I am a big fan of Eastenders and love the character led storylines, and while I think Pastor Lucas has an intriguing and mysterious sickness in the head, I am getting a bit tired of seeing every committed Christian that appears in movies or TV films these days portrayed as a psycho. Certainly it happens in real life, that people just don’t get what faith is all about and the will of God becomes a ball of confusion in their heads leading them to do the wrong things. Instead of standing back and letting God take the reins, some people project their own will onto God to justify wrongdoing. But when these ideas are being expressed to mass TV audiences, it is vital to get the balance right.
For those who don’t know, Pastor Lucas has now murdered his second victim, Owen, his wife-to-be Denise’s ex who found out about Lucas’ first murder (which was more of a failure to report a fatal accident than murder) of his own ex-wife. As always with Eastenders, quality scriptwriting comes to the fore, cleverly building up the obsession and the motives that have led to the poor tragic character of Lucas. Particularly skilful was the way tension prior to the wedding ceremony was increased by the unravelling of two story lines which became one: Lucas’ spat with Owen and Phil’s problems with the loan shark. Phil, desperate to hide his Jaguar from the repo merchant, hands the keys to Lucas and tells him to get it out of the square. The car then becomes the scene of the crime when Owen appears in the back seat to torment Lucas, and ends up strangled in the boot (or trunk). Comedy is used to good effect to highlight the tragedy, both in the characters of Denise’s sister and brother-in-law, who cannot keep their hands off the gin, each other or anyone else they happen to fancy, and in the presence of the Jaguar at the wedding, with murdered Owen’s mobile phone going off periodically in the boot as his mother frantically tries to contact him to no avail.
Great story-telling brilliantly produced, so what’s my objection? Perhaps there was a time in the past when ethnic viewers might have made the same criticism I am making whenever a member of their race was portrayed as a criminal without reservation. Now it seems it is Christians or religious people of any kind who get the scapegoat treatment. Just as in the past it became necessary for filmmakers to introduce balance whenever ethnic characters were involved, so it is important that whenever we have psycho Christians as crime protagonists, we should also have just as many in the show doing what they normally do, good, selfless, charitable work.
Milton Johanides is a retired businessman, church elder, writer and artist. He has been featured on BBC TVs Songs of Praise, owned numerous art galleries and once ran an award winning picture framing business in Scotland. The views expressed in these articles are his own.
www.christianfilmmakerchallenge.com The Christian Filmmaker Challenge is an event organized by Deo Volente Media giving you, Christian filmmakers, a chance to make a film (from script to screen) in a single weekend. The goal is to grow in your faith as you grow in your craft. The competition begins on Friday night when you receive a theme, a genre, and a wildcard. These elements will be the basis for your film and you will have until Sunday night to complete your masterpiece. The following week your film will be screened at a local theater and judged for festival awards. The competition is only the beginning; you now have a place to connect with others who share your faith and have a desire to grow in the craft of filmmaking through the Deo Volente Community. The films themselves will be showcased on the CFC website and have the opportunity to be screened at other festivals.
Video Rating: 5 / 5
Question by Dimitri: Are some Christian filmmakers too overly religious?
I’m sure some Christian filmmakers like Sherwood Pictures (Courageous film) and SAICFF (San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festivals), but to be honest, I rather much prefer films like the Narnia Chronicles or Lord of the Rings than their films.
To me, Hyper Christian (I call them that so don’t take it as an insult) filmmakers are too focused on Jesus and being born-again very too much. I always preferred religious fantasy like Narnia and LOTR because it makes room for the imagination and even some mythology.
But sadly, some hyper-Christians hate the works of CS Lewis and Tolkien because they believe mixing Christianity with magic and mythology and fairy tales makes it idolatrous and pagan. And they take it to an extreme level by burning their books (like with Harry Potter) and forcibly forbid their kids from reading it.
SAICFF in particular makes nice (too nice actually) films but are biblically centered and Calvinistic and stereotypical of atheists, Pagans, Buddhists, Women and ethnic groups. Not to mention they are owned by Vision Forum Ministries; a very conservative and frighteningly extra-biblical cult that preaches misogyny and lead by a very effeminate and grossly male-centered pastor Doug Phillips. Be careful of this lot.
Answer by God Gives Head
All christians are overly religious. Religion is evil.
Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!
Christian Filmmakers get-together at the 2010 San Antonio Independent Christian Film Festival
Video Rating: 5 / 5
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