I’ve Made Up My Mind
A few days ago the promotional trailer for the upcoming “Christian Mingle, The Movie” was released. It appears to be a romantic comedy about a young women looking for a serious relationship and, despairing of finding it, going on the Christian dating site pretending to be a Christian when she is not.
Looking at the trailer, which is just over two minutes long, it seems to use the rather standard rom-com theme of falling in love while holding back a secret. As usual, while following the “love grows, love lost, love regained” theme it probably ends happily; seemingly with an added Christian twist. You can see the trailer here. The movie comes out in October. Will it be a good movie? I have no idea.
However, based on the trailer alone, a lot of other people seem to have no doubts at all; they are sure it is horrible, just horrible. Within hours of the trailer’s release denunciations and scorn started appearing on the internet. These negative responses came from all corners. I am told that there are already explicitly vulgar parodies of the trailer appearing. Non-Christians are mocking the movie and, by extension, our faith. One progressive Christian was furious in that it showed our faith as insipid and shallow and angry that some of us in the “dumb Christian culture” will probably use this as a “witness tool.”
Not to be outdone, other Christians over in the conservative “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” corner are angry too. The movie, we are told, is a glaring example as to why courtship and parental approval of, if not arranging for, our spouses is the key to Biblical marriage. This movie glorifies <shudder> dating!
I have to admit that it is a significant achievement to have everybody mad at you, and convinced you are horrible, based on a two-minute trailer. Well done.
This is not a unique experience. Many people seem quite capable of deciding movies they’ve never seen and books they’ve never read are evil. Christians, it seems, are particularly good at jumping to conclusions on such things. Remember the pre-release outcries over Noah and Frozen? Going back even further I remember the panic when the book, and then the movie, The DaVinci Code came out. No fewer than 15 rebuttal books and study courses were devised to help us combat that grave threat to our faith.
It is one thing to critique a book or movie after it is released. It is another to do so when you just hear about it. It might even be OK to warn fellow-believers about the potential that some things might hold. Fifty Shades of Grey comes to mind. But to skewer people, particularly fellow Christians, because you think they might say things you don’t agree with is another case altogether.
Ours is a society that is prone to jumping into battle over the slightest thing. Christians, many of whom can delude themselves into thinking we are persecuted, are particularly susceptible to do this. All too often we wound fellow believers without cause by picking these in-house battles. Can we just wait until the movie comes out before we get outraged?
If I was to hazard a guess, I’d say that Christian Mingle, The Movie, will be a lightweight feel-good piece that will be enjoyed by some and ignored by many more. I am virtually certain that, when all is said and done, it will have no lasting impact either on our faith or our culture.
Frankly, self-appointed guardians of the moral purity of others really tick me off. They treat their fellow believers as gullible dummies unable to make the slightest evaluation of what we see and hear. They repeatedly project the arrogant attitude that, without their lofty and anointed wisdom, we couldn’t tie our shoes without falling into heresy. It’s enough to make me want to go see Christian Mingle, The Movie just in spite.