Thousands of viewers tune in to see who will get voted off a show, who won’t be offered a rose, if married couples will stay true to their vows when faced with temptation. Reality TV pushes the dramatic envelope and preys on our human nature to want to feel superior to another. The news blares the most shocking story as the lead and runs it repetitively. Everything is a “movement:” the gluten free movement, the recycling movement, the Paleo movement, a person could go on forever!
If it’s not dramatic, we just don’t seem to pay attention. Drama catches our eye and our ears. It engages our emotions and allows us to leave rational thought behind. Drama titillates, even causes us to imagine ourselves in situations we would normally never consider an option. Drama expands and extends what we will engage in as acceptable behavior and speech.
“Today’s PG-13 movies are as violent or more violent than R-rated movies released in the 1980s, according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics. Conversely, ’80s movies like Terminator or Die Hard, which both garnered R ratings when they came out, would likely get PG-13 ratings today, researchers said.” (Nguyen, Vi-An, November 11, 2013 in Parade Magazine).
I’ve been bing watching the series Parenthood. It aired for six seasons ending in 2015. Amazon overviews the series as : “The four grown Braverman siblings — Adam, Sarah, Crosby and Julia — share the joys, heartaches and headaches of parenthood in their California hometown. As their parents deal with life and marital issues, the four lean on one another while tackling the challenges of modern family life in an updated reimagining of the 1989 film by the same name.”
The best part, at least in my opinion, is the series shows the messy side of life. So many TV shows and movies try glamorize the messyness of life, turn it into fodder for jokes, make fun of people trying to make positive changes, and denigrate those who identify themselves as followers of Christ. This series did none of that. It dealt with hard issues like marital problems, cancer, infertility, adoption, interracial marriage, sexuality, and much more. The show is decidedly non-Christian yet real.
As a Christian I’ve been through some of these things and watched many of my fellow believers go through others, past and present. The difference between real life and TV is we respond by sharing with one another, praying for one another, and helping on another. As the body of Christ we hurt with one another and we rejoice together.
There is nothing more dramatic than the Passion of The Christ. I mean, Wow! I think about it and am completely awed each time I read what He did for me. Scripture records the events most succinctly in John:
“And He, bearing His cross, went out to a place called the Place of a Skull, which is called in Hebrew, Golgotha, where they crucified Him, and two others with Him, one on either side, and Jesus in the center. Now Pilate wrote a title and put it on the cross. And the writing was: JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS. After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.” John 19:17-19, 28-30 NKJV http://bible.com/114/jhn.19.17-19,28-30.nkjv
Mel Gibson’s film attempts to depict the last 12 hours of the Savior. It is a film I cannot watch without being moved to tears. You can experience it here. I would challenge you to read the Gospel of Luke who provides a chronology of Christ’s life, ministry, crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection.
What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Featured image: quotesgram.com