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Is the awards a template for Christian reflection in the modern world?

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The Golden Globe ceremony has been and gone, and that means awards season is now underway – cue red carpet glamour, questionable humour, emotional speeches, and the usual outrage and/or delight at winners (and losers).

Of course, on one level, all awards ceremonies are inherently nonsense. What does it even mean to pitch a film like Barbie against a film like Oppenheimer? On what basis are we comparing these films? And who gets to arbitrate who’s worthy of the trophies?

Yet, on another level, awards ceremonies like the Globes, the Emmys, the Grammys, and the Oscars, are endlessly fascinating. Every year they come around, and every year, they make headlines.

So, what’s a Christian to make of it all?

We might be quick to turn up our noses at the superficial glamour of a ceremony like the Globes – after all, the apostle John reminds us to ‘not love the world nor anything in the world’ (1 John 2:15). Where the entertainment industry celebrates behaviour or work contrary to the values of Jesus’ kingdom, we might do well to keep ourselves from unhealthy preoccupation.

On the other hand, the apostle Paul encourages Christians to dwell on whatever is true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable – indeed, ‘anything is excellent or praiseworthy’ (Philippians 4:8). And awards ceremonies, as nonsensical as their premise might be, are a chance to celebrate human creativity in all its forms, be that writing, production, or performance.

We all need wisdom to know how much attention to give to cultural calves like the Globes. And we might not all come to the same conclusion – rarely, if even, will there be a binary right and wrong.

So, what criteria might we use? Perhaps a missional one. Is there chance to connect with a colleague, neighbour, or friend, over something we have in common? Movies, awards, and headlines are ripe topics for conversations that can easily reveal deeper things.

Why not ask someone in your circle what their favourite movie from last year has been? Then ask them to tell you why they felt that way. See what resonated with them, what spoke to them, or what challenged them. And then when they ask you back, share the same – ‘making the most’ of a moment to reveal what matters most to you (Colossians 4:5).

As Christians, we don’t want to weaponise every headline and shoehorn the gospel into everyday conversations in a way that alienates our friends, family, and colleagues. But when there are easy moments for connection and conversation with the people God has placed us among, let’s choose, where we are able, to be part of that conversation – even if it is a bit silly.

Tim Yearsley is Head of Innovation at the LICC (London Institute for Contemporary Christianity). To learn more about LICC, visit: https://licc.org.uk/





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