“Jesus Freaks” by Jacob Wilson

Posted on December 11, 2014 by

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Christians and much of Christianity have not been given the right image of who they are by the media. Popular media today gives Christianity a negative image. From what I have observed, Christians are insane, prude, hateful, or painted as being just ignorant and stupid for putting it in simple terms. I can say that most of what is shown is completely false. One thing that needs to be clear is that the negative actions of a small group (for example Westboro Baptist Church) does not define the entire Christian community. People are given this image of what Christians are and this false knowledge of who God is and what Christians believe. I have seen the negative views in the media by reading on CNN or watching popular movies and shows. During the recent events in Ferguson, Missouri, Saints tight end Benjamin Watson was cut off as soon as he started talking about Jesus. In this article is the video. The video may have been deliberate or that the program was scheduled to end at that time, but a world wide leader in news you would think would have handled the situation better. Watson was not saying anything hateful or judgmental, he was stating his beliefs and then gone. Watson was giving a positive look on Jesus and the Christian belief and it was cut off.

We all know who Kevin Sorbo is right? If you do not know, look him up. Kevin Sorbo is actor in hollywood to put it plainly and he spoke out against Hollywood at how they have a stigma towards Christians. Sorbo speaks about how there is this negativity being cast upon Christians and those who believe in God. He also states that since he publicly came out as being Christian, he has been offered less roles and he questions why his faith should affect his work. The article states that Hollywood will stop treating Christians negatively when believers stand up for their beliefs.

Jim Caviezel is the actor who played Jesus Christ in Mel Gibson’s “Passion of the Christ”. Caviezel said that Hollywood shunned him after he took that role. He spoke out saying that the offers just dried up. Mel Gibson warned him saying that if he took this role he would never work in this town again. This is a great portrayal showing how Hollywood and the media will look down upon Chrisians and only focus on the negatives. Mel Gibson who was accused of drinking while driving recieved only judgment, and thus came the negative view that he is a hypocrite like other believers. Caviezel said “Mel Gibson is a horrible sinner, isn’t he? He doesn’t need your judgment, he needs your prayers.” Can you explain what is negative about that? The fact is whether you believe or not, we are all sinners and when you call us hypocrites and judgmental, well thats pretty judgmental and hypocritical too. People need to stop focusing on the negative and look at the majority of Christianity.

There is an article that quickly describes the negative portrayal the media puts on Christianity. It briefly states how journalists will assume they know about Christianity and take their swipe at it. Also how what you will usually see in the news or in reports are the Christian extremists. What goes along side them will be a negative context. All of this is misleading of course becuase what you see is what will gain views and keep a reader’s attention. Apparently showing the positive and loving side of Christianity, which is the majority, does not gain views and is too boring.

It is also hard to see a positive out look on Christianity in music if you’re not a country artist. It is even hard to hear someone mention God or Jesus when the majority of songs focus around sex, parties, drugs, and violence. Those are the main topics yet no one wants to hear about someone’s life turning around, or how you love someone in a mutual way not in a lustful way. Warped Tour is a huge punk rock music festival and would probably be the last place you would see artists who are Christian perform there. However, there are plenty of bands composed of Christian members such as The Devil Wears Prada, Memphis May Fire, For Today, and Anberlin.

There are several recognizable names out there that are making strides to get positive messages in their music out to people. Carrie Underwood is one of them, and she is GOOD! one of my favorite artists but thats besides the point. Underwood was just this small town girl who went on to win American Idol and become a superstar. She truly showed her faith with her song “Jesus Take the Wheel” and there are plenty more songs that she wrote with faith related lyrics. Recently Carrie spoke about her new song “Something In The Water” which speaks on conversion, baptism, and keeping the faith. It is truly a great song, probably my favorite at the moment, and the lyrics are incredible. The media may be giving Christianity this negative image but it is wonderful to see big names out there using their fame to show how the having faith is an amazing thing.

There is one movement out there I am glad to be supportive of and that is the One One Six. Lecrae is a rapper who is a Christian and he started the record label Reach Records. Members include Lecrae, Trip Lee, Tedashii, Andy Mineo, and Thi’sl. One One Six stands for Romans 1:16 “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God who brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile (NIV)”. These rappers bring out positive messages and how they turned their lives around. Lecrae use to be a thug, he did some horrible things but he found Jesus and took a complete 180. This movement also eliminates the stereotypes put on Christians. One that I know of is that Christians do not have fun, they think we don’t party and get crazy. Obviously we are not going to get drunk and do drugs but we still get crazy, have you seen or been to a One One Six concert? I have and it was the greatest thing I have ever experienced. Lecrae explained in an interview about his mainstream success. Lecrae will talk about God and the struggles he has had in life which can connect to many individuals. He really goes on to question modern rap in such songs like “Fakin” and “Nothin”.

One of my favorite artists who is a part of the Reach Record family is Andy Mineo. I have met him and even been on stage with him and this dude goes hard! Andy is trying to get his music on the mainstream and does not like the label “Christian Rapper”. In an article he says that it will keep people who are not Christians from listening to him and he wants to reach out to them and encourage them. The article goes on about his music and what he represents. He is truly a great role model for the Christian community.

In the recent year there have been quite a few releases of Christian films that give out a positive image, such as “God’s Not Dead” and “Son of God”. Lead singer of the band Newsboys, Michael Tait, is excited about the recent success. The band Newsboys also have a song called “Jesus Freak” to show how that they are not afraid of what they beleive in and will take the title. I end my post with a positive look on individuals who are making an effort to show how Christianity is a loving community and brings salvation to those who suffer. I have been called a “bible thumper” and “Jesus freak”. I have seen both good and bad images of Christians in the media but the majority of it is not a good image. I write to show the wrong images associated with Christianity and the right ones that are great influences.

Works Cited

Blumer, Tom “CNN Loses or Cuts Off Saints Player As He Discusses His Christian-Oriented Ferguson Facebook Post” NB, 12/1/2014 http://newsbusters.org/blogs/tom-blumer/2014/12/01/cnn-cuts-saints-receiver-he-discusses-his-ferguson-facebook-post

Meeks, Gina “God’s Not Dead Star Speaks Out Against Hollywood’s Christian Stigma” Charisma News, 3/21/2014 http://www.charismanews.com/culture/43228-god-s-not-dead-star-speaks-out-against-hollywood-s-christian-stigma

Thompson, Paul “”Playing Jesus wrecked my career’: Passion of the Christ Actor said Hollywood Shunned Him” Mail Online, 5/2/2011 http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1382515/Passion-Christ-actor-Jim-Caviezel-said-Hollywood-shunned-him.html

“Media Portrayals of Religion: Christianity” Media Smarts,  http://mediasmarts.ca/diversity-media/religion/media-portrayals-religion-christianity

“Christian Bands Appear on Warped Tour Roster” Jam The City, http://jamthecity.com/christian-bands-appear-on-warped-tour-roster/

Koonse, Emma “Carrie Underwood Talks Strong Relationship With God” CP, 10/1/2014 http://www.christianpost.com/news/carrie-underwood-talks-strong-relationship-with-god-releases-new-christian-country-single-something-in-the-water-127324/

Lee, Morgan “Carrie Underwood Talks about Faith and Her Marriage” CP, 8/24/2014 http://www.christianpost.com/news/carrie-underwood-talks-about-faith-and-her-marriage-at-the-q-conference-in-nashville-118502/

Bailey, Sarah “How Lecrae Mixed Rap and Theology to Find Huge Mainstream Success” RNS, 9/26/2014 http://www.religionnews.com/2014/09/26/lecrae-mixed-rap-theology-find-huge-mainstream-success-video/

Mitchell, Corrie “Andy Mineo Raps about Christ Just Don’t Call Him a Christian Rapper” Narratively, 7/3/2014 http://narrative.ly/stories/andy-mineo-raps-about-christ-just-dont-call-him-christian-rapper/

Samuel, Stephanie “Newsboys Singer Excited About Recent Success” CP, 10/17/2014 http://www.christianpost.com/news/newsboys-singer-praises-new-wave-of-christian-movies-announces-partnership-with-upcoming-film-128200/

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