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The One Thing Hollywood Doesn’t Want You To Do While Watching a Movie

By: Bethany Beal

My hands slightly trembled as I glanced up from the movie review sheets I’d printed from an online Christian site. I was about to read two complete movie reviews to my girls Bible study group and I was nervous to say the least.

I knew this moment was coming. I’d mentally prepared for it all week. I knew for sure it was going to be awkward (big time awkward) and I was positive I’d step on (or crunch) most every girl’s toes.

The moment came and went and I’m glad to say we all survived.

I won’t lie though, it was awkward. It was uncomfortable and it was totally out of the ordinary. Bringing up and discussing the “bad” in the latest trending movies is not something we as Christians tend to do.

We go, we watch, we enjoy and we put the “garbage” behind us.

We convince ourselves that the bad stuff in the movies wasn’t really that bad. In fact, most of us have watched so many movies that we don’t even notice the bad stuff anymore.

I knew the girls in my Bible study weren’t in the habit of reading reviews and I knew this review would make them squirm.

Sexual content…

Profanity…

Violence…

Overall message…

Other negatives…

Every subject was filled with scenes, words and messages that were inappropriate and straight up anti-biblical. For some reason reading about the garbage in a movie, before you go see it, puts it in a completely different light.

It causes you to do something that most people don’t want to do when it comes to movies. It causes you to do the one thing that Hollywood doesn’t want you to do while watching a movie.

It causes you (or at least it should) to THINK.

To think about what you are sticking in front of your eyes. To think about what you are allowing yourself to hear. To think about what you are now choosing to spend your time and/or money on.

Can you imagine what would happen if we as Christians truly started thinking, evaluating and discerning before we watched a movie. Can you imagine what would happen if Scripture was our guide in media choices. I’m guessing Hollywood would lose a lot of business.

I want to introduce you to an acrostic for the word THINK. If you aren’t exactly sure how to evaluate movie choices from a Biblical perspective, I’m hoping this will help.

T – Truth

Does the message and worldview in the movie line up with God’s truth? God gave us the Bible to help us discern right from wrong, truth from lies and good from evil.

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

Just because the culture has normalized (and glamorized) sin, doesn’t make it right. (For more on that topic check out the blog, “Normalizing What’s Wrong Doesn’t Make it Right”). Every movie has a message and a worldview. It’s your responsibility to think and plan ahead and decide if the movie’s message and worldview lines up with Scripture.

Is the movie promoting truth according to God’s Word, or, is it opposing it? 

If a movie glamorizes premarital sex, immoral behavior, terrible family relationships, disrespect, deception, and so many other behaviors the Bible calls sin, why would we as Christians choose to watch that? We need to value God’s truths and align our media choices with them.

H – Honor

God is holy. He is perfect and completely set apart.

“Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come!” (revelation 4:8)

That perfect God sent Jesus Christ to die on the cross and save us from our sins (John 3:16). As Christians we are called to be holy like God is holy. We serve a perfect God and are called to be like Him in every area of our lives (1 Peter 1:16). With that in mind, how can we justify soooo much of the sin we laugh at and entertain ourselves with in the movies.

Would the perfect and holy God be honored by a movie that uses His name in vain? Would He be honored by a movie that promotes homosexuality? Would He be  honored by a movie that demeans His design for marriage?

God is holy and we (through His strength) should strive to honor Him in every choice we make. Including movies.

I – Influence

“Movies don’t affect me.”

The famous one liner quoted and re quoted by Christians all across the world. For some reason we’ve bought into Satan’s tricky little lie that we can fill our minds with anti-God world views and somehow “not be affected.”

Yikes! That is a foolish way of thinking. 

I love what Craig Cabaniss said in the book Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World,

Just because we don’t instantly mimic all we see doesn’t mean our hearts aren’t negatively affected by the programs or films we watch. Tugging like a subtle undertow below the surface, the media can tempt us to drift toward the love of the world. – Craig Cabaniss

N – No

It’s time to relearn the word NO. You don’t have to watch the latest movies (or any movie for that matter). You can make the choice to say No.

“No thanks.”

“Sorry I can’t.”

“Maybe next time.” “

No I’m not going to watch that.”

“No, no, no and  no.”

The word NO holds a lot of power and it’s time for us to start using it to our benefit.

K – Know

Know what’s inside the movie before you watch it. I pray that you will never watch a movie without doing your homework ahead of time.

You are accountable to God for what you choose to stick in your mind and heart.

“So then each of us will give an account of himself to God” (Romans 14:12).

Don’t choose to sit in front of a screen without knowing exactly what you are choosing to see and hear. If there are 15 uses of profanity in the movie, you need to know that and you need to choose whether you will watch or not. If there are sexual innuendos, immoral behavior, sex scenes, crude jokes or whatever else, you need to know that ahead of time and you need to choose to watch or not.

You are accountable to God for everything you do. Choose wisely and never watch unknowingly.

Time to get serious

I am challenging you to rethink your movie watching habits. I am challenging you to get serious about what you choose to put before your eyes.

Are you, as a Christian girl, willing to sacrifice your “entertainment” to honor your perfect God? Are you willing to live a set apart life with Christ’s glory at the forefront of your mind? Are you willing to THINK before, during and after every movie you set before your eyes?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. I realize this is very controversial amongst Christians and I do not claim to know it all. I’d love to learn and grow as well. Share your thoughts and we can discuss this below.

BTW – I highly recommend Pluggedin.com and kids-in-mind.com  as great movie review sites.

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