Did you know there are 100 million Evangelical Christians in America? That is roughly 1/3 of the population of the United States. Industries have sprung up around this number, including one that demonstrates to Hollywood how much you are worth. Apparently it’s working. Witness the flurry of Bible based and themed films we saw open early this year.
That Evangelical Christian label, though, is almost too broad to mean anything.
A more meaningful statistic can be called the Faith Driven Consumer. According to the website Faithnomics, Faith Driven Consumers “make their purchasing decisions based on a biblical worldview and actively seek faith-compatible brands … In fact, Faith Driven Consumers are willing to pay a premium with retailers that respect them and their Christian values and beliefs.”
There are 46 million Faith Driven Consumers in America spending $1.75 trillion (yes. With a “T”.) annually.
That is a huge, definable, and powerful group of people.
And you are a part of it. As a follower of this blog, odds are you’re a Faith Driven Consumer looking for entertainment that is worth the time and money God has entrusted to you. As a believer and Bible student, you don’t want to squander those precious resources on things that are unpleasing to God and damaging to your soul. I totally get that.
What we sometimes forget to do, though, is to invest in entertainment that is uplifting, good, and worth thinking about. I’d like to challenge you to remember that sometimes those things come in unexpected packages.
I watched the 2009 movie District 9 for the first time last week. It is, on the surface, simple science fiction. Aliens came to earth, were rounded up and now live in squalid shacks outside a major city in South Africa. Just minutes into the movie, though, I felt something unexpected. Compassion. Conviction. A stirring need to rise up on behalf of the downtrodden. District 9 is a parable about the alien among us, and how we are supposed to show love to everyone regardless of their origin or appearance. It’s James 2:14-17 with CGI and starships.
Maybe the bloody histories in Judges didn’t do anything for you, and the violence in District 9 leaves you cold. There are other movies that depict redemption, faithfulness, self-sacrifice and other laudable Christian traits. Make an effort to support the good things, even (especially) if they’re not popular.
You get what you pay for. But if you bury your coins in the ground you’ll end up with nothing at all.