Michael Chang, founder of Mighty, talks about his calling to share God online
In this exclusive interview Aleteia’s Omar Aguilar speaks with Michael Chang, founder of Mighty, the media company that produced the viral video, “Who Would Dare to Love ISIS? (A Letter from the People of the Cross)." Through music and images, the video reminds the world that the Christian response to ISIS is prayer and forgiveness.
Question: Michael, the video is produced by Mighty. Tell us a little bit about your company.
Mighty is a media company based in Los Angeles. I started it at the beginning of 2015 when I quit my full time job to pursue God’s calling in my life – to be a voice for Him in online media. What was a part-time dream, quickly became a full-time reality after our first video went viral. The word Mighty comes from a verse in Jeremiah 33:3 which says, “I will show you great and mighty things which you do not know.” That’s where the heart of this company rests. God wants to fill us with the wonder and awe of experiencing Him and knowing the truths about who we are and what we were made for. For most people, the only thing they know about God is what Hollywood and the mainstream media has portrayed Him to be. The masses are getting their information about God from people who don’t know Him. That makes absolutely no sense. Why not ask who God is from the people who have a relationship with Him? If I wanted to know more about you, would I ask a stranger? No, I would go to your friends. I want to use Mighty to rightfully portray the Christian God for who He really is.
Question: Certainly everyone is shock and concerned with the sad reality of Christians under the yoke of ISIS — many people want to do something about it. Is this your way to do something about it?
What’s happening right now in the Middle East is disheartening. Christians, Muslims, and other people groups are being slaughtered by ISIS. I can’t even comprehend the amount of pain they must be going through, losing family members and friends who are killed in such ruthless ways. I would also never claim that this video is the “solution” to their plight. All I can do is to be faithful with what I’ve been given and try my hardest to use all my assets to help in any way possible. So yeah, with all my weaknesses and shortcomings, this was my best shot.
Question: The images are very gruesome, each new video from ISIS is a reminder of the cruelty of their ideology. Their videos are full of threats, hate and blood — where did the idea to use the same avenues to reach out to them come from?
Social media is amazing because it allows you to reach people halfway around the world. My hope is that through the video going viral, it will also reach ISIS members and potential ISIS recruits. After ISIS beheaded the 21 Egyptian Christians, many Christians responded. But the responses were mostly written content. I wanted to make a video because adding images and music to words multiplies the impact of a message.
Question: The message is very straightforward. ISIS as the Islamist State has skillfully used social media to promote their ideology and cause panic worldwide. This video goes the same way share the message of Jesus worldwide. As a consequence many people feel compelled by this video to do something about this atrocities. Was that part of the original plan for the video?
The video’s main message is that we are able to love our enemies and that no one is beyond God’s love. I hope that this video brings the People of the Cross down to our knees to pray for them.
Question: In an interview you mentioned that ISIS is much better than most of us Christians at manipulating the media. I don’t think you want to manipulate media but rather offer an honest account of what Christianity is about. How do you think secular media will take this message of yours?
It’s not manipulating the media but using it for a greater purpose. ISIS understands the power of filming their horrific acts and sharing it through social media to make a statement and to gain legitimacy. They are saying what they believe to be true and we are doing the same thing.
How will secular media take the message? Well if it ever gets into their hands, I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of disagreement and controversy. But I hope that it just brings more clarity as to what we as Christians stand for.
Question: Finally, what are your future plans?
If God allows it, there will be many more videos to come. This was only our first.
Thank you so much for this opportunity Aleteia!