SHOCKER! Christian Critics Hate ‘Saved!’

Right on cue, Christian film critics are lining up to condemn Saved! for being a “hateful attack on Christianity.”

What it is, in fact, is a spot-on satire about the manipulative, militant tactics of many evangelical Christians who give the faith a bad name with their codes of conformity.

Sure, the film wraps up with a vague, sentimental view of “tolerance,” showing that the filmmaker has a very shallow understanding of Christ. And yeah, it would have been nice if the film had included one respectable, wise, humble Christian.

But when the film focuses on capturing the off-putting, aggressive nature of many contemporary Christians, it’s a critique that is well-deserved.

If Christian media writers would quit reacting defensively, they might engage a critical and important discussion right now. Instead, they’re denying this stuff goes on. I grew up in Christian education. I work in Christian education. And I see behavior like the stuff lampooned in Saved! ALL THE TIME. Pretending it doesn’t exist, and crying foul because others have observed it… that’s only making a bad situation worse.

Movieguide is in denial AND in defensive mode, right on cue:

Whatever the problems in the church today, they are light years away from the superficial, jaded stereotypes in SAVED!

There is no doubt that anti-Christian bigots will trumpet this movie as being a work of art. There is also no doubt that many Christians will go see it and develop their own sense of Christophobia and self-loathing. Media-wise families and friends, however, will avoid this trash and not take the bait which entraps them into the false view that they cannot criticize what is wrong in this jaded work of propaganda.


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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.