Saturday, October 07, 2006

What Kind of Church has Sci-Fi Movies?!

That was the question presented tonight. My atheist buddy Jonas (He's the guy who wears the "Friendly Neighborhood Athiest" T-shirt) brought some friends to movie night. I think they enjoyed watching the classic cult Sci-Fi flick "Robot Monster" in a church. After all churches are not supposed to show Sci-Fi films, so the movie had a sense of forbidden pleasure attached to it.

How did churches ever get to the point that we couldn't do normal things which are typically attributed to good clean fun? I am sure Jonas' friends never thought about why they feel churches do not show Sci-Fi films. It is simply an expectation about things churches do. Of course it was a Jewish perspective, and an Atheist perspective, but last week someone said the same thing when we showed "The Attack of the Killer Tomatoes." Last week it was a Pagan acquaintance who struggled with how a church could show the fruit fight movie. (Yes - tomatoes are fruit.)

Jonas's friends stayed around until last, and we talked, and I learned some interesting things from them, and we even mentioned God a few times, and they didn't run away, or feel uncomfortable. They told a few atheist jokes about prayer, and Christianity, and I laughed - the jokes really were pretty funny, and too often true to form of much Christianity. I didn't get nervous or defensive by the jokes. We all had fun, and I am sure they think a little differently about churches now - well okay maybe only about our church, but that's good enough for me.

What do you think? Is it okay to show Sci-Fi flicks in a church?

I am wondering if Ro-man has the power to touch people for Jesus? I suppose all things are possible with God. Of course, we don't show the movies to get people saved. We show the movie to have fun, and make the church a meeting place for the community. Maybe that's why it seems so strange to show "Robot Monster" in a church - we didn't do an altar call.


Anonymous said...

I think the problem has come about because all too often perceived 'tradition' has supplanted the heart of the faith. That and the fact that we humans really do like to pigeon hole our lives. The bank manager only lives to work with money, the teacher only lives to teach their students (I'm sure the kids at school think we get our beds out in our classroom at night and tuck ourselves up ready for another day of school the following day), pastors only live to stand in front of their congregations once a week and talk at them about what the bible says and church is the place where that happens with nothing else being permitted to happen there.

I suppose it could almost be considered a kind of laziness that we humans don't seem to be able to conceive the notion that people are multi- dimentional and that buildings that are open to people can have multiple uses and still meet their primary use.

What IS a church? I always thought of a church as a building that was at the heart of a community. A building where members of the community could come together with a collective purpose. They could come together with the collective purpose of 'worshipping God' or come together with the collective purpose of watching a movie together and strengthening the bonds of the community through an entertainment medium.

I wonder if peoples concerns about movies being shown in church is that some might get confused and think that the worship aspect of the church is merely for entertainment purposes too. Of course that leads us to considering what bringing a community togther to watch a movie is all about. Is it merely entertainment? Or is there something far deeper and far more important to developing a sense of togetherness going on?

If ones faith really is supposed to be intertwined with ones everyday life, I wonder how people get around that natural tendency to compartmentalise, how they avoid compartmentalising their faith too. I suspect that the vast majority don't manage that at all.



Anonymous said...

Actually, we've done it on many occasions. And not only sci-fi. Saw Eminem's movie for the first time in church. We've found it's a great way to help non-Christian teenagers get past the building alergy.