In 1910 Rev. Herbert Jump published a revolutionary pamphlet titled “The Religious Possibilities of the Motion Picture”. Despite the opposing views of his time, he saw movies as a way to share the gospel message. Since those early days in the industry, thousands of filmmakers have embraced this idea of using film to preach. It’s important, however, to use film as a positive tool to share the love of God to a hurting world rather than creating us against them attacks.
Though I speak with the tongues of man and of angels but have not love, I have become sounding brass and a clanging cymbol.
Regarless of how eloquent our words may be, however sincere our intentions, if our films are not bathed in love, they will come across as clanging cymbols. Just as animals can sense friend or foe, so can film audiences. That’s why the Kendrick movies do so well at the box office. Even though film critics find fault a plenty in their films, audiences sense the love and compassion that flows from Alex and Stephen for all those involved in their films as well as those who watch them. Their love is contagious, and lives are changed.
Jefferson Moore’s movies have an incredible following. They’re simple stories, almost sermons on film, but the overwhelming theme is always love. His stories resonate deeply with audiences who can’t get enough of his work. People who know Jefferson speak highly of him, and his fans are almost fanatical in their praise.
Bruce Marchiano has played Jesus in numerous movies, and like any good actor, he studies his character and strives to capture the essence of his character both onscreen and off. Several years ago a small church in Bedias, Texas wanted to show one of Mr. Marchiano’s movies. He took it a step further and came in person to share with the folks at the church and to personally pour into them. His humility and genuine enthusiasm endears him to those who have the pleasure of meeting him and those who watch his films catch a glimpse of that love.
Rich and Dave Christiano are pioneers in modern Christian filmmaking. Their early films continue to change lives many years later. They have an incredible passion for evangelism and speak the truth in love whatever the consequences. Behind the scenes, they share their wisdom with fellow filmmakers and work tirelessly to help other filmmakers get their work into the marketplace.
In the weeks to come I’ll continue this conversation on the importance of love and how to incorporate it into our filmmaking. Check back to follow along or “Follow” Faith Flix and have it sent directly to your inbox.