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

By: Bethany Baird

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.

PHOTO CREDIT 

GirlDefined The One Thing Hollywood Doesn't Want You to do While Watching a Movie

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  • Esther Prijs

    Thanks for this. I always pray first whenever i pick a movie, and i read the revieuws on te movie website, and or watch the trailers first. In this age and time there are not much movies we can enjou freely anymore. I always pray that there will be movies approved by the holy ghost so to speak 😉

  • Elizabeth Williams

    You’re absolutely right! This is a lie that I used to believe as well. I used to think “Well, just watching it isn’t that bad. It’s not like I believe that stuff or am going to do it myself.” But It really DOES effect you, whether you realize it or not. Reading Leslie Ludy’s book Set-Apart Femininity really changed my whole perspective about this. And what a great idea to discuss this at a Bible study 🙂

  • CT

    Right on!! This couldn’t have been said any better! It does not seek to honor Christ; it only pulls us away from Christ. And besides that, there’s a whole dying world out there that needs to hear the Gospel. Does our choice to watch a filthy movie move us closer to or farther way from our goal of reaching the world around us for Christ? Excellent post!

  • Anymous

    You spoke truth. Truth I needed. God bless you; He used your words to make me stop and THINK.

  • Elisabeth

    Thanks so much for this topic!!I was beginning to think my parents and I where the only people who had these such strict standers.I totally agree,I only watch old shows like from 20 years ago or more, Christian Movies, or Disney stuff almost always.What do you like to see?

  • CK

    Excellent! Very wise words Bethany. Back before the days of online movie reviews my parents would take us to the movie theater about once or twice a year. They had an unspoken “two strike” rule. One offensive moment in the movie and we’d see our parents exchanging glances. On the second offense, they would rise in unison and that was our cue that they were done giving this movie any more of our time and out of the theater we’d all go. We left a few movies midway. As a teenager, of course, we were embarrassed but we also always admired our parents for making that difficult stand. That was 30 years ago, how much more needful for Christians to take a stand today.

    • Jesusfreak17

      That’s really cool; what a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

    • Elizabeth Williams

      That’s awesome! I know that wasn’t easy to take that stand, but it’s worth it 🙂

  • Renata

    Thank you open our eyes, reminding us the true and biblical values! God be glorified in your lives through this blog!

  • nicolle

    this post is a BIG bless !!!

  • Mandy

    as hard as this was to hear, it’s the TRUTH and I needed to hear this and now follow it!

  • Danielle

    Thank you for writing this! I struggled as a teenager with watching hollywood movies filled with sinful things. I would try to ignore things or fast forward certain parts or just laugh off other things. Soon God convicted my heart…. if I knew it was sin for me to do ‘fill in the blank’ then why was it ok for me to watch it on a screen or hear it? How could I call myself a Christian but be ok with watching all I was. I knew that if God was sitting next to me I would not want Him watching all that I was and then it hit me….He was there with me. I decided to throw out movies and start watching clean movies. I wanted to please God because I loved Him and be a good testimony to others as well. I still love watching movies but choose to watch what is clean and yes do some research a head of time. This article you wrote is excellent. Thank you again.

  • Sophie

    This post is a brilliant reminder. Thank you for discussing this topic. I have developed the habit of checking the content before watching movies or reading books after I came across some inapproiate content in movies. The websites mentioned are really helpful. I am now struggling if I should watch any movies or read books in the fantasy genre as I am not sure if the this genre is totally okay for Christians.

  • OrangeGirl

    Right. They don’t want you to think. That’s why so many Hollywood movies explore complicated themes like love lost, divorce, death, and abuse.

  • alainabb

    I love this blog post! I am 15 and my parents have always taught me to find out and evaluate the content in a movie/tv show before watching it. I was recently was at my church youth group and we were having a group discussion about our favorite tv shows, and I honestly was quite appalled by the type of shows every one was watching, I also was thinking to myself how crazy they would think I was if they knew that I didn’t watch anything like that or wanted to. I completely believe as Christians we are accountable for what we watch and read and that we should honor God by carefully choosing what we watch. So thank you for writing this blog post!

  • tfrohlich

    I could not agree more! I am currently seeing how many of my Christian friends don’t really think about what they are going to watch. It makes me sad and it is really awkward to set myself apart and say that I don’t want to watch certain movies because of the inappropriate, not God-honoring content. I am thankful for your boldness and willingness to share with younger girls. Your blog has been such an encouragement to me!

    Have you ever talked with friends your age that watch those types of movies about their choices? I just don’t want to seem like I am better than them.


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