Should I Watch This Movie? (Part 2)

This is a continuation of a previous post entitled Should I Watch This Movie?

Here are a few more questions to help you check your current cinema consumption:

Does This Movie Tempt Me to Sin?

This category is broad, so let me break it down:

  • Am I tempted to lust after the images on the screen? Not much explanation needed here.
  • Am I tempted to be discontent with my current stage of life (single, married, young, old)? Movies are like circus mirrors – they distort every stage of life. Singleness is only freedom. Marriage is solely intimate love. Youth is full of adventure. Old means retiring comfortably. These inaccurate, unbiblical portrayals often tempt us to be discontent with our current stage in life.
  • Am I tempted to believe lies about God, myself, or the world? Movies make excellent liars. They tell us that self-fulfillment matters more than serving others. That sexual love is more important than marital faithfulness. That finding myself is more important than taking up my cross. That “spirituality” matters more than knowing the truth. Beware of lying movies.

Does This Movie Edify Me?

This is where things can get a bit blurry. A movie that doesn’t glorify sin, that I can thank God for, and that doesn’t tempt me can still be unedifying. What do I mean by unedifying? I mean that it doesn’t build me up, doesn’t cause me to love Christ, makes me uneasy, etc.

Jen and I recently stopped watching a particular show. We loved this show. It was an intense, good against evil, crimebuster type of show. But things started to go south. The violence became increasingly gruesome. Disturbing images were planted in my mind, and I was increasingly tempted to fear. I would imagine myself walking into my darkened house and being attacked by a hidden assailant.

Was the show itself sinful? I don’t think so. But it certainly wasn’t helpful for me. So we stopped. Let Philippians 4:8 guide you in this area:

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

This list isn’t exhaustive. It’s meant to get you thinking, and praying about the movies you watch.

I would love to get your thoughts. Are these questions helpful? Are there any other questions you would add?

+photo by eye of einstein

Centerpiece

‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’ (LK 20.17)

“Jesus is the foundation stone of God’s plan. Though some may reject him, God will make him the centerpiece of his plan. Rejection by the Jewish nation is not the end of the plan. There is no replacing this precious and chosen stone.” — Darrell Bock

Jesus is the centerpiece of God’s plan.

All God’s purposes in the earth begin with Christ, are centered on Christ, and end in Christ.  And Christ is the center of all God’s purposes for us as believers as well.  Being a Christian isn’t primarily about keeping rules, but being made one with Jesus Christ, delighting in him and knowing his love.  It’s Christ living through us.  It’s enjoying fellowship with the Father through his Son.

God chose believers in Christ before the foundation of the world.  We’re forgiven by the blood of Christ and clothed in the perfect righteousness of Christ.  We’re blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ.  We’re adopted as sons and daughters through Christ.  The Father receives our worship, prayers and works as acceptable and pleasing through the mediation of Christ.

We are being transformed into the likeness of Christ as we put on Christ and walk in Christ.  We’re to imitate Christ, pursue Christ, proclaim Christ, hope in Christ, and rest in Christ.

Christ is our Shepherd, our King, our Lord, our Lamb, our Lion, our Wisdom, our Righteousness, our Sanctification, our Deliverer, our Savior, our Great High Priest, and our Hope of glory.  Apart from Jesus we can do nothing but through him and his strength we can do all things.

To live is Christ.  And to die is gain because death ushers us into the immediate presence of Christ.  The hope of our calling is that someday we shall see our Savior face to face as he is in glory and be fully conformed to him.  The hope of heaven is unhindered perfect worship and enjoyment Christ, the Lamb of God on the throne – the centerpiece of heaven.

What other glories of Christ would you add?

photo by Daniel HurstPhotography

Should I Watch This Movie?

You bought your ticket. You spent seven dollars on a four quart soda and a tub of butter-soaked popcorn. Your pockets are lined with Mike & Ike’s, Jujubes, and Milk Duds. You’re jazzed out of your tube socks to see the first summer blockbuster.

One question remains: should you watch it?

The fact is, you’ll be a different person when you walk out of the theater. Movies effect us. They make us laugh and cringe. They plant images in our mind. Sometimes they make us more like Christ.

As a Christian, how do you determine which movies are good and which are trash?

Here are several questions that I have found helpful to ask myself before and during a movie. (Note: These questions are the result of conversations with my dad and a sermon by Joshua Harris.)

Does the Movie Glorify Sin?

Have you ever found yourself hoping that a character will leave their unhappy marriage and run away with their true love? I have.

In essence, I’m rooting for adultery. I’m rooting for wickedness. For sins that crucified Christ.

Hollywood often portrays sin as good. We want Jonny Main Character to have a happy marriage, to get revenge on the man that killed his brother, to successfully rob the wealthy, snobbish banker.

Our emotions are manhandled to the point where we no longer root for righteousness.

Can I Thank God For This Movie?

Colossians 3:17 says:

And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Can you genuinely thank God for the movie you just watched? Can you thank God for the content of the movie and for the way the movie affected you?

If you find yourself cringing rather than thankful, you may want to reconsider.

TO BE CONTINUED…

+photo by Jessica

Dear Tech Support

Dear Tech Support,

Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slow down in overall system performance — particularly in the flower and jewelry applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.  In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5 and then installed undesirable programs such as NFL 5.0, NBA 3.0, and Golf Clubs 4.1.

Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system. I’ve tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail. What can I do?

Signed, Desperate

————————————-

Dear Desperate:

First keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while Husband 1.0 is an Operating System.

Please enter the command: ‘I Thought You Loved Me.exe’, try to download Tears 6.2 and don’t forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update. If that application works as designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewelry 2.0 and Flowers 3.5. But remember, overuse of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0 or Beer 6.1. Beer 6.1 is a very bad program that will download the Snoring Loudly Beta.  Whatever you do, DO NOT install Mother-in-law 1.0 It runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources. Also, do not attempt to reinstall the Boyfriend 5.0 program. These are unsupported applications and will crash Husband 1.0.  In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance. We recommend Food 3.0…

Good Luck, Tech Support

………..

My friend Dave Harvey used the above humor in his introduction to an incredible teaching he did called “God’s Mercy and My Marriage,” which is available here.  I recommend it for all believers, not just married couples.  The truths about the mercy of God in Dave’s message are life-changing and have application far beyond marriage.

photo by tim caynes