Christians and the Movies
I am confident that most Christians want to do right and not go beyond God's boundaries. However, from time to time, they find themselves in situations not knowing what to do.
Which movies meet with God's approval is a problem for many church-goers. No one probably would object to movies such as; "Little House On The Prairie," "The Waltons," "Father Knows Best," "Andy Griffith Show," or "The Bill Cosby Show." However, movies with ratings of "PG", "R" and "X", should be considered as dangerous to one's spiritual health.
Satan has always been a "Master" at getting people to follow him. Se Genesis 3:1-24 for the first deception he planted in the minds of Adam and Eve. Also, note the penalty which they suffered due to their falling prey to Satan's temptation. Satan is so very "slick." He sneaks up on one slowly and before a person realizes it, he has fallen into his traps.
The traps, which Satan sets for mankind are varied, but we will just look at - the "questionable" movies. When movies first became known to man, they were wholesome and very helpful. Due to censorship, curse words, obscenities, profanities, vulgarities and "off color" jokes and comments were unheard of. But slowly, the censoring process has "lowered" its standards. Satan always works like this, very slowly.
Today most conservative church-goers will note the rating a movie has (theater, TV or VCR rental), prior to viewing it themselves or permitting their children to view it. The ratings are:
"G" - General Audience (Nothing questionable)
"PG" - Parental Guidance Suggested (Obscene language, suggestive scenes, etc.)
"R" - Restricted (One must be 18 years of age, or accompanied by an adult; obscenities, nudity, sexual scenes, etc.)
"X" - This is pornography in various forms (Scenes of graphically depicting sexual encounters; man/woman, boy/girl, group sex, homosexuals, anal, oral, "Sadomasochism" - which is men beating on women with rubber hoses or whips for sexual kicks, lesbians, etc.)
Now some folks may say, "We are living in the 'UP AGE' and need to come out of the Puritan Days." That sounds good, however, God's Word is still God's Word, and it still says, "Avoid every kind of evil" (1 Thessalonians 5:22).
If a person cannot watch a movie when fellow Christians are present due to its low moral standards, it should be avoided. Well, that is the conclusion one would have to draw, if he is going to allow God's Word to guide him (see 1 Peter 2:11). Is this not right?
A few years ago, many Christians were willing to picket theaters which scheduled movies, other than wholesome one, such as what we today call "G" rated movies. Today many of those same church members attempt to justify watching movies with ratings other than "G." Most well meaning church members do not realize that movies that teach and show filth can become addictive. If you do not believe me concerning this, just notice the enormous number of your acquaintances who are hooked on the TV soaps.
Now be honest. Can a truly "Born Again" child of God watch the soaps daily where acts of adultery are constantly being committed, and swear words are regularly used? You see, one becomes an alcoholic by starting out drinking socially. Likewise, one becomes addicted to heroin by starting out smoking marijuana. Also, one becomes addicted to pornography by starting out with "PG" rated movies and then advancing to the "R" rated movies, and then moves on to the "X" rated films. Again - Satan always moves in a slow manner, in order to catch his victim in his traps.
The devil has made it convenient (via pornography mail order houses, drive thru film rentals, etc.) for the "X" rated films to make their way into homes of church members. One way to stop unsolicited porno ads from coming to our mail boxes is by obtaining Form #39-USC-3010, from the Post Office. Complete this form and after thirty days, if you receive any further porno ads, the pornographers are subject to court action by the U.S. Government. This form should be completed by every Christian, because Christians are to desire to walk holy and righteous lives. Can one say that it is holy and righteous to watch a man and woman commit an act of adultery on TV or on the VCR, or at the theater?
The Christian realizes that he is not to be a stumbling-block, "So then each of us shall give account of himself to God." (Romans 14:12) He realizes that if a non-Christian would see him at the super market with a carton of smokes or a six-pack of beer in his buggy, it would be a real "Setback" in attempting to witness to the man. He also realizes, or should, that if he or she is caught with questionable films or VCR tapes - it is going to likewise serve as a stumbling-block to his witness.
May God help Christians to realize that Jesus did say, "He who is not with me is against me. . ." (Matthew 12:30) It would be difficult to believe that Jesus would be comfortable watching some of today's films. May His Spirit, which a sinner receives at water baptism (Acts 2:38), guide every Christian into making the correct selection of the movies he watches. May we recall an old saying, "What goes into the mind - is going to come out in some manner." Thus, if we want wholesomeness to be in our lives, may we put wholesome things (films) into our minds.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Brother Hoyt W. Allen Jr. is a Restoration author, preacher and director of the KYOWVA Evangelistic Association in Ironton, Ohio. You may visit his website at www.kyowva.com.