figured out what to wear, how to get there, the party’s peak has come and gone. Now, to be fair. This isn’t merely a Christian-movie cliche, it’s a comedic- and dramatic sketch cliche. It’s done, because it’s easy. In fact, you could make the argument that Christians came late to the party of ripping off pop-culture iconography, too! And of course, the entire website is a rip-off.
What do I make of this website? I’m not sure. Most of the stuff I’ve seen on there is junk, and I looked at the top played videos, so, what else am I to conclude? I’m sure there are good videos on here, but there’s a lot of crap too. Which makes it about par for the course. But why? Why are most Christians, and well, most people in general, content with this low level nonsense? Are most people really this boring? Or am I just being pretentious?