Finding Our Disruptive God in The Movies

What Does Disruption Look like For Us?

It is so tricky deciding what movies to watch! Where are the boundary lines amidst the gray areas? Who defines words like family, love, grace, faith? What is great entertainment?

I watched a Q Talk recently by Mark Deymaz, and while his message was primarily about segregation, I zeroed in on his reference about our God being a disruptive God. The concept struck me because I spent many years at the ad agency that arguably defined the idea of Disruption in the industry. Advertising agencies work to be disruptive to create influential messages that will breakthrough all the media clutter. The money they put into a :30 tv spot is gigantic because they believe it to be that influential. Now, as part of Dove, I love a conversation about God being disruptive. Deymaz said that Jesus himself disrupted darkness, law, sin, death and time. It’s a superhero story no one could ever match.

At Dove, we want to be disruptive too. The Dove Foundation and dove.org is first and foremost a Family Entertainment Organization. You’ve told us you want a trustworthy resource for well-curated entertainment information that shares our values in the call of God in our lives. But to be disruptive like God is disruptive we will need to break some barriers and conventions.

Hollywood Loves Families

In today’s entertainment economy, the family audience is the most profitable. As the next generation of parents tries to manage healthy content for their kids, every studio wants to break barriers to earn your family’s attention. Apparently, they believe the best strategy is to be more than anything we’d seen before. More daring, more shocking, risky, gory, violent, intense.

In some context, 2017 has already proven to be a disruptive year in family entertainment, but I don’t see it as an anomaly on the trend line of envelop-pushing. But it will always be true: we have the power to vote with our spending and we get to decide which of the “mores” we prefer every time we buy a movie ticket.

Comfort Zones

It’s easy to avoid the tension, or to refuse to enter the debate at all. I love the Brian Godawa concept: “Christians tend to be either cultural anorexics or cultural gluttons— either avoiding all movies or watching too many of them.”   Dove wants to find a good balance. When Dove reviews a movie with complex content we want to sit for a bit longer in the discussion, and recognize the role of entertainment in our lives overall. The tricky part is finding the balance that moves us closer to God, which sometimes means moving us closer to stuff that makes us uncomfortable. Topics that might need discussing and might need more openness. So let’s do it together. We do believe the joy of storytelling often means we have to go through a bit of mess to get to the good stuff. Are we able to build bridges by catching God in His disruption and pointing it out to our friends?

Our family saw Guardians of the Galaxy 2 last weekend and it’s full of language and imagery that don’t necessarily appeal to my taste. But the story is also chock full of deeply beautiful relationships and sacrificial love. From beginning to end, this story celebrates good vs. evil and selflessness vs. ego (tee hee). It’s delightfully messy and a little bit crass, crazy imaginative and filled with brilliant music. Mostly, I love the examples of sacrificial love, including the ultimate sacrifice in order to save another. Look! We caught them being godly!

The thing is, you get to decide if it’s right for your taste and your family. We love hearing from you.

Have a great day!