Small Thoughts

Gritty Faith

Why are most Christian magazines so cheesy?

In the process of writing a profile about a local Christian leader, Jade was helping me look for Christian magazines that might run the article. She messaged me while at work about how cheesy it all was. I usually try to defend Christian media, but there’s no defense for this. Christian media is typically cliche, predictable, buried in fluff, and straight up cringe worthy.

Am I wrong?

Here are some headlines:

Why your prayers aren’t ‘Working’
Finding God in Netflix’ “Godless”
No, the Old Testament Rules Regarding Tattoos Don’t Still Apply
5 Crucial Ways Gratitude Affects Your Attitude as a Leader
What Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s Union Says About the Church
This Might Be the Single Greatest Threat to the Devil and It’s Often Overlooked

If you don’t find these cliche or predictable, then this post probably isn’t for you. Continue on without scorn or judgement. I understand that there are many who are inspired by these stories and subjects.

The rest of us need some grit, some guts. We need raw honesty, but we need passion and unabashed expressions of love for the one who wouldn’t condemn us even when caught red handed.

Who cares about culture? Can we stop trying to be relevant? Jesus IS relevant.

Do we leave the pop culture commentary to secular media then? Yes. If we crave popular culture, then we likely aren’t pursuing Jesus’ culture.

Ok, that’s getting a bit harsh.

The point is Jesus would say outrageous things that offended people so much that masses left him. He then turned to his closest followers, asking if they would leave him too. But his followers weren’t tagging along because it was the trendy thing to do. They were there for the life that came from his words.

Christian media doesn’t have to be bad. It doesn’t have to be cliche or predictable. It can be fresh and full of life. It can give hope, especially when wading into murky waters. Or better yet, Christian media can show people how to walk across raging seas. How? By telling stories that train our eyes to see Jesus through waves of anxiety and uncertainty.

Faith is unpredictable. Christians should be unpredictable. That’s not unreliable, but unwilling to compromise creativity for convenience. Faith is gritty. As in, you often have to grit your teeth and step out onto the waves. We shouldn’t be gritting our teeth because what we see, read and hear is so cheesy. Faith is risky. Our art should be risky too.

Our creations really should be an act of faith. I want to make risky art. My writing should put my reputation on the line and challenge others to do the same. Most importantly, all of it should lead to a man who was anything but tame, yet immeasurably compassionate.

Anyone with me on this?

If so, I want to stay in contact. There’s a lot of good conversation to be had about creativity and faith. So I’m going to interview Christian creators who know how to take risks. I’m going to save those interviews exclusively for Gritty Faith Newsletter subscribers.

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