What Mainstream Media Gets Wrong About Christian Content

What Mainstream Media Gets Wrong About Christian Content

By Movieguide® Contributor

THE CHOSEN is the most successful crowdfunding project in history. With over 100 million global viewers and a current run on the CW, it has become too big for mainstream media to ignore.

Vox recently published an article exploring THE CHOSEN’s popularity. While it recognizes the show’s success, it misses the mark when explaining why the dramatic retelling of the Gospel has become popular.

The article praises THE CHOSEN’s success in drawing a large audience at a moment in media when a committed fanbase is not a surefire thing. 

“It’s a rare thing for a show—even one with a cult following—to last multiple seasons, let alone thrive while doing so,” the article says before admitting that THE CHOSEN has done just that.

It outlines the show’s accomplishments: its 100 million lifetime global views, its theatrical releases being Fathom Event’s highest-grossing showings of all time and its current CW run.

Having established the show’s popularity, Vox attempts—and fails—to identify why the show has found so much success. 

The simple reason THE CHOSEN succeeds is because Christians are the largest audience in the nation. Even as the number of Americans who identify as Christians falls, questions that can only be answered by religion remain at the forefront of people’s minds.

Young Americans, in particular, are interested in having conversations about life, death and life after death, making them open to talking about and exploring Christianity even if they are not practicing Christians themselves.

It only makes sense that media that explores these issues and helps people better understand topics they are already interested in would become widely popular.

Vox, however, claims the show is popular because it presents the four Gospels in an apolitical way, allowing it to attract an audience with various beliefs.

“Is it possible to faithfully represent the story of Christ—a figure whose personal politics would probably alienate most modern-day Christians—in a way that’s honest enough to feel truthful, yet anodyne enough to avoid driving away the show’s enormous, right-leaning fan base? THE CHOSEN is trying,” the article says.

This explanation breaks down because the Jesus found in the Bible was apolitical as well. The show would not be faithful to the Gospel’s portrayal of Christ if it pushed a political agenda—whether right- or left-leaning.

Rather, THE CHOSEN presents Jesus’ teachings, frequently directly quoting the Bible, in a high-quality, historically accurate way. Is this not a good enough explanation for the show’s popularity? What about the show’s uplifting nature or the fact that it is morally sound? Can that not draw in an audience?

Again, the mainstream media ignores the data that shows biblically rooted, inspirational content is consistently the most popular content studios can produce. 

Whether the subject matter is explicitly Christian or not doesn’t matter. High-quality productions of this nature will draw an audience. Yet rather than acknowledging that fact, the media looks to other places to explain a show or movie’s popularity.

THE CHOSEN is not popular because it avoids politics or doesn’t offend people; its popularity comes from its commitment to truth and appeal to America’s large Christian audience.

Other faith-based projects have seen massive success this year, as well, including JESUS REVOLUTION and SOUND OF FREEDOM.