Saturday, January 15, 2011

Entertainment: What's Okay?

This was a question that was brought up by my dear friend Amaranthine Degada over at Amaranthine Forever. Ever since reading her post, I've been thinking,

What is okay for Christians to watch/read/hear? Where do we draw the line?

And being so plagued by these questions, and in need of answers, I ran the post by my dear mother.

My dear mother is very wise, you see. I am not the only being I know of who goes to her for advice/wisdom/general knowledge.

But enough about that...

She pointed out some very good Scriptures, and I was feeling very led to post about it. So I am. ;)

Firstly, keep this in mind:

"All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable." 
(1 Corinthians 6:12)

All things are permissible... but not everything is profitable. Regardless of the ratings, etc., consider whether that movie, or this book, or those songs are profitable. Are they edifying? To they build up or tear down? Is there anything to profit from by reading/watching/listening this or that.

Now, the question of movies:

Is it okay for Christians to watch R rated movies? 

Here's the thing...

that's not really a yes or no question.

Not all R movies are bad. Some things are rated R for the maturity level. Think The Passion of the Christ or The Patriot. Good movies. But violent movies. Hence, the R. Other films are rated R for very good reasons and should not be watched, period.

So.... are they okay or not?

Well, the Bible does not say, "Thou shalt not watch movies of the rated R variety."

But it does say, 

"I will set no worthless thing before my eyes;"
(Psalm 101:3)

And this doesn't go for just R movies alone, but movies in general (and books too, for that matter); and even things with excessive violence or sensual content. Is what you're watching worthless? Is it pure entertainment, a waste of your time? Or are there redeeming qualities that make the watching worth those two hours?

What about cursing? Is it okay to watch movies (or listen to music) (or read books) with bad language?

Once again, there may be redeeming qualities in a movie with language. And if it's an historically accurate film, then that's just real life, and not language for the sake of language. And I have seen many good movies that have a little profanity in them. 

(On a side note: I find secular music to be a big, big stumbling block for me, and thus I don't listen to secular music at all with the exception of film scores... so music with swearing in it isn't even an issue for me. But anyway, I don't recommend songs that aren't clean.)

However, the Bible does say:

"But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth."
(Colossians 3:8)

Is what you're hearing a stumbling block for you? Is it causing you to sin? If so, it's probably not a good thing to listen to/watch/read. 

Like I said, this is an issue that does not have a yes or no answer. But for the believer, Christ leads us. He doesn't give us a list of do this' and don't do that's. Let the peace of God rule your heart. 

And when making choices in the tricky area of entertainment, just remember these verses:

"Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things."
(Philippians 4:8)

"...walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the  knowledge of God;"
(Colossians 1:10)


Anonymous said...

Excellent post!! Phil. 4:8 and Psalms 101:3 are verses that I think about when trying to decide if I should watch a certain movie, lol, we've gotten rid of many movies just based on the conviction these verses bring :D Keep up the good work and I agree, your mom is a wise woman, I'm one of those who goes to her for advice ;D

-Janel aka Serious Cakes

Dina said...

Simply awesome, Abby! You are such a wonderfully mature young lady. :) Many adults could benefit from reading this post.

Princess of Endor said...

Wonderful post, Abby!

Leia Skywalker Organa said...

Great post! I love those verses! I'm going to remember this post for future reference. =)

-Leia <3

Amaranthine said...

Another stumbling block for me is "fake" curses like "dang" and "freaking". I use these, but since they were stand-ins for "real" curses, does that mean they shouldn't be used either? What should I say when the internet goes down or I drop my sandwich?

The Director said...

Um.. aw rats?? :P

I understand, though. Especially "freaking." It depends on what the slang word stands for.... but I agree, the slang is essentially the same as the real words.

Polka Dot said...

Good post. Thankfully, we have a Clearplay filter which allows us to see all of the amazing-movies-that-for-some-reason-have-a-couple-bad-scenes-or-language. You know the type. :)

Janie said...

I was just checking out some of the blogs that are followed by my blogs' followers. I've really enjoyed reading several of your posts. The issue dealt with in this post is something that I've thoguht about a lot. Basically, I agree with everything you said. However, I'd like to add that the Bible says some pretty tough things about people who cause others to stumble. Something I've had to ask myself is this: Is what I'm doing going to cause others to stumble? It might be all right for ME to do this, but is it going to affect other people if they see me doing it? For example, violent movies might not be a stumbling block for me. However, if watching said movies (or even the knowledge that I watch them) is a stumbling block to someone else, I hsould probably consider cutting violent movies out of my life.

The Director said...

Wow.... Janie, thank you for commenting! You are so right. (Man, I wish I would have remembered the stuff that you mentioned before I published the post!)

Thanks for your input :) It was a blessing for me.

-Abby aka The Director

Spook said...

Wow. I feel naughty now. Personally, as a somewhat wonky sort of Christian-ish-type believer, I don't have any issue with secularity at all (in fact I was secular until some time last year). But I do agree with you on some points.

Excessive violence and sex don't offend me, but I have to say I'm a bit of a prude. I don't mind them there, but if they're the whole plot and storyline and nothing else interesting within it, I tend to find the book/film a complete waste of my time.

Swearing? Don't use it much, but if it goes with the situation and the story, don't really mind. Though again, pointless excess irritates me.

The Director said...

Aw, hey Spook-- don't feel naughty-- but maybe convicted would be better ;)
If you're going to be a Christian and walk in righteousness, then do as the Lord says and as His Spirit leads you :]

Thanks for your comment by the way. I really appreciated it. And I agree- violence, sexuality or language in excess for no reason but itself is just ridiculous. Don't bother :P