Redemption is Everywhere, Even in the Media / GUEST POST


Film and television are often the last place we look to try and find God. Outside of 7th Heaven and The Blind Side, and some would say even within them, religion in the media tends to be the butt of a joke, rather than being the truth that Christians the world over know it to be. If you take another look, though, you might be surprised at the religious themes you find in all sorts of media.

What we as Christians see as a religious theme can also be seen from a secular point of view. Things like the love and strength of family and the vice of lying, are traits we read about in the Bible, as well as being traits experienced by the rest of humanity. The idea I'd like to look at is that of redemption.

In the church we see redemption as salvation from sin. We know that we live in a broken world. Looking at the Bible it’s clear that salvation—what the characters of the media are in constant search of—is right there. It’s not something we can earn, but something we must accept. The only thing that our salvation is contingent on is our belief in that salvation. How awesome is that?

We see everywhere that the world needs rescuing and nowhere is that more obvious than in media and pop culture. We see characters—in real life or in fiction—go through all sorts of troubles. Upon realizing the mess they’ve gotten themselves into, they will recognize the need to change, their need for salvation. They will try to earn their salvation, but just as in the real world these quests never go quite as planned. Many characters realize that they cannot earn salvation. They stop just short of recognizing a higher power.

For example, the story of RENT is riddled with immorality: A stripper and a heroin addict are far from the type of role models we would want ourselves or our loved ones to follow in the example of. But if you look beneath the surface story, you can see that Roger and Mimi just want to be loved. Mark wants to be recognized for his work. Collins wants to take care of his friends. In the end they simply want to understand the world they live in, which is what everyone wants in some way.

Reading between the lines of a movie or television show's story to see what the message behind it is can be difficult at times. There are some stories that no matter how hard I try, I just can't figure out. But when you see beneath the plot, you are seeing into the ideals and beliefs of the media's creators, and it's usually not as devastating as we had thought it would be from the onset.

Rachel Pierce ( is a writer and adventurer studying Television Writing and Producing. She enjoys singing to anyone who will listen, taking pictures of the sunrise, and drinking lots of tea. Despite studying television, watching far too much TV in one go will never get old for her, but it should be tempered with lots of times spent outside.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for this. I love watching TV with my kids and pointing this kind of thing out. It turns TV watching into an active opportunity to pass on my values and faith.


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