With the release of “Fifty Shades of Grey,” a trend emerged on social media. It wasn’t anything new really. In fact, it was quite predictable.

When Christ-followers confront media that goes against Biblical values, we object. Often, we offer up Christian alternatives. The release of this highly anticipated movie was clearly an opportunity to do just that.

Faith-based articles & blogs, movies, and webinars were shared across social media…. and then re-shared. I explored many of them.

Though I find no fault in the desire to defend God’s Word and strong morality, I do take exception to doing so blindly.

Let me explain.

As Christians, we are guilty of promoting (movies, music, events), hiring (contractors, businessmen), and accepting (opinions, points of view) simply because there’s a Christian label or person associated with it. We assume it’s “better” for no other reason than that.

Unfortunately, my experience has shown that Christian does not always mean better.

I have yet to see a good Christian movie. The acting is usually bad, the writing is poor, and the themes are trite. Yes, it may be “clean” and “family friendly” but it’s overshadowed by the cheese factor.

I have listened to more than my fair share of bad Christian music. Christian radio stations have no shortage of songs that are musically lacking or lyrically confusing. Some of the contemporary worship music in our churches evoke an emotional experience for us instead of offering up our praise to God for who He is. It’s us focused, not God focused. And sometimes it’s just plain un-singable.

I have worked with Christian contractors who have been a disappointment. A lead contractor quit our kitchen remodel in the middle of the job – without notice. A potential contractor on another project made communication so difficult we finally gave up. And we’re still waiting for a bid from yet another contractor on a bathroom project. It’s been a year.

My point?

We’re forgetting something. We’re forgetting excellence.

Here’s what the Bible tells us:

  1. Excellence is a reflection of who we are – and whose we are. “And whatever you do or say, do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus…” Colossians 3:17. 
  2. Excellence is a life-long pursuit. “And this I pray, that your love may abound (i.e. excel) still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ.”  Philippians 1:9-10
  3. Excellence is expected always – and in all ways. But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, and in all eagerness and in the love from us that is in you—make sure that you excel in this act of kindness too.” 2 Corinthians 8:7

I love to support great music, great movies, great books, and great service. If it’s faith-based, even better. I’m a huge advocate of supporting people engaged in the passionate work for which they were uniquely created by God.

I don’t, however, want to go to bad movies. I don’t want to listen to (or sing) bad music. I don’t want to receive bad service.

Let’s keep speaking out against moral failures, compromised values, and inappropriate media.

But let’s pursue excellence above labels.

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