When Is Good Enough Not Good Enough?
October 24, 2014
I went to see LEFT BEHIND the other day, a movie that is an adaptation of the book series by TIM LAHAYE and JERRY JENKINS.
I remember reading the entire LEFT BEHIND series, enjoying the characters, being drawn in by the storyline.
And thought it would make a great premise for a movie.
In fact, I still think it would.
But the one in theaters now is, in a word, awful.
I really don't know where to start to explain just how bad, and I don't plan to dissect it here.
But it started poorly, got worse, and was downright laughable as the plot progressed.
This is coming from someone who walked in wanting to like it, looking forward to seeing it.
Yet it goes down among my top 10 worst all time.
One guy got up and walked out, shaking his head, just as the plotline was reaching the climax.
And I felt his pain. He avoided eye contact like he was embarrassed to be there.
I stayed, somewhat out of curiosity, and also with the hopes that the film would somehow redeem itself.
Maybe they would put a bow on this, and it would all come together in the end.
Maybe there would be a moment ahead that would make all of this worthwhile.
But as the credits rolled, the disappointment became cement, and I sat in the darkness in silence.
Bad casting, amateur acting, poor editing, underwhelming special effects.
There was very little to like about this movie.
And that saddens me greatly, because there was sufficient budget to make it spectacular.
There was talent and passion available to make it something to be proud of.
There were producers and directors who know what excellence is.
There were people with money, and lots of it.
But at some point, somebody had to say, "that's good enough."
And I bet….I just bet….there was a tagline on that statement.
"That's good enough….because it's just a Christian movie."
And that's the whole point of this movie critique on a radio website.
Because it's Christian, the premise is that it doesn't have to be excellent.
And I believe that's exactly the opposite of what our expectations should be.
Christian, when used as an adjective, has come to be known as second class.
Tolerable, acceptable, sometimes laughable, but seldom laudable.
Shouldn't this be different?
Shouldn't we be unwilling to settle for anything less than commendable?
Outstanding? Excellent? Admirable? Praiseworthy?
Yet we settle for mediocrity, or worse.
If we can't do it well, why do we do it?
If we can't achieve excellence, why put the Christian tag on it?
If it's worth doing at all, isn't it worth doing spectacularly?
We, as a collective body, need to be more effective in presenting our product.
We need to repossess the adjective, get our act together, and start putting out a product worthy of the Name.
With the tools we have at hand, and the financing that's available for amazing vision, there is no excuse for less than the best.
Christian shouldn't invoke a wink-wink, nudge-nudge, look-the-other-way, expect-less-than-superior experience.
It should be exactly the opposite.
And that starts right here.
With you and me, as we read this article and then go about our next task.
Is it worth doing?
Then do it in spectacular fashion.
As if that were going to be the ONLY thing that people judged you on.
And they'd be impressed.
Or would you get a pass because it's just Christian?
I know there are many who feel the same way, that good enough isn't good enough.
So let's be accountable to one another. Hold each other to a higher standard.
Let a friend know before the movie goes to theater.
Buddy, this just isn't good enough. It's got to be better than this.
Christian might lose its place as a snickering adjective.
And go back to being the badge of honor that we inherited in the first place.
I'm determined to not settle for good enough, anymore.
I believe He deserves better than that.
Are you with me?