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Stop Dividing Media Between Religious and Secular

A reader raised an interesting question on what this blog should be about. He felt that all I deal with is “mega-churches” and “TV ministries,” when the truth is that out of the 20 posts on that day’s front page of this site, only 6 had anything to do with those subjects. So those stories don’t even make up a third of the issues I deal with on a regular basis.

And the truth is, some of those ministry leaders do impact the culture. Joel Osteen and Joyce Meyer are regularly on the best-seller lists, Rick Warren has sold more books than any living writer, and is heading up a major, global AIDS initiative, Brian Houston from Hillsong has launched a TV network, and it was large (and often small) churches that made the biggest immediate difference after Hurricane Katrina. That’s why I don’t write them off so easily.

My point is that I believe we’re moving to a convergence of Christians who work in explicitly religious media, and Christians who work in secular entertainment. Sure we all have issues with the kooks and con-artists in the religious media world. Plus, we have problems with the cheesy, cornball nature of the production values of many programs. So we need to keep raising the standard and holding each other accountable. That’s why I love the give and take – and the occasional “sparks” – on this site.

But let’s not overlook that some churches and ministries are actually making a remarkable difference out there, so I’m not interested in blowing that off. Let’s celebrate people who work BOTH in religious media and in secular media. Even Hollywood has recognized the market, so the least we could do is the same.

The convergence is happening. I’m seeing more and more church media producers crossing over into the mainstream media world, and Christians who have only worked in secular media moving into the religious media world. Let’s look at the two coming together and figure out what the paradigm is at that level.

Let’s stop being “either/or” and use the best of both worlds to really impact the culture.

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6 Comments

  1. I have heard "The Media" referred to as
    The Liberal Media.
    The Male Dominated Media.
    The White Media.
    The Jewish Media.
    The Religious Media.
    and The Secular Media.
    Ironically they all convey their opinions using "The Media" or "Their Media". Who is "The Media"? There is one "Media" and if we are part of it then we are "The Media". Instead of distancing yourselves from "The Secular Media" you should be distancing yourselves from with the kooks and con-artists in "The Religious Media". There is enough talent in Hollywood to create a quality product not just a Christian product. A product that has mainstream appeal and does not just preach to choir. Christians who work in explicitly religious media, and Christians who work in secular entertainment need to be walking the walk instead of talking the talk.
    As a TV viewer I want to see good writing and acting. I don't want to be preached to and I don't want to be beaten over the head with a message. I identify with the Christian Character on Studio 60 not the Christians on The 700 Club or TBN. So far "The Secular Media" speaks to me. What can "The Religious Media" say to get me as a viewer? Don't answer, "The word of God".
  2. Phil I think you are correct in that producers of Christian media and Christians in working in the mainstream industry can peacefully co-exist, and maybe even work & thrive together.

    There are many good preaching/teaching programmes on religious media that rival the best of more mainstream/self help tv and don’t have to just be limited to cable tv or preaching to the choir…yeah these shows are peppered in with manipulative money grabbing evangelists, but last time I checked the movie listings there were a dozen poor features playing in the midst of three really amazing films.

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