There has been a lot of controversy lately over the new Netflix show, Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. As a society, we have been pretty permissive about what we expose ourselves and our families to. Thankfully, this does not include all of us, but much of the population has been desensitized. We know this because shows like this one are still airing and more are being produced all the time. The questions is: at what point will we draw a line in the sand and say enough is enough?
This show is wrong on many levels. It is hard to really know where to even begin looking at it. True Crime is a pretty big trend right now, though there has always been some fascination with it. In 1987, there was a television show called Unsolved Mysteries that aired for nine seasons. It was a mystery documentary, but it really centered on unsolved crimes. In 2003, Cold Case hit the air and ran until 2010. While this show didn’t depict true crime, it did center on crime that could be true—along with many other dramas that focus on crime related events. Some other examples are all the Law and Orders, CSIs and NCISes.
The list could go on and on. So, what makes this show different? Why all the uproar?
Society is glorifying the evil and violent acts of a serial killer. Netflix is exploiting these heinous acts. Real people are having the trauma of their experiences relived for the sake of a buck. The deaths that occurred still matter. They SHOULD matter. The loved ones that were left behind in the aftermath of this violence are being re-victimized and re-traumatized while the media is benefiting from it.
Unfortunately, this is not the first time that Netflix has gone down this road, either. Time Magazine posted an article in 2020 about a similar incident. The family of one victim begged Netflix not to move forward, and yet the plea fell on deaf ears. I Am a Killer just aired its 3rd season without regard to how it affects families or how they might feel about such actions.
As a Christian, I believe strongly in the spiritual realm, in spiritual warfare as it’s laid out in the historical text of the Bible—I can not fathom why anyone who has a relationship with Jesus would subject themselves to such atrocities. I’m not talking about ignoring what happened or turning our backs on anything. Knowledge can be powerful, but context is everything. The exploitation of people’s trauma is evil. The banality of evil is letting evil happen and doing nothing about it.
Taking this a step further, what is our responsibility as disciples of Christ? Let’s take a look in the book of Matthew 25:31-46, which is labeled Judgment of the nations. Within this passage, I want to single in on verse 45, “… I assure you that when you haven’t done it for the least of these, you haven’t done it for me.” Friends, the least of these refers to anyone who is vulnerable, disadvantaged, and standing alone.
I feel strongly about this, but also want to reiterate that you do not have to be a Christian in order for this message to apply to you. Religion aside, what do you gain from watching a series that highlights the cruel actions of an evil man? Where is the humane community that we all need and desire? Place yourselves in the shoes of others. Would you want something that pains you to be exploited for all the world to see?
To my brothers and sisters in Christ, I declare we need to take back the media. We live in a world where we have become consumers. No longer are we referred to as people. We need to transform our mindsets and look at the bigger picture. We need to look to the future and the legacy that we want to leave behind. Be a producer as well as a consumer. The enemy is alive. It is up to us to walk in the authority given to us by the King.
Take Back All Forms of Media
I encourage you to investigate how you can make a difference in the world. How can you support the concept of making the world a better place in the media? Is it by exploiting the memories of the victims taken by the evil? Is it by minimizing the trauma that the victims faced? Or worse, is it allowing the enemy to control the media? Of course not! We live in an age of technology. Rather than boycott it, intentionally work to transform hearts and minds, be the salt and the light. When we think of Christian Liberty, look to 1st Corinthians 10:22-24, “Everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible, but not everything builds up. No one is to seek his own good, but the good of the other person.” Let’s move past the idea that if it doesn’t directly affect us, then we don’t need to intervene. Eventually, it will affect us. When it is our time, will we honestly be able to say that we stood against the injustices of the world?
The School of Kingdom Writers is taking tremendous leaps toward a better tomorrow for our media outlets. It is not about making everything “Christian,” or putting everything into little boxes, avoiding actual issues and hard things. It’s about looking at everything from the perspective of Jesus. Jesus didn’t shy away from hard things. But He didn’t glorify them either.
SOKW aims to take back the media that the enemy has been exploiting, providing direction and teaching for Christians with a desire to share the Christian worldview with Christian and secular audiences alike. If this has tugged at your heart any at all, I pray you will dive deeper and seek ways you can make a difference in the Kingdom of God. If you have gifts and talents that might benefit the school in any capacity, I encourage you to explore that as well.
As a recent graduate of their on-line program, I highly recommend it. To hear from others check out this interview on the schools podcast. The school has students from all over the world who are being trained up to make a difference. You can also find the podcast and more of my thoughts on my own experience in this post.
Don’t forget to share how you are choosing to make a difference either on social media or in the comments. How will you leave a legacy for future generations?