Don’t Buy the Lie

By: Dr. Ted Baehr; ©2001
Do “Christian” movies really lack production value, as many critics in the secular press claim? Not necessarily, says Dr. Ted Baehr.


Good news: four Christian feature films were released in major theaters four weeks in a row, one after another, in the first quarter of 2001.

The not-so-good news is that a few in the secular press try to devalue these redemptive movies by smearing them with the ephemeral claim that they lack production quality.

This is not so. Looking at any of these movies, The Amati Girls, which won the Heart­land Film Festival, The Champion, Left Behind, or The Road to Redemption, they have high production quality, considering their low budgets.

What the secular press is attacking, of course, is the fact that these are major movies made by Christians with Christian messages. Messages that the secular press has been taught to hate by the modern cynics and jaded, pseudo-intellectuals in our midst.

Regrettably, too many “sheeple” have bought the lie, and so, they think Christian movies are inferior. That is definitely not the case.

MOVIEGUIDE® reviews 270-290 movies every year, every movie that is nationally released at the box office. Most of these movies, such as Sylvester Stallone’s Get Carter, are medio­cre at best. There are a lot of pathetic movies with bad production quality with big stars in it, and yet, we don’t hear the press critiquing their production quality. Of course, there are exceptions. For instance, Roger Ebert said, once upon a time long ago (in a galaxy far, far away, appar­ently) that 90% of the movies he sees are poorly made.

Orthodox Jewish movie critic Michael Medved says that his former TV co-reviewer Jeffrey Lions confided to him just before they went on air to critique The Last Temptation of Christ that he (Jeffrey) knew it was a poorly produced movie, but “we have to stand together against the Christian fundamentalists, so we need to give it a good review.” Although Michael refused to go along with this nasty conspiracy to attack the Christian faith, this type of “us versus the Christians” bigotry occurs all too often amongst secular reviewers.

Furthermore, the secular press says things about Christian movies which are just not true. The fact of the matter is that Christians have made great films over the years, beginning with the very earliest years of movie making. For instance, the great Cecil B. DeMille made the magnificent King of Kings in 1927-and, he had the production crew and cast pray every morning before they shot any film! Outside of the Hollywood club, the Billy Graham Evangelical Association has produced many excellent movies, including The Hiding Place which Rabbi Daniel Lapin says is his favorite holocaust movie.

Therefore, are Christian movies inferior?

No, not in the least. Some of them are excellent. Most of them, because they don’t get up to bat that often, are in the mid-range. But even so, these movies, by and large, are much better than many of the independent movies we review every year, including some of the most highly-touted independent movies that the secular press likes to drool over, such as the end-of-the­-year Oscar contender You Can Count on Me. (That movie was a solid three-star film, but nowhere near as great as many critics tried to make their readers believe.)

So, I urge believers not to be “sheeple,” but to be the people of God. Don’t buy the cynical, jaded lie which dismisses all Christian productions. Stand behind the good productions that are coming out of the Christian community and stop undermining those who are obeying Jesus’ command to be herald the Good News to the people in the market place of ideas!

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