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17 March 2009

No Cheap Imitations Desired

My son and I were killing some time in a video store yesterday, seeing if there were any unbelievable deals to be had in the "Buy 2 get 1 free" bins. The Naked Gun 2½ and Naked Gun 33 1/3 were in there for pretty cheap, but I couldn't find a third movie to round things out, until we saw the fairly recent blockbuster Transmorphers.

Wait... "Transmorphers"?

For only $15.99 (you have to pay for the higher-priced movies to get the "free" stuff) we could take home what I assumed would be a low-budget ripoff of the Shia LaBeouf hit movie (which was fun but got only 57% on the meter) Transformers.

The featured user review of the movie at says, "why oh why?"

So why would anyone do this? Isn't there some level of integrity in filmmakers that would prevent them from making a movie like this, made-for-TV or not? I guess that they hope that it'll make money due to the success of the more well-known movie. Maybe families will buy it thinking it's actually Transformers, or maybe people will be anxious to watch robot movies, or something. Whatever the case, they've copied the original, apparently without the resources or creativity to come up with something original.

In looking at this, I want to encourage Christ-followers and churches and church leaders to learn from the programs and formats of other church fellowships, but to remember that trying to plug, say, North Point Community Church's small group program into that of your own fellowship is likely not going to work the same way, if it works at all. Trying to make sermons more appealing to the younger, hipper generation by wearing a shirt without a collar (or, heaven forbid, a Hawaiian shirt) while speaking is most likely just going to be silly.

Just as all church fellowships are different, all Christians are different. What God has planned for me is probably going to be different, even if only slightly, from what He has for you. While it's good to learn from what other Christians are doing, never be afraid to venture out into that unknown territory that God has marked out for you. Okay, maybe you're allowed to be afraid. Just don't let that paralyze you. I often wonder how much greater the influence of Christians would be if we took the daunting step into adventure that awaits just outside our front doors (as Dave Smelzer describes in his book "Not the Religious Type: Confessions of a Turncoat Atheist").

There is no one else in the world with your influence, your personality, or your purpose.


Leroy said...

Dean said "There is no one else in the world with your influence, your personality, or your purpose."

Therefore, just because someone doesn't do "it" (whatever "it" may be) the way you do it or the way you think it should be done...DOES NOT MAKE IT WRONG. I'm still trying to learn this lesson.

The "we've never done it that way before" mentality leads to stagnation in ourselves and in our local fellowships. I would even say it a path to being led by "laws" (or, if you prefer, "bylaws") and not the Spirit of God.

Billy Chia said...

hahahah - this is a GREAT analogy!

Contextualize, contextualize, contextualize! You cannot rip off the church down the street with out looking this ridiculous.

Dean Lusk said...

As I think about it, Billy, you may have been the one who specifically mentioned North Point to me in conversation. That may be why that church's programs stuck in my brain.


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